Thursday, June 30, 2005
  Radio, the World, the Discrete
-> from an ongoing analysis at http://www.as.wvu.edu:8000/clc/projects/plaintext_tools/

"Not only is radio tremulous in its reception of the stars themselves; it is also analogic, requiring no decoding; what you hear, what you record, is what there is.
The opposite holds for online radio, packet-protocolradio, no matter how shipped; like a jpg image, it requires specific constructs to make sense of it all. And such constructs tie into very notions of software coding, intellectual property, corporate and personal privacy. What the antenna registers, what the wires contact, may becontacted by all; they are primordial, inert. Give a wave length or wave-length bundle, give a direction or directions or omni-directions, and what comes in, comes in to any living creature, ready for the interpretation or not, Rosset's idiocy, or the muteness of the world.

Move to the Net, Netradio, already the raster is at work; there is a fineness, an absolute floor and absolute ceiling, of the recording/playback - of the apparatus itself - that cannot be bypassed; extrapolation is trusting at best - that nothing in-between, no out-of-packet information, exists to trouble the rest. This is the differend at work, surely, and it is the differend that characterizes the digital - what is not permitted to speak, what is literally circumlocuted.

Radio brings the unknown to bear; the Net brings the known to the bearable.
Given a text/image/audio/whatever file - that is all there is, nothing more; it exhausts itself and is exhausted and the play of content, the semiosis, exists in the perceiver, not 'out there.' This is secondary narcissism, looping through the machine; primary narcissism is the realm of the analogic, our cosmological identification.

~~~ The history of radio is merged with the history of the electromagnetic, and given the movement towards packet and protocol, it is interesting to observe a movement from externality to internality, from brass spheres through the Wimhurst generator, from the crystal detector through the audion. Within the audion, and early triode, the filament glow was visible, an electronic hearth boiling off electrons. This was the analogic pulse of vacuum-tube radio, a pulse of light and heat and the quietest of sounds still sought by rock guitarists and audiophiles alike. Transistors internalized current into the literal black-box, and integrated circuits and circuit boards eliminated almost all of the hand-wiring.

With the digital, the unit becomes tight, compact, although as always, still hack-able; repairs are another matter. The analog was a transitive filter, passing along the cosmos within rough bandwidth; the digital is activesampling. The transparency of the analog was reflected in the transparency of the radios themselves (capacitors and transformers etc. notwithstanding); the opaqueness of the digital, the complexity of the protocols and their arbitrariness, is reflected in the opaqueness of CPUs. It's both ironic and fascinating that mod cases now bring the hearth-glow back into the heart of the machine, with lights that do nothing but illuminate silent circuitry. We still believe we are among beings; we always will, and that is part and parcel of our cosmic reach, no matter how mediated it becomes. The mistake is to take the mediation and machinic for things themselves; certainly, on the level of _object_ and certainly not on the level of _function._ We design within the imminence of potential wells, both analog and digital; otherwise we would never hear a thing.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
  Follow the streams ...
Google Adds Satellite Imagery for the World ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ to follow the riverstreams, even from Falluja to Basra ...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
  Not a Private matter even if it's a Privacy matter
When we started the autistici project, we thought in our cosmic pessimism that the worst thing could have happened could have been the seizing of our server, an idiot-sniffing of our data traffic and that cryptography should have been enough to keep relatively sure communications of our users.

We were wrong. There are no conditions in italy to let you talk about privacy protection.

On 15th june 2004 officers of the postal police, under an order coming from Bologna attorney, reached the Aruba provider where one of our association's server is hosted. Aruba switched off our machine, without telling us anything, and let them copy what they wanted to. We contacted the provider by telephone to ask what was going on and they told us it was an electricity failure.

From that moment on, as we can see from the legal acts available since some days ago, they eavesdropped continously the webmail account named croceneraanarchica@inventati.org
Potentially, they had the chance to eavesdrop and decrypt all the other communications passing by our machine, and they still can.

For these reasons, as soon as possible, we're going to switch off our machine, retire it from that provider and think about our next steps. By now we invite everyone who houses a server or hosts a website in the Aruba webfarm and who values his/her privacy, to find another place and leave Aruba rotting in its meagerness.

Privacy conditions in italy were dire themselves: we have just tested on our skin that we can unplug the machine and declare the clinical death of the patient. We cannot know how many other commercial providers give help to police without giving any communications to their costumers; we cannot know how many and which are the informations that police can get from your and our servers or websites. We cannot know what kind of use they will do of those data; we cannot know if the provider let others do this special treatment after being well paid from competitors or personal informations traffickers.

