Just in time for the 2012 US elections, Wired lets you finger your politician’s sponsors–NASCAR-style.

Try it before you vote!

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Florence Ave & Normandie Ave
LA Metro 206 bus at Florence Ave & Normandie Ave

Today is the 20th anniversary of the LA “Rodney King” Riots that began, visibly, on television news showing footage from helicopters of rioters attacking cars at the intersection of Florence Ave & Normandie Ave in South Los Angeles (at the time more commonly called South Central). Two weeks ago I visited the intersection to experience the location and reflect on the event, taking the LA Metro five miles South from where I live in West Adams. The intersection is a typical cross roads with franchise stores on the corners, about six lanes per street converging, and cars alternatively lining up as green lights turn to red. I tweeted the experience while sitting for a while on Downtown New York City Two Months After Zuccotti Park Raidthe Northwest side of the intersection, at a grassy plantern area that surrounds an AutoZone sign. I had meant the trip to be an isolated personal experience until Adam Liszkiewicz, who was following my tweets (and photos I was linking to), pointed out a relationship between the intersection and my last essay, here on NMDnet in January, 2012, about downtown New York City “dead spaces” that were created by police in response to Occupy Wall Street. This trip was now the second in a series.
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The biting video promo for “Fotoshop by Adobé” (pronounced a-do-BEY) imagines the popular image editor marketed by Revlon et al. The scary thing is how close the video is to reality.

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As covered previously on NMDnet, Wikipedia will interrupt its usual service to netcast a clear signal that proposed antipiracy legislation in the US congress would hurt the Internet more than pirates.

“Should Wikipedia shut down to protest censorship?”

http://www.nmdnet.org/2011/12/17/should-wikipedia-shut-down-to-protest-censorship/

Wikipedia is the latest Web site to plan a blackout for Wednesday to protest two Congressional bills intended to curtail copyright violations on the Internet….

“This is going to be wow, ” Mr. Wales wrote. “I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!”

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=5d1438dc4f2f5b3c65104aba659248c4

Whether sea levels rise or fall, your amphibious house will ride the waves of climate change.

A controversial new study suggests that most of humankind’s maladies — from wars to epidemics to economic downturns — can be traced to climate fluctuations….

Climate shifts were a statistically significant cause of social disturbance, war, migration, epidemics, famine, and nutritional status, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And climate caused famines, economic downturns, and catastrophic human events far more often than did any of the other 14 variables. The most direct way in which extreme climate shifts influence human society is through agriculture, Zhang says; a falling supply of crops will drive up the price of gold and cause inflation. Similarly, epidemics can be exacerbated by famine. And when people are miserable, they are likely to become angry with their governments and each other, resulting in war.

But golden ages rise out of these dark periods, the team argues. For instance, a 100-year cold period beginning in 1560 caused shortened crop growing seasons. The researchers found a causal linkage with a decline in average human height by nearly an inch during this period, and the century was rife with disease and conflict. But the world began to warm in 1650; when Charles II was crowned king of England in 1660, the coronation sparked the Enlightenment era in Europe.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/3KOUud3C3M4/

Meanwhile a different study pins a mini Ice Age in Europe on Christopher Columbus.

“Science News reports on a story which blames a centuries long cooling of Europe on the discovery of the new world. Scientists contend that the native depopulation and deforestation had a chilling effect on world-wide climate. ‘Trees that filled in this territory pulled billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, diminishing the heat-trapping capacity of the atmosphere and cooling climate, says Richard Nevle, a geochemist at Stanford University.’

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/10/14/0345253/columbus-blamed-for-mini-ice-age

In this century, rising sea levels have inspired a new architectural style that might be called the ‘amphibian avant-garde.’

“Venice may soon be sharing its ‘Floating City’ moniker thanks to a research project developing ‘amphibian houses’ that are designed to float in the event of a flood. The FLOATEC project sees the primary market for the houses as the Netherlands, whose low-lying land makes it particularly susceptible to the effects of rising sea levels. Such housing technology could also allow small island-states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans that are at the risk of disappearing in the next 100 years to maintain their claim to statehood through the use of artificial, floating structures.”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/09/05/007211/Floating-Houses-Designed-For-Low-Lying-Countries

Donkeys, solar power, and trash are the Internet Service Providers for censored Syrians, beleaguered Afghans, and others without government-sponsored Internet.

