Friday, June 27, 2008
This collection of clay tablets are interpretations done by Zacharia Sitchin. The tablets were found in what's now modern day Iraq. Famous locations where allot of tablets in ancient libraries were found: Sippar, Nippur and Nineveh.
Sitchin used well over 800 Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian sources for this collection. He named this bundle of tablets he selected 'The Lost Book of Enki' because he thinks that the stories where Enki speaks about himself are remnants of an ancient autobiography from Enki.
-Lamentation over the desolation of Sumer
-The tragic results of heavy nuclear war blasts on earth.
-How the Annunaki's fled their cities on earth as the nuclear cloud spreads.
-The debates in the council of the Annunaki's.
Enoch the Prophet, the great-grandfather of Noah and son of Jared (Genesis 5:18), who calls himself the Seventh of the First. These works are the product of ancient Jewish literature.
The Book of Enoch is declared apocryphal. Apocrypha comes from the verb 'crypto', which means 'to hide'. In other words these books were secret books, i.e, one that belonged to the catalogue of temple libraries under the guardianship of the Hierophants and initiated priests. It was never meant for the profane.
This version is called 1Enoch and is written in the Ethiopic language, with Aramaic fragments from Qumran and medieval Greek fragments.
Discovered in 1773 by James Bruce the version you read here is translated by Richard Laurence and until this day still not accepted as part of the Old Testament.
(Chapter 1 to 8)
-Introduction of Enoch
-Enoch was told by the sons of God, that in the future, the ones that express the light, joy and peace will inherit the Earth and the corrupted wicked ones will be condemned.
-Sons of God having sex with human females that bring fourth a race of giants that eventually turn themselves against mankind.
-Sons of God coming down to Earth and educate mankind.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
In a recent Sessler's Soapbox, Adam took the opportunity to comment on some of the trash talking on Xbox Live. During the course of that diatribe, he mentioned that he thought the First Amendment argument was a "crock of s***" with respect to trash talking. Well, as the resident lawyer here on Joystiq, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain the First Amendment argument is just flat out wrong. In fact, it's one of my greatest pet peeves that the First Amendment gets thrown about as an excuse for most everything that is said in the realms of gamer culture, from trash talking in online matches, to posts on forums, to comments on gaming blogs.
In case you're one of the thirty-four people worldwide who has never experienced the phenomenon in question, this is essentially what's being talked about: Typically, someone will do something offensive online, be that posting something in a forum or saying something on Xbox Live. Then, someone in power will either reprimand that user, often through censoring, or banning for the behavior. This is typically either followed by that user or some other user decrying this exercise of authority as a violation of their 'rights.' The responses do vary, but as a moderator of one of the biggest forums on the internet, I've seen everything from 'OMG U R VIOL8ING MY FURST AMNDMT RYTES!!!11!' to some very lengthy and polished answers. The only commonality between these varying levels of responses is that they are all wrong.
There's one other point of clarification that goes along with this particular discussion, and that's the 'First Amendment' reference. For those of you abroad who aren't as familiar with the American system, people are referring to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The text of the first amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Shortened to the relevant portion for this discussion: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech. Beyond the fact that this right is more or less limited to applicability in the US, the text of the amendment itself is a huge hint as to why this argument is doomed to fail.
In short: Any claim to freedom of speech being abridged online in the forums we're discussing isn't by act of government. Xbox Live, message boards, and blog comments are all activities on what amounts to the digital equivalent of private property. Think of it this way: If you were to go down to your local mall and start shouting things that offended other mall patrons, would the mall be able to force you to leave the premises? Of course they would. Your right to free speech is limited while you are on private property, be that real world property or someone's digital network. US courts have generally held that digital property is analogous to private property and thus have found against free speech in a number of cases, mostly on the issue of spam.
"In short: Any claim to freedom of speech being abridged online in the forums we're discussing isn't by act of government."
But there are two other fundamental reasons why speech can be limited on private digital networks. First, based on the Prodigy case, there is precedent that the owner of the network can be held liable for the content put on that network. Secondly, and more importantly, all of these relationships are governed by contract, and those usage contracts almost always have clear rules as to what is or is not acceptable behavior on that network. There are clear content rules on Xbox Live and most of the major message boards. Abiding by these rules is part of the terms of service that you agreed to in order to participate in that forum.
