Stopping Data at the Border

Another article in the never-ending war against net neutrality and the fight against privacy.

The ITC recently gave itself the power to rule on data as it crosses US borders, as a result of a complex 3D printing case. If the ruling holds, it could have huge implications for the way data moves across the global web, and give the MPAA the site-blocking powers it’s been grasping at for years…

If you shipped in a boatload of Expendables DVDs, the ITC would have no problem stopping it at the border — so why not an ISO file? The technical mechanisms for blocking that file in transit would end up looking a lot like site-blocking, and the memo goes on to explain why targeting consumer-facing ISPs would be their best strategy in the wake of a favorable ruling by the Federal Circuit. It’s still unclear whether copyright would fall under the same rules (the current ruling may only apply to patents), but if it does, it would be Hollywood’s best legal channel for blocking sites in transit, supporting the same ISP-based blocking regime that was proposed by SOPA.

Giving the MPAA power to block sites because of the content on the sites is a slippery slope, one that should make everyone uncomfortable.

SNL’s Serial Spoof is Absolutely Brilliant

This past weekend SNL took on the popular podcast Serial with a brilliant digital short. Cecily Strong does a great impression of host Sarah Koenig. The spoof investigates the story of Kris Kringle, an elf who allegedly leaves presents in people’s homes. Watch it below.

Winter Breaks by Bop Alloy

winter breaks

My favorite jazzy hip hop group, Bop Alloy, released a new EP for the holidays. The album comes as part of their Kickstarter stretch goal for the last album, Another Day in the Life of. The new album is entitled Winter Breaks and can be downloaded from their bandcamp page.

According to the site, ‘Winter Breaks’ compiles 6 sonically vintage Hip Hop tracks. Producer, Marcus D handles the live instrumentation mixes masterfully while infusing jazz, soul and a pinch of Afro beat samples. Lyrically, Substantial touches on the personal, social, and economical effects of the Holiday season, using thoughtful lyricism, wit, and a variety of flows to paint a different portrait of Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.

Best of all, it’s name your own price (but support good music and throw some dollars their way).

An Oral History of Sports Night

sports night

Speaking of great Aaron Sorkin TV shows, Entertainment Weekly has a great article about Sorkin’s first show, a 30 minute short-live comedy entitled Sports Night.

Set in the high-stakes world of a live sports news program, the Aaron Sorkin-scribed dramedy followed the behind-the-scenes exploits of fictional “Sports Night” coanchors Casey (Peter Krause) and Dan (Josh Charles), their brilliant producer Dana (Felicity Huffman), harried associate producer Natalie (Sabrina Lloyd), gruff executive Isaac (Robert Guillaume), and whip-smart researcher Jeremy (Josh Malina).

The series was less about sports and more about the interactions of the characters who hosted and ran the fictional Sports Center-like show. It featured Sorkin’s trademark quick and witty dialogue, with a ton of Capra-esque optimism about the world. While it only lasted two seasons (one with a horrible laugh track), it is, in my opinion, one of the best comedies ever made. I watch both seasons at least once a year. Read the entire article. It’s great.