Pirates, Wall Street and World Revolution

October 5, 2011

8,9% and I am one of them

8,9% of Berlin voted for the Pirate Party last month and I’m proud to say that I was able to contribute to that outcome: while being an Austrian living in Berlin I am allowed to vote in my district. For the first time there was the candidate “Piratenpartei” on the ballot and that’s where I made my cross. And So did many other. And news that close to 10% of Berlin is now in Pirate Party hands spread quickly around the globe (blog.p2pfoundation.net).

I was actually a bit surprised about just how wide that news travelled: it seems people have been waiting for this (blog.p2pfoundation.net). Those 8,9% for the Pirates in Berlin are a signal for others: if Berlin can do it your city, your country can do it too.

And guess what, now after the success in Berlin the German Pirate Party gets around 7% in polls – that is 7% Germany wide: should there be general elections next Sunday we’d had the Piratenpartei sitting in the German Bundestag.

And there is still much more potential for sure: I would not be surprised at all should Pirate Parties around Europe get two digit results in elections within the next five years.

People this is it, this is the time to get out and vote for the Pirates. And if you can’t vote let your family know, your father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt etc.:

Let them know why you want the Pirate Party in your (local) government, explain to them why the Pirate Party is like “a patch for Democracy” as I read somewhere.

Let them know why (software) patents are truly evil and why Copyright is in fact Copywrong.

Let them know about the Patent Trolls and Copyright Thieves.

Let them know about h.264.

Let them know that Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Frauenhofer Institute and all those others h.264 patent holders are S-T-A-E-L-I-N-G everyone’s video footage using software patents (you do not own your own h.264 video footage, not even after transcoding to e.g. an open format: licensing fees for any “commercial” use will need to be paid to all those thieves hiding behind the acronym MPEG-LA).

Let your people know the truth about why a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs could “achieve” what they did in those last 30 years:

Gates, Jobs etc. are a simply a special kind of breed of thieves who (while now retired used to) organise, set up and run a wide range of (in the US legal, in Europe for sure quite illegal) extortion schemes based on software patents and related “legal” constructs. Latest examples: the Samsung tablet that Apple tries so hard to block via court orders or the fact that Microsoft will make money with basically every Android phone you buy ($5/phone Protection Money for the IP lawyers thanks to software patents).

Or maybe there is something else that makes you angry…? Maybe it’s the RIAA or the MPAA (better know as MAFIAA)…?

There surely are many good reasons to be very angry these days (WikiLeaks censorship, youngsters/hackers who defend Democracy put in jail, Greece looted by the Banks, …) and each reason is a good one to turn your anger into real political change by voting Pirate Party!

This is our chance to get rid of those governments that have been corrupted be the Content and Copyright Mafia.

This is our chance to get rid of ACTA and all future attempts by the Content Mafia who is trying to undermine Democracy in order to save their dying business model, a model that never was right in the first place, a business model that is based on stealing but never giving back to society. One of the best examples being The Walt Disney Company and the Micky Mouse Protection Act from 1998.

Occupy Wall Street and World Revolution

“I see Corporatism, Fascism, chronic Capitalism. I don’t see a free market. I see a police state, I see an American Empire, I see 700 military bases in 135 foreign countries. I see 5000 dead bodies in Iraq. A welfare warfare state which gives out billions of dollars in foreign aid for dictators (…).”

(From the Voice Over/interview at the beginning of the embedded video about the current Occupy Wall Street movement:)

Nobody Can Predict The Moment Of Revolution (2011), 8:01

by Martyna Starosta & Iva Radivojevic, CC BY-NC 3.0

Video’s page on Vimeo.

One more thing…

Now that we have Freedom from Steve:

Steve Jobs,

You personally may get away with this and keep making your dirty money for quite a while. Yet not forever.

Thing is you are old and I am so much younger than you. Chances are I’ll still be around when you are long gone. And I’ll make sure the world will hear the true story about h.264. I’ll make sure that people get a chance to remember Steve Jobs for who he really was. You are no innovator, your are no inventor. At the end of the day you are simply that: a thief.

And Fuck You for that.

FUCK YOU STEVE JOBS FOR H.264.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

And FUCK YOU.

Update (06.10.11) :

Steve Jobs died this morning. Here the discussion on Slashdot.

Yes, it’s always very sad when someone dies and I’m sure many including his family will miss him. Yet death does not mean you have to be dishonest. The man may have done a lot for the Apple shareholders and may have pushed the industry in the directions he wanted, but for me personally he is one the biggest disappointments when it comes to role models:

I used to watch his Apple sales shows back in the ’90 on a Performa 5200, connected to the internet via modem. He was a brilliant sales person. He really was. Unfortunately he was not honest about his products shortcomings and he betrayed a whole generation of artists, film makers and young ones who bought his h.264 pitch. Steve Jobs choose to betray and steal from everyone (h.264 video footage) so that he could build a monopoly around/by using the moving image:

* He tried to push h.264 as the only legal video codec for distribution: when you already own an online store for movies (iTunes) as well as parts of a Hollywood film studio (Disney, before that Pixar) this simply is extremely greedy and shows you do not like competition at all. For over ten years open-source audio/video codec developers were severly bullied by all those who stand behind h.264. In his own words (blogs.fsfe.org):

“All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now.”