The scene is worthy of the best negative utopias: to organize a potential mass-eavesdropping for about 6000 mail users and 500 mailing lists, excusing it with the need to read one single mailbox, it's by itself the farest point from the meaning of 'freedom of speech'.

THIS IS NOT A PRIVATE MATTER, it's not something regarding only us, we guess we are a good guinea-pig on whom to experiment new kind of controls and eavesdropping, like all the people involved into file sharing inquieries or other repression episodes.

We're talking about the same inquery in which the FBI misused a federal decree excusing it for acquiring one log file and seized the entire Indymedia Italy server, on the october, 7th 2004.

Into the next and more technical press releases, we'll try to explain better the sort of the attack and our contermeasures, and also the political events we're going to bring up, as we are sure to be not alone in this struggle. As we can't grant anymore a reliable service, we're going to retire the server for some days, during which we're going to clean it up and put it back on line.

We don't plan to give to police and to servant providers any satisfaction about giving up: the downtime will be shorter than possible, few days and no more, and we'll use this bad fact to rise again like a wounded phoenix from the ashes.

autistici.org / inventati.org

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  What's wrong with TV News
Independent World Television is building the world’s first global independent news network. Online and on TV, IWTnews will deliver independent news and real debate from professional and citizen journalists -– without funding from governments, corporations or commercial advertising. Using the web to organize and raise funds across borders, IWTnews is building an international movement for democracy.

Bill Moyers says: "I think we're at a moment in American history that is unique. I think we are in danger of losing our democracy because of the domination, the monopoly of power being exercised by the huge economic interests, both directly and indirectly. In public broadcasting we need to get back to the revolutionary spirit of dissent and courage that brought us into existence in the first place, and this country does, too." At Democracy Now [includes rush transcript]
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
by John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America: in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.
Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP, for the 97% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 3% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

>Via some circular blogging-clicking-surfing (through commentsectors in Iraqibloggoland
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
  Iraq News Is Bleak, Even for Pentagon's 'Early Bird'
by Jim Lobe
Published on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 by the Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON - "Readers of the Pentagon's 'Early Bird' news file, a daily compilation of around 50 stories circulated throughout the U.S. national-security bureaucracy, could be forgiven Monday for reaching for the Rolaids, a popular over-the-counter medication for queasy stomachs.
As with the Jun. 10 edition, the file's lead stories all dealt with Iraq. Indeed, news about Iraq, which faded to the inside pages after the Jan. 30 elections and well into the spring, has made a surprisingly strong comeback in the Early Bird of late, just like the Iraqi insurgency itself." [...]
Click here for the whole article

Or click here for the article as reposted on Common Dreams with direct links to related articles
Friday, June 10, 2005
  New Immigrants
"The most complex people in the world. History has not played a joke on anyone as she has on us. Until a day ago we were what we would rather forget today. But we have not become something else. We stopped midway, startled. We cannot go on. We have been dislodged, without being accepted, like a canal separated from its mother river by a torrent, without a course or an estuary, too unsubstantial to become a lake, too sizeable to be absorbed by soil. Vaguely ashamed of our ancestry, feeling guilty for being outcasts, we never look back, but have nothing to look forward to, we hold time, fearing resolutions. Detested by both our kinfolk and the immigrants, we defend ourselves using pride and hatred. We wanted to preserve ourselves, but became so lost we did not even know who we were anymore. Unfortunately, we came to love this blind alley and do not want to leave. And everything has to be paid for, including this love."
Mesa Selimovic - Death and the Dervish

New Immigrants, in a sense an 'art movement', but first and foremost, a type of an art-network, was founded in the course of 2004, when the Balkan Rock Legends' concerts (which were later, perhaps correctly, dubbed the "Amsterdam Novi Val Revival", (the ex-Yugoslav equivalent of the New Wave) gathered in Amsterdam the initial founders from various European cities. The idea has been developing and taking shape since then, to be officially announced, for the first time, in Amsterdam, at yet another Balkan Rock Legends' concert, at the famous Paradiso Club, on the 20. February 2005. That date is considered to be the start of New Immigrants movement's work.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
  "USA's unique strength today ... just as a tiger hunted by dogs"
Lessons of Iraq
Speaking notes by Alyson J.K. Bailes, SIPRI Director
Beijing, 9 May 2005
"It is clear that even in the short two years since the invasion of Iraq, some quite different lessons have been drawn e.g. by Americans and Europeans, by Western States and Arab States, or by Libya and by North Korea. In this talk I can only offer you the lessons that I myself see, fully admitting that they will be subjective as well. They will also have to be selective, for reasons of time, and in fact I am just going to cover four issues or clusters of issues: (a) US policy and power, (b) the consequences of conflict and challenge of peace-building, (c) perceptions of the threat hierarchy and (d) the link between all these things and democracy."

