Crowdfunding Jolla, a GNU/Linux-powered high-spec tablet

It runs an OS called Sailfish that can use Android apps as well its own native apps, and was created by a team with a bunch of senior Nokia refugees on it.

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Finnish national broadcaster will transmit blockchain over terrestrial digital TV network

The Finnish national broadcaster has partnered with Kryptoradio to broadcast the Bitcoin blockchain over the digital television network making it accessible over a non-Internet channel to 95% of the Finnish population.

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Finnish is easy


You thought learning German was hard? Try Finnish. English: Dog. Finnish: Koira, koiran, koiraa, koiran again, koirassa, koirasta, koiraan, koiralla, koiralta, koiralle, koirana, koiraksi, koiratta, koirineen, koirin...

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Peter "brokep" Sunde launches campaign for Finnish Pirate Party MEP

Peter Sunde, founder of Flattr and co-founder of The Pirate Bay, has launched his campaign for election to the European Parliament. Sunde -- who is a friend of mine, and who has my endorsement -- is standing for the Finnish Pirate Party.

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Pirate Bay founder runs for MEP

Peter "brokep" Sunde, co-founder of the Pirate Bay and Flattr, a service that allows fans to pay artists, is running for the European Parliament on the Pirate Party ticket (what else?). If I lived in Finland, I'd vote for him without a second thought. Cory 1

Finnish science fiction anthology

Desirina Boskovich writes, "It Came From the North, my brand new e-anthology of Finnish speculative fiction, is now available from Cheeky Frawg Books. Cheeky Frawg, a small press run by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is carving out a big name for itself as a quality purveyor of weird fiction and speculative literature in translation, with recent titles including the widely-praised Jagganath by Karin Tidbeck and very well-received Datura by Leena Krohn."

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Promising work on diabetes vaccine

Researchers at Finland's Tampere University have identified a set of viruses they believe to be responsible for Type 1 diabetes, and they have formulated a vaccine for it that has had promising results in mice. The enterovirus in question attacks the pancreas, and is similar to the virus that causes polio. They're forming a research syndicate to raise the €700m needed for human trials.

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Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde is a candidate for Pirate Party MEP in Finland


Peter "brokep" Sunde -- who co-founded The Pirate Bay and founded Flattr, a system for allowing fans to directly pay the artists they love -- is standing for the European Parliament in Finland on behalf of the Finnish Pirate Party. Sunde was raised in Sweden, but has Finnish roots, and is able to run there. His platform sounds like an admirable and sensible one, and my personal experience of him is that he's a good, thoughtful and honorable person. If I were in Finland, he'd have my vote:

“Non-commercial file sharing should of course become legal and protected, and must re-think copyright all together. Copyright is not the thing that makes ARTISTS money, it’s only for their brokers and distributors,” Sunde says.

“I’d rather see us sponsor culture by pushing more money to music education, and facilities for your people to create music. It would be much more sane for cultural advancement then extending copyrights.”

If elected Sunde hopes to be aggressive rather than defensive. This means not just responding to treats to Internet freedom, such as ACTA, but ensuring that this type of legislation doesn’t even make it onto the political agenda in the first place.

“I think there’s a huge possibility for us to impact the EU and I would like to be part of it,” Sunde says.

The Pirates are delighted to have the Pirate Bay founder on board. Harri Kivistö, chairman of the the Finnish Pirate Party, says that Sunde’s candidacy will raise the visibility of the party during the upcoming election. Perhaps more importantly, his values fit well within the Pirate Party movement.

Pirate Bay Co-Founder to Run For European Parliament [Ernesto/TorrentFreak]

(Image: Peter Sunde, Amphiteater, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from shareconference's photostream)

Finnish websites go dark tomorrow to call for copyright reform

As I've written before, Finland has an amazing grassroots legislation system that allows citizens to put any proposal with more than 50,000 popular endorsements to a Parliamentary vote, and the test-case for it is an eminently sensible copyright reform proposal that has been wildly successful. Tomorrow, Finnish websites will go dark and invite their readers to sign the petition, moving the proposal to Parliament.

