Luca's meaningless thoughts  

The Day We Fight Back

by Leandro Lucarella on 2014- 02- 10 18:59 (updated on 2014- 02- 10 18:59)
tagged activism, en, nsa, politics, surveillance, the day we fight back - with 0 comment(s)

On Anniversary of Aaron Swartz's Tragic Passing, Leading Internet Groups and Online Platforms Announce Day of Activism Against NSA Surveillance.

Participants including Access, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, BoingBoing, Reddit, Mozilla, ThoughtWorks, and more to come, will join potentially millions of Internet users to pressure lawmakers to end mass surveillance -- of both Americans and the citizens of the whole world.

https://thedaywefightback.org/

Oscar

by Leandro Lucarella on 2013- 12- 17 20:26 (updated on 2013- 12- 17 20:26)
tagged en, marlon brando, oscar, politics, protest, sacheen littlefeather, video, youtube - with 0 comment(s)

F.A.T.

by Leandro Lucarella on 2012- 10- 15 10:44 (updated on 2012- 10- 15 22:40)
tagged activism, art, cc, en, f.a.t., floss, hacking, politics, share, video, youtube - with 0 comment(s)

fffff.at

Reminds me a little of The Yes Men.

Update

You might want to take a look at the other videos from the PBS Off Book series if you liked this one.

Stuart Murdoch stake on Spotify and music streaming companies

by Leandro Lucarella on 2012- 10- 04 22:45 (updated on 2012- 10- 04 22:45)
tagged art, belle & sebastian, cc, en, labels, music, politics, spotify, streaming, stuart murdoch - with 0 comment(s)

OK, first of all, this is pretty old (more than one year) but I just bumped into it and it seems interesting enough for me to post it.

Belle & Sebastian's singer, Stuart Murdoch, have posted his mind about Spotify and music streaming services, which apparently are ripping off artists way worse even than traditional record companies (see graph below).

I'll transcribe the part of the post found most interesting (well, it's actually almost the whole post) for convenience (bold added by me), but you can read the whole post for unbiased and complete information :)

[...] Ok, now my point, and probably my only important point: I’m certainly not against ‘the generation who no longer pay for music.’ That horse has bolted. And hey, I like that horse! It’s free and young and happy and doing its horsey thing.

What has had me conflicted is Spotify itself. Overnight, this thing appeared called Spotify, claiming it was a great idea, innovative, the saviour of the industry. From what I can gather, and no one has been able to tell me differently, it’s financed by a gathering of the top (ie. richest) people, from the top (ie. richest) record labels.

Overnight, the whole Belle And Sebastian back catalogue became available to stream, for anybody, for free, for good. We weren’t asked about it.

“How were you not asked?” I can imagine you would say. That’s exactly what I asked the record label. Their answer was not that informative. They mumbled something about a distribution company, that was under some umbrella; that it wasn’t up to them.

Can I just stress that Rough Trade is certainly not one of the aforementioned ‘richest’ record companies. I feel a bit bad for them. I’m gathering that they thought they had nothing to lose with the Spotify thing, that they had to try something new. (Kids, if there’s a less viable career choice than ‘independent recording artist’ at the minute, I would certainly say it was ‘independent record label.’)

Anyway, that’s enough of the angst. I’ve said it to the rest of the band, and I’ll say it again, “just because we’re in a band, it doesn’t make it a bloody pension plan”. We’ve had, and continue to have, a brilliant time making music and playing music and dreaming, and just about getting away with it. If it just got harder, then that’s because it should be hard. I think in the end it will make the music, the art, better.

I’m not even so much against Spotify. If they can get their model right, ie pay the bands something approaching appropriate amounts, then it will be all ok. I’m ready to throw my lot in with them; I mean, I use it now. And if I was 19 I would have used it too. (Would have used it to decide which vinyl/music to buy/see, as I’m sure lots of people still do)

It just seemed rich of them that they decided to charge everyone. They lured everyone in with ‘Our’ music (the royal ‘Our’), which they didn’t pay for, and now, probably because a shareholder somewhere is sitting in a Porsche, crying for a dividend, they’re going to charge money in our name. And I will eat my beloved black hat if we ever see a share. [...]

