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Papier Mâché Revolutionary

Changing the world?


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This has been a helluva day. Close hanging rain clouds, occasional thunder, telly on in the corner, volume muted, people occasionally casting a glance from above their computer screens.

The news starts to drop in, some of it old, all of it new for us. The first story is the good story: Dell are telling people outright Windows is a Piece of Shit™. Small steps but finally an official word. First Google, then several EU governments, now the OEMs.

Grand. Small steps, such small steps, but still and all.

Rick Falkvinge (pronounced 'fahlk-vingkeh' - it means 'falcon wing') has a comment on a really scary breaking story: anonymous tipsters aren't anonymous anymore.

http://rickfalkvinge.se/2010/06/14/varfor-ska-vi-ha-anoymitet/

Anonymity is something that's taken perhaps half a century to build up in Sweden. Reporters don't have the right to protect their sources - they have the duty. And trying to uncover protected sources is a crime.

Then the police came along and sued the emergency services for withholding the identity of a tipster who warned of a (double) homicide a week before it happened. The police didn't act on the tip at the time but afterwards were understandably in a panic. The ES refused to divulge anything, so the police took them to court. The ES lost the appeal and then decided to not take it any further.

Then Cory Doctorow highlights a speech by Fran Nevrkla of the UK's Phonographic Performance who somewhat jokingly suggests reintroducing capital punishment to fight file sharers.

Thank you, David, and thank you for putting some of those pirates behind bars. I know that regrettably capital punishment was abolished in this country some 50 years ago, sad it is, but a few years in jail is probably pretty OK.

Nevrkla fells another gem in the same boring speech which reminded several of KW Jeter.

Let's not allow science and technology to take over. Because it is music that is so essential to our world and that drives our industry further forward.

From there things moved to leaked documents from the British IP lobby about how they planned on screwing over the parliament to force through their digital rights bill with little or no scrutiny. And from there things moved to the colossally 'shake your head' story about France, Carla Bruni and her dwarf, the great programmers at multinational telco Orange, and yet more attacks on our self-evident human rights.

And suddenly it was time for dinner. And as the crew began filing out of the work room and past the half-sleeping telly in the corner, the stifled audio became clearer. Ad break: Peter Coyote's gravelly voice was replaced by a more palatable and sophisticated British one, 'crazy' was replaced by 'amazing', but otherwise the same universal message.

'The iPad is a revolution.'

What? Hello? WHAT? Here we have a world falling apart all around us, with nightmare scenarios even George Orwell couldn't dream up, attacks on all fronts, the minimal balustrades literally crumbling - and you want to sell us a revolution? A revolution of a bunch of electronic gadgets?

The papier mâché revolutionary won't ever venture much beyond those black borders.

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