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Topics - radiorahim

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You can send a letter to your MP expressing your opposition to Bill C-61 (the U.S. dictated amendments to the copyright act) using the form at Online Rights Canada at the link below:

If you're interested in following this issue and the net neutrality issues, Michael Geist's blog is a great "clearing house" of info:

There's a bit of a war on this summer with the Harpocons over who's going to control how the internet works.

There's one very interesting commentary on Michael Geist's blog from one of the posters who shows how easy it will be to become a "criminal" under Bill C-61.

He upgraded his CD-ROM drive on his computer from an "old fashioned" IDE one to a new-fangled "SATA" (Serial ATA) drive.

A video game he particularly liked would no longer work.   The disk was "digitally locked" and wouldn't work on the new SATA drive.    So he downloaded some software that broke the lock so he could play his legally purchased video game.

Right now in Canada that's a perfectly legal thing to do.

Under Bill C-61, that's very illegal!    The rights of the corporation that creates the "digital lock" are more important than your rights to use the things you buy with the equipment you own.   Not only that, but distributing anything that breaks a digital lock is illegal.

Activism / Online petition supporting "Net Neutrality"
« on: July 07, 2008, 05:57:32 PM »
Please sign the online petition (link below) supporting net neutrality:

If you don't know what net neutrality is, and why it's important to us all you can go here and watch a video by Amber Mac that explains:

Work, Employment, Money / Cashiers of the world unite and have a seat!
« on: April 06, 2008, 08:21:30 PM »
European cashiers, in thousands and thousands of supermarkets, have been sitting for decades. The world as we know it has not ended. The clientele has not vanished. Somehow groceries get bought. Grocery stores and supermarkets survive. And cashiers do not collapse from exhaustion (or at least as much exhaustion) as they do in Canada and the US.

Why is it that cashiers in North America must stand? Is it because managers think they would look lazy if they sat? Is it because unions in North America haven't taken this up as an issue (or they have taken it up and have run into stiff resistance from management and haven't had the power or the will to force the issue?)

With apologies to Bob Marley ;)

"Sit down, sit down
Sit down for your rights!"

Technology & Science / Free (as in Freedom) software for Windows users
« on: February 16, 2008, 07:18:31 AM »
Here's a list of "free as in freedom" software that runs on Windows computers.  Alot of these programmes also have versions that on MacOSX and GNU/Linux.   They are all licensed either under the GNU GPL, GNU LGPL or MPL.  They're also "free as in free beer" too.

Open Office (office suite)

Abiword (word processing)

Mozilla Firefox (web browser)

Sea Monkey (web browser, basic webpage creation tool, IRC and e-mail all-in-one)

Flock (web browser based on Firefox especially designed for bloggers and photo sharing sites)

K-Meleon (lightweight and fast web browser)

HTTrack (programme for downloading the entire contents of a website)

Mozilla Thunderbird (e-mail programme and RSS feed reader)

Mozilla Sunbird (personal calendar programe)

The Gimp (photo and image editing programme)

Gimpshop (Same as "The Gimp" but with user interface similar to Photoshop)

RSS Owl (RSS feed reader)

Juice (podcast aggregator)

Scribus (desktop publishing)

Inkscape (vector drawing Corel Draw)

KompoZer  (basic WYSIWYG web page design tool and editor)

Filezilla (FTP programme)

Pidgin (used to be called Gaim...instant messenger programme for many different
instant messaging application does them all!)

Audacity (audio editing software)

Streamripper (record streaming audio)

Miro (All purpose internet video application, does bittorrent, video podcasts etc.)

Avidemux (basic video editing programme)

Jahshaka (video editing and special effects programme)

Blender (3D modelling and animation programme)

VLC Media Player (audio and video application...plays almost anything)

Real Alternative (for Windows alternative "RealPlayer"...minus the bloat!)

Quicktime Alternative (for Windows alternative Quicktime Player)

There's lot's more "free as in freedom" software, but this list should keep you all pretty busy for now!

