Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The History of the Internet

I love Vanity Fair magazine. I love it. I don't actually read the magazine, but the website has most of the important stories and it's well worth checking out every month.

Especially interesting is this nice little History of the Internet that they've put together. It starts out a little bit slow, highlighting the technical developments in the 50's and 60's that lead to it's creation. But once it gets into the history of start-ups, information dissemination, Monica Lewinsky, etc. it's both informative and hilarious. It's difficult to remember how things were back then. This is a good reminder.

The most important bit of info from that article:

The information is a force that will bring power to everyday people and it cannot be stopped.

So...Why the fuck is the Conservative government trying to create a copyright police state with this new legislation? Why is this story in the Technology section? Honestly, this will seriously fuck shit up. Think about these points:

1) File sharing has created a legitimate form of distribution for independent music. It has created markets for small, obscure bands. Yes, it has busted the monopoly of major label music. It has taken away their ability to sell millions of shitty albums just because that is all that is available. This is not a bad thing. File sharing takes power away from music labels and gives it to everybody else.

2) This law may make it illegal for you to rip CD's that you own onto your iPod or Computer. The music industry said this was okay a few years ago (before iTunes) but now it isn't. Fuck that.

3) This law will allow hardware manufacturers to dictate how their product is used. Want to buy an iPhone in the US and use it in Canada? Nope. Not allowed to break their software locks. Want to use your XBox for something other than video games? Nope. Not allowed to break their software locks.

4) This law will not allow you to download a TV show that you may have missed that week. I mean, you might watch it every other week and you couldn't get back in time and being able to catch up on the Internet might actually ENCOURAGE interest in said show. But fuck you, you can't do it.

5) Not really attached to this law, but the government is working in tandem to make this happen...They actually want border guards to be able to look through files on your laptop and ipod and if they determine that you have pirated content they will be able to fine you and take your ipod or laptop away. I mean, who the fuck knows how they'll decide what is and isn't pirated...they just will and you'll be fucked.

This is a terrible, terrible law. I can't even begin to explain how angry it makes me. This deserves a note to your Member of Parliament. This deserves a note to the douchebag trying to stuff this shitty law down our throats. This deserves telling Stephen Harper to go to hell. Do it.

Oh. To end this off on a positive note, I never imagined I would ever live to embrace Canadian Bureaucracy. Honestly though, going through the motions of Incorporation and all that was very easy. I was shocked to be able to phone the Government up and get relevant answers without too much difficulty. We take it for granted that you fill out a simple form, give somebody $100 and you have a passport in a month or so. Ya, you might have to wait in line a bit, but that's dieing down. I'm thinking about obtaining a Hungarina Passport...holy shit. It doesn't seem like the difficulty will be in proving my eligibility, the difficulty will be the bureaucracy. Tonnes of money. Tonnes of hassles. 8-10 months waiting time. Bizarre.

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