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Fri, 06 Mar 2009

New RSS system and Feeds

For a long time we've been running separate instances of Blosxom to handle
our two categories of News, as well as our Reviews and Commentary to do with
books, classical music, pop/dance/etc music, games, and podcasts. Blosxom has
served us very well but always had some problems playing well on a PHP site ...
integration proved difficult.

So now we've installed a Wordpress system which offers quite a few advantages.
First of all, all the categories can be easily browsed within one page plus it's
very easy to add something new or disappear something.

Hopefully, you'll like it! Here is the page ...

The feeds can be subscribed to by mousing over the categories on the right
hand side of the page. The new feeds are as follows:

classical music
news: general
news: music, games

We will keep the present feeds running until perhaps the end of April,
so no great rush, although news items will be posted to the new feeds
from today... March 6 09.

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Wed, 04 Mar 2009

How to fight Gov Spying

EFF Releases How-To Guide to Fight Government Spying

'Surveillance Self-Defense' Gives Practical Advice on
Protecting Your Private Data

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
launched its Surveillance Self-Defense project today -- an
online how-to guide for protecting your private data
against government spying.  You can find the project at

EFF created the Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate
Americans about the law and technology of communications
surveillance and computer searches and seizures, and to
provide the information and tools necessary to keep their
private data out of the government's hands.  The guide
includes tips on assessing the security risks to your
personal computer files and communications, strategies for
interacting with law enforcement, and articles on specific
defensive technologies such as encryption that can help
protect the privacy of your data.

"Despite a long and troubling history in this country of
the government abusing its surveillance powers, most
Americans know very little about how the law protects them
or about how they can take steps to protect themselves
against government surveillance," said EFF Senior Staff
Attorney Kevin Bankston.  "The Surveillance Self-Defense
project offers citizens a legal and technical toolkit with
tips on how to defend themselves in case the government
attempts to search, seize, subpoena or spy on their most
private data."

Surveillance Self-Defense details what the government can
legally do to spy on your computer data and communications,
and what you can legally do to protect yourself against
such spying.  It addresses how to protect not only the data
stored on your computer, but also the data you communicate
over the phone or the Internet and data about your
communications that are stored by third party service

"You can imagine the Internet as a giant vacuum cleaner,
sucking up all of the private information that you let near
it.  We want to show people the tools they can use to
encrypt and anonymize data, protecting themselves against
government surveillance," said EFF Staff Technologist Peter
Eckersley.  "Privacy is about mitigating risks and making
tradeoffs.  Every decision you make about whether to save
an email, chat online, or search with or sign into Google
has privacy implications.  It's important to understand
those implications and make informed decisions based on
them, and we hope that Surveillance Self-Defense will help
you do that."

Surveillance Self-Defense was created with the support of
the Open Society Institute.

For Surveillance Self-Defense:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at


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Sat, 28 Feb 2009

Mstation new features (for RSS)

f e a t u r e s: March 2009

Music 1 - Brooklyn duo Telepathe have a new album out next month and are playing around NY at the moment before spending the summer in Berlin, Germany.Interview and Podcast

Wetware/Software - Transmediale is an annual festival of emerging music and visual art. We wents along to find an unexpectedly geeky event that sought to include things relating to climate change and the like. Report

Music 2 - Alexandre Decoupigny has worked on installations as well as "pure" music and will be appearing at Bleepfest Berlin 3. We chat about audio and visual amongst other things. Interview

Wetware - Last month's Faust interview made Michael Powell interested in Ardnt Peltner, a German language broadcaster in Berkeley, CA. Interview

Travel Update - We update our Berlin guide to include a much larger section on Freidrichshain, which is the part of Berlin where Bleepfest Berlin 3 will be held on Easter weekend. Report

Hardware Update -We found out the answer to the problem of dissappearing MIDI control between a PC and an M-Audio keyboard. The answer is ... here

Music Podcasts - This month it's Brooklyn duo Telepathe with a track from their next album due out in April 09.Podcasts

More Music - Monthly Video Picks This month's pick is ...The Cure. Videos

Games - Will the recession which hasn't hit gaming yet increase small teams and creativity?? Commentary

Music - Pop/dance the world of DJ's - mannered? boring? Surely not. Commentary

Music - Classical Baron K listens to some lovely Early Music and brings Belgian beer into the discussion. Commentary

Books - Iggy Pop, Bad Monkeys adventures, Watching the English, and growing up as a surfer in LA. Reviews

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Sat, 21 Feb 2009

Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems

Published: February 18, 2009
BEHIND the cash register at Smoke Shop No. 2 in downtown San Francisco, Sam Azar 
swipes a customer’s credit card to ring up Turkish cigarettes. The store’s card 
reader fails to scan the card’s magnetic strip. Azar swipes again, and again. No luck.

