Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Megaupload Latest Casualty Of War: Freedom Of Speech V. Copyright Infringement

I'm sure most of you have heard by now that MegaUpload and it's subsidiary MegaVideo have been shut down by the FBI and it's CEO Kim Dotcom jailed. The FBI and Justice Department alleges "MegaUp­load was a 'mega con­spir­acy' and a glob­al crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion 'whose mem­bers en­gaged in crim­in­al copy­right in­fringe­ment and money laun­der­ing on a massive scale.'The De­part­ment also said that MegaUp­load, which had about 150 mil­lion users, tal­lied up an es­tim­ated harm to copy­right hold­ers in ex­cess of $500-mil­lion by al­low­ing users to il­leg­ally share movies, mu­sic and oth­er files. In ad­di­tion, pro­sec­utors also said in the in­dict­ment that those who op­er­ated the site racked in an in­come from that topped $175-mil­lion." This not only marks the end of MegaUpload but is a continuing battle in the war over copyright infringement versus freedom of speech. Anonymous a prominent hacker group claimed it had taken down the Department of Justice website over the incident among other government and entertainment industry websites as well as taking offline over the weekend. The group also claimed it was not done and set it sites on Facebook. Since the recent battle in congress over SOPA and PIPA many activists and web proprietors have been at odds with the entertainment industry and government. The government continues to go after those they feel are violating copyright infringement laws and many on the internet as well as civil rights groups are vehemently protesting what they feel is unjust censorship and willful violation of the First Amendment. "The shut-down of the file sharing site Megaupload last week prompted thousands of users to participate in an Anonymous-led attack on opponents of the service, which left the websites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Motion Picture Association of America and Universal Music Group, among others, momentarily crippled." I expect more Anonymous attacks in coming weeks and further protesting over what is becoming an increasingly embittered battle over defining what extent government can regulate content and speech over the internet. In many ways this is not only a question of freedom of speech but a question of our civil liberties in the years to come. The actions of our government have done more to restrict civil liberties in the last few years than have been done in the last 50, and they have convinced many that this loss of privacy and civil liberty is justified as we are fighting new enemies. I will end with a quote from Benjamin Franklin " Any society that will give up a little freedom for a little security, will deserve neither and lose both." The Internet has become the defining revolution of our time from the explosion of e-commerce, the Arab Spring, English Riots, Even much of the Organizing gone into The Occupy Movement. The Internet has completely revolutionized our way of life allowing us to freely share ideas and have instant access to information. I believe the powers that be seek to take that from us because it puts the power back into our hands a power that all the guns in the world could not fight and they are afraid of that.

Megaupload Latest Casualty Of War: Freedom Of Speech V. Copyright Infringement

Monday, January 30, 2012

Twitter's New Censorship Policy A Win For Human Rights

An uproar has recently been caused with the announcement of Twitter's new policy of removing user comments at the request of offending countries. Many including myself enraged by what appeared as Twitter caving to the almighty dollar (or rupee, deutche mark, etc;) as well as other pressures from the various countries, however, this move is actually good for human rights. Previously, when Twitter was requested to remove a post due to said post violating whatever law the comment was permanently removed from Twitter. Now, however, the comment is merely blocked from site by users in that country. According to "Some are saying the new policy is actually one of the best ways a global social media company can protect free speech. Twitter has been required to remove offending material for some time, DMCA complaints in countries like the U.S. are one easy to understand example. Once removed, these Tweets are no longer available to anyone. The new policy would allow Twitter to block offending content in only the country that is complaining about that content, based on IP address." This is not the only kicker to the chagrin of countries committing blatant human rights violations. All content removed from Twitter can be found at . "This action essentially allows the rest of the community to be aware not only that the Tweet was removed, but the content of the Tweet. Tracking the actions of oppressive regimes would be possible with this type of scheme." Not only does Twitter give access to allow people to see what has been removed from Twitter, they show those in the countries where the content is banned from being seen how to bypass such restrictions by simply changing your IP address to show you live in an entirely different country. If only Google had come up with such an idea in China.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Facebook To Potentially Set To Releasle IPO This Week