These DIY ISPs would make great solutions to the privacy concerns about social networks cited in some recent NMDnet posts–and give new meaning to the term “data mules.”

Syrians Using Donkeys Instead of DSL After Gov’t Shuts Down Internet

“Rebelling Syrians are using all possible alternate methods to pass information to the world amidst a total blackout on the internet by the Government. Believe it or not, Donkeys are a part of the revolution now. From the article: ‘To get the news out, activists have been smuggling videos to Jordan through the desert and across a nearly 80-kilometer border Jordan shares with Syria. Some risk approaching the border with Jordanian cellphones to report to the outside world and send clips. It’s a dangerous task because the Syrian and Jordanian armies traditionally have the area under heavy surveillance to prevent the smuggling of drugs and weapons into the kingdom or further to the Gulf states.’”

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/05/15/1810215/Syrians-Using-Donkeys-Instead-of-DSL-After-Govt-Shuts-Down-Internet

The US military is taking note:

Move Over, Robots: Army Prefers Flesh-and-Blood Mules

The experimental four-legged, pack-hauling robots aren’t gonna be ready for frontline duty any time soon. So the Army is considering a big step backward in frontline logistics: more mules and donkeys, with a revived “Animal Corps” to oversee the four-legged recruits.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/ct7GAqIUi8Y/

The Afghans are at it:

Afghans Build Open Source Internet From Trash

“Residents of Jalalabad have built the FabFi network: an open-source system that uses common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles.”

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/06/26/0322238/Afghans-Build-Open-Source-Internet-From-Trash

And there’s more:

Look Ma, No Internet! Free Software Gives Text-Messaging New Reach

Frontline SMS, an open source software that turns a laptop into an internet-free communication hub has been used in more than 50 countries by thousands of organizations.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/C4bjgmQ7rT8/

Berkeley’s working on solar-powered cell phone networks.

Low-Cost DIY Cell Network Runs On Solar

Shareable writes with word of the intriguing work of a Berkeley professor who has developed a “low-cost, low-power cell base station featuring easy, off-the grid deployment with solar or wind power; local services autonomous from national carriers; and an impressive portfolio of voice & data services (not just GSM). It’s designed to connect rural areas in the developing world, but could have wider application like disaster recovery.”

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/11/08/28/0048211/Low-Cost-DIY-Cell-Network-Runs-On-Solar.

Limewire’s founder wants to distribute pedals as well as MP3s.

Peer-to-Peer Pioneer Sees New York Bicycles Pier-to-Pier

Mark Gorton founded LimeWire, but his true passion is transit — specifically, bikes — and sharply curtailing the role of cars in our cities. We sit down with him to find out why. http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/8SOZGbSiQ84/

Governments and vigilantes are using Facebook and other social media to identify and jail protesters–even if they never left their keyboards.

A Chat With Zavilia, a Tool For Identifying Rioters

“Social media isn’t just great for starting ‘social unrest,’ it’s proving to be quite helpful for quashing it too. Not long after the bricks began to fly in London’s latest kerfuffle, locals angry over raging mobs scrambled to assist the police in their attempt to identify street-fighters and free-for-all hooligans … Now with more than 1,000 people charged over the chaos, a few citizen groups continue to provide web-based rioter identification platforms, in hopes of being good subjects, maintaining the country’s pursuit of order, and keeping their neighborhoods safe.”