As customers begin to queue, he reaches beneath the counter for a black plastic bag.
 He wraps one layer of the plastic around the card and swipes it again. Success.
 The sale is rung up.

more fixes at

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Wed, 18 Feb 2009

Where killer asteroids congregate?

Later this year, NASA will send spacecraft to explore two strange regions of space, where the gravity fields of our planet and the sun cancel out. They are the belly buttons of the solar system, trapping rocky debris that falls into them - and that may make them reservoirs of killer asteroids.

more at

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Tue, 10 Feb 2009

Venice Carnevale

Venice Carnevale with its masks, balls, and multifarious other activities, starts this week. This site in English and Italian will give you some clues.

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Kindle 2 out have just released their update to the e-book reader, the Kindle.
It has seven times more memory than the original and a sharper screen. Commentators
have said the price of US$359 remains high but the unit continues to be popular
with travelling professionals.

Should you want one immediately, just click below and Mstation will benefit as well.

As a matter of interest, we also wondered what software was around for the Linux-based
Kindle and we came across this interesting page which talks about getting a console
going and interesting ideas connected with the fact that the Kindle has unlimited
wifi internet access built into the price.

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Mon, 09 Feb 2009

EFF wants protection from DRM

EFF Calls on Federal Regulators to Protect Consumers from

DRM Technologies Impede Innovation and Thwart Consumers'

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today to
mitigate the damage that digital rights management (DRM)
technologies cause consumers.

In public comments submitted to the FTC today, EFF
explained how DRM, backed by the anti-circumvention
provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),
impedes innovation and thwarts consumers' rights to make
full use of their digital music, movies, software, and
videogames.  EFF urged the commission to study DRM's effect
on competition in the marketplace, investigate whether the
effects of DRM are fully disclosed to consumers, and
promote a set of "Best Practices" that, if followed, would
help alleviate the burdens of DRM for consumers.

Industry leaders argue that DRM is necessary to protect
sales of digital media, but DRM systems are consistently
and routinely broken almost immediately upon their

"DRM does not prevent piracy," said EFF Staff Attorney
Corynne McSherry.  "At this point, DRM seems intended to
accomplish a very different purpose: giving some industry
leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and
nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance
between the interests of copyright owners and the interests
of the public.  The best way to fix the problem is to get
rid of DRM on consumer products and reform the DMCA, but
the steps we're suggesting will help protect technology
users and future technology innovation in the meantime."

EFF's comments were filed in conjunction with the FTC's
Town Hall on DRM, set for March 25 in Seattle.  The Town
Hall is free and open to the public.

For EFF's full comments to the FTC:

For more on the FTC Town Hall on DRM:


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Fri, 06 Feb 2009

fashion: Boys Go Girl

We guess there are certain parts of town where this won't ride ... from the NYT...

'Perhaps you haven’t really noticed yet, but fashion-forward men, like my new trinity of adoration — Bryan Boy, Yu Masui and Jean-Paul Paula — have been feminizing their ensembles and pushing past females in the next-level department. And I, for one, am rapt.

The look, to be clear, is not at all about cross-dressing. It’s men dressing mostly like men but with accessories and the odd (Prada lace) halter from the women’s department. It’s so genius that it makes you wonder why every guy doesn’t do this. It also makes me think I am getting sartorially lazy; it’s time to step up the game.

Believe me, to see Yu Masui in tattered khakis and an old white tee beneath a Jil Sander spring/summer ‘08 sheer color-block dress is to know that you are really not thinking outside the box.

more at with pics.

