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August 13, 2012

Hummingbirds live in The Shire

I’ve been watching hummingbirds at our feeder, and took a moment to read up on them a bit more. has a lot of interesting information, including about their impossible migrations. (These migrations are proved by the Internet and reported by people like you and me.)

But what really amused me was this straightforward and presumably accurate description of their nests:

The walnut-sized nest, built by the female, is constructed on a foundation of bud scales attached to a tree limb with spider silk; lichens camouflage the outside, and the inside is lined with dandelion, cattail, or thistle down.

Undoubtedly tended by singing dragonflies that feed on unicorn tears.


February 24, 2009

Punish then convict, followed by protest then repeal

Mark Gibbs reports on a, oh, let’s say over-zealous New Zealand copyright law:

This insanity, found in Sections 92A and C of New Zealand’s Copyright Amendment Act 2008 establishes – and I am not making this up – a guilt upon accusation principle!

Yep, you read that right. This means that anyone accused of “copyright infringement” will get his Internet connection cut off; and treated as guilty until proven innocent.

And if that weren’t enough, this crazy legislation defines anyone providing Internet access as an ISP and makes them responsible for monitoring and cutting off Internet access for anyone who uses their services and is accused of copyright violations. Thus libraries, schools, coffee shops, cafes – anyone offering any kind of Internet access – will be considered ISPs and become responsible and potentially liable.

Yikes. That is some extra nasty legislation.

[Minutes later] GlobalVoices reports:

A large swatch of New Zealand’s political blogosphere shut down its websites for a half-day on Monday, February 23 in protest of a copyright law that could have required internet service providers from disconnecting users who download pirated materials like movies or music.

The protest appeared to work as Prime Minister John Key announced he will stall the proposal for one month as he looks to forge a compromise with ISPs and copyright holders. If a solution cannot be found, Section 92 will be scrapped.

Be sure to read the entire GlobalVoices article, though. It explains how the boycott happened, points to similarly scary legislation elsewhere, and, of course, aggregates what the NZ blogosphere has been saying about this.

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