Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan temporarily released from Iranian prison

Cyrus Farivar sez, "Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan was temporarily released from a Tehran prison, after having been incarcerated for 26 months, according to a report Thursday on Mashregh News, a conservative Iranian news website. The site was among the first to report Derakhshan's conviction at the end of September on charges of 'conspiring with hostile governments, disseminating anti-Islamic propaganda, disseminating anti-revolutionary propaganda, blasphemy, and operating and managing obscene pornography websites.' The account was confirmed by a source close to the Derakhshan family, who wished to remain anonymous and said Derakhshan was 'happy to be out,' adding 'we have been pushing for this for months, especially after his trial, but it has always been refused.'"

Iranian blogging pioneer temporarily released from prison  Canadian/Iranian blogfather Hoder faces death penalty; will Canada ... GoDaddy blocks friends of jailed Iranian blogger "Hoder" from ... Iran: blogger Hossein "Hoder" Derakshan confirmed in prison ... Persian blogger Hoder on how to build a blogosphere - Boing Boing Hoder on Bam earthquake and Iran's goverment - Boing Boing Stuart Hughes' audio chat with Hoder about blogs + Iran - Boing Boing Search Engine video podcast: Free Hossein Derakhshan, even if he's ... Read the rest

Canadian/Iranian blogfather Hoder faces death penalty; will Canada intervene?

Jesse Brown writes:
If you haven't been following the case of Hossein Derakhshan, here's all you really need to know: he's a blogger and a Canadian citizen who was arrested in Tehran in 2008 because of things he wrote. He was finally tried, and now he may be executed, and the Canadian government has done nothing to help him.

There are many more details, of course. Details of good things he's done, like when he taught thousands of Iranians how to blog in their own language, and when he traveled to Israel to show his readers that Israelis were not their enemies. And there are details of lousy things he's done, like when he decided to support Ahmadinejadand and his nuclear arms program, and when he turned on peaceful friends and baited the media.

And there are details that muddy his case: he is also an Iranian citizen, and Iran doesn't recognize dual citizenship, and that makes it harder for Canada to do anything, and so they haven't tried.

But these details are irrelevant. "Hoder" is a Canadian citizen with the same rights as any other, and the fact that his country is sitting idle while he faces execution is a shame and an outrage.

If the Canadian Embassy is pressured to do something, they might, and that could well save Hossein's life. The Canadian Embassy in Iran can be contacted at

Free Hoder Iran: blogger Hossein "Hoder" Derakshan said to have been jailed ... GoDaddy blocks friends of jailed Iranian blogger "Hoder" from ... Read the rest says it will stop registering domains in China

Domain registrar GoDaddy says it will stop registering Web sites in China in response to new regulations requiring domain registration applicants to disclose extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves. Whatever your thoughts about GoDaddy as human rights champions and defenders of all that is good in the world, the move could be symbolically significant: they're the world's largest domain registration company. Read the rest

Search Engine video podcast: Free Hossein Derakhshan, even if he's kind of a jerk!

Search Engine's Jesse Brown sez, "Canadian/Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been held and tortured in a Tehran prison for over a year, without being charged. Both the Canadian and Iranian governments seem content to let him stay there. The media has also largely forgotten his case. Hoder's imprisonment begs the question: do we only fight for the freedom of dissidents whose beliefs we agree with?"

JESSE BROWN: Free Hoder (Thanks, Jesse!) Previously:Iran: blogger Hossein "Hoder" Derakshan said to have been jailed ... GoDaddy blocks friends of jailed Iranian blogger "Hoder" from ... Iran: blogger Hossein "Hoder" Derakshan confirmed in prison ... Hoder on Bam earthquake and Iran's goverment - Boing Boing Persian blogger Hoder on how to build a blogosphere - Boing Boing Stuart Hughes' audio chat with Hoder about blogs + Iran - Boing Boing Read the rest

GoDaddy blocks friends of jailed Iranian blogger "Hoder" from renewing

GoDaddy won't allow supporters of blogger Hossein Derakhshan on MetaFilter to renew, which expires in three weeks. "Hoder," as he is known online, has been in prison in Iran for the past year. (via Cyrus Farivar) | UPDATE: looks like it's been successfully renewed now. Read the rest

Godaddy: Don't Buy dot-TV Domains, The Island is Sinking.