The proposal addresses this concern by making small scale piracy a fine, at maximum, rather than its current maximum of two years in jail. By moving down the maximum penalty, the Finnish police would be more limited in their investigation methods - they won't be able to spy on citizens online, or confiscate property.

The remaining main points in the proposal include allowing fair use of copyrighted material for teaching and research, and adds fair use rights for parody and satire, which is unclear in the current legislation.

Artists' rights would also be strengthened, allowing artists to license their works through open licenses. Additionally, if a fan of an artist is being proscecuted, then the artist will have the ability to tell their representative organization to stop suing on behalf of their content.

Many decisions involving copyright in Finland are discussed and decided within a Copright Council, which includes representatives from the old media industries, such as the TV and recording industries. The proposal would also add internet operators, software, and gaming industries into that mix, as the scope of copyright expanding all the time.

Finnish Sites Blacking Out Tomorrow In Support Of Copyright Petition [Greg Anderson/Arctic Startup]

Sign the petition [Finns only]

Judge Death costume


Finland's Head Hunter is selling a set of accessories that you can use to turn yourself (or a mannequin) into a terrifyingly credible Judge Death from 2000AD's Judge Dredd. It appears that the costume was made by DeviantArt member Warrior1944, who may or may not be "Peter Olsson, a huge Dredd fan from Sweden," though I'm not entirely sure of the relationship here. Looks like 2000AD is gearing up for some legal enforcement against Head Hunter, so if you're planning on getting this, you should probably hurry.

Head Hunter has promised four Dark Judges, and a short film to be produced in Finland, using all of them.

JUDGE DEATH 1:1 STATUE/SUIT (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Pirate Bay calls cops on Finnish copyright enforcement thugs that ripped off its website


You may have heard that the private Finnish copyright enforcement agency CIAPC (the same creeps who confiscated a 9 year old girl's Winnie the Pooh laptop because she downloaded a song from an artist whose CD, t-shirt and concert tickets she went on to buy) have ripped off the sourcecode for The Pirate Bay in order to launch a website opposed to The Pirate Bay. In response, The Pirate Bay has reported CIAPC to the economics crimes unit of the Finnish police.

The “parody” defense doesn’t apply under Finnish law, TPB argues, citing a recent case in Finland.

“In a similar case, the prosecution and the Helsinki Court of Appeals have found that a parody site can violate the moral rights of the original author. Changing the logo or making slight edits to the text are not enough to remove this liability,” they informed the police...

“While The Pirate Bay may have a positive view on copying, it will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright,” Pirate Bay’s Winston says in a comment.

“CIAPC is like an ugly high school bully without friends. It’s time to take a stand. Cyber bullying is a serious matter to us all,” Winston continues.

Should The Pirate Bay be awarded damages they won’t keep that money for themselves. Instead, the money will go to the 9-year old girl who was “harassed” last year.

But, even if they “lose” it wouldn’t be a big deal, as that’s a win for the right to parody.

This right to parody is part of a new copyright law proposal in Finland, crowd-sourced by the public. Besides parody exceptions the Common Sense in Copyright campaign also aims to get rid of harsh punishments for non-commercial file-sharers.

I love that even if they lose, it will establish the case for a parody exception to Finnish copyright law, which The Pirate Bay supports and which CIAPC vehemently opposes.

The Pirate Bay Reports Anti-Piracy Outfit to the Police [TorrentFreak/Ernesto]

All-cheese grilled cheese sammitch


This grilled cheese sandwich, made by Dude Food's Nick, is made entirely of cheese -- the "bread" is Finnish "bread cheese," toasted in the skillet with American cheese within. It's an international sensation!

Seeing this cheese really got me thinking. What if I were to make a grilled cheese sandwich that used this cheese in place of bread? A grilled cheese sandwich that was 100% cheese! I had no idea if it would even work, but right on the packaging Carr Valley actually recommends sautéing this cheese in a skillet. Plus, the cheese is already partially baked in an oven — hence the dark brown spots on it — so I figured it would be worth a shot.

