A couple of months ago thousands of young people went out in the streets of Chişinău to protest the election results in Moldova. Last week, history repeated itself, but this time in Iran. Here's a personal account from before the Internet was cut off over there. The resemblances between the two events are eerie, and the story is far from over.
Lest you think the civilized world is safe from chilling political measures, read how Yahoo Nukes Man's Photos Over Obama Comments. A pretty nasty confirmation of Lawrence Lessig's thesis that code is law, and a reminder that you should never rely on any single third party to take care of what's yours. From malice through incompetence to plain bad luck, there are simply too many ways for other people to screw you.
From pure politics to my favorite topic, copyfight. In France, the constitutional council declares the 3-strikes law unconstitutional. The article is in French, but I'm sure you'll have fun with the illustration. Not that HADOPI is completely dead: France govt goes into spin mode to salvage three-strikes law. On the positive side, we have the EU releasing a remarkably short, clear and most importantly unbiased guide to the legality of file sharing. Not that politicians in general are about to understand that new technologies are opportunities as opposed to threats. After all, they never understood before. As for the big media folks, some get it, some don't.
Meanwhile, the last doubts as to what the majority wants are vanishing fast. The Scanner Darkly Producer Puts Latest Movie on BitTorrent, while the band Fleet Foxes Thank Piracy For Their Success. And Chinese company PPStream is making some serious money with P2P streaming. Tsk tsk, those whacky Asians, challenging the conventional wisdom with (gasp) actual results! Thankfully, legal decisions across Europe are beginning to acknowledge this reality, with Germany and Denmark finally giving some signs of common sense. Too bad I can't say the same about France, but after the HADOPI debacle that's anything but surprising.
In miscellaneous news, Ars toasts English language as Web 2.0 named millionth word. Then we are treated to a fascinating account of the cultural differences between the U.S. and the rest of the world, seen through the lens of the cellphone market. Last but not least, a Mozilla developer points out just how much students want to produce meaningful output.
Last page, the funnies: in the discovering-hot-water department, we're told in a surprised tone that only 10 percent of Twitter users are generating almost 90 percent of the content (because, you know, the Pareto Principle was just discovered yesterday). Then again, this is the same U.K. that needs the Web inventor to help Downing Street open up government data. Makes you wonder how the White House managed without such prestigious help. Oh wait, it's obvious: they simply did it. Then, since we crossed the ocean, an American newspaper just found out that the Smartphone Rises Fast From Gadget to Necessity. Oh yeah? I noticed that about a year ago. And I tend to be a late adopter. And talking of late adopters, we have Open source, digital textbooks coming to California schools. Funny how students badly needing (a reasonably current) education wasn't a compelling argument, but money was.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my computer is running hot, and I'm not yet fully rested from my recent trip to Braşov. Wait, what?
More photos here. Enjoy!
Digital Week #29: Finally getting it by Felix Pleşoianu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.