Global spending on arms tops $1 trillion
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
09 June 2005
"Less than a month before leaders of the world's most powerful nations meet to discuss financial help for Africa, a new report reveals the extraordinary sums spent by those same countries on weapons compared to the relatively modest sums spent on aid.
In 2004 - the sixth successive year in which arms spending increased - the global total spent on munitions topped $1 trillion for the first time since the height of the Cold War. In contrast, the amount spent on aid over the same period was $78.6bn."
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
  Telestreet: Media Jacking
A short documentary exploring Italy's Telestreet phenomena, a network of close to 200 micro pirate TV transmitters that begun in the summer of 2002 to counter the media monopoly of Silvio Berlusconi. Perhaps the most interesting tactical media initiative of recent times, the TeleStreet network combines both old and new media, lo-tech and hi-tech. The documentary speaks with activists from TeleAut and SpegnilaTV and media theorist Franco Berardi (Bifo), who can be found at Rekombinant (italian + some english)

A short documentary:
Telestreet MP4
A lower resolution .mov version can be downloaded here.
Friday, June 03, 2005
  © © © The TRIPS bargain © © ©
WTO - GATT - GATS - TRIPS - “TRAP” - IPRs - Member States - accession - FTAs - United States - EU - developing - Arab countries - BARGAIN - agenda - WIPO - protection - “burden” - subsequent collapse WTO - Ministerial Conferences - Seattle - Cancun - frustration - Uruguay Round - LDCs - “highest international standards” - MENA - Member States - MFN - Agreement - context - U.S.-Jordan ETA - UPOV Convention - Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Well-Known Marks - piracy - PTA - AGCC - FDI - BIT - MAI - “ineffective” - “competitive liberalization” - ecc.

"This article sheds light on the evolution of free trade agreements (FTAs) and the IPR protection incorporated within such agreements. The emphasis will be on the latest free trade and investment agreements concluded between the United States and the European Union (EU) with the Arab world and their “TRIPS-Plus” nature."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
  Daily Dose of EU Constitution - The Conclusion
I finally found some good analyses on the voting for the European Constitution at THIS BLOG

"Next Wednesday, June 1st, I will be asked to answer the following question: "Bent u voor of tegen instemming door Nederland met het Verdrag tot vaststelling van een Grondwet voor Europa?"

(Are you pro or contra the ratification by the Netherlands of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?)

I did three things to answer this question for myself. The first thing was reading the constitution myself. The second thing was to listen carefully to opinions of other people. The third thing was asking myself which criteria I find important for a European Constitution.

My criteria:
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how.
The existence of the EU has to add something that individual countries can't reach. The constitution needs to make that clear.
A constitution needs to be political neutral and time resistant (not containing items which will lose meaning in a couple of years).
It's also very important to state that I don't judge this constitution against the current situation. I already concluded that it will be an improvement over the current situation. But that is not what they ask me to vote for.
Before I check the criteria, I'll give the most important good and bad points in this constitution (in my mind).

Good things:
The Objectives of the EU are written down. And I like them, apart from the "competition is free and undistorted" statement.
Human rights are now an integral part.
Environment and sustainability play a role.
We will have a common security, defense and foreign policy. That gives us a better role in the World.
No ability to veto, some form of complex majority voting that’s suitable for this set up.
Solidarity on all kinds of areas.
A common immigration policy.
Open internal borders for work, living and traveling.
A European court with enough power as final judge.
A reasonable social policy.
Stimulation of research on a European level.

Bad things:
The free market principles as an integral part of big parts of this constitution.
No full democratic control on all levels of the EU.
Defense and foreign policy are outside the control of the European Parliament (EP).
The quest for forever increasing production and consumption (III-229).
The amount of detail of some articles (like when to have meeting of a committee)
Having an agriculture policy that only includes Europe, not the rest of the world.
Exceptions on a lot of rules (like rules on transport but not on flying and rules on animal rights but excluding local traditions (bull fighting).

There are loads and loads more remarks to make, be it positive, negative or neutral. But that would only make this a very long post.Now back to my criteria and how this constitution measures up to them.
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how." /../

okay, i'll go and vote now...
You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?

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