I started off by heating up some oil in a pan and cutting the block of bread cheese in half. I added a couple slices of American cheese to the middle of my sandwich and sautéed it for a couple minutes on each side. It turned out way better than I even expected. The bread cheese softened up a bit, but completely kept its shape, while the American cheese melted perfectly in the middle. Long story short, the sandwich was delicious!

The 100% Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich (via Neatorama)

Dial-up handshaking illustrated


Oona Räisänen has written a thorough and engrossing article about the noises emitted by dial-up modems while they connect and handshake, and the accompanying graphic (ZOMG HUGE) is nothing short of spectacular. It would make a great full-size poster -- maybe a framed art-print.

Now the modems must address the problem of echo suppression. When humans talk, only one of them is usually talking while the other one listens. The telephone network exploits this fact and temporarily silences the return channel to suppress any confusing echoes of the talker's own voice.

Modems don't like this at all, as they can very well talk at the same time (it's called full-duplex). The answering modem now puts on a special answer tone that will disable any echo suppression circuits on the line. The tone also has periodic "snaps" (180° phase transitions) that aim to disable yet another type of circuit called echo canceller.

Now the modems will list their supported modulation modes and try to find one that both know. They also probe the line with test tones to see how it responds to tones of different frequencies, and how much it attenuates the signal. They exchange their test results and decide a speed that is suitable for the line.

After this, the modems will go to scrambled data. They put their data through a special scrambling formula before transmission to make its power distribution more even and to make sure there are no patterns that are suboptimal for transfer. They listen to each other sending a series of binary 1's and adjust their equalizers to optimally shape the incoming signal.

The sound of the dialup, pictured (via JWZ)

Extreme multi-purpose tarp -- great for casual Fridays


Finland's Varusteleka sells a multipurpose "Jerven Fjellduken" tarpaulin that you're meant to wear, sleep under, and sleep in. It makes you look like a well-camouflaged Nordic Nazgul.

Jerven bag, those are almost words of power among hunters, outdoorsmen and soldiers the world over. Jerven has been making the Fjellduken since 1982, besides the obvious hunting trips and hikes the Fjellduken has seen action in Afghanistan in the hands of Norwegian and Danish special forces.

You won't find any hi-fi bullshit in your Jerven bag, the technical bits start and end at the zippers, that's it. All of Jervens products are made and developed by the very same people who use them. The unique design and materials make the Jerven bag an incredibly versatile and high performing piece of equipment. This is not your standard modern trinket, which relies on never ending lists of one after another more trivial properties and features to impress people, this is simple perfection at its best!

Jerven Fjellduken Extreme multi-purpose tarp / sleeping bag (via Making Light)

Grassroots legislative proposal in Finland poised to reform copyright law

A recent change to the Finnish Constitution allows the public to put any subject to put legislative proposals up for a Parliamentary vote by garnering 50,000 or more signatures. A hugely successful proposal that's rising through the petition service at present seeks to remake Finnish copyright law, putting in line with common sense and common activities:

Termed ‘To Make Sense of the Copyright Act’, the proposal (in Finnish) takes aim at modern changes in copyright law, and with the 2006 modification in particular, Lex Karpela. Included in the proposal are reducing penalties, increasing fair use, and easing the ability for people to make their own copies of items they already own (for format shifting, or backups)

According to the DailyDot, it was one of the most commented on, and best rated of the proposals on the Open Ministry site. At the time of writing, the proposal, which has been going for two days, has already gathered over 7% of its target, giving it an estimated success date of Feb 18th.

Part of the success might be due to the outrage the Finnish copyright laws generated when it was revealed that a police unit raided a 9yo girl and confiscated her Winnie the Pooh laptop after an allegation of sharing. The matter was eventually settled with the child’s father paying 300 euro to the anti-piracy company CIAPC.

Finland’s Crowdsourced Copyright Law Proposal [TorrentFreak/Ben Jones]

(Thanks, Sulka!)