Like Father, Like Daughter….

Proud Dad moment — bu hao yi se.

I just found out that my daughter is one of 6 students from her High School chosen to take a year-long course in Mandarin Chinese, offered at KU next year as part of the new Confucius Institute, a joint project between the University and China’s Ministry of Education.

That’s pretty damned cool.

Playtesters: May 6th

OK, based on the responses from yesterday, I’ve decided that we’ll do this on Saturday, May 6th.

2-ish until whenever. We’ll watch some wuxia flicks, and make characters.

We can do this at our place (sure, my TV is on the fritz, but I think we’ll take up on her offer to borrow her spare until we get the new one in June), get Chinese food for dinner, etc.

So, pencil it in. I’ll post a reminder next week.

Save The Internet

OK folks — this is serious…..and it’s not a liberal vs conservative thing. It’s a corporations vs. freedom thing.

I’ll forgo my usual verbosity and summarize:

Background on the Issue: The internet is open because private companies haven’t been allowed to block content they don’t like. Now, however, telecommunication companies want to change that, so they can block what you see.

Not A Paranoid Fantasy: These companies have already blocked competing services, censored emails, and prevented customers from reading political web sites. The CEO of AT&T is on record, saying “The Internet can’t be free…”

A Simple Explanation of ‘Net Neutrality’: This video at explains the issue clearly. Watch it, and get mad.

So right now, we’ve got corporate lobbyists trying to push legislation through Congress: (PDF Link)The Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 (AKA The COPE Act), sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). Basically, it would end Net Neutrality.

The internet developed as the ultimate democratic expression — ideas are the currency, and concepts rise and fall by their own merits. Once people figured out how to adapt the internet to commerce, it meant that companies could succeed on the strength of their services, rather than whether or not they had huge corporate backing. The telecom giants are trying to figure out a way they can turn all of this into a profit-generating engine for themselves. Don’t let them do it.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA) have submitted an amendment called the “Markey Amendment” or the “Net Neutrality Amendment”, with 250,000 citizen signatures. It would add protections to the COPE Act to maintain Net Neutrality.

Get involved. Call your Representative: Most don’t understand the issues involved and the ones that do don’t think anyone’s paying attention.

More info can be found here: