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Washington, DC - Today [August 5, 2005] the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a release announcing its new rule expanding the reach of the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The ruling is a reinterpretation of the scope of CALEA and will force Internet broadband providers and certain voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers to build backdoors into their networks that make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has argued against this expansion of CALEA in several rounds of comments to the FCC on its proposed rule.
CALEA, a law passed in the early 1990s, mandated that all telephone providers build tappability into their networks, but expressly ruled out information services like broadband. Under the new ruling from the FCC, this tappability now extends to Internet broadband providers as well.
This past weekend People's Food Co-op in SE Portland made history. During a conference with tech and IT folk from co-ops around the country these uber-geeks assembled and successfully rang out items on the world's first entirely free, open-source point-of-sale system. A point-of-sale system (or POS) is the software needed to run a cash register and manage the pricing of all the items in a store.
It all started several years ago when Tak Tang, the Technology Coordinator at The Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis, MN got frustrated at his stores POS system because of his inability to get the information out of it that would really be useful to the store. Like most proprietary software POS systems have a locked core that prevents anyone from copying the source code and also prevents anyone from getting inside to mine data that the software wasn't designed to spit out. Not being able to get inside of the software means expensive service calls to vendors when something goes wrong. It also means having to wait to purchase the next version for new features and bug fixes.
Well all of this was really cheesing Mr. Tang off so he decided to go ahead and write his own POS system. And he DID! IS4C (Information Systems 4 Co-ops) was born.
The City of Portland and Portland Development Commission held their first open meeting in a request for proposals (RFP) process that will create a citywide wireless broadband network beginning next year. Commissioner Sam Adams spoke at the meeting Thursday night at the Oregon Association for Minority Entrepreneurs on N. Vancouver St. in Portland, where he described a network that would be open to competitive internet service providers (ISPs).
The roughly forty attendees included staff from PDC, Tri-met, City of Portland, Portland Public Schools, Intel, Microsoft, as well as concerned and interested citizens and businesses who have been waiting to see how Portland will handle city-wide wireless internet in our typically innovative and community-oriented fashion. To date, much appreciation though little recognition has been offered to the Personal Telcos Project for their non-profit work in setting up wifi hotspots around the city.
i am a diehard cyberpunk fan, and information pattern junkie. as i started reading about the history of the making of the movie "tron", patterns started to emerge that were interesting to me. here is a brief timeline of some interconnections that might surprise you...life imitating art, and the inevitable feedback loops.
1975: john brunner's "the shockwave rider" is published. often regarded as the first literary concept of cyberspace, and a primary influence on william gibson.
1979: william gibson describes his first conscious thought of cyberspace, living in vancouver, b.c. with a group of fellow vietnam war draft dodgers:
"I was walking down Granville Street, Vancouver's version of "The Strip," and I looked into one of the video arcades. I could see in the physical intensity of their postures, how rapt the kids were inside were. It was like one of those closed systems out of a Pynchon novel: a feedback loop with photons coming off the screens into the kids' eyes, neurons moving through their bodies, and electrons moving through the video game. These kids clearly believed in the space games projected. Everyone I know who works with computers seems to develop a belief that there's some kind of actual space behind the screen, someplace you can't see but you know is there."
Free Geek Olympia had a benefit last night in Oly, with many there from Portland Free Geek speaking at the event at Traditions Cafe Sunday March 6th. It was a fun event, with some local performers, and then a salmon dinner with steelhead and greens and yummy BEETS and yams and carrots to add color and the wild rice mix rounded out the meal and made us all happy to hear the speakers talk about the amazing directions that Portland Free Geek has gone in, how many tons a month are being diverted from the land-fills, and other great ideas for Olympia to consider...
The humour and excitement about this new Free Geek opening was enhanced by the film shorts of a fundraiser that had been held (and reportedly is still a possibility for this coming saturday I think) at the Portland Free Geek awhile back, where the public was invited to come in a smash printers for donation, with their tool of choice, (including but not limited to a baseball bat, sledge hammer, golf club, and other implements of destruction- very entertaining if a little disturbing at how much the parents were getting into it, but awesome to watch the kids and adults enjoying smashing technology)
4 films made by indigenous communities in Southern Mexico through the Chiapas Media Project will be shown in 4 locations this Wed & Thurs. in PDX.
Mike Johanns, the new Secretary of Agriculture to replace Ann Veneman, is another one of Bush's pro-corporate cabinet picks who is pro-agribusiness and has ties to the biotech industry. (Veneman was on the board of directors of Calgene, the company to bring the first GE vegetable, the Flavr Savr tomato, to market.)