Another very interesting bit of information is the one provided in one of the comments, a nice graph about how much money artists get according to the distribution method, which I will also put here for convenience (I hope the author don't mind).

It would be nice to see an update including more open-license friendly services like Bandcamp, Magnatunes or Jamendo.

https://llucax.com:8043/blog/posts/2012/10/05-music-earnings.png

Save Peter Sundes from jail

by Leandro Lucarella on 2012- 07- 14 20:06 (updated on 2012- 07- 14 20:06)
tagged cc, copyright, en, law, peter sundes, politics, the pirate bay - with 0 comment(s)

https://llucax.com:8043/blog/posts/2012/07/14-save-peter-sundes-from-jail.jpg

So, Peter Sundes from The Pirate Bay has been convicted to 1 year prison and 11 million euro. He lost the appeal too, so now he is looking for a last resort, a plea for pardon, a procedure where you can get a judicial sentencing undone by the political administration in exceptional circumstances.

The plea for pardon is not serious in the sense that he is not really doing so, he is denouncing an extremely corrupt and absurd trial. You can read the plea and find out, is long but really interesting how the trial makes no sense (besides what's your stand on file sharing, copyright, etc.).

If you believe the trial was unfair, you can sign this petition, it will probably be completely ignored, but hey, it only takes 2 seconds, worth trying.

WikiLeaks banking blockage advertisement

by Leandro Lucarella on 2011- 06- 29 20:50 (updated on 2011- 06- 29 20:50)
tagged advertisement, en, politics, video, wikileaks, youtube - with 0 comment(s)

Bitcoin: p2p virtual currency

by Leandro Lucarella on 2011- 05- 17 00:04 (updated on 2011- 05- 17 00:04)
tagged bitcoin, currency, en, floss, p2p, paper, politics, virtual - with 1 comment(s)

Bitcoin is one of the most subversive ideas I ever read, it's as scary as exciting in how it could change the world economy dynamics if it works.

Bitcoin is (quoting WeUseCoins.com):

Decentralized
Bitcoin is the first digital currency that is completely distributed. The network is made up of users like yourself so no bank or payment processor is required between you and whoever you're trading with. This decentralization is the basis for Bitcoin's security and freedom.
Worldwide
Your Bitcoins can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. Anybody can start mining, buying, selling or accepting Bitcoins regardless of their location.
No small print

If you have Bitcoins, you can send them to anyone else with a Bitcoin address. There are no limits, no special rules to follow or forms to fill out.

More complex types of transactions can be built on top of Bitcoin as well, but sometimes you just want to send money from A to B without worrying about limits and policies.

Very low fees
Currently you can send Bitcoin transactions for free. However, a fee on the order of 1 bitcent will eventually be necessary for your transaction to be processed more quickly. Miners compete on fees, which ensures that they will always stay low in the long run. More on transaction fees (Bitcoin Wiki).
Own your money!

You don't have to be a criminal to wake up one day and find your account has been frozen. Rules vary from place to place, but in most jurisdictions accounts may be frozen by credit card collection agencies, by a spouse filing for divorce, by mistake or for terms of service violations.

In contrast, Bitcoins are like cash - seizing them requires access to your private keys, which could be placed on a USB stick, thereby enjoying the full legal and practical protections of physical property.

Here is a video, if you are too lazy to read:

If you want some more detailed information, there is a paper describing the technical side of the project (which I read and didn't fully understand, to be honest).

You have to add bitcoin mining to the equation. Which is not very well explained there. Bitcoin mining is a business, just like gold mining is. You need resources to do it, and if you don't do it efficiently, you'll loose money (the electricity and hardware cost will supersede what you're earning).

Quoting again:

The mining difficulty expresses how much harder the current block is to generate compared to the first block. So a difficulty of 70000 means to generate the current block you have to do 70000 times more work than Satoshi had to do generating the first block. Though be fair though, back then mining was a lot slower and less optimized.

The difficulty changes every 2016 blocks. The network tries to change it such that 2016 blocks at the current global network processing power take about 14 days. That's why, when the network power rises, the difficulty rises as well.