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/08/19/0248220/A-Chat-With-Zavilia-a-Tool-For-Identifying-Rioters

In Britain, a Meeting on Limiting Social Media

Government officials and representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry met to discuss voluntary ways to limit or restrict the use of social media to combat crime and periods of civil unrest.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=bc98f459d24fe76a1cb358676020620b

UK Men Get 4 Years For Trying to Incite Riots Via Facebook

“In addition to the 12 arrests from last week, a judge has sentenced 20-year-old Jordan Blackshaw and 22-year-old Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan to four years in prison for their failed attempts to use Facebook to incite riots in the UK. The judge said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent. The two men were convicted for using Facebook to encourage violent disorder in their hometowns in northwest England.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/18/0224214/UK-Men-Get-4-Years-For-Trying-to-Incite-Riots-Via-Facebook

Slashdot / Soulskill nonprofiteer writes “A bunch of vigilantes are organizing a Google Group dedicated to using recently revealed facial recognition tools to identify looters in the London riots. While Vancouver discussed doing something similar after the Stanley Cup riots, the city never actually moved forward on it. Ring of Steel London, though, is far more likely to incorporate FRT into its investigative work.” A related article points out how development of face-recognition technology has been kept under wraps by some organizations, but we’re getting to the point where it’ll soon be ubiquitous.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/10/062225/The-London-Riots-and-Facial-Recognition-Technology

When police and vigilantes fail, there’s always PayPal.

PayPal Joins London Police Effort

“PayPal has joined a music copyright association and the City of London police department’s bid to financially starve websites deemed ‘illegal.’ When presented with sufficient evidence of unlicensed downloading from a site, the United Kingdom’s PayPal branch ‘will require the retailer to submit proof of licensing for the music offered by the retailer,’ said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s latest press release.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/22/2345217/PayPal-Joins-London-Police-Effort

Meanwhile, Egyptian activists are getting in trouble for what they post on Facebook.

Egyptian Charged For Threatening Facebook Post

“The Egyptian Military Prosecution has charged 26-year-old activist and blogger Asmaa Mahfouz for allegedly defaming the country’s ruling generals and calling for armed operations against the military and the judiciary. Mahfouz, a prominent activist, was accused of using Facebook to call for the assassinations of Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) members and certain judges.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/15/0156222/Egyptian-Charged-For-Threatening-Facebook-Post

SealThe raid is liveblogged when one of Bin Laden’s neighbors complains about the noisy helicopters on Twitter, while Bin Laden’s compound gets 3 of 5 stars on Google Maps. Also in the news: weaponized dogs and a tale of two seals.

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Anonymous video artists have projected onto the Maine State House the mural by artist Judy Taylor originally installed to commemorate Maine’s labor history. The mural’s removal by Maine’s new governor Paul LePage has provoked outcries of censorship from artists and educators.

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Over the past month, new media scholars have spilled a lot of digital ink arguing whether the Internet actually fostered the 2011 revolution in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Middle East countries–or whether it simply created a dependency that governments can shut down to stymie protesters. Here’s a “Middle East Internet Scorecard” showing where and when governments have cut off their citizens’ access to the net. 

How hard would it be for, say, President Beck to shut down Google, Facebook, and the like in the US of A? Read this Middle East censorship roundup to find out what Egyptians, Libyans, and the rest of us can do to safeguard access to a global electronic network.

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If the Yes Men were the “Da Men,” they would have been locked up long ago. I hope Plutser-Sarno has a better travel agent than Julian Assange.

Aleksei Plutser-Sarno has been on the run since Russian law enforcement has been working to shut down Voina, the radical Russian art collective he belongs to….

For three years, Voina, which means war, has been playing cat-and-mouse with Russian law enforcement, staging street actions that ranged from the obscure (throwing live cats at McDonald’s cashiers) to the monumental (a 210-foot penis painted on a St. Petersburg drawbridge, so that it rose up pointing at the offices of the F.S.B., the security service).

Last September, Voina launched its most audacious project: “Palace Revolution,” which involved running up to parked police cars and flipping them over — a commentary, the group explained, on police corruption…

But Voina did not need art-world connections — YouTube, LiveJournal and Twitter gave it access to young Russians who shared the group’s sense of humor and rage at the police. Its plans got bigger, riskier. Before painting the penis on the bridge last June, the group practiced for a month before concluding that nine people could do the job in 30 seconds. As it turned out, guards barreled after them and they had only 23 seconds.

The image stood for a few hours before the authorities scrubbed it off; by then it had exploded onto the Internet. It was, Mr. Plutser-Sarno said, Voina’s most perfect act.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/world/europe/22voina.htm

Ever wonder how our failing economy is staying afloat?

