Category Archives: Uncategorized

The farce of protecting the creative

The slogan the dutch lobby group BREIN and its operational manager, Tim Kuik, go by is the cheesy and awkward “The art of protecting the creating”. This is an interesting slogan not only because only three words here have merit and the other three have not. These three words are… naturally… “The”, “of” and “the” (again.. so arguably only 2 words.. (but i digress)). These words only have merit because, structurally, these tie the sentence together, regardless of content. The other three words are completely inappropriate for BREIN in every imaginable way.
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Tech journalism : Worst than the gossip pages

Very little journalism is good journalism. In fact, calling the majority of reports journalism is an insult to proper journalism. The vast majority of journalism is shoddy, poorly researched, click-bait driver regurgitated drivel often with a biased agenda one way or the other. This is true for most media, but the internet surely takes the cake here and within this realm lives the “tech journalist”.  On par with the gossip column, but often mush more incompetent with regards to the subject.

Ow, how I hate tech journalism at large. Their lack of any form of vision or insight. The random tangents and hyperbolae they shoot forth for no apparent reason. The oblatory lack or research or citing sources. The obvious extension to the tech and ad-industry that they are.

There are very little mainstream tech article in which either a single miscomprehension nullifies the entire bloody thing or where the one-sidedness is so thick that even the fact sheets should be doubted. The stupidity of the conclusion that are drawn from various sources, often uncredited, without any form of analytical explanation.
Continue reading Tech journalism : Worst than the gossip pages

Cultural re-appropriation : Why going after individual downloaders is wrong and misguided

This week a film distributor, Dutch film works, in the Netherlands announced that they have a list of IP addresses and will go after individual downloaders first with a warning and after multiple infraction with a “fine” or a court case. These strong arm tactics have been deployed elsewhere in Europe and are admittedly meant as a deterrent.

What is notable here is that these actions have been mostly undertaken by middleman in these industries like distributors not the authors or producers nor television and cinema companies. This is telling because it tells us something about the relation between the audience and the different parties involved in providing film entertainment. There is a very clear reason why a distributor would go after individuals whereas TV stations of creators rarely do so. Also, there is a very good reason why distributors like Dutch film works are in the wrong when they assume that they have a right to do so.
Continue reading Cultural re-appropriation : Why going after individual downloaders is wrong and misguided

Copyright enforcers and civil disobedience : Why we have a duty to resist.

 

“I don’t even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don’t think it’s going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way. The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing.”

2002 ~ David Bowie

For years around the world, especially in western nations, copyright watchdogs for the content and entertainment industry have predictably pushed and pushed to gain more rights and reduce peoples privacy and disown us of our active cultural environment. In the Netherlands we have BREIN as a shill for the industry and they have again increased their target spectrum, now by having gained the right to use intrusive, possibly fishing software, to find and match uploads.

At this time of writing BREIN claims only to go after “BIG” uploads, whatever the metric for that would be, but it is barely a slippery slope argument if one predicts that this will lead to “smaller” uploaders or even .torrent file downloads in the future. These thugs have been pushing the acceptable boundaries for years now and I do not see them having any reason to stop here.

TimKuikThief
Tim Kuik ~ Thief*

 

Continue reading Copyright enforcers and civil disobedience : Why we have a duty to resist.

Why you need to use Adblock all the time

There are many good reasons to use adblock and anti tracking software for your browser. Ads and tracking sites are annoying, potentially dangerous, they slow down your browser and they hog your bandwidth. All very good reason to simply block ads no matter how much a youtuber or website is whining about lost ad revenues. Within these bounds the user is perfectly in his or her right to choose to use this software.

But there is another good reason to block ads. A reason that could actually make NOT using adblock a bad thing to do.

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Europe, unplugged

As if there weren’t anymore pressing topics to tackle, the representative in Brussels/Strasbourg have finally made a breakthrough in…. phone charge cable standards.

Yes, indeed! With a timeframe of 4 years, the EU thinks it proper to not only decide on a common standard for charger connectors, but it also thinks it best to enforce this, making it mandatory on… phones. Not tables, laptops or other portable electronic devices, just phones. Continue reading Europe, unplugged

Defining Steampunk proper

For years I have liked the aesthetics of the steampunk look in various project. Be it clothing, objects or vehicles, a nicely done steampunk project I find very pleasing. I have done some mild steampunk themed project in the past, mainly computers and cabinets, but recently I felt the urge to do some more of that. For a start I did some online research, as I always do and I found myself, quite quickly, to have a strong opinion on certain steampunk practices.

What is steampunk?

Usually steampunk is defined as Victorian/Edwardian style-cues mixed with industrial revolution inspired attributes projected on modern technological and social concepts. That is to say that a typical steampunk rocket-scientist would wear a top-hat with brass welder-glasses and a steam-powered jetpack on his or hers back.

The variations are endless frankly and a lot of steampunk enthusiasts would add to steampunk a sense of make-believe history, roleplaying and subcultural elements, but in essence it’s a style-figure you can categorize as you can Jugendstil. Apart from the Victorian style-ques, which are mostly decorative, the materials play a large role in the overall style. Materials like brass, copper,  wrought iron, rivets, pneumatics, hydraulics, leather, gears, and latches are used a lot.

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