I'm heading to Salt Lake City this week for Westercon, followed by an appearance at the SLC Library on Monday. Next week, I'll be in PDX for three library gigs: Beaverton, Tigard, and Hillsboro. See you there!
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The latest update in the saga of Kleargear (previously) is downright bizarre. Having invoiced unhappy customers for complaining online about their crappy service and then ruined those customers' credit rating, the company now refuses to acknowledge a judgment against them from a US court because they insist that they're located in France and weren't served there.
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Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's recent op-ed in the Salt Lake City Tribune is full of quotes and paraphrases from promotional materials produced by the MPAA and execs from its member-companies in support of SOPA. This uncited quotation is the kind of thing that academics call cheating, and that the MPAA (incorrectly) calls "copyright theft."
“Congress can make a significant contribution to that effort with legislation to strengthen law enforcement tools. In the interests of American citizens and businesses, it is time for Congress to enact rogue sites legislation.”
The sentence above is copied from a pro-COICA column (bottom paragraph) written by Mike McCurry, co-chairman of the pro-copyright outfit Arts+Labs. At the time, McCurry’s piece was praised by pro-copyright lobby groups and in his writing McCurry also uses the previously mentioned sentence from the MPAA’s former president.
But there’s more. The column from McCurry, which is often quoted by the MPAA and affiliated groups such as FightOnlineTheft, displays more similarities with the article published by Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Perhaps he's just experiencing the ecstasy of influence.
In this video, witnesses to a car-motorcycle crash quickly self-organize to lift a flaming car off the trapped motorcyclist. In addition to being an inspiring, life-affirming clip, it's also a fascinating study in collective action. Generally, people are less likely to take action in an emergency when others are around (each person assumes someone else is better qualified to help), but you can see this effect being quickly overcome as some people join the effort, luring others, despite the flames and danger.
On a stretch of road by the crest of a hill in Logan, Utah, on Monday, a motorcycle and a BMW collided, throwing the cyclist under the car and causing the bike to burst into flames, which quickly spread to the sedan. Rather than fleeing those two flaming vehicles, a dozen bystanders rushed toward the blaze, lifted the car and pulled the injured man out by his ankle.Bystanders Lift Flaming Car to Save a Man (Thanks, Laurie!)