Archive for the Politics Category

I've always considered myself a quiet non-believer, because atheism as a public militancy seemed useless to me, but now I'm changing my mind. The reactionary insolence of the catholic church needs to be answered with the insolence of lively intelligence, of reason, of the responsible word. We can't let the truth to be offended everyday by the self-proclaimed representatives of god on earth, whose only real interest is power. The church doesn't care about the destiny of souls, what it has always pursued is control over the bodies. Reason can be an ethics. Let's use it."

José Saramago, interviewed by Paolo Flores D'Arcais on the October 14th 2009 issue of "Il Fatto Quotidiano".

Davide had no better stuff to do, so here I am (hating him), abiding to these rules:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

7 Facts

  1. I don't consider myself a bearded guy: I shave my face whenever I find 10 spare minutes to do it. That's once per month on average, therefore for most people I meet I am a bearded guy nonetheless.
  2. I received a fifteen years long salesian catholic education (7 years with nuns, while I was 4-10, and 8 years with priests, 11-18). I suspect this had a big part both in the depth/breadth of my scriptural/doctrinal knowledge, and in my ultimate (consequential?) militant atheism. Which prompts an interesting paradoxical question: what should I better do to raise my soon to be released child as a free thinker?
  3. My first computer was a Commodore 64... wait, you might know this one... OK, but you may not know that when I was 12 I wrote a trilogy of C64 school-themed video-games depicting my priest-teachers as flying horned devils. I sold them among my schoolmates with some good financial success (that was a so called "elite" school).
  4. My first web page, established on Geocities back in the past century and entirely built with Amiga technologies, was the Marxism-Leninism-Prodism-Gargarism home page. I lost my credentials, and even if I did try several times to make Yahoo pull it down I'm afraid it will persist as an indelible stain on my past. It was somehow prophetic about the dissolution of any serious left-wing in Italy, though...
  5. I met my wife, a teacher of Greek and Latin and a published author of school textbooks, when we both were 15, and we've been good friends albeit living in two different towns for more than ten years, meeting once every two years or so. Then I had to teach a short course in her town, staying there for a couple of weeks, and when I was about to leave I suddenly asked her to marry me. She just exploded in a loud laughter. But after less than of one month, she relocated to live with me. I punished her offensive initial reaction by making us "live as public sinners" for another ten years, until I decided it was time to perpetuate our genes :)
  6. Both my thumbs can bend backwards by 90 degrees (much like in Andrès Segovia's right hand).
  7. Since I was 18 I wear an hammer and sickle-shaped piercing on my left earlobe.

7 people I'd like to inflict the same agony

No matter our views about the Israeli bloody war* terrorism against the Palestinian people, Al Jazeera can teach us some lessons about openness and information democracy: its broadcast-quality video footage shot in Gaza is released under the least restrictive Attribution license.
Quoting the CC' blog:

Each professionally recorded video has a detailed information page and is hosted on allowing for easy downloads of the original files and integration into Miro. The value of this footage is best described by an International Herald Tribune/New York Times article describing the release:

In a conflict where the Western news media have been largely prevented from reporting from Gaza because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli military, Al Jazeera has had a distinct advantage. It was already there.

More importantly, the permissive CC-BY license means that the footage can be used by anyone including, rival broadcasters, documentary makers, and bloggers, so long as Al Jazeera is credited.

There’s more information over at Al Jazeera’s CC repository, and in our press release. You can also add the Al Jazeera repository to your Miro feeds by clicking here

So, rather than labeling its unique original footage as "exclusive", the Arabian network is giving it away for anyone (competitors included) to watch, analyze, share and reuse, leveraging an open source (GPL) open media platform and hosting it on an open source (GPL) CMS.
What do you think?

SecTheory published a paper by Robert "RSnake" Hansen about Browser Power Consumption. Dan Goodin reports about it under the rather funny title Study spanks Adobe Flash for abuses of power (ehy Dan, why just Adobe? what about Microsoft and Sun?). PC World has an article as well, interviewing a Pacific Gas and Electric representative.

The green juice: you can reduce your PC's power consumption by 25% when you browse the web using Firefox with NoScript and AdBlock Plus. Quite obvious, since JavaScript, Flash, Java, Silverlight and active content in general are major CPU-drainers, compared to static pages. By allowing them just when and where they're needed, the way NoScript works, you do the equivalent of closing the tap when you're brushing your teeth or turn off the light when you exit a room.

Of course it's just a drop in the ocean, but I like to believe I'm helping Gaia a bit and enabling others to do the same :)


Commenter Arthur reminded me that, even if you didn't give a damn about environment health, as a mobile user you surely value your battery life and you've got yet another good reason for using NoScript. And did I mention you can use NoScript on the Fennec mobile browser now?

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