And no I haven't used them all!  :)

Banter / What audio stream are you listening to?
« on: February 09, 2008, 10:32:34 PM »
Or what audio streams do you like?

Right now I'm listening to WSLU (North Country Public Radio) the NPR station out of Canton, NY.

Was getting my weekly "fix" of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" but since the show finished they've been playing some great jazz.


.m3u stream:

.pls stream

Norwegian broadcaster puts popular show online as no-DRM torrent

Posted by Cory Doctorow, January 29, 2008 4:07 AM

Eirikso sez, "NRK, the Norwegian state broadcaster, just made one of their most popular TV shows available for free through bittorrent. Without any DRM or restrictions. Free for the planet to watch. Because this is a completely legal download people seems to seed it happily. Making the bittorrent technology work exceptionally well, giving the audience very high download speeds. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation will keep on with experiments like these and try to make more content available through this technology in addition to the more traditional channels of streaming, podcasts and DVD sales."

More on Boing Boing

It's nice to see that at least one public broadcaster has a grip on how things should be done in the future.

Media / Cory Doctorow - Time to overhaul copyright law
« on: January 31, 2008, 05:27:16 PM »
Copyright law should distinguish between commercial and cultural uses.

In theory, there's just one set of copyright rules and they apply to everyone, from Sony Pictures to your neighbour's eight-year-old who wants to photocopy his Spider-Man comics and sell them to the other kids.

Regardless of who wants to make a new Spider-Man comic, movie or other derivative work, that person has to hire a lawyer, have that lawyer call up Marvel Comics, set up a call or a face-to-face, negotiate a contract, sign it, pay a fee, and report on their ongoing uses, opening their books for auditing and inspection.

Sony Pictures can do this. It can send lawyers to Marvel and Marvel will send its lawyers back to Sony. Everyone gets to sit at a long table and hammer out the deal, then they issue a press release and go into production.

But little Timmy can't do it. He never could. And yet when you talk to comic book creators, they'll tell you that they got started by drawing copies of other peoples' work.

Musicians start by playing the music they love. Painters start by copying other painters. Filmmakers try to recreate the effects and scenes they've been inspired by in big-screen releases.

The rest of Cory Doctorow's article in the Guardian at the link below:

Media / "Listening to Coast to Coast"
« on: January 19, 2008, 06:21:36 AM »
It's impossible to spin across the AM radio dial late at night in North America without running into "Coast to Coast AM" where they talk about UFO's, the paranormal and miscellaneous things that go bump in the night.  

The show is syndicated on hundreds of radio stations across the U.S. and Canada.

"Coast to Coast" used to be hosted by Art Bell but now is hosted by a guy named George Noory.

Anyway this guy who goes by the name "UFO Phil" has written this hilarious little ditty called "Listening to Coast to Coast" about the show.

Well I never knew I had Martians in my garden
And I never knew there were aliens on my roof
I've got shadow people and they're living in my basement
Got a funny feeling Bigfoot's gonna be here soon.
I was so blind  before I was so unaware
But now I swear I'm seeing Sasquatch over there

I turned on my radio in the middle of the night
And I heard things I need to know and now I see the light
And I also see a ghost
Because I'm listening to "Coast to Coast"

It had me in stitches ;)

You can listen to it or download an .mp3 audio file of it here:

They're pretty good sports on "Coast to Coast" and they sometimes play this ditty on the air...that's where I first heard it.

Technology & Science / Top five PC manufacturers fail naked PC test
« on: March 17, 2007, 12:07:26 PM »
This is an interesting article from ZDNet UK where the reporter goes to each of the top five PC dealers in the UK and tries to buy a PC without Window$.

It's rather entertaining ;)

IT professionals are being forced to adopt Microsoft's operating systems — even if they tell their PC supplier they want a system free of Microsoft software, ZDNet UK's research has revealed.

