December 2008

Notes from underground, 2008/2009

Subterra logo

What a difference a year makes … the venue’s the same, another New Year’s Eve at SomArts in SF, and Liam’s playing again in the psytrance room.  The rest of the world, and my frame of mind?  Very different.

I’ve been rereading a lot of my posts from the last year as we work on wrapping up our first draft of Tales from the Net … the ones on psytrance may or may not wind up in the book, but in any case they’re an amazing lens for the year.

It’s the Fourth of July, and we’re fighting for our civil liberties is at the midpoint, balanced between two cities and two causes: the happiness of Pink Saturday in the Castro in the aftermath of the unanimous California Supreme Court marriage equality decision, and the blossoming of Get FISA Right and social network activism — it was the day after Senator (now President-elect) Barack Obama had responded to our open letter.  It brings tears to my eyes when I reread it now.

Continue Reading »

Personal
Tales from the Net

Comments (0)

Permalink

How’d that one get by QA: Z2K

Ya can’t make stuff like this up.  From Ginny Mies at PC World:

Picture this: You’re gearing up to create a killer playlist on your 30GB Zune for your annual New Year’s bash. All of a sudden, your Zune locks up, reboots itself, and freezes. What the heck is going on?

Fox News picks up the story:

Later in the day, Microsoft finally figured it out. While writing some of the driver software, the world’s biggest software company had forgotten to compensate for leap years.

The solution? Wait 24 hours until Jan. 1.

As Joseph Flatley says on Engadget, let’s hope they get it right by 2012.

But wait, there’s more:

Even then, there may be a pesky digital-rights-management issue.

“If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber,” the posting continues, “you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device.”

The Microsoft posting promised a fix by the end of the next leap year in December 2012.

Looks like they’re on top of it.

Happy software quality/DRM new year!

entertainment
Professional

Comments (1)

Permalink

Once again Open for Questions: the pilot continues

Round two of change.gov’s Open for Questions is up.  Not a lot of details … last time, it was open for about three days, and there were brief answers to the top five questions, and a more detailed post and video on at least one topic (bailout transparency).

Dan McSwain, on the change.gov blog, describes one change:

In this round, you can still view all of the questions that have been submitted—or you can break down the questions by category for easier navigation. For instance, you can read the top-ranking question regarding Energy and the Environment and browse through other questions on the same topic by clicking on that issue.

Also it seems that there’s a subtle difference in how URLs are handled that makes it harder to send out a link to an individual question.  This change cuts down people’s ability to promote their ideas in email and blog posts, which fits in well with Open for Questions’ role of routing around different kinds of “gatekeepers”: making it harder to link to a question cuts down the influence of bloggers and organizations with large email lists.

Continue Reading »

political
social computing

Comments (13)

Permalink

Ideas for Change in America: heading into the homestretch

Executive summary

  • things are still in flux in the change.org/MySpace Ideas for Change in America as we head into the last week of the first round
  • civil liberties (six ideas), drug reform (five ideas), and education (five ideas) dominate the top 30
  • my idea, Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties, hanging tough at #5 overall, #2 in Criminal Justice
  • there are a lot of duplicate ideas, for example multiple variants of legalization.  How will change.org deal with this going forward?

The current top 10 is in the first comment for those who don’t care about the analysis.

Continue Reading »

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (5)

Permalink

“President Obama, please get FISA right” approved by Comcast

Get FISA Right’s cable TV ad for the inauguration has been approved by Comcast — almost two weeks sooner than we had estimated!  So now it’s time for grassroots fundraising to put it on the air – in Washington DC, and potentially all around the country.

The ad addresses President Obama directly, congratulating him on his victory and letting him know that we want to work with him to restore the Constitution and the rule of law.  The ad’s also for a couple of other audiences: our 23,000 members, most of whom we’ve lost touch with; and the media and politicians in Washington DC.  The underlying message is the same: this issue isn’t going away, and neither are we.

Continue Reading »

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (1)

Permalink

Notes from underground: Geo-solstice

geo-solstice flyer

Eight inches of snow in Seattle wreaked havoc with our travel plans but the good news is that I wound up getting to go to the Geo-solstice, at the Gingerbread House, geomagetic.tv’s party celebrating nine years with the Phoenix Family.  Solid sets from Saturnia and Witchdokta and then a great one from Dr. Spook.  Good stuff upstairs too from ClyMAX, Diplomatic, and Kush Aurora.

It was a young crowd … hanging out on the stairs at one point, a guy started up a conversation with me by saying “at your age, you’re still coming out here, do you still feel the vibe?”  Yeah, totally, but I’m not sure how I feel about the the “at your age” part.  The dialog continued:

“Is this something you were doing back when you were our age?”

“No, I was a punk.”

“Huh.  In one sentence, what’s the same between the scenes?”*

“Out of the mainstream.  It’s not the mall.”

“And what’s the biggest difference?”

