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Max Spencer
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So Instagram is now going to use photos taken by its users in advertising, and they may or may not disclose to viewers when the advertising is happening.

I have no idea how this will work, and I'm once again glad that I don't use Instagram... but I know a lot of people who do, and many of those people are celebrities to some degree.

Here's what I'm wondering: if Kaley Cuoco uses Instagram to share a photo of her and Melissa Rauch doing something silly, does that mean that Instagram can take that photo and use it to advertise for something silly without compensating them for what becomes a use of their likeness for commercial purposes? I can see that being a pretty serious shitstorm if it happens.

This sort of dovetails with another concern I have about the automatic opt-in nature of much of our digital life: if I'm in someone's address book, and they use an app that grants the developer full, unfettered access to their address book, I've now had my information given without my consultation or consent to a developer, and I never even knew it was happening. 

Just as we have a "do not track" option for our webbrowsing habits, we're going to need to have something similar for other aspects of our increasingly-digital lives: from contact information to our location to moving and still images of ourselves. Because it's no long enough for me to be careful with my opt-ins and online sharing; now I have to ensure that every single person around me is careful, as well.

Below is a list of the major companies supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act currently moving through the US legislative process. If passed it will severely diminish the freedom of the internet worldwide, one of the principles on which the technology is.

To sum up the power of SOPA...

Baby Got Back video clip original Big Buts

Now I've put that there, 'Def American' have the power to have all of Google's advertising revenue and payment systems halted with immediate effect and their entire site and domain taken down subject to the court injunction from the US Department of Justice. The bill makes sites directly repsonsible for any and all content generated by their users. This makes it essentially impossible for any website to accept any kind of user-generatd content without first rigourously checking it to make sure it doesn't link to any kind of copyrighted material, or even that it is in any way helpful to someone who is trying to "steal" copyrighted material.

A lot of music and film companies are desperate to stop you using the internet because they think that is why they're not making any money any more, not because they are charing absurd prices for laregly awful products. They seem to have got a lot of their millionair board room buddies to sign up as well which is why you see the likes of Nike and Dolce & Gabbanna on the list. I would encourage you to boycott products and services of these companies and where possible briefly explain to them why.

Personally I have steered clear of illegally downloading music, instead using Spotify. However, should this bill be passed I will make every effort to never pay for a single piece of intellectual proerty owned by the companies below ever again.

Here's open letter signed by 83 of the people who created the internet (or rather the technology behind it):

Adidas America
Bose Corporation
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
CBS Corporation
Comcast Corporation
Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
Dolce & Gabbana USA, Inc.
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Fender Musical Instrument Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
HarperCollins Publishers
Lacoste USA
Lexmark International, Inc.
L’Oréal USA
Major League Baseball
Monster Cable Products, Inc.
Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)
National Basketball Association (NBA)
National Football League (NFL)
News Corporation
Nike, Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc. ;'( Why Ninetendo?!
Oakley, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
Ralph Lauren Corporation
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Reebok International Ltd.
Rolex Watch USA Inc.
Rosetta Stone Inc.
Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Estee Lauder Companies
The Timberland Company
The Walt Disney Company
Tiffany & Co.
Time Warner Inc.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Universal Music Group
Visa, Inc.
Warner Music Group
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Zippo Manufacturing Company
Zumba Fitness, LLC

More complete list:

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"This is not a time right now to wishful[ly] think, the government is going to sort things out. The governments don't rule the world, Goldmann Sachs rules the world."

- Alessio Rastani, Independent market trader, speaking on BBC news.

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Scientists say they seem to have observed particles travelling faster than the speed of light.

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Enough reason to re-elect Obama?:P

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Monitoring BBM and arresting people for having water fights. Proud to be a British citizen.

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Fuck everything about this government (not just because of this).
David Cameron's comments on social media and rioters in full:

"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. [And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.]
"So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers."
UPDATE: the bit in square brackets above was in the scripted statement but the prime minister did NOT actually say it in the House of Commons.
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