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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief

 

the games begin to drag me down

seems that boingboing's going a little crazy nowadays. while they usually post compelling, interesting, funny stories, occasionally they rail haphazardly on a subject and sound like kooks. two recent examples:

here, they post about a letter sent by a law firm representing a group that does broadcast rights for the world cup games. the group was worried that a popular blog like boingboing might link to some clips without their permission. while they do have a right to try to control distribution of their material, the 'forewarning' was a little ridiculous.

and then, founder mark frauenfelder says that "the only time we would ever post anything about pro sports would be to make fun of them". i remember hearing that attitude from people in seventh grade. a not-too subtle jab at people who enjoy sports might do more harm than good for your readership, mark.

next: cory doctorow (who is becoming a favorite author of mine) writes this post referring to bluecoat as a "censorware company" simply because they categorize boingboing in a way the editors don't agree with.

let's get back to the facts here. bluecoat provides web-filtering appliances and software. most of their customers use their products to prevent end-users from accessing material that they consider inappropriate - an organization might not want their users going to porn or warez sites, for example. because allowing that material to exist on their PC's could break the law (if joe user downloaded illegally licensed software) or expose them legally (if joe user has porn on his PC, and another employee finds it and sues for harrassment). the organization isn't saying not to access these sites at home - but if the people i work for provide the PC and the internet access, they set the rules, period. bluecoat, and other similar vendors, prevent access to sites that fall into certain categories.

so boingboing gets all bothered because their site is labeled as "Proxy Avoidance". even though on the same post cory links to instructions on how to avoid a proxy server. apparently he doesn't listen to much alanis morrisette.

(yes, that was an ironic joke, my apologies)

in the past they've gotten annoyed by a labeling of nudity, even though they regularly post that type of material - not in a pornographic way, but nudity nevertheless. if they held their derision simply to governments that mass-censor all internet traffic out of a country (as the UAE does in the article), yeah, makes sense, that sucks. but a corporate environment is a different story. they have the right - the obligation - to protect themselves. guess what - work is not a place where you show up and do whatever you want, in most cases. grow up. go home and surf.

 

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