Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Sites 52

This’ll be a really short one. The Lowell WBC Counterprotest was a resounding success. Over 1068 people attended to oppose the WBC. Human Trafficking today, a site on activism.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


One of the older blog posts from the 2008 era of this site was humorously titled DRM? OMG! WTF? BBQ!. It derided the usage of DRM restrictions because of the inconvenient hassle that it provides for consumers, sometimes encouraging them to illegally download software to circumvent DRM. This blog post is the second installment in the REVISITED series.

DRM refers to to the variety of access control technologies developed by software corporations intended to stem piracy. It has been highly controversial since its invention. Organizations like the Free Software Foundation state that such software restricts the use of material beyond the limits of existing copyright laws. Consumers have disparaged it because of the wondrous hassle that it imposes upon them. In 2010, DRM control has begun to die out from mainstream distributors like iTunes. Which presents major progress for digital freedom.

DRM is Repulsive and Ineffectual

At the 2009 Game Developer’s Conference, World of Goo developer Kyle Gabler impugned DRM in games. Noting that not one DRM system has been successful at deterring piracy, he found that such restriction was an unnecessary expense. This is true. The 2008 Will Wright game SPORE, despite years of hype, received criticism and controversy for its painful DRM process. SPORE limited its users to licenses on only five computers and forced them to go through a lengthy authentication process. The user-average score on Amazon dipped to lows of 1.5 stars, with users acrimoniously chastising its frustrating DRM. Despite the trouble made with SPORE’s DRM, a cracked version was uploaded to BitTorrent just days later. SPORE quickly rose to become the most pirated game of 2008.556038-2dboyslaonda_large

The SPORE dilemma is a prime example of how DRM is ineffective at deterring piracy and destructive to reception. SPORE’s frustrating authentication process likely deterred many gamers from legally purchasing the game, opting instead for the pirated, DRM-free version. EA Games attempt to prevent piracy and maximize profit backfired, thereby making piracy more attractive and lowering legal sales. Former Maxis developer Chris Harris stated that the DRM choice was a “screw-up and a totally avoidable disaster”.

The SPORE dilemma objectively establishes DRM’s negative effect on reception and sales, oftentimes making piracy even more attractive. No DRM systems have been completely successful in preventing cracks from circulating through the internet and bypassing frustrating authentication processes is easily done through systems like BitTorrent. Integrating DRM systems into software is an expensive process, and a usually unsuccessful one. According to Gabler, it is more cost-effective to ignore DRM altogether and release games without protection. Sporebox

Over the past few years, DRM has proven itself to be an unpredictable and expensive technology to use on software. Despite the high cost of implementing it, it is rarely successful. Thus, software developers should start omitting it to cut costs. Piracy is near-inevitable, go onto and you’ll find dozens of cracks for a wide range of software. DRM will likely destroy itself out of its own expense and inefficiency as companies like 2D Boy begin to release products without it. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Truth About Haiti

Alex Hillan is no stranger to this blog. Indeed, he has done several posts that were reblogged there. He holds a rather radical philosophical stance that provokes the interests of many. Here is an important post by him. Read it, and be sure to think about it.

I don't usually write notes, but the situation in Haiti and Americans' attitude toward it has been totally pissing me off. So I decided to use a few minutes and write this brief history of how the USA and other developed nations have screwed Haiti time after time.

People need to realize that the only reason Haiti is poor is because they've been screwed time after time by the United States of America and the other developed countries. If you want the situation in Haiti and other 3rd world countries to improve, you need to join in and fight against this system, civilization, which makes it profitable for the rich to steal from the poor, and for the powerful to destroy the land.
I'll start in 1825 when the King of France forced Haiti to pay his country 90 million francs , which was worth WAY more back then. This caused Haiti to be poor, and with poverty came corruption and constant conflict for money, power, and resources.

From 1912 to 1914, French, U.S., German and British forces took advantage of Haiti's the unrest in Haiti and forcefully claimed large sums of money from Haiti's treasury.
The USA occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, and native peasants held rebellions against them. During this time, Marines indiscriminately killed 3250 natives according to a US General. Since this number came from the USA, which was the perpetrator of the crimes, that number probably does not accurately represent the truth.

When the USA left, they took land from the Dominican Republic in order to establish a border between the Dominican and Haiti. This caused the leader of the Dominican Republic to send troops into the disputed land to kill 10,000 to 20,000 innocent Haitian civilians in less than three days.

From 1957 to 1986, the Duvalier family ruled Haiti as dictators. They were VERY corrupt. They created the private army and terrorist death squads, and most Haitians tried to flee to the US and Canada. However, the USA provided military and financial aid to this the brutal regime in hopes of getting cheap labor for US companies in Haiti.

In 1990, the first democratically elected president of Haiti took power. He had won with more than a two-thirds majority. President Aristide was re-elected in 2000, and in 2004 his government was threatened by a group of Haitian insurgents. Because Aristide had demanded reparations from France, and was going to attempt to hold accountable the countries who had screwed Haiti in the first place, the USA, under President Bush, removed all of its security forces, which had been protecting the constitutional government in Haiti, kidnapped president Aristide, and forced him into exile in Africa.

In the late 2000s, the USA started importing food to Haiti at a very low cost. Local farmers could not compete with the imported food and went out of business. Then, the USA made the prices of imported food in Haiti double what they were originally. In Haiti, the average citizen now has to pay the equivalent of 100 US dollars for one regular meal, and they are dependent on food imported from the USA, which mean the USA has them by the balls. We can now make them do whatever we want them to.

