I've tried to start a post about 12 times since the last one. It feels like procrastination from my assignments. None other than this shall come until they are done.
Not too much new going on outside of the mad rush to complete all assignments. Though more than half have already been handed in there is still more.
This may seem like a familiar situation for most University students, and the only thing I can find myself thinking about when it becomes overwhelming is "You get what you ask for". These frustrations and overcoming them is part of how I display my aptitude. Sometimes it is not worth it, though most of the time it is. So to any other students feeling the crunch in the spring semester I hop you can come through another semester alive.
My last assignments are the papers for Prof. Cottrell of Brock University, self-titled author of Mrs.C's Economics with Ease. Economics courses are a great way to round off a degree in Political Science.
I am not a pirate, and I'm sure I've made it clear to my peers and students that there are numerous alternatives to the piracy game. This copyright law actually hurts those alternatives. Creative Commons Music (http://ccmixter.org) and Documentation licenses will require a complete revision. These revisions will inhibit the open distribution of Canadian content and global content within Canada.
Though these laws reflect those seen in the draconian DMCA in the United States it is taken much further by inhibiting the ability for any Canadian to produce and distribute content by supporting the lock-down on DRM tools. Though I personally hope that DRM goes away it does protect the market in a semi-malicious way (by limiting fair use, it drives up profits for new musicians). This law will not help unestablished musicians or the market for Canadian content (which the CRTC is supposed to protect). If this still seems confusing I'll point it out:
-- Need to apply DRM to reach a wider Audience (ITunes, Zune, Etc.)
-- Becoming Illegal to use non-professional DRM tools
-- If cannot reach mainstream, no professional contract
-- Hurts Canadian musicians and authors
I hope that my peers at the university will recognize this as well. Protecting our culture is about keeping it unlimited by any undue regulation. Though the business model that made a Sam the Record Man store appear in every mall in North America (It didn't that was a failure) might be protected, our traditional Library and free/fair use system would be irreparably crippled by the loss. I hope you believe in the free and open sharing of human knowledge and art.
The last hope we have if this bill passes is for public outcry to reach the Governor-General/Queen to apply a veto. A true technical first for Canada coming at just the right time. If your representative isn't voting No, I would recommend following the example of others and calling them along with your friends until they understand that no ideology in business or politics is worth suppressing the human need for self-expression or the enjoyment of art. (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/269)
Please get involved. (http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/06/13/tech-copyright.html)
Brock University is backwards. Backwards in that it generates rules and restrictions based on feelings and possibilities that impact members of the University in a negative way without providing a solid benefit to said members or the community at large. One example that I call upon from time to time is the restriction of VNC use on campus.
To start I would like to describe the application of VNC. VNC Services were something that I actively promoted at the University of Windsor as a counter-piracy and cost-remedy tool. Students could acquire a license for quality software related to their feild of stuy (which was required in some classes) and use it on their home system. Then, provided they had a high-speed connection they could "call home" and use their software, work on their content, and reduce the workload on lab staff by working for themselves. Simple tools for the Information Age.
However Brock blocks VNC, and even encrypted VNC fails due to packet-sniffing technologies. The reasoning is not described in any manual or documentation available to the public. In 2006 I explored the reasons why and came across the same answers from people working the Telecommunications Services and ITS. VNC is seen as a security vulnerability, even the outbound connections on the wireless network. The person responsible for this is the CIO for Brock University, and I'll get to that problem in a moment. However, no block exists on its sister-technology SSH/SFTP - inconsistent practices based on arbitrary facts about a given technique. Malicious inconsistencies and unrequired restrictions are in simple terms ****, therefore Brock University is into ****.
Earlier I mentioned that Brock's CIO was responsible for random restrictions and many other tasks actually appropriate to a CIO. STOP. The problem with that statement is the application of a position that is common to the private sector and businesses to an academic and research institution. Some other Universities in Canada have a CIO, although most do not because it represents a conflict to the purpose of the institution by allowing persistent arbitration over the capabilities of that institution. Risk is ever present in academia and though basic precautions are recommended they can be implemented in the same method as other elements of the telecommunications infrastructure. This includes the ability to reduce restrictions when the possibility of danger or abuse is removed (or never originally present).
SSH (Secure Shell) is something that I advocate for now, as it offers the same benefits as VNC with a lighter load and advanced options. Tunneling an X session (even one in use) through that is an easy way to remotely monitor an unsuspecting user. Dependencies for that include having their user-name and password, that they are operating in X on a Unix-type system, and that they do not possess the knowledge or software to detect such an intrusion. This is something that bothers me, much like any University restricting open collaboration and teamwork reflecting a real-work approach to research.
If I am wrong, don't send me a personal message requesting a takedown. Send me a copy of the documents showing why it is done and what University Members can do as an alternative for Linux/Windows/Mac to this cross-platform solution. Then send it to everyone else, or publish it with all other information regarding our network restrictions and practices. Work in academia is not only about action, it includes providing answers and reasoning to support your decisions.