ZDNet's reporters posed as undercover buyers to identify the policy of the top-five PC vendors in terms of supplying systems without an operating system, known as naked PCs. A naked PC gives IT professionals freedom to install the operating system of their choice.

But the ZDNet investigation showed that none of the five manufacturers would sell any PCs without Windows, our reporters found.

The reasons — or excuses — were varied.,1000000091,39286228,00.htm

Technology & Science / Software & Community in the Early 21st Century
« on: March 04, 2007, 12:08:47 AM »
This is an absolutely amazing talk (link below) given by Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Centre to the "Plone Conference" held last October in Seattle.    

Moglen is the legal "enforcer" of the GNU General Public License...the main license used by the free software community.   He's also the person in charge of drafting "Version 3" of this license in order to plug some of the holes that corporations are using to subvert the intent of the currently used "GPL 2".

While he's addressing a mostly "technical" audience, probably 90% of what Moglen is talking about is social and the "non-geeks" on the board should not feel intimidated ;) ... you should feel right at home ;)

He mentions that steel was the major building block of the "industrial" economy...but software is the building block of the post-industrial economy.    But unlike steel, increasingly software isn't "owned" by's created and owned by the community...and therefore can play a major role in creating the kind of more egalitarian society that most progressive folks strive for.

It's about an hour sit back and enjoy ;)

Of course if you have any comments after watching sure to post ;)

Technology & Science / The perfect desktop - Mandriva 2007
« on: February 27, 2007, 08:24:11 PM »
Here's a tutorial on how to install  Mandriva 2007, complete with walk-through pics of an installation and how to setup various programmes.  It's the version of Linux that I'm currently running on my notebook computer.

With the release of Microsoft's new Windows operating system (Vista), more and more people are looking for alternatives to Windows for various reasons. This tutorial is the second in a series of articles where I will show people who are willing to switch to Linux how they can set up a Linux desktop (Mandriva Free 2007 in this article) that fully replaces their Windows desktop, i.e. that has all software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

Here's an article where a schoolteacher explains their first experience using Linux on some old 350 MHz. iMacs they inherited.

I am a first-year high school English teacher, and I was looking to get computers in my room so I could have a writing lab. I was temporarily elated when our tech coordinator informed me via email that a dozen iMacs had been donated to the school and I was welcome to take a few for my room.

My excitement dissipated, however, when I learned the iMacs were built around the the turn of the century. 350mhz processors, 128MB or RAM, no firewire or USB 2. OS 9.2 — yuck. These computers couldn't even load without flipping out.

Technology & Science / Gorbachev in mercy plea to Gates
« on: February 06, 2007, 12:55:18 AM »
Heard about this story listening to BBC World's an article that appeared on Al Jazeera's website:

Gorbachev in mercy plea to Gates         
Gorbachev says Ponsonov was unaware he was committing a crime

Mikhail Gorbachev has called for Bill Gates to intercede on behalf of a Russian teacher who stands accused of using pirated Microsoft software in his classroom and could face five years in prison.
In an open letter to the Microsoft co-founder on Monday, Gorbachev said Alexander Ponsonov was "threatened with detention in Siberian prison camps".
In the letter, posted on the website of his charitable foundation, Gorbachev said Ponsonov should be shown mercy because he was unaware he was committing a crime.
Ponsonov is the headmaster of a middle school in the remote Perm region, around 1,000 miles from Moscow in the Ural mountains.

I sent an e-mail to Gorbachev and offered to supply enough copies of GNU/Linux for every computer in the school.

Technology & Science / Window$ Vi$ta released today ....snore....
« on: January 30, 2007, 07:20:51 PM »
Micro$oft Window$ Vi$ta was released today in 70 countries.   It'll be the bestest, prettiest, most secure version of Window$ ever...honest!!!!

But you might just have to buy a brand new computer to use it.

Technology & Science / Annoy-a-tron
« on: January 28, 2007, 01:15:28 AM »
Wow this device is very tempting  :twisted:

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