Monday, 23 January 2012

SOPA, PIPA and the Dying Hollywood

If you are in the tech business and didn't know about SOPA or PIPA yet then something must be really wrong with you. For the non-geeks SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA(Protect Ip Act) are two legislations proposed by the United States congress and senate to give government the right to seize domain names of companies or individuals they feel are aiding the piracy of American intellectual property.
The idea naturally didn't go down well with people in the tech industry and people stood up against it. Major websites even blacked out for hours to register their protest against governments attempt to take over the Internet. In the end, the idea is suspended.

Naturally the lobby group pushing for the adaptation of the legislation are the ones representing big hollywood studios. This lead me to the realization that hollywood is dying. SOPA and PIPA is a desperate attempt by a sinking hollywood to grab anything they believe can keep them afloat for any time longer.

This point of view is even more aptly articulated by the folks at Y-Combinator. They did not only stop atacknowledging that hollywood is dying, they went as far as offering to fund a good startup idea that will accelerate that death. If you wonder why they are taking such a stand, then know that hollywood will not die a natural death with fighting back and in the process causing many casualties. The faster the demise, the less casualties they cause.

The following is from Y-Combinator's page requesting for startup ideas

"Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise. "

Read the whole article here

Friday, 6 January 2012

I Smell A Revolution

Not that I have ever been in a revolution before, but the recent protests regarding the removal of petrol subsidy by the Nigerian government smells different from any other protest I have seen in Nigeria before. I thought then, that most be the smell of revolution. I did once posted on this blog that our on-line revolutionaries were just talking and can't do much in the real world. I guess I may be wrong, people are indeed pushing into the real world. It all started when some people in Abuja communicated via some social network technologies to meet at the Eagle Square to sign a petition against the petrol subsidy removal. In less than two hours, more than a thousand people have gathered. And that's despite the fact that most Abuja residents were out of town not back from the new year break. The police made some arrests but the released the people the next day.

Other cities followed suit with massive protests. These include Lagos, Kano, Gusau, Benin, Kaduna, Yola to mention just a few. Today is the fifth day of protests and it seems to be growing even bigger.

The Kano Convenant
The most interesting of all the protesting cities in Nigeria so far is Kano. In Kano apart from the fact that protesters sleep over at the venue of the protest, there was also a convenant that Christians and Muslims will protect each other during their respective prayers. The evil Nigerian political elite have always used religious difference to divide the masses. I think the unprecedented Kano convenant has taken them unawares.

Nigerian Hackers
So far some group of Nigerian hackers have been expressing their anger by attacking some websites and placing messages on the front page expressing their anger with the government. These may not be too legal but the mistake has already been made. The Federal Government has unleashed the devils in many Nigerians. The website to attacked is that of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

Government Playing Tough
The Federal Government has so far declared that the fuel subsidy removal is final and it will not revert. I think the government is being dumb instead of being tough as they think. Closing all options for the masses means the masses will eventually resolve to any means possible to get back at the decision makers. It's not going to be pretty. People are no longer afraid of dying. I heard many protesters urging their comrades to proceed even if they are killed in the process.

The ruling elite seems to be ignorant of history, it seems history is about to made but they choose to be on the wrong side of it.

The best thing the government should do is not to let the protests turn violent by avoiding brute force and listening to the people. Apparently they think that is cowardice.

"Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable"

- J. F. Kennedy

Time will tell.