If I'm reading the pop-up window correctly, domain registrar Godaddy recommends against purchasing .tv domain names because the island of Tuvalu, which the domain represents, is sinking. One more reason not to get bent out of shape over the fact that CNN bought "" out from under us back in 2007. (via Eddie Codel) Read the rest

Yesterday at Boing Boing Gadgets

Yesterday on Boing Boing Gadgets: • We learned that we had easy access to 626,369 free songs. • Implored you to stop paying attention to megapixels. • Casio decided to go head-to-head with the iPhone. • We lusted after an awesome shirt of a Helvetica robot. • An army of creepy mannequins pimped the Vaio P. • Professor Rubik announced his successor to the Rubik's cube. • We did not consider very seriously the possibility of paying $26,000 for a glass pool table. • Joel posted another entry in the Optimist/Pessimist series, this time about T-Mobile offering loans for new phones. • We dug a lot of green design gadgets concepts, but especially a used coffee ground printer. • Timex's new WS4 series of watches is plenty swank. • Asus announced a new netbook with a ten hour battery life. • GoDaddy's SuperBowl advertising featured a lot of T&A, and that's causing a surprising amount of controversy. • Speed Dating came to the iPhone, and Joel was the first in line. • Rob reviewed a host of gadgets: the Pharos smartphone, a Mickey Mouse speaker and the Pyramat speaker. • We promised to post more about awesome medical equipment with lasers. Come read us! Link Read the rest

RateMyCop censored by GoDaddy -- a site where the general public can comment on police officers -- has been shut down by its hosting company, GoDaddy. The company claims his site had been engaged in "suspicious activity." Various police departments and organizations have spoken out against RateMyCop, arguing that it would reveal the identities of undercovers (undercovers are not listed on RateMyCop) or put police in danger by revealing their addresses and personal information (personal information and addresses are not given on RateMyCop), or that it would be used to grind axes against cops (RateMyCop has a facility for police rebuttal).
Unfortunately for the startup, the company it chose for hosting is known to be quick to censor its customers. In January of last year, GoDaddy took down entire computer security website -- delisting it from DNS -- to get a single, archived mailing list post off the web.

On that occasion, at least, it gave the site's owner 60 seconds notice. GoDaddy notified Seto by posting its "Oops!" message to his public website.

"You put on my website for me to call you, when you have my phone number?," says Sesto.

Link Read the rest

LJ purge drama: Who are "Warriors for Innocence"?"

BB reader Leighton Cowart says,
I’ve been watching your series on the LiveJournal purges with interest. It turns out that the registrant for the domain matches those for the old front company Coastal Management, which listed a bunch of fraudulent positions on job-hunting sites like CareerBuilder back in ’05–presumably for datamining purposes. Both WfI and Coastal list their address as

15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

…and their phone/fax as 480-624-2599

Here’s the info on, and for Coastal Management (need to scroll down just a bit).

With all the complaints about’s spyware, I wonder if they cooked up the LJ pedophilia scandal in order to get hits on their website from older and badly secured browsers in hopes of collecting data from interested parties. Perhaps some of your readers would be in a position to find out more about this connection?

Previously on BB: LiveJournal/6A re: mass strikethrough - "we screwed up."LJ purges incest, slash fic under pressure from self-appointed "warriors"

Reader comment: Sounds like the answer may not be as sinister. Vann Hall says,

Hey, the reason that and Coastal Management both have the same registration info is that both domains were registered using GoDaddy's "private" domain feature. All such domains are really registered to Domains by Proxy, Inc.; they "map" to the actual registrant only within GoDaddy's internal database...
Sam says,
The WHOIS information for the "Warriors For Innocence" that was posted about here is in fact the address and phone number for
Read the rest

VA Tech: guns on campus, TV producers on Facebook

Large-scale incidents of gun violence like yesterday's mass shooting at Virginia Tech University are inevitably followed by gun law debate.

Today, some around the 'net are pointing to relatively relaxed gun laws in Virginia as a contributing factor to the killings. Virginia allows effectively unlimited purchase of assault weapons for anyone over 18 who passes a background check; it's for children over 12 to possess firearms under certain circumstances, and a legal loophole makes it okay to buy second-hand guns at gun shows with no waiting period or background check.

But some pro-Second-Amendment folks argue the opposite. University administration and local law enforcement failed to protect VA Tech students from this and previous campus shootings, their logic goes, so there should in fact be more guns on campus -- in the hands of law-abiding students and profs alike, for self-protection.

BB reader Aaron Krowne says,

Virginia had just outlawed Concealed Carry on campus (At Virginia Tech's behest).

I am a VT alum.

The link is a blog writeup of mine pointing out that Virginia Tech had just "outlawed" concealed carry and reiterated its "gun-free campus" policy. In fact, in response to a scare last fall, the school had disciplined a student who was licensed and carrying a concealed weapon, and since then, agitated to defeat a Virginia law that would permit campus concealed carry.

I've quoted VT spokesman Larry Hincker, including an essay of his last year in a local paper. The stance now looks pretty foolish given the tragic result this zero-tolerance "no guns" policy has produced.