It has been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Facebook is set to release it's IPO (Initial Public Offering) sometime later this week. The expected valuation of the internet giant is somewhere between 75-100 billion and the offering is expecting to bring in another 10 billion for the company. If the deal goes through Facebook would be the highest traded tech IPO and history blowing Google's 2004 IPO valuation of 39 billion out of the water. When Google went public it began trading at $85 a share, with a valuation such as Facebook's the cost per share could be potentially much higher. Various sites report Morgan Stanley, the large investment bank, to be companies underwriter ironing out all the final details of the IPO and it has been reported that Facebook could start it's IPO on Wednesday at the earliest. This is a major move for the social networking site, contributing to a long list of recent moves by the company such as changing the way the site runs and partnering up with companies like Spotify to provide further content on the site. This not only marks a huge moment for Facebook but for the tech industry as a whole as the IPO will be the largest tech IPO but one of the 7 largest IPO's in history. Expect 2012, like every other year since Facebook's development, to be a big year for the company.
Facebook To Potentially Set To Releasle IPO This Week

Friday, January 27, 2012

Magellan Roadmate 1424LM GPS More Bang For Your Buck

The Roadmate 1424-LM is pocket-sized, ultra-thin and stylish, with a 4.3" full color interactive touch screen. The OneTouch feature allows you to save your favorite locations, as well as searches. Map updates are available up to four times a year. The Roadmate is not only an excellent product it's priced well as compared to many other newer on the market GPS devices. I've had the pleasure to use this device and so far I love it. The 1424lm is not a brand new model but it's features are well up-to-date and performance wise beat many new competitors. I've chose this particular model to blog about due to affordability and overall performance as well as long-term durability and functionality due to regular map updates for life which keeps your GPS data current. For your money, the Roadmate 1424lm is one of the best GPS devices on the market.

Magellan Roadmate 1424LM GPS More Bang For Your Buck

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Geeked Out Electronics Changing Direction

Here at Geeked Out Electronics we're changing direction some and evolving our business a little adding a e-commerce website to be up and running soon. With the development of the website comes the subject of our blog changing gears slightly to include more product reviews and an expansion of tech industry news. I will continue to focus on interesting developments in science and technology but will expanding our base slightly, such as covering E3 and news in various other industries. So tell us what you think. We here at Geeked Out Electronics love user feedback, troll or not!
Geeked Out electronics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SOPA Opponents Fight Back And Internet Experts Slated To Testify

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), a major opponent of the Stop Online Piracy Act, announced Monday he is bringing in Silicon Valley experts to hold a public hearing highlighting the online security implications of the SOPA Act that would force changes to internet infrastructure to fight online copyright infringement.

The announcement came three weeks after a markup of SOPA in the House Judiciary Committee was abruptly postponed amid concerns over its blacklisting element, which lets the attorney general order changes to core internet infrastructure in order to stop copyright infringement.

The fight over SOPA is pitting the powerbrokers of Hollywood against their Silicon Valley counterparts. Hollywood argues that millions of jobs are lost a year due to pirate websites, while the tech industry argues that the open nature of the internet has created millions of jobs (jobs such as a humble blogger like me) and that copyright holders already have tools to fight illegal downloaders.

“An open internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” Issa said in a statement. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the internet today.”Issa is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing is set for Jan. 18.

The legislation mandates that ISPs alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS, so that users couldn’t navigate to the site. Or, if ISPs choose not to introduce false information into DNS at the urging of the Justice Department, they instead would be required to employ some other method, such as deep-packet inspection, to prevent American citizens from visiting infringing sites or in other words censoring the internet and therefore violating the 1st amendments freedom of press by restricting public access to information.ISPs, could, for instance, adopt tactics used by the Great Chinese Firewall to sniff for traffic going to a blacklisted site and simply block it.Among those scheduled to testify are Stewart Baker, the former Department of Homeland Security policy director, who has said SOPA “would still do great damage to internet security.”Also slated to testify is DNS expert Dan Kaminsky of DKH. Putting false information into the DNS system — the equivalent of the net’s phonebook — would be ineffective, frustrate security initiatives and lead to software workarounds and a rise of hackers and hacking software that would just bypass many of the Acts new censorship policies, according to a paper co-signed by security experts Steve Crocker of Shinkuro, David Dagon of Georgia Tech, Danny McPherson of Verisign, Paul Vixie of Internet Systems Consortium and Kaminsky.

Others expected to testify include Brad Burnham, Partner at Union Square Ventures; Michael Macleod-Ball, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; Lanham Napier, chief executive officer of Rackspace; Leonard Napolitano, director of the Center for Computer Sciences & Information Technology at Sandia National Laboratories; and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of

On Dec. 16, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who heads the House Judiciary Committee, halted the SOPA markup so the committee could hear from technical experts. However, no new hearing before that committee has been scheduled.The Judiciary Committee, however, did hear from the Motion Picture Industry Association of America in November, but has never called an expert on internet architecture. Michael O’Leary, an MPAA vice president, had testified before the committee that security concerns were “overstated.”In the security context, many internet experts maintain the bill would break the internet’s universal character and hamper U.S. government-supported efforts to rollout out DNS-SEC, which is intended to prevent hackers from hijacking the net through fake DNS entries.

