Internet Blackout

Yesterday, websites went censored, bringing awareness to two upcoming acts before United States Representatives and the United States Senate. Those two acts are SOPA and PIPA. SOPA has been shelved for the moment, but will be brought back sometime in February. PIPA is up before the House on the 24th of January. Both acts purport to curb Internet piracy, but the broad language of the acts and the lack of technical knowledge of those who wrote the acts has resulted in legalize that will do nothing to stop Internet piracy but will instead censor the internets. Not just censor after established crimes have been committed, but before any crime has been proven, by just an accusation that a third party did something piratey on the website.

Or so I deduced after reading several articles and viewing several infographs. I’ve done everything but read the acts. The reason that I read other people’s reasoning of the acts, is that I don’t understand the technical aspects of DNS, domestic vs foreign domains, etc. I figured I needed someone to explain that portion to me, so I went and read Reddit’s technical explanation. It is very thorough and I recommend reading it. The Mary Sue did a report on SOPA/PIPA and the internet black out if you still don’t know what was happening yesterday and didn’t do your own internets research. Google did not black out their site, but they do provide a helpful infograph.

Here’s the kicker. I agree with Topless Robot that it is unlikely the blackout will make much of a point with the white old men in the House and the Senate. Hopefully, the black out brings awareness to the issue and that constituents (that’s you and me) write our Representatives and Senators about this issue. I did. I just wrote out a quick email, copy and pasted it to my three U.S. Congressional representatives and voiced my concerns with the broad and ambiguous language of the two acts. It was easy, it was painless, hopefully it does some good. I don’t know if it will and frankly I think the following comic is possibly more about a premonition than fornication. But it made me laugh.

Oh, you funny internets.

Nodds & Nends: Love Letter, Vampires, and Doctor Who

Read a love letter to Doctor Who that is full of swearing. Though I have a minor disagreement with Topless Robot commenter, in that I really hope that Amy gets an on screen death. I think it is the only redemption for her character which has become kind of whiny and non-existent. Or bring back hard ass older Amy or something, give the girl something more than being a kiss-0-gram. Sheesh.

An article on vampires of the non-sparkly variety. I love vampires of all varieties, but it is fun to be reminded of some older versions that existed before Stephanie Meyers became popular.

I may need to become a gamer and move to the U.K. so I can play Doctor Who on the playstation. Or maybe just get the computer game that is about to come out.

Doctor Who Movie?

Apparently one of the directors of the Harry Potter movies is looking to film a Doctor Who movie. Saying that he is going to revamp the show. Um. Didn’t they do that already? Actually not all that excited about an egomaniac thinking he can do Doctor Who better when we already love it the way it is. Plus, he doesn’t sound like he wants to work with Matt Smith, so pooh on him. Read about the “breaking” news here and here and if you are as disappointed by this stunt as I am go have a laugh with Topless Robot.   I’m hoping this is all just smoke, but…. there is this Tweet from BBC America. So, I’m with The Mary Sue, lets do a CSI spin-off instead. 😀

Book Review: Uglies

Last month Topless Robot had a posting about 14 Great But Lesser-Known Sci-fi Novels for Lil’ Nerds. I ran down the list figuring that I had probably read more than a few. I was wrong. To my horror I had read none of them. My Nerd Cred plummeted. But undaunted, I read through the synopsis and picked several likely candidates. One such series was The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

TR’s bit about the book read:

In this post-apocalyptic future, civilization as we know it has been wiped out by a type of bacteria that decimated the human race and threw society into chaos. The survivors are concentrated into small city-states, which are independent of each other and don’t encourage much travel. People are rigidly divided into age groups: “Littl[i]es” (0-11 years), “Uglies” (12-15 years), and “Pretties” (16 and older). When reaching the age of 16, everyone undergoes a cosmetic operation that makes them beautiful – and surprisingly very similar-looking. Tally Youngblood wants nothing more than to have her sixteenth birthday, and with it the customary beautification. Things start to change for her when she befriends Shay, a girl who shares her birthday but not her desire to become a “Pretty.” In order to avoid this mandatory operation, Shay leaves the city and a note to Tally with an invitation to follow if she chooses. Tally must make some life-altering decisions and face many dangers head-on as she tries to discover what it is she really wants, and what she’s willing to sacrifice for it.

Now, I’m a huge fan of dystopian futures, and so I figured I would like this book, so I requested it from the library eagerly anticipating its arrival. I was right. I love this book, it is the beginning of a great new series. I love finding new series, so I can revisit favorite characters more than once.

My Review:

Uglies is set in a world where everyone is made pretty, so that nobody has to worry about being an Ugly any more. Tally is the main protagonist in this book, an Ugly about to turn 16, whose greatest enjoyment in life is Tricking (playing pranks on the younger Uglies). She eagerly awaits the operation to make her Pretty (which means bringing her facial features and body closer to the average mean of people). However, she meets Shay who tells her about a place where people go to escape from becoming Pretties, where people choose to remain Uglies. Tally soon finds herself in a quandary, to discover what Shay is talking about or to become a Pretty.

This book is not only an intriguing tale of adventure, but it is also a social commentary on what it means to be beautiful. Westerfeld discusses how growing up with the belief that normal is Ugly affects everyones outlook on who they are as a person, because the whole wheel of society revolves around a person’s looks. The concepts in this book have significant meaning in today’s world where much of who we are is dependent upon what we look like. Not only are his comments timely, but the book is full of lovely prose. Is it true that, “[h]istory would indicate that the majority of people have always been sheep.” Westerfeld also asks the hard questions and brings brilliance and charm to a story that makes it a must read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series, Pretties.

Rant on Trolls

So, this weekend I was on Topless Robot reading through Rob Bricken’s weekly TR Contest. Generally, I don’t read the comment threads after the weekly contest posting. I let Rob go through all the work of culling through them and coming up with his funny Honorable Mentions and Winners. But this weekend I caved, and after reading some through them, I remembered why I avoid them if at all possible.

I have to write EPIC FAIL. Not the content of the replies to this particular contest, though there was some fail in that as well, but as to the fact that my fellow geeks/nerds/dorks do not know how commenting in forums works. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW?????

One of my greatest pet peeves is trolling. Though, I do have mixed feelings about it. Not because I think it is ever a good idea to be rude and incite an argument, but because I really like the term, Trolling. Trolling, Trolling, Trolling. I picture neon colored hair dolls running around inside my computer with those maniacal grins, traipsing down the wires, into the walls, and leaping into cyberspace as they cull through the blogs and begin to post obnoxious comments causing controversy. I mean, how cute is that!

cc Betsythedevine Photoshopped version of public sign (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Little Known Nerd Books

 

 

By OpenClipart (OpenClipart) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

Can’t believe I haven’t read any of the books on this list, or even heard of them. I immediately put several of them on my to-read list. Topless Robot also did a lesser known fantasy novels posting you should check out.

 

Nathan Fillion with His Geek On

Nathan Fillion was named the geek god on Entertainment Weekly. Rob Bricken has a point about the weird pose on the cover, but I don’t really give a hoot or hollar. It’s Nathan Fillion with his geek on. Le Sigh. [via Topless Robot]