* At the same time, knowingly, just as all the other h.264 patent holders, he was happy with stealing your and mine h.264 video footage: I got an h.264 camera and went out shooting footage, for weeks, months. I was planing to use that footage commercially until I found out about the scheme that Jobs etc. had set up/were happy to make their dirty deals with: the MPEG-LA.

Jobs not only wanted a monopoly on distribution but he also wanted to control independent content, e.g. accepted – and never communicated – the MPEG-LA’s rules e.g. about how long (!!!) your h.264 online video can be before you have to start paying fees to them. Steve Jobs was prepared to and did sell his user, did betray those artists who trusted him and who supported his company in all those years when Apple almost went out of business.

Steve Jobs betrayed us with h.264. I won’t forget that. And I will make sure that this story reaches as many people as possible, now and in the future.

A monopoly on the moving image is simply a very, very dangerous thing. It would be highly irresponsible not to let future generations know about this. Basically what Jobs opened up/promoted is a road to Fascism. People need to hear the h.264 story so that something like this can never happen again!


Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011)

May 24, 2011

[blip.tv ?posts_id=5195101&dest=-1]

Video may need to load first for smooth playback! A smaller Flash and a high-res open-source encoded version will be posted later. Thank You! (You can also right click “Click To Play”, then “Save Link As…”  to download the video and use the VLC for playback!)

Space Visual – Early Period (v2) (2011), 3:48

Music: Jan Joachimsen Video: Valentin Spirik (CC) 2011 BY-NC-SA

The above video is version 2 of this project first posted last October.

Some thoughts to the project

Overall Space Visual (v2) is closer to where I want it to be than version 1 was, yet a couple of things are not quite there yet:

technical:

– there is an issue with the toon edges, they appear in places where there is a certain 2D/3D logic, yet where they don’t make real sense. Not sure if this can be fixed easily… Overpaints (can be time consuming and not so much fun) will be the most practical solution here. If so then for a full HD rendered version:

– it is still only rendered in 960×540, Full HD simply takes that much longer and files are that much heavier to handle (in compositing). A hardware upgrade will make it much easier to go full HD with my online videos.

– there are a couple of features missing that I originally wanted for version 2 but then left out for various reasons: a believable cam shake, stars and grass (on the outside)

– it’s not been colour corrected in a technical sense, most of my online videos are not. There are practical reasons (effort vs necessity) and then there are artistic, or rather philosophical questions that I still have: basically the artist in me wants this to be a fully trust-your-own-eyes-and-feelings-process whereas the reality of colour correction is a rather cold, technical one with neutral-Grey-workplace-calibrated-monitor-trust-the-scopes-readings.

I want to understand how a Leonardo, a Van Gogh or a Turner could do what they did in a pre-digital time and why we today need all this complex high-tech equipment and then still are rather limited and have to make sure we don’t e.g. broadcast “illegal colours”. The artist in me says: no colour can be illegal. It’s simply a limitation and therefore can/should be challenged.

concept:

– while the minimalism of it is fully on purpose, I am wondering if part 1 (going down) works as well as it could. Since in part 2 we see halo light it may work to have dust/sun rays in part 1, this could further help with getting a feeling for the room (this I already tried to improve via textures and light:)

workflow:

– this was my first Blender project where I was not able to do an all in one render at the end: (in addition to a Sun and a Spot, and Sun/Sun for the Color/Shadow pass layer) I was using AO, Environment Lighting, toon edges and that Color/Shadow pass. So I had 3 copies of the same mesh in different layers for light/compositing reasons. Now in this setup, even if you exclude AO/Environment Lighting from the Color/Shadow pass layer, it seems that you will still get an “overall” AO/Environment Lighting render for this mesh once combined in the Compositing Nodes (=unwanted effect of meshes on top of each other)…! There is a certain logic to it, yet it also seems limiting (at least in this setup) and not quite right at the same time. So I ended up rendering my main layer first without any nodes, and then do a second round and render toon edges as well as Color/Shadow over that first render plus add other 2D effects on top (all by going through the Compositing Nodes, loading the first render and adding the rest).

As with all things 3D: there may well be a better solution for this workflow, I just may not have figured it out yet… Non photorealistic rendering (NPR) can be more tricky than you first think!

(Note: The 3D/visual part of this project was entirely made with Blender 2.57b.)

encoding:

– I still find it ridiculously hard to do open-source video (e.g. VP8) encoding (and no Blender is not the problem…). I really want this. I’m really trying. (See here and here). I’ll get there, our tools are about to get there.

Yet I also know who is to blame for high-quality open-source video encoding not being there today in every video “app” – on all platforms – in the year 2011, about 15-20 years (!) after the digital post-production “revolution” took place:

There are forces out there, multinational corporations as well as specialised law firms, who want a monopoly on a particular video codec since:

– it would be the key to control content ($$$) (imagine the possibilities if you were to own parts of a Hollywood film studio at the same time as well as an online store for movies…)

– it would be the cash cow of the century if you could just get people to pay fees for every single frame of video that is shown (“commercially”) at every given moment on this planet!

Just think of it: you could first sell them the cameras (or better: sell them a “smart” phone with a camera), and then make them work for you! Imagine a whole generation of minors, working for free for you and uploading their videos to Web 2.0…! You could make the video platform pay licensing fees and those stupid kids who work for free for you will on top of it then pay for it via having to watch yet more ads! Wouldn’t that be a plan or what…?!

I know who to thank if high-quality, open-source audio/video encoding still does not work out of the box in 2011.

I know who took care of this and who is to blame.

And I won’t forget!


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