“Musicians are a lot more competent now.  Back then a lot couldn’t even play their instruments.”  Which was part of the rawness and excitement but still.

Then he had me pick one word to write on him to sum it all up — somebody had just written “juggler” on his chest.  He pointed to a place on his shoulder.  I thought about it for a moment and wrote “better”.

jon

* are they teaching precision questioning in college these days?

Personal

Comments (1)

Permalink

Photos wanted for the Get FISA Right “inauguration ad”

Were you one of the 23,000 Obama supporters who got together on my.barackobama.com last July to protest his stance on FISA?  If so, we’d like to include your photo in a cable TV ad we’re working on with SaysMe.tv that we’ll be broadcasting in Washington DC for the inauguration.  Here’s the script:

Even though we disagreed with your position on FISA last July, we worked for your election victory and are excited to be part of the change you’re bringing to Washington.  We’re ready to help, and look forward to working with you to restore our Constitution and the rule of law.

Congratulations, President Obama.  Please … get FISA right.

If you’d like to have your photo in the ad, please email it to matt { at } saysme { dot } tv by 4 PM (Pacific time) on Thursday, December 18.

Please understand that by submitting your picture you agree to have yourself represented on TV — and please do NOT submit a photo if you don’t want to have it used in the TV ad.

Thanks!

jon

Update:, December 23: we took the rough cut video down from YouTube so I removed it from this post

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (0)

Permalink

Open for Questions at change.gov: What about privacy?

The Obama transition team’s Open for Questions pilot last week went extremely well for a first attempt.  Combined with all the other promising things Micah Sifry discusses in Kudos to the Change.gov New Media Team, it seems to me that the Obama administration is on track for some effective ways of leveraging cognitive diversity and “wisdom of the crowds” effects, cutting past the gatekeepers in the media, and getting Obama direct feedback from Americans.

At least for those Americans who are willing to give away their privacy as the price for interacting with their government.

Continue Reading »

political
privacy
social sciences

Comments (11)

Permalink

Turning the Page on FISA (guest-blogging on change.org)

I’ve got a post Turning the Page on FISA on change.org’s Criminal Justice blog today. Here’s the beginning:

The coming year will present a unique opportunity for a broad-based activism campaign to restore our civil liberties and begin rolling back key pillars of the national surveillance state institutionalized by the Bush Administration and Congress over the last eight years. By first pressuring President Obama to follow through in the first 100 days on his campaign promises to uphold the rule of law and protect Americans’ rights and privacy, and then gearing up for a 50-state strategy to pressure the House and Senate to repeal the PATRIOT Act and reform FISA, we can turn the page on this shameful chapter in our country’s history.

It’s an unusually succinct post for me (500 words!) and describes the overall situation, including the progress the anti-FISA forces made in 2008 and the value of a partnership with change.org and MySpace.  And of course it encourages people to vote for the civil liberties ideas in the Ideas for Change competition:

So please consider voting for Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties and the similar ideas such Donovan Caesar’s End the Patriot Act and Dave Warden’s stop all warrantless wiretapping (in Government Reform) and Pierre Loiselle’s Repeal the Patriot Act in Other.

Check it out! And thanks to Matt Kelley for the invitation!

jon

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (0)

Permalink

Get FISA Right: draft scripts up … feedback please!

First-draft scripts for a few different options for our next round of ads are up on the wiki:

  • Better watch those nuns — and their friends too
  • Obama’s cell-phone records breached
  • Congratulations. Now, get FISA right.

Feedback welcome!  Discussion thread here …

jon

PS: in case you missed it, I posted a Get FISA Right update earlier today.

political
social computing

Comments (0)

Permalink

Get FISA Right: quick update

Executive Summary

Details

Even though it’s the holiday season, it seems like the group’s energy is really starting to ramp up after the election, so I just wanted to take a moment to update people on what’s happening.  I realize that our communications are very, um, challenging right now and appreciate everybody’s forbearance.  One of the important things going on is a plan for improved communications in 2009; please have a look and see what you think!

Our short-term priorities are the Ideas for Change competition, working with SaysMe.tv on our next round of cable TV ads, and continuing our 2009 strategy planning.   And there a bunch of civil liberties questions on change.gov’s new Open for Questions, including a FISA-related idea with a great backstory.

Read on for more …

Continue Reading »

political
social computing
Tales from the Net

Comments (1)

Permalink

Get FISA Right: Proposed 2009 strategy

After discussions with people in Get FISA Right as well as others (including EFF, ACLU, privacy advocates, and journalists), I’ve put together a proposal for a 2009 Strategy.  There’s also a Strategy Backgrounder, with a brief history, and a discussion of our strengths and challenges — as well as challenges for the anti-FISA forces in general.

This is the first published draft, so it’s far from final.  Feedback, suggestions, criticisms, all very welcome!  There’s a thread on the wiki here; replies to to this post are welcome too.

A quick overview:

Continue Reading »

political
social computing

Comments (6)

Permalink