Tag Archives: Google

A Case for Reverting the US to a Hemp-based Economy

Dear Americans, statespersons, and citizens of the world,

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) can be used for nearly everything currently utilized in our society: from food, to clothing, to paper, to textiles and housing materials, to plastics, to graphene and hence nanotechnology, as well as providing fuel for automobiles and power centers. It is without doubt the most versatile natural resource available on the planet and bears negligible, nearly untraceable amounts of THC (>.3%) and is purposefully bred industrially to keep that psychotropic chemical low.

This proposal calls for a complete legal reform pertaining to industrial hemp; (optimally) to include governmental subsidy to industrialists for the building of processing centers in agricultural areas (this would help to keep energy of production low); and to farmers (regulated by a governing body), growing purposefully diversified strains of hemp (as some strains of hemp are good for fuel, others are good for food, and still others for fiber – farmers would then be partially constrained based on what processing center or centers opened near them [It is preferential, of course, to have every sort of processing plant within a near proximity of the fields, as this would allow each region to become more self-sufficient]) to provide the individual communities that comprise the United States the security they so greatly need and deserve; and to help facilitate a cultural shift in consciousness about hemp and its consumer consumption.

Whatever Made Humanity also gave us a plant that will do everything that we need, but we have villainized it, for greed and Industry and misunderstanding. But we cannot bow any longer to the corruption of capitalism and corporate self-interest, or to ignorance. The status quo can no longer stand – there has been too much damage to the environment for the sake of fiscal gluttony and it will kill us all, fat cats and paupers alike, unless we act radically as immediately as possible.

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Nerd Blurbs: Black Internet Wednesday Edition

Sorry for the late posting: my fiancee’s father passed away on Friday and we’ve been away helping the family. Funeral is tomorrow, so posting should continue again as per usual after that. But enough of my personal life: let’s get to the news.

You leave the Internet alone for TWO DAYS and this happens?! Sheesh.

Better get your Internetting done right now because Wednesday, 8AM Washington DC time through 8PM the same, your favorite websites will be blotted out. Internet staples Google, Wikipedia, MoveOn.org, The I Can Haz Cheezburger Network, Mozilla, Reddit, Minecraft, Twitpic, WordPress, and hundreds of others (full list here: scroll down) will either be turning off their servers or blacking out their content in opposition to the House of Representatives passing the Stop Online Piracy Act and the fast-tracked Protect Intellectual Property Act currently moving up the circuit. You can click the picture above to lend support as an individual.

The L.A. Times blurbed when it was just 24 hours looming before the blackout, that Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, had spoken with the BBC about Wikipedia’s contribution to the event tomorrow and that a protest would be placed instead of its English language site come 8AM EST. This is very similar to when high school professors find their students siting Wikipedia for their term papers: blanket protest.

The LA Times expanded their coverage here, because apparently they’re really concerned about not being able to access Wikipedia half-a-day. Actually, they go into greater depth about the ins and outs of the debate. It turns out the MPAA is directly behind the push of SOPA, so you automatically know the bill is inherently evil. Said MPAA executive Michael O’Leary, about how people are distorting the issues: “It’s part and parcel of a campaign to distract from the real issue here and to draw people away from trying to resolve what is a real problem, which is that foreigners continue to steal the hard work of Americans.”

I see – so it’s only foreign people that buy bootlegs. Nice try, O’Leary, but you’re clearly blanketing the real concern: you’re trying to pass off Americans as completely innocent in this when most of the downloads are coming from inside our own house. I suppose it’s good politicking, but like most of that sort of stuff, it reeks of bullshit.

Google and Ebay make more valid points, as that second LA Times link mentions, in that the wording of the bill offers operators of websites no real due process: if you get accused of showing someone else’s intellectual property you will get shut down. Firstly, that’s not the way the judicial process is supposed to work. Secondly, as the Internet companies so eloquently stated: “the result would be censorship and a strangling of the free flow of information that represents the soul of Web freedom.” Of course now we’re getting into A.I. metaphysics, but let’s not get side-tracked.

All this Internet hulla-baloo is coming on the heels of an announcement from The White House last week, as the Huffington Post reports, via three of the President’s secretaries, stating that the White House would not endorse SOPA/PIPA, because it would infringe on legal online usage and the way large and small businesses operate. The White House, continuing in the message, essential said, “We can’t get all 1984 up in this hizzy because we’re trying to send the smackdown on some guys acting all illegally.” Or something to that effect. I dunno for certain, this article has taken too long and I need to batten-down the hatches before the lock-down.

Hope you all have a amicable Wednesday with a great big piss-off to the MPAA (contradictory sentiments?). Hopefully we’ll come back to a better, brighter Internet than the one under attack.

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Tools: Updated Daily

Hold on while I load this rock up.