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Wed, 04 Feb 2009

World Copyright Summit

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, is pleased to announce that the World Copyright Summit 2009 will take place 9 & 10 June 2009 in Washington DC.

All components of the creative industries will discuss scenarios and solutions for the future at the World Copyright Summit 2009, the world’s premier international cross-industry forum on copyright and intellectual property issues. The time has come for “New Frontiers for Creators in the Marketplace!”

Following a successful inaugural edition in Brussels in 2007, the second World Copyright Summit will gather during a two-day conference all the stakeholders in the creation, licensing, usage and dissemination of intellectual property and creative content. This exclusive global event will attract high-profile creators and creative industry leaders as well as top policy-makers from Capitol Hill and from the rest of the world.

You can book your place now [] at the World Copyright Summit.  More information will be posted onto the website soon. 

Cost options for attending World Copyright Summit

Bring 3 delegates for the price of 2! 

Early bird (valid before May 1st 2009)
CISAC member: $800
Partner Organizations: $900
Commercial Organizations and non-CISAC members: $1099

Standard (from May 1st 2009 onwards)
CISAC member: $899
Partner Organizations: $999
Commercial Organizations and non-CISAC members: $1199

We look forward to seeing you in Washington next year!

The World Copyright Summit Team

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Mon, 02 Feb 2009

Futuresonic2009 (Manchester)

Urban Festival of Art, Music, and Ideas
13 -16 May 2009

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Fri, 30 Jan 2009

Webcast of of RIAA Hearing?

EFF Leads Call of Support for Live Webcast of RIAA Hearing

Public Deserves Inside Look at File-Sharing Lawsuit

Boston - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a
federal appeals court today to allow the live webcasting of
a hearing in one of the thousands of lawsuits that have
been brought against users of peer-to-peer file-sharing

The District Court granted defendant Joel Tenenbaum's
request to allow an upcoming hearing to be webcast on the
website of the Berkman Center at Harvard, which also serves
as Mr. Tenenbaum's counsel.  The record company plaintiffs
have now asked the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to
block the webcast.

"The record companies have long maintained that they
brought these lawsuits against ordinary users to start a
national conversation about peer-to-peer file-sharing,"
said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.  "What better way is
there for the public to learn what the record companies are
doing than by seeing for themselves what happens in these

In the amicus brief filed today, EFF -- representing a
coalition of media and public interest nonprofits -- notes
that the RIAA litigation campaign has elicited strong
opinions and passions on both sides, making this case a
good one for an initial experiment in webcasting federal
district court proceedings.  EFF's brief was also signed by and the Internet Archive, both of which
have offered to host the webcast in addition to the Berkman

Also joining EFF's coalition is Ben Sheffner of the
"Copyrights & Campaigns" blog, who supports the views of
copyright owners.  Mr. Sheffner notes that, because he
lives in Los Angeles, the availability of a live webcast
would greatly enhance his ability to provide his readers
with a full picture of what occurs at the hearing, without
having to rely on accounts in other publications that he
believes are biased against the plaintiffs.

Other signers to the EFF amicus brief include the Media
Access Project, Free Press, and the California First
Amendment Coalition.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
recently announced that it had stopped filing new lawsuits
against individual file-sharers.  Yet it is continuing to
pursue thousands of ongoing lawsuits like the one against
Mr. Tenenbaum in the federal courts.  Over the last five
years, more than 35,000 people have been targeted in the
RIAA's litigation campaign.

For the full amicus brief: 

For more on the RIAA's lawsuit campaign:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at


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Mon, 26 Jan 2009

Book on Open Source for artists and designers

echo -n "sorry for ><,"
while true; do 
    echo -n " please >>"



What does Free and Open Source software (FLOSS) provide to artists and
designers - beyond just free alternatives to established tools from
Photoshop to Final Cut?

"FLOSS+Art" is the first book to answer this question. It shows how the
value of Free Software lies in its differences and creative challenges,
as opposed to out-of-the-box and off-the-shelf solutions; how it allows
to work and collaborate differently with computers, and therefore enable
different kinds of art and design.

The Internet - whose infrastructure is based on free software and open
standards - is an obvious example of such an adaptable, collaborative
artistic medium. "FLOSS+Art" also covers more traditional artistic
domains such as graphic and audiovisual design, and how they shift from
customer-centric to community-driven work.

