Wotcha bin smokin’ mon?

I laughed inappropriately loudly for the workplace when I found this document at The Memory Hole.

Essentially, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) commissioned a pamphlet explaining people’s rights, and one translation was requested specifically for the Creole-speaking Haitians living in HUD-provided housing in Miami. However, instead of translating into French-Creole, the sub-contractors (Thorner Press of Buffalo, N.Y.) created an English-Creole version. English-Creole is a dialect commonly spoken in Jamaica.

The Haitian government, when viewing the result, asked if it was some kind of racist joke.

So recline in your knitted beanie, roll a Camberwell Carrot, and enjoy the words of Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo Fella (head of HUD).

We ave a pawtnaship wid everi rezedent of HUD-assisted owzing developments: Owzing protekss di rights ahf di tenants, ahn tenants gawd dem own right tru rispansible bi’ahviah. Owah goal is fi guh beyan dat pawtnaship ahn create a sense ahf community by encouraging di rezedents fi bekum more aktive ahn invalve demselves inna di decishans dat ahfek di development ahf deir own owzing developments.


Reminds me of the ol’ Jive Server.

Rubber Ducky, I’m awfully scared by youuuu…

Who says there’s no money to be made with original art?

I will not be responsible for the duck after shipping, I will not field questions or help to explain its unusual mystique. I want nothing to do with it. The winning bidder must understand this. I don’t want someone to find this thing in a Dumpster or buy it at a garage sale, I want the person who gets it to understand what they have and not to take it lightly, and for Gods sake I don’t want it near children. I’d be just as happy if you buried it in the Tupperware container it’s still in.

First clowns, now this?

If you build it, they will use it for porn

Ethan Zuckerman is the man responsible for GeekCorps, and he has a few things to say to the world’s bloggers in this article.

Which raises the question, “In a world full of serious problems, what is this medium that we’ve created actually good for?”

Answer: It’s almost preternaturally suited to distributing porn.

He raises some really good points: the vast majority of bloggers write from a rich, western, technocratic viewpoint. However, as the medium evolves and global wireless telecommunications really takes off (think backpack-satellite-comms-enabled gear available cheaply and widely), I do believe we’ll see some really interesting guerilla journalism start to occur in the so-called “blogosphere”.

Or, guerilla porn.

Wait, that’s already happened.

(uh, and on the flipside, there’s also this. Guerilla Anti-Porn)

Right on

From slashdot:

Let the zealots win.

Lets have 15 different proprietary “standards” out there for music. That way if you buy a player from Apple, you buy your music from Apple. If a song you like is only available on some other service, why you buy another player.

I don’t care. I’m through with music. I wont buy any CDs or download any songs.

In my day, it was pretty decent. I could go buy a CD from any store I wanted, and it would work in any of my CD players. Before that was cassette tapes, before that 8-tracks and LPs.

But I don’t care about todays kids. Go let yourself get screwed over by a bunch of corporate assholes. Tell yourselves that the company is some great benevolant force that truly cares about you, if that makes you feel better.

I could give a fuck if iTunes is completely incompatible with Real and every other music service. I could give two shits what kind of DRM Apple or Real or Napster or anyone else want to use. Who gives a shit if you’re allowed to burn it to one CD, or only listen to the song on the third tuesday of every month.

Hey, do it to TV too. I don’t care. When video-on-demand rolls out, make sure each service is compatible only with a suitably branded TV set or cable tuner. Sony Video-on-Demand only works with Sony sets, etc. Ruin TV. See if you can make a buck doing it.

Have your legions of Sony fans go around swearing and acting like idiots if Phillips starts trying to compete.

Not my problem, and I don’t care.

The entire “entertainment” industry can jump up my ass. It bores me. I don’t look to any corporate messiah for my entertainment anymore. Fuck em all, and fuck all their fans and zealots.

Linux on home stretch; MS and Sun sticking out legs from side of track.

No matter where you look in the Operating Systems market these days, you’ll see GNU/Linux making inroads. The openness of the development model has led to an operating system so flexible and scalable that it can be ported to everything from cell phones to supercomputers.

Traditional operating systems companies have taken several different approaches to this new player in the marketplace. IBM has embraced it, Microsoft has villified it, and Sun has turned it over in its hands with a mixture of fear and awe, alternating between saying “Ooh, Shiny!” and “Ow, Pointy!”.

Now a new strategy is emerging to tackle GNU/Linux, and it threatens undermine the legal safeguards for Open Source software themselves. Let’s examine the pieces of the puzzle first (thanks to this insightful post on slashdot):

So where is all this leading? It seems to me that Microsoft it intending to sue Linux and anyone who uses it into oblivion with their patent armoury, with Sun picking up the pieces – “We offer full compatibility for all your Linux applications, on our Open Source operating system. Which by the way is the only one that is guaranteed not to be sued into oblivion by Microsoft.”.

This may not happen if Microsoft does its sums and finds that it cannot fight this in every court in the world simultaneously – but with the “harmonisation” of patent law in Europe and Australia proceeding apace, it gets easier and cheaper for US megacorporations to police their patent empire every day.

If the scenario outlined above comes about, there’s probably just one company with enough incentive and money to defend Linux – IBM.

If it doesn’t come about, MS and Sun may still use agressive FUD to convince people that it could, which is often enough to make them switch platforms.

See the previous post to read what I think of the harmonisation of patent law in Australia.

Harmony and Discord

Oh boy, I’m really annoyed (Everyone: “How annoyed?”). I’m so annoyed that I’m creating a new CSS class just to express it.

It looks like the Australian Labour Party is set to pass the FTA legislation. Among the FTA’s many aims is the “harmonisation” of Australian copyright and Intellectual Property (whatever that is) laws with those of the USA.

The Senate’s own analysis expects a whopping 0.7% increase in projected GDP over the next decade as a result of passing this legislation.


And what are the other costs of this legislation, to generate this tremendous boost to Australia’s economy?

and so on.

This sucks. Particularly if you use and support Open Source software. Check out more well-reasoned complaints here.

Time to move to Brazil.

update: The Sydney Morning Herald has posted a piece explaining why the AUS-FTA may destroy the software industry in Australia.