This video would likely be the product of that honesty.
They however do not accept their intentional wrongdoings and label anyone that highlights these criminal actions as "Surpressive persons". Learn more via Enturbulation, Project Chanology, or the Wise Beard Man. Better yet, I'll include some info for April 14th capied from PChan.
Standard Operating Procedure:
1. Multiple Cameras: It would be exceedingly foolish to proceed with the raid without at least one camera with the main group of people, and one down the block or something so that if the shit really hits the fan (or the main camera is broken or otherwise compromised) at least that person can get the video to the authorities and YouTube (in that order, mind) ASAP
2. Nonviolence: Do not, under any circumstances, (other than you being cornered or otherwise unable to escape from the situation) strike or even touch a scientologist counter-protester, etc. Even if you do not have a camera to capture the incriminating evidence (what are you doing without a camera in the first place?), they almost certainly do. If one of the protesters in your group is attacked, drag him back and close ranks. If they start to take your fliers, etc, let them take. Any violence caused by us will give the Scientologists ammunition.
2b. Expelling Spys: Anyone who begins to get violent is probably a Scientologist in disguise. That person must be labeled as such and forced to leave the group. This fact is very important, because it is our anonymity that they will exploit most. Do not let them destroy our credibility!
2c. Safety First: Bring a first aid kit and supplies; if possible, bring a friend trained in first aid.
3. Anonymity: Wear a mask at all times, and if prohibited, a scarf, hat and sunglasses will do just as well. Bulk up clothing enough to obscure your profile, but not enough to hinder your movement when needed most. These people are insane and cannot be expected to act as normal human beings do, and could very possibly tail you in your car/vehicle for miles. Scientologists might have a police officer ask you for ID. In the United States you are not required to ID yourself to a cop to satisfy someone's idle curiosity. Only ID yourself if the cop tells you you'll be arrested otherwise; in that case, ask to do so outside the presence of Scientologists, and politely ask for and record the officer's badge number.
3b. Transportation: Have a vehicle or vehicles capable of holding all of the protesters idling (maybe not, but have someone near as hell to it) and ready to go at all times with a person inside. It may be a boring job, but it could save everyone from harm in case of the shit hitting the goddamn fan. If possible put dealers plates on your car, and leave your real plates inside your car not visible, if a cop stops you for it, it will be simply a fix it ticket and your identity will be safe.
Is this really a good idea? Then they'll get your license plate. It would seem better to park far away so they can't get your license and then walk.
Isn't public transportation a better course of transportation? Remember, anonymity is our strength.
In the state of Maryland, you can be arrested and receive fines and up to a year in prison for driving without plates.
3c. Upon Returning From Raids: Do not proceed to your house! Tailing is highly likely and you don't need these crazies finding where you live. Go to an internet cafe, a library or another place that has public access to internet. Surf to a site that tells of Scientology controversies(preferably the Wikipedia page as it links to many reliable news sources and will not look like a propaganda site to the stalking believer). Do a "toilet break" and the stalker won't be able to resist checking the comp for any possible personal info. And he'll find the truth out himself. WIN. If they're still tailing you, call the police, in fact, if they start tailing you at all call the police.
IF going home is necessary, take an indirect (BUT NOT ABANDONED) route, this way it will be easier for you to tell if someone is trailing. NEVER take any abandoned road if you are being followed, that invites trouble. Some Scifags are capable of some very evil shit (kidnapping, murder, etc), you want to make sure you're visible to the public if you're being trailed.
If you think you're being followed, take only right turns. (or left turns, if that's the side of the road your country drives on)
4. Police: Our Best Friends. Before you raid, inform them of where you will be protesting and when. They might even send a few officers out to hang with you and that will keep the Scientologists in check. Talk to them, 'cause most police officers are in fact pretty hip cats. It also will improve our image as peaceful folk.
Also thanking police officers who show us respect as we picket will help us improve our image. It only takes a second and shows we're there for the common good.
5. Documentation: Carry a lot of it, chances are they'll forcibly take some in their insane anger and tear it to shreds. Again, be sure to let them, and while they're at it grab a few more of the thousands of sheets you already have.
Documents should be LINKS to the doxs via file sharing sites (media file, torrents, etc.) and not the actual verbatim doxs. this way you cannot be fingered for distributing copywrited material (UPDATE- Co$ don't even actually OWN the copyright to the higher OT levels) and it will save you the cost of printing those lengthy papers (titles identifying the contents of the links should be fine). Written out fliers should be short (one or two pages) with publicly available information concerning the churches current and past actions.
5b. Music/Media: Bring a self-powered boombox if at all possible and either play some raid audio or some of their own shit at full volume. Keep a ton of spare batteries in the car, and if they take it and stomp it to death, turn on the cars stereo for a bit.