There are, of course, other laws beyond the US. Far be it from me to ignore three other potential sources of a right to freedom of speech, which are: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The text of each is as follows:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
European Convention on Human Rights:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
"Calling people names after they stick you with a grenade in Halo 3 is not political speech. "
Ultimately, though, I would expect that these would be interpreted much the same way as the First Amendment is, requiring that the censorship be some governmental action. More importantly, these declarations, especially the United Nations ones, have a significant problem with enforcement. There would be a far greater chance of enforcing the European Convention through the EU than there would be utilizing the UN measures. I'm not aware of any precedent for utilizing UN conventions to enforce free speech on private networks, much less on something that is as trivial as trash talk.
And in the grand scheme of things, trash talk is trivial speech. Freedom of speech has its roots in political speech, which in the US receives the highest protections from the courts. Calling people names after they stick you with a grenade in Halo 3 is not political speech.
Ultimately, content restrictions and behavior rules ensure that the online community can be enjoyed by the largest possible audience. While I'm not personally bothered much by the things people say online, I know a lot of people are. Even though I'm not bothered, there is a substantial amount of time when I didn't even bother to wear a headset, because I know most of the chatter is meaningless. Ultimately, that is what online play has become in the vast majority of matches. We, as a gamers, could have much more meaningful in-game interaction and build a much greater sense of community in online play if we wanted to. Maybe the better solution is to subdivide Xbox Live based on preferences like these, but that could create even more complications in online play. I would expect that even some of the most ardent supporters of freedom of speech online would likely be worn down if subjected to the dregs of in-game chatter for a few hours.
Mark Methenitis is the Editor in Chief of the Law of the Game blog, which discusses legal issues in video games. Mr. Methenitis is also a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with The Vernon Law Group, PLLC and a member of the Texas Bar Assoc., American Bar Assoc., and the International Game Developers Assoc. Opinions expressed in this column are his own. Reach him at: lawofthegame [AAT] gmail [DAWT] com.
The content of this blog article is not legal advice. It only constitutes commentary on legal issues, and is for educational and informational purposes only. Reading this blog, replying to its posts, or any other interaction on this site does not create an attorney-client privilege between you and the author. The opinions expressed on this site are not the opinions of AOL LLC., Weblogs, Inc., Joystiq.com, or The Vernon Law Group, PLLC. As with any legal issue that may confront you in a particular situation, you should always consult a qualified attorney familiar with the laws in your state.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Like the generals in Burma who knew about the cyclone and purposefully did not inform the population, it seems that the Chinese regime was well aware of the catastrophe which its population was about to be subjected to. It seems that they don’t care about the population.
Or worse, are their deaths just a studied method in containing population growth?
Unmadeinchina recommends the following articles:
Add even the earthquake news among China’s tainted products
by Judi McLeod
28 May 2008
From before it even happened, the coming news of the devastating China earthquake was being managed by the Communist Chinese government. In fact, the cadres of the Earthquake Bureau of Communist China held a major conference in Hangzhou on April 28, 2008—two weeks before the Sichuan earthquake. Suppressing news of earthquakes from the outside world was number one on the Conference agenda.
The title of the conference was "Training Course for Keeping Earthquake Information Confidential." Agenda item # 1? "Study of Regulations and Provisions for Keeping Earthquake Information Confidential. Agenda item # 2 was “Discussions of Working Methods for Keeping Earthquake Information Confidential."
It required the time and kindness of Chinese translators to write this Canada Free Press (CFP) story. That’s because the Chinese Communists do not broadcast these things in English lest the West may get to know.
The horrific devastation of the Sichuan earthquake is not even close to being over.
Meanwhile, it would seem that many things exported from China—including the news—is highly suspect.
Chinese Experts Predicted the Earthquake Three Times
By Zhu Jianguo
The Epoch Times
23 May 2008
Was there any prediction of the recent earthquake in China? The person in charge of the China Seismological Bureau told the media, "They did not receive any prediction, it is impossible to predict earthquakes." However, Chen Yiwen, an advisor of the Committee of Natural Hazard Prediction (CNHP) said, "This is a lie." Chen stated on a China Central Television (CCTV) program, "China Seismological Bureau cannot shake off its responsibility for the earthquake."
On May 14, 2008, Chinese Central TV Station Channel Nine (CCTV9) held a talk show about the Wenchuan earthquake. The program host Yang Rui interviewed Chen by phone during the program.
Chen commented, "The China Seismological Bureau cannot shake its responsibility!" The CNHP has offered the China Seismological Bureau predictions on three different occasions about the possibility of a strong earthquake in the Wenchuan area since 2006. Especially on May 3, 2008, Chen personally sent the prediction report to the China Seismological Bureau."