And then we blame THEM for being poor and corrupt.
And that's the truth about Haiti.

"Read about the history of the place that we live in, and stop letting corporate news tell lies to your children." -Immortal Technique

I am certain that this post might arouse controversy. But given the recent state of affairs, this is important.

So it takes an apocalyptic earthquake for the U.S. to know that Haiti needs help…

(EDIT: Bungie Studios, developers of the Halo games, have started up an event to raise money for Haiti. You can find it at:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Sites 51: Bigotry and Racism

Hey, what’s up?

Considering that tomorrow is MLK Day, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s Sunday Sites to the problem of bigotry and ignorance. Political correctness, with all its good intentions, often prevents us from discussing topics that must be given attention. Thus, it is time to do just that.  All of these are good reads, so click away. I’ll start off with an especially important site. This is a directory of hate groups around the United States. If you click on one thing on this week’s list. Make it this. Homophobia and Harassment in the Online Gaming Age Dehumanized: when Math and Science rule the school Panelists say King’s struggle for equality continues Clinton, Bush and Obama, once opponents with good reason, are able to see past those differences to effectively answer their call of duty, sadly that’s not the case for most other people Case in Point: Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Haiti I watched American History X at my school as part of a special event about bigotry. I can say that it was one of the most relevant and pertinent films I’ve ever seen relating to racism and bigotry. A must see for anyone. Speeches from MLK as well as other civil rights leaders can be found here. Americans Against the Westboro Baptist Church – An incredible resource for information on one of America’s largest hate-centric groups Westboro Baptist Church’s view on the Haitian Earthquake. (NSFW) More of WBC’s hate-filled sites (NSFW)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prop 8 Trial Tracker

Hey there
To decrease the suspense of waiting for information on the trial to go live,  you can view a live-feed from the trial at .

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Sites 50

Wow… this is a big day. Sunday Sites has been going on for over 50 weeks. Here is the 50th installment in the never-ending series. Enjoy! Twitter Marketing: Why You Don’t Need to Mass Follow Strangers Iranian Professors risk their lives protesting for peace, an exellent read,+"That's+so+gay!"/?utm_source=Wetpaint&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Digest&utm_campaign=Site An interesting discussion on a never-ending controversy prevalent in schools everywhere. Ten-year-olds are using these slurs, and that is something to change. The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage. Typically, Gay-Marriage is considered to be a “liberal issue” that conservatives oppose. It’s not such, it is simply a “Human Issue”. Here is an excellent read.

Tomorrow’s court case regarding Proposition 8 will be broadcast at: It is to be called Perry v. Schwarzenegger. More information is avaliable at:

In addition, please sign this petition: . Its short and will only take seconds.

There is also a Facebook event for tomorrow’s trial:

I hope these links help inform you. You can help by tweeting this or posting it on your Facebook status. Thanks

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quick Note about the Proposition 8 Challenge

After the failure for Same-Sex Marriage in Maine, we are brought to California to hear the challenge to Proposition 8. A Californian measure, which effectively ended Same-Sex Marriage in 2008. It attracted a large amount of controversy even outside of California. After a year in limbo, Proposition 8 is about to return to the scrutiny of all.

In the past few days, a large amount of controversy arose over the topic of allowing cameras into the courts to televise the trial on YouTube. It succeeded, with a compromise, the trial won’t be streamed live, but will be simply uploaded later on. The trial was initiated by a couple filed a lawsuit, believing that the statewide-ban on same-sex marriage violated their constitutional rights. Vaughn Walker will be presiding the trial. While it is near-impossible that the victory of this trial would lead to an overturning of Proposition 8, winning the trial would make significant progress towards the fight to eradicate the law.


So I encourage you to be present on Monday, with this trial in your heart. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated by all those who support a more ethical society. Already conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin are beginning to threaten the trial as well as the lifestyles of everyone besides themselves. People around the country have begun to think deeply and reconsider their positions on homosexuality because of the events of the last few years. Hopefully, Monday will present another great shift. 

(EDIT: Please consider this link, you’ll find a thought provoking discussion there that you are highly welcome to participate in)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Sites 49, 2010 Extravaganza

Well, let’s kick off 2010 strongly with a large batch of awesome sites and articles! Zack Number’s luddite philosophies have drawn a lot of ire from most people. Here is the book that he draws from. The Chronicle’s Decade in Review featurette, aptly titled “Decade of Lost Illusions'” an independent analyst’s blog focused on Wii games, where figures and statistics are analyzed. A grassroots movement in the style of to end global poverty. Tweet it, blog it, do something to share this amazing story  I loved Avatar, it was simply one of the best sci-fi fantasy movies that I have ever seen. Its timeless message speaks strongly about the adverse effects of civilization and imperialism. But here’s another take, titled “When Will White People Stop Making Movies like ‘Avatar’” Ctrl+Alt+Del is one of the funniest webcomics out there, here it is for those who haven’t yet discovered it. And while we’re talking about Ctrl+Alt+Del, lets put Cyanide and Happiness in there. Yet another Decade in Review featurette, but this one is fascinating. Highly recommended. If you’re going to click on one link on this page, make it this one. This is an independent source of criticism by the man who brought you this site.