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Archive for February, 2012

Stop ACTA and TPP

I received a letter from “Fight for future”. Let’s share the content with you:

Hi–

Together, we beat SOPA in a huge victory for internet freedom.  But this Saturday, internet freedom protests are breaking out in over 200 cities across Europe.  Why?

Because the companies behind SOPA are using international trade agreements as a backdoor to pass SOPA-style laws

SOPA’s supporters are pushing two agreements: ACTA and TPP1.  ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders.  Sound familiar?  That’s right, ACTA is from the same playbook as SOPA, but global.  Plus it didn’t even have to pass through Congress2.

TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt.  Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.3

Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a secretive backdoor track that–even though it creates new laws–is miles removed from democracy.  Trade negotiators are unelected and unaccountable, so these agreements have been very hard for internet rights groups to stop.

But now the tide is turning.  Fueled by the movement to stop SOPA, anti-ACTA protests are breaking out across the EU, which hasn’t ratified ACTA.  The protests are having an impact: leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have backtracked on ACTA.4  Now a massive round of street protests in over 200 cities is planned for this Saturday February 11th.

We’re planning an online protest this Saturday to support the protests in the streets.  Why?  Because together we can drive millions of emails to key decision makers–and start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA.

Can you take part?  Click here to get the code to run on your site!

We just built an ACTA & TPP contact tool, and it’s not just a petition.   It’s code for your site that figures out the visitor’s country and lets them email all their Members of European Parliament–the politicians who will be voting on ACTA in June–or the trade negotiators behind TPP.  This direct contact between voters and their officials, driven by websites of all sizes, was instrumental in the fight against SOPA.  

We can use the same tactics to defeat ACTA & TPP, but we need your help!

Support the street protests with a flood of emails to the officials responsible for ACTA & TPP.  Get the code for your website!

Don’t have a website?  Tell officials in your country to scrap ACTA & TPP!   And spread the word about Saturday’s protests! 

This is going to be tough fight.  But we need to make secretive trade agreements harder to pass than US law.  If we don’t, our internet’s future belongs to the lobbyists behind SOPA.

This is just the beginning,

–Holmes Wilson, Tiffiniy Cheng, Joshua Blount & the whole Fight for the Future team.

P.S. This map of ACTA street protests in Europe is amazing. The largest has almost 50,000 RSVP’s!

 

Sources:

1. For more information on ACTA, read these excellent articles from Techdirt and La Quadrature du Net. For information on TPP, read this Ars Technica piece. For video, watch this.

2. Obama’s signing of ACTA may have been unconstitutional. See Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concernsand Techdirt.

3. Hollywood gets to party with TPP negotiators, public interest groups get thrown out of the hotel.

4. Ars Technica: Czech, Slovak governments backing away from ACTA, too.

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE-N) and Merck & Co. (MRK-N). will announce fourth-quarter results this week, but what investors will be most interested in are the companies’ forecasts for the year ahead.

Both companies have to grapple with the expiration this year of patents on their largest products. The expirations will clear the way for generic producers to enter the market, squeeze the revenues of the big brand-name pharmaceutical companies, and spoil their fat profit margins.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/features/at-the-bell/investors-watch-forecasts-as-drug-makers-patents-expire/article2318937/

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Intel is the latest company to buy up some patents, but rather than spending billions upon billions of dollars, it seems to have picked up a relative bargain, snapping up RealNetwork’s patents for just over one tenth of a billion, at $120m. …

http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/deals/52419-realnetworks-unlocks-value-in-patent-sale-to-intel

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【經濟日報專訊】團購網Groupon上市後首份業績令人失望,在上季收入急增逾倍的情況下,意外錄得4,270萬美元(約3.33億港元)虧損,主因國際業務稅項支出較高。

這家全球最大的團購網強調,今年將加大宣傳開支,以進一步刺激業務,但有關成效令人質疑,投資者擔心消費者或對團購漸感厭倦。

去年11月上市的Groupon交出首份業績,上季收入大增1.94倍至5.06億美元,優於預期的4.75億美元;但期內錄得4,270萬美元虧損,雖較前一年同期的3.79億美元收窄,卻令預期該公司終可扭虧為盈的市場大感意外。消息公布後,Groupon股價重挫,昨開市報21.66美元,大跌12%。

 

http://hk.news.yahoo.com/groupon%E4%B8%8A%E5%AD%A3%E8%9D%953%E5%84%84-%E5%89%8D%E6%99%AF%E6%B7%BB%E6%86%82-224313690.html

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【明報專訊】內地知名科技網站飛象網昨引述知情人士稱,蘋果iPhone 4S的Siri中文版本月開始測試,最快下月正式推出,但暫未知會否支援廣東話。

Siri是在iPhone 4S內置的一項語音功能,可讓用戶使用完整的語句與之對話,整合了語音搜索、程式應用和地圖導航等功能。然而,Siri現時只支援英、法、德3種語言。蘋果在Siri發布之初就表示,其目前僅為Beta版,未來將支援更多語言,而官方Siri文件中也表明,將在今年支援更多語言,包括中、日、韓、意大利及西班牙語。

飛象網報道,一名負責Siri中文開發的工程師最近透露,蘋果將於本月底開始測試Siri中文版,僅支援普通話,並對一些常用成語提供支援。至於Siri將來能否支援廣東話,仍未有消息。

(飛象網)

http://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E8%98%8B%E6%9E%9C%E6%9C%80%E5%BF%AB%E4%B8%8B%E6%9C%88%E6%8E%A8%E4%B8%AD%E6%96%87%E7%89%88-siri-224453079.html

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I found my ActiveX source code for USB 8255A board finally.  It’s time to upload the code to Googlecode: http://code.google.com/p/usb8255a/source/browse/trunk/USB8255A.vb

 

Anyone who interested in developing applications using USB 8255A board, you can following the Googlecode’s USB 8255A ActiveX Project.

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