Along with Industry experts up in arms, many are suggesting that websites like Facebook and Google my protest by temporarily taking down their sites, both sites are firmly opposed to the Act. Other sites such as Reddit may be taken down permenantly due to the overall nature of the site. The Act which is attaining little publicity will likely enrage many who patron the internet on a regular basis and would likely cause an immediate backlash against new rules.

The Bill is a continuing fight by many in congress to further strip American's of civil liberties since the start of the war on terror, starting with the Patriot Act which allowed wiretapping without warrant and continued with the recently signed into law National Defense Athorization Act which allows Americans to be indefinitely detained without charges or trial, even if merely suspected of engaging in so-called "terrorist activity." Along with recent discoveries by hackers of the German Government using spyware to literally spy on their people, hacking into web cams, monitoring websites visited, and acquiring personal documents saved to the hard drive of many victims. We as a people should not tolerate our governments, especially in a so-called free society, of taking our Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties from us. Though in the days of our founding fathers they did not have the internet or computers many, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, advocated against such future tyrannies. I will leave you with a quote from Benjamin Franklin "Any society that would give up a little freedom for a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

SOPA Opponents Fight Back And Internet Experts Slated To Testify

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cloaking Device Creates Hole In Light And Time

New research published in Nature reveals that scientists have successfully hidden an object in both time and space even if for only for 40 picoseconds or 40 trillionths of a second . Rather than bending light around the object, their technique creates a temporal hole in light beams where an event can be hidden.

The technique relies on what's known as a split-time lens to create a temporal hole. A beam of light is pushed through the lens, which speeds up the travel of the fast moving blue light, and slows down the comparatively sluggish red, leaving a gap in the middle — a gap ripe for exploitation. The light is recombined on the other side, and for a window of trillionths of a second, whatever goes on in that gap is undetectable.

Whatever's in the gap should interact with the light passing through, but it simply...doesn't. The travelling light beam emerges on the other end of the lens unscathed and untouched, completely oblivious to what happened in that undetected picosecond gap.

So far, the technique only works on periods of 0.00012 of a second - so the police can probably rest easy, as evildoers would have to move far faster than human beings ever could to 'conceal' their actions.
Instead, the 'hidden' fractions of a second could be used for ultra-secure communications.The scientists think that the technique could even be combined with recent advances in optical 'cloaking' - to hide an event in both space and time.
Cloaking Device Creates Hole In Light And Time

New Tablet From Aakash...Only $41

The Aakash Android Tablet from India is the world's cheapest tablet coming in at only $41. Why is the tablet so cheap? It was a project for the Indian Government to put tablet devices into the education system for students (through subsidies), or any other person who could not afford the higher priced tablets currently on the market like the Apple iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy 10.1.

The Ubislate7 is the name of this super cheap tablet device which is manufactured by Datawind. The Aakash Android tablet runs Android 2.2 Froyo, has an 800 x 480 resistive touchscreen, with a meager 366MHz Connexant processor, 2 GB of internal storage, 256MB RAM, USB slot, and a MicroSD slot for expandable memory. Also within this little tablet that could is Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g, GPRS modem and a smaller battery giving it around 3 hours of continuous usage. It may not be the fastest tablet around, but at that's hard to complain about what it doesn't have.

The tablet has locked down a reported 1.4 million orders already in only two weeks, and will likely keep momentum going in the next few months as more people find out about it. If you want to check into ordering, they're backed up until March 2012, where you'll then be able to pre-order again.

New Tablet From Aakash...Only $41

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Geeks Rejoice: SciFi Brothel Coming To Vegas

Easily the funniest thing I've heard lately. Entreprenuer Dennis Hof,famed for his Nevada brothel The Moonlight Bunny Ranch, is planning to open a science fiction based brothel 90 miles outside of Las Vegas called The Alien Cathouse. Catering mostly to Star Wars Nerds and Trekies this new brothel will allow you to live out your fantasies of sleeping with Princess Leia from Return of The Jedi or the Orion Slave Girls from Star Trek, as well as other famous SciFi babes. Hof will even be inlisting the help of famed Madam Heidi Fleiss as the brothels "Chief Alien Design Queen". No word on when the club is slated to open though owner Hof expects the renovation of the property, itself a former brothel, to take only a few months. Let's just say Vegas just got a little more interesting.
Geeks Rejoice: SciFi Brothel Coming To Vegas