Note: you will need a permit in some jurisdictions to play music above a certain decibel range.
5c. Fliers: Remember, the first thing people see of the protest is the fliers! Make sure they look good; use a print shop (e.g. kinkos) if you have to. Poorly-made signs hurt our public image! Make sure their are people giving out fliers to the public a few meters away from the main protest - if you've got enough people, have a second group further away still. Many people are much more likely to take a flier from a small group on the outskirts than take one as they hustle past the main action. Make sure you're on both sides of the protest - some people who won't take a flier on the way in may be much more curious once they've been past. If the police have asked you to stay on one side of the road, ask them if small groups can go on the other side of the road say fifty meters away. They'll normally agree, but keep the groups small - this makes it more comfortable for people taking fliers, and easier for the police to just let you get on with it rather than worrying that you're planning something. Basically, make sure you've got the whole show covered, and flirt with people in uniform while you're at it.
5d. Know your Material: For gods sake, read your material (xenu.net, your fliers, etc) before going! having to read your material whenever someone asks a question will discredit the movement!
6. Communication: Invest in some cheap 2-way radios or walkie-talkies for either everyone or a few that lead to those farther away. It isn't strictly needed, but it could do no harm.
7. Know your Rights: Know your legal rights as an activist in your area, for Brits look here: http://www.freebeagles.org/articles/legal_booklet_v3.html. Follow the letter of the law and don't do anything that will get you arrested or give the police reason to confront you, any confrontation may escalate whether through Scientologist intervention or otherwise, so don't give them the opportunity.
At Brock there is one organization whose core mission involves Environmental, Social, and Community Change and that would be OPIRG. The Ontario Public Research Interest Group provides the best source of free alternative media under those topics. One might question why a "Research Group" is actively involved in social change, to those people I suggest a viewing of Susan Blackmore's TED Demonstration (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/269). The ongoing education and research process provides equal access to ideas and concerns regarding human civilization and our interactions with the world.
OPIRG communicates with the outside world prrimarily through its volunteers and activities. Actions speak louder than words, though the OPIRG library is its primary non-human asset. The library is located on the first floor of the BUSU Building (Alumni Centre). OPIRG also has a website and blog with separate uses for separate needs. The website is notable as it uses the same Drupal backbone as KurtisMcCartney.com - this action represents their acceptance of the GPL and by proxy acceptance of the Free-Software movement.
Free as in freedom and that's all it takes to make OPIRG one of my Exceptional Recommendations for 2008. (See left) So go and learn more about OPIRG and you will likely learn more about your relationship with the world around you.
Those keeping track of the Scientology protests might want to keep June 14th on the Calendar. This protest will follow the same rules as previous protests to keep protesters and their identities safe. The videos regarding these rules can be seen at the end of this post.
This protest will not have a theme, at least that is the word going around the Anons at Brock. This is due in part to the actual attacks and litigation against Anon and speakers/family coming out the the protests. Though Battletoad/Fairgaming still applies to their communication networks according to forum members at Enturbulation. Remember, this is against the corporation/cult and not necessarily its members. The rules of the Internet still apply.
Though the case against a British Anon calling Scientology a cult (by means of a protest sign) has been dismissed it is still anticipated that law enforcement will be unnerved by masks. Stay cool. Bring your signs and follow the rules according to Canadian law. Just because the cult does it doesn't mean you have the right to do something. No violence. Bring something to drink, it will be hot and shade is minimal at both the Toronto and Buffalo locations.
If you have the guts, try to bring Rule 34 posters to the event. Canadian laws regarding that content have a couple of weak points in Ontario (see. "or GTFO").
Three weeks into the rock project completion is in sight. Everyone is tired from sorting, scooping, and spreading. About one ton of unsorted material left, and it may not be needed to complete the paths. The line count is at 34 and it will take roughly 72 more to finish. On the plus side, the gardens near the start are already built and have grown nicely. Some plastic was found about two feet underground in a section around line 16. It looked like something from the seventies, I guess that plastic really doesn't degrade well. Pictures and more will be up later, I'd like to include a start and finish shot in the album.
In case this all seems unfamiliar it is a walkway project intended to direct clean water flow into surrounding gardens. Since most of the area is swampland reclaimed in the early twentieth century. Read more in late June about the sub-200$ solar-thermal heating/cooling system that is in the works. All it takes is some agricultural hose and some genius.
Even though the convention has been over for a couple of days the time still drags by slowly. It's probably good that events will be kicking into high gear this week. Senate will be meeting to finish committee assignments to the Senate elect. Senate will be as exciting as a sack of dead bees, but these are the formalities that need to be done for the year.
The donor clinic ran by Canadian Blood Services will be in Welland. Donations are needed as the summer crash season will be starting soon (or has already started). If you have considered donating blood please come. This is something I consider to be important enough to donate even when I feel defeated by random events. It'll be a long week, which will feel even longer because of this.