Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Random Jewel

Surfing the web you may find interesting blogs and sites. Sometimes you are lucky to find real jewels like these:

http://www.culturalfarming.com/

http://www.culturalfarming.com/PinealBackPage.htm

http://www.culturalfarming.com/MMovies.htm

Thanks to the guys at “culturalfarming.com”.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

To Flag or not to Flag

So here I was, minding my own business, “bloging” around (I am not sure the verb has been approved by the Academy of English Language), which in my case means surfing randomly by clicking the “next blog” button you can find on the top-right side of the blogs (don’t look at mine, I got rid of it and I will tell you why in a moment).

When I realized that I‘ve been surfing the blogs and posting my own for a good while and never stop to think about what that other button called “Flag” means. So I rollover it and read “Notify Blogger about objectionable content”. So far so good. Ey, I am the first one who agrees that finding porn has become too easy too fast, and don’t forget the infamous “spam”. Then just for the sake of getting more information I click on the link that says “what does this mean?.” There, is when things started going sour.

Acording to Blogger, “the Flag button is not censorship and it cannot be manipulated by angry mobs.”
In the moment I see the word “censorship” anywhere I have goose bumps, either that or it is always chilly when I see it (coincidence may be this capricious).

Then the explanations continues saying: The "Flag?" button allows the blogging community to easily note questionable content, which in turn helps us take action when needed. So we're relying on you, the users, to be our eyes on the web, and to let us know of potential issues that are important to you.”

WOW, WOW, WOW, I yelled to myself (since the kids were still sleeping). Blogger may relay on people to decide what content is “objectionable” , good for them, but I am not that naïve, starting because I would not leave myself to be the judge of what content may be acceptable or not.

It is not that my blog has any political vindication, any party affiliation or any content that can refer to delicate issues, I mean, I am just posting photos of my kids and some other rants about nothing, but could I feel the beginning of control over the internet?. And who says somebody is not going to find my daily movies about “How I wake up” questionable content. They may disagree with some of my comments, they may not like my accent or my hair cut and “FLAG” there you go, freedom of speech went down the toilet.

I am pretty sure it won’t be my case (among other things because I don’t have much hair) but still I don’t like it. I mean, one of the things I like about this country is/was the freedom of speech.

So I started doing some search about the topic to see if somebody had noticed before me or this would be another proof more of my newly born paranoia. And “voila”, I found a bunch of links, info and blogs that have been discussing this issue. And since I am not the kind of guy to start debates and bring massive amounts of data about the subject, I decided to give you few of them:

http://bloggercensors.blogspot.com/

http://revision99.blogspot.com/2005/08/flag-this.html

http://movingmountains.blogspot.com/2005/08/flag-of-censorship.html

http://muchstuff.blogspot.com/2005/08/blogger-flag.html

Read them if you want and get your own conclusions and please do not “Flag” my blog.

Note: I found a way to get rid of the top bar with the “Flag” button, but it got rid of the “Next Blog” button… boy I am screwed, how am I going to keep surfing?

Waking Up


I could not sleep last night, I was up at 4:00am, so before the kids woke up, I made breakfast and this video.
The house is a bit messy but ey... what do you expect with two kids and no broom.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Short Good Night


It's been a hard day of work. After taking care of the kids this morning I kept banging on the web project I am working right now. So far I am quite pleased with the design and this is estrange for me because I am very critical of my work.

I am enjoying my current status as a "freelance". I guess that after more than 10 years of working for another people it feels good to be your own boss (thanks to my wife for her support and help).

Loving the “Video bloging”. Thanks guys at freevlog.org for helping.

Good Night.

China wants only healthy news

Less than a week ago, I was talking to my wife about my concerns with the possibility of the government interfering and/or controlling the information existing in the internet.

Ok, maybe I was playing devil’s advocate, or perhaps I was been my paranoid-self, but considering some of the “measures” the actual administration has taken after the events of September 11th it didn’t seem too far fetched. Thankfully the net is too vast, thankfully we'll have all those geeks outsmarting the opposing forces. But what about people like my dad whom can not go farther than aol. Will they be left at the mercy of some fascist-control agenda?

The conversation was forgotten until this morning when I found a link from one of the news at yahoo: China Wants Only “Healthy” News on Web.

We all know the political system and cultural situation in China is quite different to the one in the United States, right?, but still brought the concern to my mind. It may not be the government, at least on a direct way, but what about big media conglomerates taking over making us pay for the content we received and the content we post?… just a thought.

If you don’t want to read the all article here are some extracts worth to mention:

“China said Sunday it is imposing new regulations to control content on its news Web sites and will allow the posting of only "healthy and civilized" news.”

Sites should only post news on current events and politics, according to the new regulations issued by the Ministry of Information Industry and China's cabinet, the State Council. The subjects that would be acceptable under those categories was not clear.

While the communist government encourages Internet use for education and business, it also blocks material it deems subversive or pornographic. Online dissidents who post items critical of the government, or those expressing opinions in chatrooms, are regularly arrested and charged under vaguely worded state security laws.

Earlier this month, a French media watchdog group said e-mail account information provided by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) helped lead to the conviction and 10-year prison sentence of a Chinese journalist who had written about media restrictions in an e-mail.

Authorities in Shanghai have installed surveillance cameras and begun requiring visitors to Internet cafes to register with their official identity cards.

Read the all article here.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Riding the Cruiser.