According to Chen, there have been other scientists also providing predictions of strong quakes in the Wenchuan area to the China Seismological Bureau. However, these serious scientific predictions received no consideration. The leaders of the China Seismological Bureau and the director of the Institute of Earthquake Prediction have never interviewed experts of CNHP. They have never acquainted themselves with its earthquake prediction work.
"It is a lie that the leaders of the China Seismological Bureau claimed that they've never received any predictions," said Chen.
Chen welcomes all media and websites to reprint his views from the website http://cheniwan.sea3000.net.
Seismologist's Prediction of Sichuan Quake Ignored, Says Scientist
14 May 2008
The same night of Sichuan's May 12 earthquake, Chinese scientist Li Shihui revealed on his blog that Chinese seismologist Geng Qingguo accurately predicted the quake and warned authorities about the disaster in late April. According to Li, Geng's report was ignored by Chinese authorities.
Mr. Li, a visiting fellow scientist at the Key Laboratory of Geo-mechanical Engineering at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in the article that Geng first raised the issue as early as 2006, warning that a major quake will occur in Aba area of Sichuan Province where the 5.12 quake happened.
According to Li, on April 26 and 27, the Committee of Natural Disaster Prediction, an organization under China Geophysical Institute, discussed Geng's findings and further predicted that a quake measuring 6 to 7 will occur between May 2008 and April 2009 in the area south to Lanzhou City where Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces meet. The committee's report was turned into China Seismology Bureau as a confidential document on April 30.
In addition, Geng Qingguo clearly pointed out that in Aba region a quake of 7 or higher magnitude is most likely to occur in 10 days before and after May 8, 2008. His prediction has been proved accurate in every aspect: magnitude, location, and time. But his report received no response from the authorities.
Li Shihui revealed in his blog that a seismologist predicted the Wenchuan earthquake in April.
“On hearing about Wenchuan's 7.8-manitude earthquake, Chinese seismologist Geng Qingguo was struck with a tearless grief," said Li in his blog. "His heart was bleeding."
The Solution: Boycott the Olympics - Boycott Chinese products
(as much as possible)
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Is it a publicity stunt at the expense of the homeless or a real gesture of hope? Google has announced that it will provide the homeless population of San Francisco with free voice mail for life. The system would give each homeless person who accepts it a free phone number with voice mail, for life.
The voice mail can be checked from any phone, giving the homeless unprecedented access to one of the basic life necessities the rest of us take for granted. Already people are saying this is nothing more than a gimmick for the company, known for its “Do no evil” slogan. It does seem that way on the surface, until you realize that Google isn’t innovating with this service idea.
GrandCentral, the company Google acquired last year that offers free phone numbers you can forward to any number in the United States, has even offered a similar service before. Now Google is using its clout and the GrandCentral service platform to roll out the service again.
Google isn’t the only company to offer this kind of service. Community Voice Mail offers free voice mail for people who are going through a crisis (homelessness definitely qualifies as a crisis).
To use the service being offered by Google via GrandCentral, the homeless have to accept the service. Once they do, they receive a number they can use for free for life, which is attached to voice mail. The homeless can then call their voice mail from any phone, any where, any time.
Is it a gimmick or stunt for Google? Of course it is. But it is one that really can do some good. It is incredibly hard to get and keep a job without a phone number, not to mention claiming benefits and other services we all take for granted. Too often the homeless can’t take advantage of basic services.
Having a phone number with voice mail attached opens a door back to the world for the disenfranchised and gives them respect and hope. How many of these disenfranchised homeless could there possibly be in the San Francisco area? Because of the temperate climate that makes it possible to be outside year round San Francisco attracts as many as 7000 or more homeless to its streets.
Long-term heavy use of marijuana may cause two important brain structures to shrink, Australian researchers said on Monday.
Brain scans showed the hippocampus and amygdala were smaller in men who were heavy marijuana users compared to nonusers, the researchers said. The men had smoked at least five marijuana cigarettes daily for on average 20 years.
The hippocampus regulates memory and emotion, while the amygdala plays a critical role in fear and aggression.
The study, published in the American Medical Association's journal Archives of General Psychiatry, also found the heavy cannabis users earned lower scores than the nonusers in a verbal learning task -- trying to recall a list of 15 words.
The marijuana users were more likely to exhibit mild signs of psychotic disorders, but not enough to be formally diagnosed with any such disorder, the researchers said.
"These findings challenge the widespread perception of cannabis as having limited or no harmful effects on (the) brain and behavior," said Murat Yucel of ORYGEN Research Centre and the University of Melbourne, who led the study.
