Jun 23 2017
On 12 July 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12.
As of right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai (local mirror) has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience. We're also seeing some shenanagains taking place, in the form of tens of thousands of fraudulent comments being entered on the FCC website. (one, two, three) Funnily enough, all of the comments are exactly identical. I sure as hell didn't post a comment saying that net.neutrality was a bad thing, and I've never been a customer of Comcast. I also don't live in Seattle. (local mirror) You might want to check to see if your name is in there without your permission, too. Additionally, properties of some of the bigger ISPs (such as Tumblr, owned by Verizon) are being pressured internally to not support net.neutrality or July 12. (local mirror)
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users - tilting the playing field in their favor. We could also be facing a Net in which little websites like mine will not exist for all intents and purposes because folks like me won't have the money to even buy into the "slow lanes" of throttled Internet access. We may even be facing a Net in which censorship of "inconvenient" websites may be imposed under the guise of failure to pay or not falling into one of the defined content types required to buy into one of the speed classes.
But, on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.
The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we've shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!
Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12
Jan 28 2017
UPDATE: 20170131 - The Eventbrite page for this event has gone live! Sign up!
I haven't had time to write about #datarefuge yet, in part because people a lot closer to the matter have been doing so, and much better than I could at the moment. An entire movement has arisen around scientific data being 451'd because it's politically inconvenient, and not many of us know if it's being erased or just shut down. We also don't know for certain if it's being copied elsewhere for safekeeping so we're doing it ourselves. To do my part, I've been communicating with some of the organizers and having Leandra suck down data as fast as my home link will permit to store it on her RAID array. But, the important thing:
On 11 February 2017, the Datarescue SF Bay event will held at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science from 0900 PST until 1500 PST. That day, everybody at the event will identify data sets at risk of vanishing, work out how to best mirror them, and download them as fast as possible so they can be archived elsewhere. Bring your drives, bring your boxen, and get ready to burn up bandwidth.
Dec 19 2016
20161228: The DNA has started a Patreon account to accept donations!
20161222: It seems that the DNA Lounge is coming up with contingency plans, and they need our help!
Yesterday, JWZ, owner and operator of the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, CA made an upsetting and disturbing announcement.
The DNA Lounge is in danger, and may have to close down soon.
JWZ bought the space that is now the DNA roughly 17 years ago and during that time it's become one of the premiere hotspots of SF nightlife. Just about any kind of event you can imagine has been thrown here, from a local motorcycle club renting it out while their primary clubhouse was undergoing repairs to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's silver anniversary, and raves a-plenty over the years. Many have come to see a burlesque show or two at the DNA, or catch an up-and-coming band in a new and strange genre of music, or even come for a slice of pizza and a glass of beer while hoping to be tapped for the stage show of Point Break Live once upon a time. I don't think anybody can easily count the number of concerts the DNA's hosted over the years (though I've no doubt that JWZ would probably know off the top of his head). Long time readers are probably aware that I usually haunt Death Guild, the country's longest running gothic/industrial club night as well as Turbo Drive, the only synthwave dance night I've found anywhere in the country.
In the last two years attendance has dropped off noticeably, and it's hurt the DNA Lounge in a real way. JWZ says that he can't afford to subsidize it anymore, and it might have to go out of business for good.
All I can ask of any of you, gentlebeings, is this:
Please re-share this post far and wide, so that as many people can see it. If you'll be in the Bay Area for any length of time, please visit the DNA Lounge. Go on a night of the week and pay the club a visit, it's not expensive to get in and the people there are genuinely cool folks; treat them well and they'll treat you well. Give the music on that night a fair listen that night. You might like it, you might not, but either way you'll be exposed to something new. If you can't make a concert or a club night (or the night's really not your thing), visit DNA Pizza next door and pick up breakfast, get lunch, or maybe have a slice or two and a cold one after work. DNA Pizza's open 24x7 and they have some of the best pizza in SF. Hell, if you're on the other side of the country and there's no way you'll make it to California in time, consider buying something from the online store?
The DNA Lounge is a fixture in the community of San Francisco. You can see just about any kind of live act, hear styles of music you've never heard before, and dance until your legs are sore. This club means a lot to many of us and we don't want to see one of the few places that we can be ourselves go away. Please, if you can, help JWZ out and keep the DNA Lounge alive.