WikiLeaks Announces Leak of “The Facebook Logs”

December 13, 2010

“The internet is truth’s conduit… the individual is not exempt from the truth.”
Julian Assange (on the release of The Facebook Logs)

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, announced yesterday amidst the aftermath of his recent release of the US Embassy Diplomatic Cables, that his organization has more to come. Far more. In fact, WikiLeaks will soon be releasing the largest, most comprehensive collection of private information yet: The Facebook Logs.

During a short press conference at an undisclosed location, Assange proudly announced that an anonymous whistle-blower submitted the entire contents of Facebook’s servers to WikiLeaks after a difficult breakup with his long-term girlfriend. He accompanied his leak with the following explanation of his motive. “After consuming two bottles of wine in an attempt to drown my sorrows, I hacked her profile and discovered not only that she had been cheating on me for almost a year, but that she re-gifted a CD that I gave her last Christmas. Enraged, I began to wonder if it was acceptable for a person to have personal secrets, thoughts, ideas, and relationships,” he stated.

One thing led to another, and soon after consuming a hastily rolled “coner” for inspiration, the hacker deployed a hacking bot and reached a state of “moral euphoria.” The bot worked remarkably well, and managed to hack every single user’s profile page and then use Facebook’s new “Download Your Information” feature to upload each user’s information directly to WikiLeaks’ servers. WikiLeaks was grateful for the submission, and has since been overwhelmed by the task of preparing almost 7 billion risque private messages, drunken profile pictures, and incriminating status updates for public release.

We had the chance to briefly question Assange as he tried to escape a posse of young women trying to have unprotected sex with him in an attempt to accuse him of rape under Swedish law. “This is an unprecidented collection of documents,” he said. “The internet is truth’s conduit, and, contrary to popular belief, the individual is not exempt from the truth.” When asked about whether or not individuals’ private relations should be receiving the same scrutiny as government communications, Assange replied, “Truth is truth, and that’s the truth. They say the truth hurts, but I say that if we weren’t all such selfish, lying, conniving assholes, the truth would be rather balmy.”

The users of The Facebook community, which has more than 500 million members worldwide, are understandably enraged by this violation of privacy, and as many as 70% of Facebook users have changed their status to protest and reflect their disgust over this issue.


eBooks vs. Tree Books

July 26, 2010

Over the past several years the market has been flooded with newfangled reading devices called “eReaders,” and virtually every website, magazine, and newspaper from Engaget to The New York times has compared these devices. But for some strange reason nobody has thought about comparing eReaders to the ultimate standard: tree books. You know, those old fashioned collections of words and pages that  are made of dead plant matter. The ones that have filled libraries, bookshelves, coffee tables, and even washrooms since the beginning of time?

Ereading does sound like a great idea. I mean, who doesn’t want to have an “iPod for books” to carry around? Well, it might sound like another gadget is all you need to make reading fun and modern, but the market has missed the boat in a way that only a comparison can truly expose.

As such, let’s look at the innovation of recorded music. It all started around 1860 with crude recordings of live musical performances. At first the idea that one could listen to a performance without musicians was awe inspiring in itself, but over the past 150 years people have pushed the limits on recorded music, and the advancements have been astronomical. We have seen phonographs, records, 8 tracks, cassettes, CDs, SACDs Mini Discs, and now “virtual” media such as MP3s. The downside to such advancement, however, is that you experience the frustration of having to repurchase your entire music library every time such an advancement occurs to stay current. But the frustration and cost is worthwhile for many consumers, because each advancement is accompanied by a marked increase in performance, convenience, and quality. Music, you could say, is a technology where advancement is welcome, so long as the benefits outweigh the cost.

Reading is different. Books have existed in their current state for hundreds and hundreds of years, and the only real change was the transition from handwritten material to the invention of the printing press some 500 years ago. The printing press ushered in the modern era by increasing literacy rates and allowing the mass consumption of knowledge and ideas. Since then, the last real change to print material was the typewriter and personal computer, which increased the efficiency in which books could be composed and produced. So what does this mean? Well, after hundreds of years one can still open a book, understand the format, read the material, and take something away from the experience. Try doing that your proprietary Amazon eBook in just 10 years time.

One might think that after such perpetual sameness ebooks might seem like a welcome change, but there is a reason that they remained unchanged for so long. They worked, well! Regardless, the important distinction between music and print material is that “advancements” like the ereader are not a an improvement over real books. In fact, besides the ability to carry hundreds of  books in a small package, the technology truly limits the reading experience by providing numerous distractions; causing eye strain, reducing the efficiency of study or research (you can only view one book at a time), preventing the reader from sharing the material, and all but eliminating tactile interaction with the “book.”