"Like with most things, some people will experience greater problems associated with cannabis use than others," Yucel said in an e-mail. "Our findings suggest that everyone is vulnerable to potential changes in the brain, some memory problems and psychiatric symptoms if they use heavily enough and for long enough."
Among the 15 heavy marijuana users in the study, the hippocampus volume was 12 percent less and the amygdala volume was 7 percent less than in 16 men who were not marijuana users, the researchers said.
The researchers acknowledged that the study did not prove it was the marijuana and not some other factor that triggered these brain differences. But Yucel said the findings certainly suggested marijuana was the cause.
"STONED" FOR 20 YEARS
While about half of the marijuana users reported experiencing some form of paranoia and social withdrawal, only one of the nonusers reported such symptoms, Yucel said.
The heavy marijuana users, average age 40, said they had used other illicit drugs less than 10 times, the researchers said.
A U.S. group supporting legal sales and regulation of marijuana took issue with the findings, particularly because they were based on men who were such heavy, long-term users.
"These were people who were essentially stoned all day every day for 20 years," Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said by e-mail. "This study says nothing about moderate or occasional users, who are the vast majority -- and the (study) even acknowledges this."
"The documented damage caused by comparably heavy use of alcohol or tobacco is just off-the-charts more serious, and you don't need high-tech scans to find it," Mirken added.
Yucel said the researchers have begun new research on the effects of both short-term and long-term and moderate and heavy use of marijuana.
(Editing by Maggie Fox)
Monday, June 02, 2008
06/01/2008 - Every significant Internet provider around the globe is currently in talks with access and content providers to transform the internet into a television-like medium: no more freedom, you pay for a small commercial package of sites you can visit and you'll have to pay for seperate subscriptions for every site that's not in the package.
Almost all smaller websites/services will disappear over time and multinationals who are used to using big budgets to brute force their content into every media outlet will finally be able to approach the internet in the same way.
What can we do?
Internet providers have realized that the only way to not lose massive amounts of customers over this is to make sure there are no alternatives, that's why all major Internet providers are currently making agreements and planning to switch simultaneously somewhere in the year 2012. This is currently all going on under very strict NDA's (Non-Disclosure Agreements) because the last thing they want is the masses speaking out against it.
We were able to uncover this information because we have been well-known net neutrality activists for longer than a year now and over time have we've gotten in contact with many high-profile industry insiders. We will continue our activism and the I Power website serves as a platform for joining forces, sharing ideas and spreading awareness.
It's our responsibility to spread the word, use any sort of political or media contacts you may know. The more awareness there is, the more impossible it'll be for Internet providers to make this switch. Let's make sure that by 2012, ISP's won't even dare think about doing anything that goes against the principles of net neutrality.
Net neutrality has been a much debated issue for several years now and there have been many lawsuits in cases where an Internet provider blocked access to a certain competitor's site or simply crippled download speeds on services that they felt were using up too much of their bandwidth. But this new information that has now been confirmed by inside sources from major ISP's and content providers gives us a far bleaker vision of what the future of Internet freedom will look like if we don't take action in every way we can.
Why is this happening? The entire media and marketing industry is losing its grip on the upcoming generations of Internet-minded consumers. Statistics show that traditional media is losing popularity as the Internet continues to grow drastically every year. And the Internet is a completely different place: consumers aren't passive any more and advertisements don't have the same psychological effect they normally have on television. Internet users are very active and focused: they only go to the sites and services they want, and with an infinite amount of alternatives, users simply switch to something else if one service becomes too commercialized with annoying advertisements.With this in mind, it's no surprise that the past 6 years the industry has secretly been planning a 'take-over' to secure the Internet as a purely commercial playground.
Spread The Word
But there is hope... More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of net neutrality and now that we have uncovered what the industries have been plotting, it's not just about big corporations forming shady agreements, it's about what they will say to their users who will demand an explanation from their providers on what will happen to their access in 2012. As long as there are alternatives, we can pressure those providers who admit to being against net neutrality and favor those who take a stand and choose to give their users their freedom even after 2012. We can keep pushing for net neutrality laws and we can start spreading awareness on a massive scale to make sure that ISP's think twice before signing anything that'll go against the freedom that made the Internet into the important open medium that it is today.
It's our responsibility, spread the word and use any sort of political or media contacts you may know. Let's make sure that by 2012, ISP's won't even dare think about doing anything that goes against the principles of net neutrality.
For more information:Mail the I Power team at email@example.com