Tools have been an important part of human society since…well, at least 3.4 million years ago, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature. The researchers discovered marks in animal bones, found in Ethiopia, that could only have been made by sharp cutting utensils; though it’s unclear if our progenitors hewed these out of stone, or just looked for naturally edged rocks to act as knives and hammers. Said Zeresenay Alemseged, California Academy of Sciences, lead researcher, of the findings: “These developments had a huge impact on the story of humanity.”

If you think that’s good, Zeresenay, just check out what Google launched today, tool-wise, after the jump.

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Nerd Blurbs: Fixes Edition

The entire universe is in a state of entropy; everything is decaying. At the state of the universe now, one can make patches, fixes, and prolong the life of any number of things. This time on Nerd Blurbs we handle three such events over the weekend as NASA, Google, and the City of San Francisco (need to/have) clean(ed) (some) house.

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Google: Now with Less Emissions

For the next twenty years, starting on the 30th of July of this year, Google will be buying 114 megawatts of wind-derived energy from Iowa’s NextEra Energy Resources, according to Information Week. This move will not only give Google and its users a feel-good feeling every time their data centers churn out search results, but will also enable the energy company to develop more generators, thereby making wind-energy even more available to the populace at large. Yes, NextEra generates the most megawatts (at 7,600) in the US, but this twenty year contract that Google Energy has signed allows for even more development, so soon, Iowa will look like this:

Iowa, wind farm

Artist's depiction. Actually looks nothing like this.

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Had a Hack-tastic Weekend?

Why is YouTube Turning Bieber into Beaver?!?

The hottest duo since PB & J in a single jar

The beaver is just as confused as you are, Bieber.

That was a question Justin Bieber fans were asking for about an hour this weekend, after hackers imported code into the comments page on certain YouTube pages (including Bieber’s), which directed users to pornography. The code also displayed messages saying that Bieber had died. Google, who own YouTube, shut down the comments for an hour, and fixed the bug that allowed this to occur at all, the BBC reports, within the next hour.

The hackers utilized cross-site scripting (XSS) to carry out their evil plot, a vulnerability typically used in phishing, that allows seemingly official-looking pop-ups to actuate on the page. Compared to the usual usage of XSS, this was fairly benign, cyber-punks looking to punish Bieber fans for being…Bieber fans. The truly fascinating thing to me about this story is that Google fixed the whole thing in two hours: they truly are good at what they do- which apparently now also includes protecting tween girls from seeing porn.

I Bought a Vietnamese Book App? Nhưng tôi không đọc được tiếng Việt!

Not the app in question

The Bible in Vietnamese, because there's nothing like the third or fourth translation.

In related news, word broke out that a Vietnamese book seller named Thuat Nguyen broke into some people’s iTunes account and used them to artificially inflate the rating and ranking of his Vietnamese book apps, wrote PC World yesterday. All Nguyen’s apps have been struck from the App Store, Apple citing that the shady developer violated “the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns.” The picture is from app, Kinh Thanh, which has nothing to do with Nguyen, but merely demonstrates why people might be confused about the whole thing when they saw they’d bought the program.

There is no word yet as to what criminal charges might be brought against Nguyen, though I recommend he be brought to the US and allowed to be pelted to death with first-generation iPhones. Apple has claimed that no personal information (other than apparently the requisite amount to make a purchase) was compromised by Nguyen, but recommends that anyone that was effected cancel their cards, ask for charge-backs, and change their passwords. Thanks Apple – couldn’t have figured that out without you: how about developing an app that lets you know when another app is gonna fuck you over?

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Missing Links: Link’s Missing Edition

Crazy week kids – hectic work, helping with a move, lots of stuff done. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit and work on teh blog, so here’s a discordant menagerie of linkages from around the web with no seeming connection! Enjoy!
  1. Learn the Science of Cooking! Also known as gastronomy. Make cooking fun for kids. Or, you know, hungry people.
  2. Interestingly stylized illustrations of nerdy subject matter – lil Wolverine, lil Harley Quinn, and a mind-controlled trinity to name a few. By Connecticut artist Christopher Umniga.
  3. Paper and pen meets reality in this analogue version of augmented reality.
  4. Make your own solar system in this fun little flash physics engine.
  5. Two words. Robot. Chess. Okay, three words: awesome.
  6. More flash sites than you can shake an iPad at.
  7. Old School was a comedic remake of Fight Club. What? Cracked.com plots out all the rip-offery.
  8. The 100 greatest movie insults crammed together into a ten minute clip.
  9. Want to know how your search for “albino sprocket monkey” turns up the results it does on Google? Portfolio.com has the answer for you. Maybe not that exact answer, but well enough, eh?
  10. Gemiest of gems of the Intertubes: FacebookFails.com

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