Friday, January 27, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

All right, so originally I had planned to do this post on my opinions on SOPA. But seeing as it's been indefinitely banned, that's a bit pointless now. And then the whole ACTA thing started up and I was going to do a post on that. But I'm busy. In case you were wondering, though, you should check out this video. It explains ACTA really well.

Then I was going to do a bunch of other posts, but I've had stuff get in the way.

School's going well. That's all nice and stuff.

More importantly, on Thursday night I had to leave early because my grandmother went to the hospital to get heart surgery. So I've been at the hospital for about 6 hours now and I was there for about 4 last night.

Through all this time, I've come to the conclusion that I don't like hospitals. Oh the waiting rooms are all fine and dandy, but I just don't like being around sick people. Especially in a Cardiovascular Unit. Everyone is so old and they're all so frail and seem like they're about to die. It gives me the heebie jeebies. And it's so somber and.... gah...

I know I need to be here and be supportive but hospitals just give me the creeps.

I respect doctors so very much. But I really don't know how they do it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts on PIPA and SOPA: Part 1: What is it?

Originally I was going to post about a different subject, but I decided that the internet has a higher priority. This is going to come in parts, so brace yourselves.

Before I even begin my talk, I'm not about to tell you that SOPA is the worst idea ever and the world will end if it passes. I'm also not going to tell you that it's a good idea. Fact is, it's neither. It just needs editing. A lot. While it does make things easier to explain, most things are not black and white. Especially when it comes to politics.

First of all, what are PIPA and SOPA?

The Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Acts (SOPA) were introduced to Congress on October 26,2011. Since then, many people, mostly users of the Internet have been pretty enraged with the idea of SOPA. I'm going to do my best to sum up what the current bill is proposing as of today. You can read the official text here.

First, the bill discusses "foreign infringing sites". This is a site that sells "infringing products" like music and movies without authorization; this also includes knock off products of clothing and medicines. The bill basically defines a foreign infringing site as a website run, or partially run, somewhere in the US or a site used by US users.

Basically, the bill says that a website can be sued for being an infringing site. After this the court will rule and order some sort of restraining order or injunction - causing the domain name or portion of the domain name to "cease and desist".

After the court order is issued, the service provider in question must take action to "prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof)". Search engines (such as Google) must prevent direct hypertext links to the infringing sites. Payment network providers (PayPal) must prevent, prohibit, or suspend transactions involving customers in the US with the infringing site in question. And Internet Advertising Services that knowingly advertise with the infringing site must cease ads and stop any affiliation with the site. This all has to happen within 5 days and if they do not comply within the given time, the company must present information showing how it was not feasibly possible for them to comply within the given time.

Then it moves on to sites "dedicated to the theft of US property", or in simpler terms, pirating sites. It's very similar to what infringing sites must do, and payment network providers and advertising services must cease affiliation with the site, but says nothing about search engines.

All in all, not so bad, right? Just stopping pirating and selling of fake goods.

Well, it then gets into the part that everyone is up in arms about. This section is all about the streaming of copyrighted law. And I'm not going to lie, I got a bit angry just reading this section. The bill starts by discussing who can be accused of criminal infringement. The first and second things listed are about if you're doing it for commercial gain, and if you give away enough that it equals at least $2,500 worth of product, etc. (If you don't know, bills aren't the most riveting things to read.) Then it says this:

"Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed by the distribution or public performance of a work being prepared for commercial dissemination, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial dissemination."

Basically, if you upload a video of a public performance of a work being prepared to be sold and paid for to view, listen to, etc. you have committed a criminal act. The amendment then says it has to be viewed 10 times or more for this to apply.

Then comes the punishment for uploading said video, which is already a law, this is just now amended to include uploaded videos.

So, let's say you upload a video to YouTube with someone's song in the background, or you singing their song, or something like that, and you get in trouble with the government because the government found your video or the original artist wanted to sue. You would get fined and up to 3 years in prison.
Then, if it was discovered that you did it for personal gain monetarily (you started selling the cover on iTunes) you would get fined, and up to 5 years in prison.
Then, after you got out of prison, you decided to upload another video, you would get fined and up to 6 years.
AND THEN, because for some reason you want to go to prison again or something, I don't know why, you would get up to 10 years. And fined again.

That's a grand total of 3 uploaded videos minimum and up to 19 years maximum.

This last part all about uploading copyrighted content is what's got everyone up in arms and protesting. Granted, there are people who still want their pirated movies and such, but mostly, it's the uploading content and shutting down websites because of user uploaded content.

And in case you're wondering, this is where I got all my information:
Bill Text
Business Center on PC World Article
Cornell Law Information Institute

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Skiing and School and Other S Words

All right, here is post #2 of 2012 and it's still the second week. I'm right on track. Now there's only 50 more posts to go.

Now, I really ought to be sleeping because I am doing something I've never done in my life before which is going to be rather scary. But I have support. Tomorrow, I am going downhill skiing for the first time in my life. I've done cross country skiing before, but downhill is just an entirely different matter. For example, I need to rely much more on my actual physical ability to use physics to direct myself in the direction I want to go at the correct speed I would like to go. I don't have the best coordination. So, tomorrow should be interesting.

The first week of school has been pretty good. I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty stuff; most of them are related to each other anyways seeing as most of my classes are business related. The one class I do want to talk about is my Zumba fitness class.

Zumba. Is awesome. Go do it. You'll have fun and get in shape and look hotter than you do now (most likely) and you'll be healthier and less likely to die early.
Zumba is totally awesome and totally worldwide (so I've been told). I suggest finding a local gym or studio that teaches it. You'll have fun.

I wish I had more to say, but honestly, I've been so busy that I haven't been thinking of anything interesting to discuss and I haven't finished any books yet.

OH! I did get my signed copy of The Fault in our Stars by John Green yesterday. It's got a lovely silver J scribble in the front. :D No hanklerfish or anything, but I'll get one of those at VidCon hopefully. :P

Until next week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!

So, I've been a little reclusive lately and this year I've made a resolution not to.
This year I am really going to try to make a post in my blog once a week, I figured I might want to make one before the week is up. And no whatever posts about whatever. I'm talking book and movie reviews or actual thoughtful things.

This year I really want to improve my writing skill and maybe just get a bunch of short stories done. I don't really have that all planned out yet. Hopefully a novel finished also, but lord knows how many times I've said that.

I've been going through and editing old HPFF stories as well. I really wish there was a way to change my username, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen. I'll just have to work hard to build my reputation. Let's just say my 8th grade self was not very creative and very reminiscent of "Annoying Facebook Girl" a few of you may have seen in memes.

I've got quite a few New Years' resolutions this year. Some of them being:
  • Read 12 books I haven't previously read
  • Win JulNoWriMo 2012
  • Be able to run a mile
  • Get better at rock climbing

What are some of your New Years resolutions??

Also, I shall be taking part an awesome adventure with Byron in June in honor of my 18th birthday and I am beyond excited. I will be going to VidCon 2012!!! Now, as Byron is not quite as well versed in YouTube and such nerdy things, I'm training him as I go. He's getting a lot better.

School also starts on Monday and I'm taking 18 credits. It should be an interesting term. One of my classes is Zumba fitness, so it should be very fun.

Other than that, not much has been happening. Holidays have been busy and I've been working a lot. (Pay day tomorrow!)

So I'm going to get back to editing before I have work.

Until next week!