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Re: [News] Columnist Worried About OLPC FUD (Intel and Microsoft FUDMeister Took the Lead)

____/ [H]omer on Wednesday 21 November 2007 11:49 : \____

> Verily I say unto thee, that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
>> The Internet is changing quickly and I fear that with all that
>> censorship there will be access tiers, not just speed tiers. There's
>> also the issue of visibility in the seas of information, but I
>> generally agree with you. The Internet is great because of wealth and
>> diversity of opinions. Sadly, some companies buy lots of 'opinions'
>> too (placements/inoformecials). Vis-a-vis astroturfing, Google has
>> finally cracked down on these pay2post/review scum. Good riddance!
>> Their PR dropped to nill a fortnight ago.
> WRT the Internet as an record of truth, there are several threats to the
> preservation of such information.
> Archive.org routinely purges archives upon request [1] (ex. Scientology)
> akin to take-down notices, and indeed there seems to be some speculation
> as to the WayBack Machine's rather selective archival choices. Of course
> it honours robots.txt, which sites may then abuse as a kind of wholesale
> X-No-Archive across entire sites.

Sergey Brin had his drag photo removed from there, IIRC. Recently I found out
that the Bangkok press removed an article that was not flattering to
Microsoft. Microsoft must have pressured them. There are other (older) such

> Then there's Wikipedia, where Microsoft [2] [3] and others [4] have been
> caught hiring shills to deface it with revisionist history.

Yes, indeed. Then again, you have the history of edit (if you bother to look).

> Even Google Groups seems to be having a problem with the preservation of
> its articles, or at least access to them, with its now hopelessly broken
> search function [5]. One would certainly hope that the original articles
> are still intact.

I noticed that too. I keep copies of all my messages nonetheless, just in case.

> YouTube is equally subject to such draconian censorship, be it political
> commentary [6] (ex. King of Thailand) or innocuous home videos featuring
> some garbled background music [7] (ex. Prince).

Land of the free = illusion. It sounds nice though, doesn't it? "Land. Of the

> And this is before one considers the devastating effects of corporations
> destroying Net Neutrality [8] [9] with their greed.
> Ultimately this might mean that access to certain knowledge becomes very
> difficult and/or expensive, if access is granted at *all*.

That's the hope anyway (not for us).


"Act I: The act of buying

    When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that
book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone
understands this.

Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild, 2002

    You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or
otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any
third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the
Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist
or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent
security features that protect the Digital Content.

Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007"

DRM pile o' crap. I bet Linux is choking in that Kindle.

> So overall the future of the accurate and accessible preservation of our
> history looks rather bleak, accept for those content to accept those Big
> Brother revisionist interpretations, or for those with the foresight and
> wherewithal to maintain archives independently. It is crystal clear that
> those we currently depend on for such records, cannot be trusted to keep
> them safe from those with a vested interest in perverting the truth, and
> capitalising on knowledge, like so much "Intellectual Property" added to
> a "portfolio". The corporate harvesting of knowledge threatens to create
> intellectual famine, leading to the disease of misinformation, caused by
> a genetically modified crop.

Nicely put. Well, tell National Archives and the British Library to make a
start by rejecting the Microsoft scam (OOXML). Well, it's too late, I guess.
They have been virtually been bribed by the convicted monopoly that wants to
instruct the press and rewrite history (a bit like Murdock, Disney, and

> References:
> [1] http://www.news.com/2100-1023-959236.html
> [2] http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2007/01/an_interesting_offer.html
> [3]
> [4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6947532.stm
> [5]
> [6] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/21/thailand_youtube_redux/
> [7]
> [8] http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1192525413109
> [9] http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9773538-38.html

Sickening. We probably shouldn't discuss these issues in a _Linux_ NG, but
these are crucial nonetheless. Moreover, with digitisation of knowledge, we're
clearly at a crossroad. Look at that DRM pig called Vista. It's the devil
that's prepared to consume and devour information.

                ~~ Best of wishes

This sedentary lifestyle on the Net leads to fatigue. And then you wake up.
http://Schestowitz.com  |  RHAT GNU/Linux   |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
 21:00:02 up 22 days, 58 min,  4 users,  load average: 2.37, 2.00, 1.40
      http://iuron.com - help build a non-profit search engine

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