Portland activists and geeks are spending 6 days over the next 2 weeks assembling computers which will be send to community centers and schools in Bolivia and Venezuela. You can take part by lending a hand.
I setup a WiFi access point at laughing horse. Please come and browse the bookstore, and use their internet service. The store is located at 37th & Division. The WiFi point should be available from east and west of the store on division, and inside the store. Someone please try it out with your laptop and reply to this article, to let me know it's working. I don't own a computer.
Portland State University's administration, without consulting with the student body, has signed a contract with a private bank that will replace student identification cards with privately operated debit cards. The student body is angered by this decision, and is taking action to stop the contract.
In just over one weeks time, on the 26th of October, 2004, a young man will go on trial accused of Earth Liberation Front activity. If found guilty of all the charges placed against him, this young man faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years imprisonment.
Earlier in the year the same young man was threatened with additional charges which would of meant, if found guilty on all charges, he risked a mandatory minimum sentence of Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Happily these additional charges have not yet materialised.
The young man in question is Billy Cottrell, a PhD student from Caltech university. The following article is written in the hope of explaining how an innocent man has ended up behind bars and faces the possibility of such a horrific sentence.
This is a repost of a 2600 article. I'm transcribing it here because I feel it deserves a wider audience, I feel that people here need to hear this information, nobody has made it available online yet, and I can't find any copyrights on it, so it's fair game. Anything writen [in bold face between brackets] is me; everything else is wideband dreamer's (a.k.a. dark spectrum). BTW I can't remember what I dreamed last night; I think the government is sucking my dreams out of my head.
Budgets are tight in PDX: clinics close and families feel the squeeze from all sides. But, as always, there is money for more weapons systems to defend capital from any potential "bad guys" seeking equality, representation, rights, or other such absurdities.
Ossifer Felts at the Cheney protest was toting a Belgian FN303 "marker" rifle. It's powered by CO2, fires a .68 caliber "paintball" that contains very little paint, about 5% pepperspray, and the toxic heavy metal Bismuth the main ingredient.
This weapon caused damage to facial nerves when used against a union leader in Switzerland who objected verbally as the police beat down her son. Bismuth was imbedded all over the muscle and fat of her face, so close to nerves that it couldn't be safely removed by emergency room physicians. Her doctor called the police, asking what this metal was, and they denied knowledge of this weapon and responded that it must have been something thrown by a demonstrator. So here's the scoop before it happens in PDX. [ read more ]1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
July 2004 Cheney Protests
Monday, Oregon Circuit Court Judge Michael Marcus ordered the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to modify the U.S. Army's permit for the Umatilla Chemical Weapons incinerators, providing additional provisions to protect workers rights to raise safety and environmental issues. In today's ruling, Judge Marcus also found there was compelling evidence that the facility may produce many tons of pollutants, including toxic indstrial chemicals, known and unknown, including dioxin, dioxin-like compounds, lead, mercury, by products of agent degradation, and particles of incomplete combustion that could increease the risks of cancer, adverse neurological conseqeunces, and other injuries to the humans, the environment, and to wildlife.
Attorney Stu Sugarman stated "This decision is nationally significant becaue it strengthens workers' rights at chemical weapons facilities specifically and hazardous waste facilities generally. Workers no longer need to fear retaliation for simply telling the truth. This decision marks the beginning of the end of the era of management by intimidation at Army chemical weapons facilities."
July 24th at 7pm there will be a stellar slideshow at the Cascadia Rising Infoshop (1540 SE Clinton). The presentors include the creator of the 2002 memorable "Squat Slideshow" featuring slides and stories from the squats of Spain, as well as members of Wildroots.
Wildroots is a 30-acre radical homestead adjacent about 45 minutes from Asheville, NC. Their focus is on experiential learning and living, while practicing, developing and sharing skills - Wildroots lives off the grid, carrying their water from nearby streams, engaging in permaculture, gardening by the moon, natural and primitive shelter building, hide tanning, herbal medicine, nature crafts, and wild food foraging.
Don't miss it!
Summer is in full swing and there is a lot going on -- a couple of highlights....
Contact Cascadia RiSiNG! EcoDefense to offer/request a ride to most events!
Saturday July 24th @ 7pm
At The Cascadia Rising Infoshop (1540 SE Clinton)
Wildroots, the Cascadia Rising Infoshop, and the Cascadia RiSiNG! Collective present: Beyond civilization, a slideshow and discussion about realizing our wildest dreams.
This Thursday, March 18 Lewis and Clark Organization for Peace and Politics is hosting the Beehive Collective and a showing of the radical art action education banners and work. Come see and hear about their amazing stuff up close and personal.
