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Connosr – the Whisky Social Network

There are lots and lots of things going on in the world right now to be depressed and whinge about – the Haiti disaster, the official handover of political power in the USA to corporations, the failing peace process in Northern Ireland, the Brangelina breakup – but I couldn’t care less because all is good and well in my world.

You see, I found this today: Connosr – a social network for Whisky lovers.

If a psychic were to delve in to my deepest thoughts and extract my greatest dreams and hopes, they’d find something very similar to Connosr. It’s a combination of two of my greatest non-human loves: whisky and the Internet.

So from now on if you’re looking for me online, this is probably where I’ll be.

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  • Filed under: internet, life, whiskey
  • 25 Blasphemous Quotes

    I may need to retract an earlier statement where I proposed that “we shove the whole complacent Irish population into containers and ship them to Afghanistan where they can join their Taliban brothers in the stone age.

    It seems Ireland is not populated entirely by brainwashed religious nutcases, as evidenced by Atheist Ireland. To start the new year in proper fashion they’ve published a series of 25 blasphemous quotes on their website in an effort to provoke a lawsuit over Ireland’s newly adopted and utterly backwards blasphemy law.

    These blasphemous quotes are not the rantings of random bloggers (such as yours truly) but come from a fairly respectable bunch of folks: Mark Twain, Salman Rushdie, Richard Dawkins, and even some quotes from the prophet Muhammed, Jesus Christ, and the Pope.

    Each of these quotes can be interpreted as being blasphemous towards one religion or another. It demonstrates the utter stupidity of this law against blasphemy. I hope Atheist Ireland gets their trial – whether they win or lose, it will definitely serve to demonstrate the stone age thinking currently prevailing in Irish government circles.

    World Domination, Phase 5

    Control internet search: Check.
    Control internet advertising: Check.
    Control email: Check.
    Control office: Check.
    Control desktop: …

    Check.

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  • Filed under: internet, pc, video
  • Today’s biggest non-news story is that the Pirate Bay, that terrorist beacon of all things evil on the internet (if you believe the copyright lobby), has shut down its torrent trackers.

    This may at first glance seem like a devastating blow to filesharers across the world. But only if you totally lack a proper understanding of how the BitTorrent protocol works.

    Neglecting the fact that ever since the whole Pirate Bay mess started literally thousands of new torrent sites have popped up to fill the gaps, BitTorrent users don’t actually need torrent trackers any more. BitTorrent has evolved to include trackerless technologies such as DHT, PEX, and Magnet Links, so the loss of a tracker (even the world’s largest, as the Pirate Bay’s was) won’t actually harm filesharing.

    On the contrary – the more the copyright lobby fights against filesharing, the more sophisticated it will become, until filesharing is based on such advanced technologies that stopping it would mean shutting down the entire internet.

    Which may actually be what the copyright lobby wants. They do after all still seem to live in the pre-WWW 1980’s where they reigned supreme over all types of content and media, locking artists into inescapable contracts and charging ridiculous amounts of money to consumers for music and films.

    But times have changed. Technology has liberated consumers and artists alike, and the big media conglomerates seem unable or unwilling to adapt. So I say fuck ’em. Adapt or die, and the copyright lobby has obviously chosen the latter option.

    The Privacy Delusion

    SEOmoz.org, a site I follow religiously for professional purposes, has published a blog post called ‘24 Hours Without Privacy‘. It describes one young man’s daily activities, and the sheer amount of surveillance and data recording that is taking place behind the scenes.

    The total lack of privacy as detailed in this blog post is reminiscent of the Will Smith film “Enemy of the State“, only this time it’s not fiction. This is how we live today. An excerpt:

    “Later, after finishing a long day at work, he stops by his local grocery store to pick up a six pack of beer. He goes straight to the back of the store and brings the drink back to the register. Despite his facial hair, the clerk requests to see his ID. He complies and pulls it out of his wallet. The young man keys in his phone number in absence of his grocery store loyalty card so that he can save $0.50. The cash register prints out a receipt and the cashier shoves it in a plastic bag along with the purchase. The man thanks the grocer and continues on his way home.

    As soon as he stepped into the grocery store he was picked up by one of about 20 video cameras that continually record shoppers. As he approached the checkout stand he started a three tiered identification process that rivals that of getting a Passport.

    The first method was via government ID and was paradoxically the least useful to the grocery store. The cashier ignored his picture and instead focused on typing his birthdate into the register computer as speedily as possible.

    Privacy is an illusion. There is very little about you that isn’t known and stored somewhere, permanently, and accessible to parties who most certainly do not have your best interests in mind.

    World, Meet Your Browser

    You know, I really want to distrust Google. They’re so pervasive and omniscient, I would really love to see them as the Big Bad Bully of the internet world.

    But they keep doing these superb things that make it very hard to conjure even a mild dislike for them. They shower web geeks like me with free tools such as Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Website Optimizer, Conversion Optimizer, Internet Stats, and so much more…. And all for free!

    Today Google launched a website aimed not at technophiliac internet addicts like yours truly, but at every day users. You know, people who don’t know what SEO means, how to change the homepage of their browser, or even know what a browser is:

    This is undoubtedly part of their insidious masterplan to rule the world, but if this is how they plan to rule it, I say let them!

    I recently reported (i.e. ranted) on the plans of Dutch copyright group Buma/Stemra to start charging money for embedding music videos.

    The Dutch internet rights advocacy group Bits of Freedom has crowdsourced an open letter to Buma/Stemra (PDF, Dutch) in which they skilfully demolish Buma’s plans and arguments. The letter is a politely worded yet utterly scathing review of Buma’s soulless, viciously greedy internet-killing scheme.

    If you’re Dutch and you don’t yet support Bits of Freedom, do so now. If you’re not Dutch, find your local internet rights group and start supporting them in any way you can.

    As a Dutchman living in the UK I support Bits of Freedom, the Open Rights Group, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It’s a little money out of my pocket every month, but lots of little contributions add up to a great deal of support for these organisations that work hard to defend our online rights.

    UPDATE: After a tidal wave of protests from all areas of society, including politicians, Buma/Stemra has withdrawn its intent to charge non-commercial websites for embedding videos.

    Adamus

     Adamus
    Adamus is the online identity of Barry Adams. A Dutchman living in Northern Ireland, Barry / Adamus is an internet fanatic, skeptic, technophile, gamer, and geek.

    On this personal blog he provides his unpolished view of the world and its insanities.

    Identity 2.0

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