China is lending US gov’t money…because we gave that money to our failing banks who have used that money to pay lobbyists to stop the government from regulating their actions.  Puzzled?  Check out common sense economist Richard Wolff as he explains Why the Economic Crisis Deepens

Hello,
My name is Dennis St. Pierre, I am an MFA student in the Intermedia Program here at the University of Maine.

I am announcing a new light hearted, humorous and informative voice opposed to the Tea Party Movement. Everything is explained below in a press release I wrote.

We are still adding content on a daily basis to our site, especially the intelligence, (aren’t we all) and there are lot’s of products that are not in our online store yet.

Hopefully everything will be completed soon. None the less, it is time to announce.

So please visit our site, purchase goods in our effort to stand up to the Tea Baggers and fight for our country while at the same time raising money and awareness for important causes. Help us go viral and spread the call.
Any advice, feedback, links to great information and content you think would be appropriate to add to our site, would be greatly appreciated.

I hope life finds you all well. I wish you all great happiness.

Dennis St.Pierre

Hello Everyone,
I am Dennis St. Pierre, an ordinary worker, a student, an artist and most important a citizen! I am a Perturbed Passionate Patriotic Pacifist (say that 4 x fast) who is tired of the high jacking of our Democratic Republic by the Tea Party and feel it’s time to do something about it. So I and some Friends, have created the NOT TEA (yes naughty) Party. We have decided to fight back using humor, intelligence and common sense.

Like most of you, we have little time to go to meetings and assemblies, coffee party’s etc. We are so busy just staying afloat. But that doesn’t mean we have nothing to say and the time to speak up is passing us by.

By not voicing our opposition, by remaining silent and complacent, we are allowing a possible takeover of our government and ultimately our country. This is the work of the ultra wealthy and the extremely misinformed in the guise of “Patriots”, who call themselves the “Tea Party”.

It is through simple acts of defiance that we can defeat this opposition. We all know the power of marketing; we all know how powerful a few words can be. We all can defeat this rhetoric filled and misinformed group and take our country back.

How? We fight back without malice, but instead armed with humor, common sense and strong intelligence as our weapons, We take simple actions like that of wearing a T-shirt, placing a bumper sticker on our car, placing a sign on our lawn to be our voice when we don’t feel like direct confrontation. We take time to gain knowledge by reading and debate. Suddenly, you gain strength, armed with the knowledge of being one of many. Suddenly you feel strong enough to stand up and confront the bullies directly.

We believe as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. believed that it is through many little acts of non violence and intelligent defiance that true power prevails. These acts include the use of Humor, Knowledge and Good Will.

That being said; we are attempting to give you the means to defeat this takeover. We have created a website www.notteacompany.com or www.notteaparty.com . It is being updated constantly with News, A Library, Links, Cartoons, Humorous Videos, a place to exchange knowledge, as well as a Mercantile where you can buy products to voice your displeasure of the Tea Party. Products with humorous double entendre rally cries! “I’m NOT TEA”, “Sooooo NOT TEA”, “NOT TEA & NICE”, “It’s Nice 2 B Naugh-Tea” and many others that support the “NOT TEA PARTY” idea. We will soon have “Wicked Not Tea Coffee” as well. 15% of all profits go to NON PROFITS.

So, I hope you will go to our website and our store and become part of a “Wicked Not Tea Party”. So laugh, be informed and perform acts of Good Will all while being NOT TEA!!!

Sincerely,

Dennis St. Pierre
The NOT TEA COMPANY

For more info please contact me via email at [email protected]

“Remember…… try to be good and if that’s impossible, Be reeeaaalllly bad and tell me how good it was!!!! :-)

“Imagine” john lennon

350.org has launched a glocal event–locally engaged, globally networked–to send a message to our political leaders that we want to work for positive life-affirming goals for our communities and families.

You can see two local Orono events as well as nearby events on the map
EVENT
9 October 2010 – 10:00am – 2:00pm
Learn sheet mulching techniques for both Apple Orchard guilds, and raised beds.