They are interested in collaborating with local groups that are focused on global justice and international solidarity work, teachers interested in digestible discussions that utilize cartoons as well as facts, and student groups looking for inspired information ...
The featured presentation, available in spanish or english, is a portable- mural "tour" comprised of a 16 foot wide banner version of the FTAA poster, or a 16 foot high banner version of the Plan Colombia poster that displays the issues in context of the "bigger picture."
The banners are simultaneously accompanied by a six-foot tall fabric storybook, or projected "slide show" that has forty enlargements of scenes from the poster. Presenters take turns narrating through the mural's details and facts, helping to break down complex issues into smaller, more digestible chunks. All the while, continually explaining how they are connected to the "bigger picture."
The bees consider it vital to subvert the talking-head-at-the-podium approach to political discussion. We break down the model of the "expert" and the "audience" by relating information across language and learning boundaries. It's a wicked healthy way to interact about MORE bad news. Come see and hear about their amazing stuff up close and personal. It is worth coming up the hill for!
WHERE: Thayer Student Lounge, Tempelton Student Union, Lewis and Clark College 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road
To learn more check out: www.beehivecollective.org
When you add all the electricity it takes to run the internet + the impact of making PCs, it's a global warming and environmental nightmare..."the manufacturing of one desktop computer and 17-inch CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor requires at least 240 kilograms of fossil fuels, 22 kilograms of chemicals and 1,500 kilograms of water. In terms of weight, the total amount of materials used is about equal to that of a mid-size car."
A United Nations University study into the environmental impact of personal computers, due to be published later Monday, has found that around 1.8 tons of raw material are required to manufacture the average desktop PC and monitor and that extending a machine's operational life through re-use holds a much greater potential for energy saving than recycling.
According to the study, the manufacturing of one desktop computer and 17-inch CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor requires at least 240 kilograms of fossil fuels, 22 kilograms of chemicals and 1,500 kilograms of water. In terms of weight, the total amount of materials used is about equal to that of a mid-size car. [ READ MORE ]
Every monday of the month.... join the ECD against HLS...
Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is one of the world's largest animal testing labs, operating two facilities in England and one the U.S. (East Millstone, NJ). Every day inside its walls, thousands of animals suffer and die in painful and unnecessary tests. Exposed in five undercover investigations since 1989, HLS has given the public a rare glimpse inside the vivisection industry. The horrors witnessed inside HLS have given rise to one of the most successful anti-vivisection campaigns in the history of the animals rights movement.
A commenter writes: Hi, I've lived in Washington all my life. I've been watching in horror, the effects that the tech industry and Microsoft inparticular have had on the region. Great, they've brought they region a bunch of money. Wow. When I was a little kid in redmond, I lived next to a cow pasture and Redmond was quite a beautiful area. Now it looks like Beverly hills and the scums in SUV's are busy shaving the surrounding forests to the ground. There's one housing complex inparticular that I think represents what companies like Microsoft our doing up here, It's call "Redmond Heights". I had to commute through it every day for a couple of years and it was absolutely unelievable. The amount of forest they shaved down for it was incredible. It was once a deerbed, but now its a wasteland of gaudy three-car garage houses. 1000 acres, 1500 homes. I used to see dead deer along the main road of the development while waiting in rushhour traffic. One morning, while cars were at a complete standstill, stuck in this once grand forest, a big old buck stumbled into the middle of the road. He was just trotting in circles like he was drunk or had just been hit in the head with a brick. He couldn't figure out what was going on. Surrounded by cars, bulldozers and clearcut as far as the eye could see, he looked terrified. Just one small example of many.
Prometheus Radio: Sunday, Feb.1 @ Liberty Hall - 7 pm
Pete Tridish, media activist from the Prometheus Radio Project, will be in Portland to talk about the most recent skirmisheds in the battle for the airwaves. Just finished with putting a new Low pOwer radio station on the air for the Confederated tribes of the Umatilla in Eastern Oregon, he will be talking about some of the successful new community radio stations that have been built in the past year. For every successful low power applicant, there are dozens of groups that want to build stations that are still stuck in the process or not even allowed to apply. He will also talk about the upcoming lawsuit that Prometheus has filed against the FCC, which will decide the fate of dozens of multi-milliondollar media mergers that the major corporations are now pushing for. A techinical session will follow for those interested learning more about technical aspects of building community radio stations.
So writes the CEO of SCO Computing, Darl McBride, in a letter to the US Congress. He bases his case on the strength of recent legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and court rulings by the current ultraright US Supreme Court that have been almost universally reviled among the ranks of online civil libertarians.