Unfortunately, due to the success of the iTunes store, Books are being treated like music in every regard, but this could not be further from the truth. The brilliance of iTunes was that it allowed the user to import their current music collection from CD, and then slowly start experimenting with purchasing digital media. Once the more customers got used to “owning” non-physical media, they bought more, and it’s gotten to the point where physical media is on the way out.

The Amazon Kindle Store and Apple iBooks, however, make you start from scratch and, as mentioned, any advancements that might exist provide no incentive for consumers to replace existing books, much less their entire libraries. Unlike music, the costs do NOT outweigh the benefits.

If this is the case, then why buy ebooks? And are eBooks really an alternative to real books? Take a look at this (albeit somewhat satirical) analysis and decide for yourself:

The bottom line? Ebooks are no match for the real thing… yet. Books, unlike music, have been unchanged for hundreds of years, and ebooks are not cost effective, nor do they provide any real advancement over a physical book.

However, in a cost comparison, the Amazon Kindle does appear to be competitive when compared to purchasing hardcover material for casual reading. So, if you must, get an ereader for casual reading and traveling, but don’t expect to burn your books and get rid of that space-sucking bookshelf any time soon. If you’re truly serious about reading, and not just pretending to read while you surf Facebook ad infinitum, you’ll stick to real books, and avoid the iPad like the plague.


If this isn’t epic, I don’t know what is!

February 1, 2010
haha… what are the odds!

YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MAUX0osQi4&feature=player_embedded

-Sean.

Imported from The Exscribition


Radiohead vs. Alberta for Haiti Relief

January 25, 2010

Radiohead, an alternative rock band from Oxford, England, hosted a benefit concert for Haiti this past weekend which raised a staggering $572,774 US in financial aid for the country, which was essentially destroyed by earthquakes earlier this month.

Tickets for the one-off concert concert were sold at an online auction with no bidding cap in order to raise “as much money as possible for the cause” and the band, although busy recording their eighth studio album at the time, figured playing the show was “the least they could do” to help.

The star-studded Los Angeles audience was extremely generous and, after hearing the financial results mid-concert, lead singer Thom Yorke is quoted as saying, “Fuck me! $572,774?… what did you do to get a ticket? Borrow money from your dad?”

In spite of being “in studio mode,” which resulted in an admittedly rusty stage presence and an open invitation to “feel free to sing along… as chances are we’ll forget the words,” the concert was well received and the band played hit tracks including Paranoid Android and Morning Bell, which may well be the best song of all time.

In what has been called a “bizarre turn of events” by some, the concert has caused a stir in some regions, where citizens have noted that the five piece band has managed to outdo the efforts of their entire populace.

Most notably, the province of Alberta, Canada, which is one of the most oil-rich regions on the planet and the only debt-free province in Canada, managed to scrounge up just $500, 000 Canadian for the cause. While any donation is surely welcome at a time such as this, some have called Alberta’s efforts “a slap in the face.”

When reporters approached Premiere Ed Stelmach about the pertinent issue at the 31st annual “Half Way to Stampede Breakfast” in downtown Calgary, he said, with a mouthful of plump sausages, “I’ve not heard of The Radioheads (sic), but they sure sound like they’re nice folk. Yee haw!” When asked to give the question at least a moment’s thought and reply with some sort of insight before blurting out a stereotypically shallow response and scrunching up his face like a cactus while speaking, Stelmach declined further comment and headed back to the grill for a second helping of “the best damn pancakes (he’d) ever had.”

In the meantime, the federal government has offered to match any donation made by Canadian citizens, and Albertans are urged to “show Radiohead who’s boss” and donate time or money to the relief agency of their choice.

-Sean

Imported via RSS from: The Exscribition


Bored with your Chia Pet?…

January 21, 2010

…Try a Chia Politician instead! What a hilarious invention… I’ll take two!

As funny as this is, I sure hope that they release a “Conservative-Minded Canadian Politician” series featuring Stephen Harper, Ralh Klein, and, just for laughs, Rob Anders and Preston Manning!

-Sean.


Image Fail #8

November 13, 2009

Name spelling fail. I msut be dysexlyc, how esle do you explian tihs!!

-Sean.

Imported via RSS from: The Exscribition


Image Fail #7

November 6, 2009

Deer fail… ouch!

-Sean.

Imported via RSS from: The Exscribition