FLOSS+Art critically reflects on the growing relationship between Free
Software philosophy, open content and digital art. It provides
first-hand insight into its social, political and economic myths and

With contributions by: Fabianne Balvedi, Florian Cramer, Sher Doruff,
Nancy Mauro Flude, Olga Goriunova, Dave Griffiths, Ross Harley, Martin
Howse, Shahee Ilyas, Ricardo Lafuente, Ivan Monroy Lopez, Thor
Magnusson, Alex McLean, Rob Myers, Alejandra Maria Perez Nuñez, Eleonora
Oreggia, oRx-qX, Julien Ottavi, Michael van Schaik, Femke Snelting,
Pedro Soler, Hans Christoph Steiner, Prodromos Tsiavos, Simon Yuill.

Compiled and edited by Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk.
With the support of the University of Huddersfield and the Willem de
Kooning Academy Rotterdam University.




FLOSS+Art is triple licensed GNU GPL, GNU FDL and Free Art License.
Rather than just providing a "free" PDF, FLOSS+Art.v1.1.eBook-GOTO10
is also available and contains all the Fonts, Images, PDF and Scribus 
source files that were used to make the book.

Feel free to branch a translation or fork the chapters! ;)



On the 11th of February, 19:30-21:30 the book will officially be
launched with a public presentation in the Willem de Kooning Academy
Rotterdam, one of the sponsors of the publication. This event is
featured in the framework of the new research program "Communication in
a Digital Age" of the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy
Rotterdam University.

The editors Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk will give an overall
presentation of the book, along with several of the contributing authors
who will briefly introduce into its more specific subjects and chapters.

Full program and details to be announced later, stay tuned!


Subscribe to Mute and get a FREE copy of FLOSS+Art - limited offer

Subscribe to Mute and guarantee to be first in line for our quarterly
collection of provocative articles on culture, politics, and technology.
What's even better, for a limited time receive a free copy of GOTO10's
new book FLOSS+Art with your subscription.

Quarterly, critical, and cheap, Mute is a concrete jumble of all that's
still grunting in the inter-finessing hyper-barrios of culture,
politics, and technology 2.0. As capitalism yawns towards the apocalypse
we match it issue by issue with a sustained critique of everything
existing, from exo prole-bashing and shanty chic to academic aut-onanist
or phone the Mute office: +44 (0)20 7377 6949


echo ":*"


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Tue, 20 Jan 2009

Watch that temper in US air

by Ralph Vartabedian and Peter Pae 
January 20, 2009
Reporting from Los Angeles and Oklahoma City -- Tamera Jo Freeman was on a Frontier 
Airlines flight to Denver in 2007 when her two children began to quarrel over the 
window shade and then spilled a Bloody Mary into her lap.

She spanked each of them on the thigh with three swats. It was a small incident, but 
one that in the heightened anxiety after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would 
eventually have enormous ramifications for Freeman and her children.



Passengers pounce on man who made...
A rare dip in airline traffic in 2008
travel blog link
A flight attendant confronted Freeman, who responded by hurling a few profanities and 
throwing what remained of a can of tomato juice on the floor.

The incident aboard the Frontier flight ultimately led to Freeman's arrest and 
conviction for a federal felony defined as an act of terrorism under the Patriot 
Act, the controversial federal law enacted after the 2001 attacks in New York and 

"I had no idea I was breaking the law," said Freeman, 40, who spent three months in 
jail before pleading guilty.

Freeman is one of at least 200 people on flights who have been convicted under the 
amended law. In most of the cases, there was no evidence that the passengers had 
attempted to hijack the airplane or physically attack any of the flight crew. Many 
have simply involved raised voices, foul language and drunken behavior.

Some security experts say the use of the law by airlines and their employees has 
run amok, criminalizing incidents that did not start out as a threat to public safety, 
much less an act of terrorism.

more at LA Times

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Tue, 13 Jan 2009

11 Best Foods

Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters. How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.

Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes. How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.

Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes. How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.

Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol. How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.

Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants. How to eat: Just drink it.

Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants. How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.

Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death. How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.

Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins. How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.

more at NY Times

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