Hey all,

I’m writing from San Francisco, my home these days. San Francisco is at the forefront of an amazing urban gardening movement, and it is very exciting! I’ve been working very closely with one urban farm in particular, called Hayes Valley Farm. It’s a 2.3 acre food forest rising from a freeway that collapsed during the ’89 earthquake. I hold the title of Lead Researcher on the Biodiversity Team. Most recently for 350.org’s 10-10-10 global day of action to prevent climate change, we began an effort to research and steward what edible and medicinal plants do well in the multiple microclimates within the city. We gave away 150 permaculture kits to initiate healthy ecosystems in folks’ backyards, front yards, planter pots, or vertical wall gardens (we get creative in the city). Our ultimate question is “how many people can you feed on how little urban land?” I like to think it is possible to have sustainable cities, but I wonder too if they stay cities or become something new…. This teeters on an artistic and pedagogical piece I recently did for Mary Walling Blackburn’s Radical Citizenship: the Tutorials, called Root, City, Thorn.

Anyway, I’m also very involved in thinking about the human organizational models that encourage healthy ecosystems and healthy people. We are facing some very juicy challenges on the farm and are seeking answers from lots of different sources. To this end, and in the spirit of exchanging insight, I’ve just launched an email list called Chapter Fourteen. I hope all you UMaine alumns involved in permaculture and/or participatory models of communication will join this list and share what you’ve learned from your own communities, as well as stories about where you’re stuck.

Please join! http://lists.beforebefore.net/listinfo.cgi/chapter_fourteen-beforebefore.net Beginning on the new moon November 5th we’ll have roughly 2 week discussions around the topic a moderator initiates. Please let me know if you’re interested in facilitating a discussion, and I’ll sign you up!

Thanks Jon for getting NMDnet going!

xoxo

Defenders of realism in violent RPG videogames sometimes argue that the ability to play different roles helps stimulate understanding of cross-cultural conflicts and historical context, or even inspire empathy. So what happens when US military play the Taliban side in Medal of Honor? And how is that different from soldiers who act out the role of the “enemy” in Army-initiated training exercises?

http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/09/02/213220/GameStop-Pulls-emMedal-of-Honorem-From-Military-Bases?from=rss via Byline donniebaseball23 writes “EA’s Medal of Honor reboot doesn’t ship until October 12, but it’s already seen a fair amount of controversy thanks to the publisher’s decision to allow people to play as Taliban in multiplayer. The controversy just got escalated another notch, reports IndustryGamers, as the world’s biggest games retailer GameStop has decided it won’t sell the title at its stores located on US military bases. The new Medal of Honor won’t be advertised at these stores either. GameStop noted that they came to this decision ‘out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform.’”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The FCC’s about to rule on Net Neutrality, and they’re collecting public feedback until Friday. If you feel as I do, sign the Save the Internet petition.

Why should you care? Well, would you mind if someone switched your search engine from Google to Yahoo? Do you care whether movies streamed to your neighborhood will arrive slower than emails streamed into rich neighborhoods? Do you want the Internet’s innovators to be a few companies in the middle with control over the routers, or everyday folks with a laptop on the end nodes?

I’m hot and bothered about this because the principle of net neutrality has guided the Internet since its infancy, and there is no question in my mind that it is the single biggest reason for the phenomenal growth of creative, scientific, and economic activity online.

To allow Internet Service Providers to negotiate faster access for companies like Barnes & Nobles or Yahoo would be like allowing the Federal Highway Administration to charge BMW drivers smaller tolls in return for kickbacks. Thankfully, our country’s roads were built in a vehicle-neutral way, and as a result they have been flexible enough to serve horse carriages, Model Ts, and Priuses. To charge higher rates for some forms of traffic and not others would be to stifle technological innovations of the future.

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Save the world, get a scholarship.

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Wired discovers permaculture!

“Haiti was an ecological disaster before the earthquake. Deforestation and topsoil loss have made farming on the island difficult. One organization suggests that permaculture techniques could restore productivity to the land and rural residents”

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/vNxIahkEaLE/a-permaculture-strategy-for

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Wired discovers permaculture!

“Haiti was an ecological disaster before the earthquake. Deforestation and topsoil loss have made farming on the island difficult. One organization suggests that permaculture techniques could restore productivity to the land and rural residents”

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/vNxIahkEaLE/a-permaculture-strategy-for

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