France Declares Internet Access to be a Human Right!

Okay, so this actually happened a week ago, but I was really busy and didn’t have time to post about it. But in the light of what is happening in Iran today this is so much more important. Internet a human right? That’s quite some distance come for something was invented just a few decades ago. However, in today’s environment internet access might as well be freedom of speech. Of course internet access doesn’t guarantee that you can say whatever you want, but then again neither does free speech. In fact, in most countries there is more freedom of speech on the internet than there is in real life.

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All eyes should be on Iran

The most important thing in the world this week is happening in Iran, and it seems that most of the world is going on oblivious. I brought it up with my coworkers at lunch today and none of them even seemed to realize that anything out of the ordinary was even happening. So let me say it straight.

The estimates from reporters on the ground in Tehran estimate the crowd on Monday to be between one and two million. That is an enormous number for a city of roughly 13 million people. These people are all protesting one thing. Their one chance to make a choice was taken away from them. The government of Iran is one where candidates come pre-approved with permission from the country’s ruling Clerics. In theory they are saying, these are the candidates we are happy with. You may choose between them. The old phrase, “never taunt a tiger” came to mind, as the meat of freedom was so transparently pulled away by the over confident establishment.

The cowardly US government is maybe too afraid of losing “diplomatic” ground to say it, but I will, the government of Iran is now blatantly illegitimate. It deserves neither respect nor recognition in any part of the world. A more correct foreign policy decision here, would be to play the same game with Iran as China does with Taiwan.

But I digress, I got my answer today, on an Iranian twitter there was a short request. “Help needed from world: A low-bandwidth way to access yahoo msging via browser. #iranElection” I may not myself have the knowledge to do it, but I hope one of my readers will. And, I will keep watching for more requests to spread.

It still remains to be seen whether this nascent revolution will die out or mature, but it is the first to take such advantage of the internet. Iran is a nation of bloggers(If you look at nothing else look at this). The Cyberwar waged in Iran is already breaking ground in its level of scripting and sophistication. The news and communications for this revolution are being carried over the internet, and it seems that the revolution really will not be televised. The BBC’s news and satellite channels have been jammed, and all foreign media has been ordered out of the country.

These protests are not founded on the misguided wish that Mousavi won they are founded on fact. Both the speed of the election count and the final result are preposterous.

The one gnawing worry in the back of my mind here is why was this done at all? The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei already had undisputed power, no matter which candidate won he would have remained in charge. The political differences between the two candidates are not so great that he would risk such destabilization simply to get his choice of the two. If he really wanted Ahmadinejad he surly could have select other candidates in such a way as to split the opposition vote. Or maybe he did… but it backfired. But to me it looks like Ahmadinejad may have himself just carried out a back door coup…more on that later I suppose.

One last thing I want to show are two very interesting points in this video. The first is at about the 2 minute mark, and the second at 2:32 I wont deprive you of the freedom to come to your on conclusions.

As I went to post this I noted a request for people to set their twitter accounts to Iran and time zone to +3:30, I am registering for twitter now, and I hope you will do the same.

What can I do to help?

I’ve been watching the news coming out of Iran with baited breath. What is going on there right now is a stunning sight to behold. People are rising up against a totalitarian juggernaut and saying “no more”. I’ve been trying to compose a post that I think captures the situation. But, today what I really want to ask is “How can I help you?” I have great respect for the protesters in Iran and I have no interest in being an unbiased reporter or even a biased news analyst I want to help.

I can list 20 good readable articles about what is going on in Iran each with useful and valuable insights, but I want to do more. Should I join the hacking movement and help take down Iran’s virtual infrastructure? Help the voices that want to break free drill more wall through the foolish swiss cheese of the “mighty” perhaps by spreading word alone maybe I can make a difference. Or maybe I should fly into the country and join the protests (okay so I am an American son of an Israeli that’s probably not going to help). This is the most beautiful part of democracy in action, when people show the government that no use of force against them will silence them any longer. That government truly gets its power from the people and not the other way around.

Links
pajamasmedia
AP
bbc
Twitter delays maintenance for protesters
Theocracy in trouble

Bing picks up 2 points on Google

Honestly, I had dismissed Bing out of hand when it was announced. But, I just read a news article that makes me want to at least try it out. Apparently Bing has already picked up 2 percent more of the search market for Microsoft.

After my disappointment with Wolfram|Alpha, which REALLY needs to work on how it handles things its “Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input” I had figured it would be a few more years before we saw another serious attempt to displace google. Now I’ve only done a few searches but I definitely feel like I am getting better results from Bing.

Record turn out in the Iranian election

The Iranian presidential election appears as if it is going to have a had a record turn out. I hope this is good news for the reform candidate who last won an election with heavy turn out. He is expected to pick up votes from young, educated, and female voters. A Victory by the reform candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, could give the “West” a reasonable counter part for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

This election in many ways could decide if Obama’s diplomatic approach to handling Iran succeeds or fails.

I’m still here just really busy

I am sorry I haven’t had much time to work on blog posts this week. The company I work for is about to release a new product and I’ve been working hard to ensure that it is a success. Once we have released I suspect my work load will return to a level where I can post long posts again. In the mean time I think I will have to post mostly news links like the last two.

Supreme Court puts Chrysler sale on hold!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put a temporary hold on the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Fiat. This is great news for bond holders, who have been worried that the Obama administration’s policies of preferring unsecured bond holders over secured bond holders was undermining long standing contract law. These acts were driving up the interest rates on secured debt as bond holders were worried about losing their collateral.

I’ll write a more detailed article when I have a chance.