Read the rest lying turdmongers

BoingBoing reader Darren Rowse just pointed us to a shady site called World Blog Center, which touts itself as "prestigious virtual real estate location in which blogs from a variety of industry sectors are housed." I prefer to think of them as lying assholes, because they're claiming that BoingBoing is a "tenant," and exploiting the BoingBoing logo and name without our permission in their press releases, on their website, and -- according to folks they've hit up for cash -- in spam emailings soliciting paid membership.

On Darren's blog, a spokesperson named Amja lied that BoingBoing gave them permission and asked to be a part of their dishonest scheme -- we did not. Snip:

Every single company we have listed in our news section has taken up space, and we have the emails to prove it. The latest company is Business Week Online who came on board today.

At the time, BoingBoing was listed in their news section. We did not consent to this, by email or otherwise. We've asked them to remove our name from their press re-lie-leases ( is the first word in 9 copies distributed through various online press release services), we've asked them to remove our name from their site. They have failed to do so.

On their website, they claim, "The World Blog Center is PRESTIGIOUS. It is EXCLUSIVE and you could say ELITIST... you can't simply BUY your way in." Well, for the record, BoingBoing didn't.  Link to more on Darren's blog. Read the rest

This is your brain on Super Bowl ads: research conclusion

The final results are now in from UCLA neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni's latest experiment -- he used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain responses in a group of subjects as they watched TV commercials during the Super Bowl. Parts 1 and 2 of the research, with images, are here.

Image: "Activity in the amygdala while watching the FedEx ad. The ad lasts 45 seconds and the caveman crushing is shown toward the end (approximately where the black arrow is). There is a large increase in neural activity in the amygdala when the dinosaur crushes the caveman." (Thanks, John Brockman!)

Previously: This is your brain on Super Bowl Ads

Reader comment: Luke The Obscure says,

Great article, the only thing missing are the actual ads, which can be found here at Google video. Also included are two GoDaddy commercials that were apparently rejected due to content.
Read the rest

Broadcast Flag will kill Superbowl Commercial parties

Every year, EFF president Brad Templeton throws a special Superbowl party: they tivo the whole Superbowl, ignore the football, and watch the ads. This might be the last year that they get to do this, though: when the Broadcast Flag kicks in this summer, this kind of shenanigan will require hardware that's illegal to make and sell:
At my party, it was very high-tech. An antenna on the roof fed the FOX HDTV signal coming over the air into a tuner card located in a server computer in my workroom. This computer ran the MythTV "backend" and did the fairly simple task of recording the video stream to the disk.

Another computer sat in my living room next to the HDTV. This was the "frontend." On my commands, it connected to the computer upstairs over my house internet and pulled down the video file at the time point we were watching. HDTV was literally coming into the living room over ethernet, and it felt very 21st century.

During one high-tech moment, it was also clear that the TV was really a computer display. After the buxom Godaddy censorship parody, somebody commented that Godaddy had a different ad that had gotten refused by Fox and it was on their web site. A few clicks and I had the Firefox browser on my screen. With my 6 megabit connection, I installed the latest Flash player in about 10 seconds and was quickly playing the refused ad. Then it was back to our regularly scheduled commercials.

Read the rest

Dumbass "Copyright Registration" "service"

GoDaddy has created an idiotic "Copyright Registration" service that provides "expert assistance" in registering your copyright -- something that you have virtually no good earthly reason to do, and something you absolutely don't need any pricey "expert assistance" with. They offer a goony little badge you can put on your work to show that it's really, really, s00per-copyrighted, too ("Display this on your site and show thieves and others that you have federally assured rights to damages and attorneys' fees"). This is about half a step above the Green Card lotto scam and pay-for-book-doctoring "services" that prey on would-be artists' anxieties. Link (Thanks, Devon!) Read the rest

Domain registrar GoDaddy emails customers about Verisign

BoingBoing reader Chris says, "Just got an email from GoDaddy as part of their quasi-spam/email alerts. They are going to sue verisign over the dns wildcarding." Here's a snip from the GoDaddy email Chris and other customers received:
Have you ever needed to ask for directions while you were driving? Let's say you stopped to ask a trusted authority, like a police officer. You'd expect that officer to be honest, right? Wouldn't you expect him or her to provide you a safe, direct route to where you needed to go? I sure would. But what if that officer instead misdirected you to a shopping mall? A shopping mall, it turns out, that actually paid the officer for every sale that resulted? That would be an abuse of the police officer's authority. It would be capitalizing on your misfortune.

We believe that's what VeriSign is doing with its "Site Finder" marketing scheme. We believe that it is once again abusing the power to oversee all .com and .net domains it was granted by the U.S. government.

Link to GoDaddy pdf press release on the SiteFinder lawsuit. Read the rest

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