Monday, April 23, 2007

Free Kareem Rally

PROTEST RALLY – FREE KAREEM – Friday 27 april 2007


Egyptian blogger and former law student Abdul Kareem Suleiman Amer, aka "Kareem" was arrested by Egyptian authorities for publications on his website that were considered to be anti-religious and insulting to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

On February 22nd, 2007 in his native city Alexandria. Kareem Amer was sentenced to three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition and one year for insulting the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

An international protest campaign was set up as a response, seeking the immediate release of Kareem. Human Rights activist groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, and The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information unanimously criticised the decision of the Egyptian authorities.

On Friday 27 april 2007 a rally in 27 cities all over the world will be organised, demanding the immediate release of Kareem.

Let hear your voice in this debate, and join the Free Kareem rally, for more tolerance and freedom of speech in the Muslim world!

In Short: Protest Rally for Kareem

Friday 27 april 2007 – 3 pm - Embassy of Egypt, Brussels
Avenue de l'Uruguay 19, 1000 Brussels

This action is being organised and supported by:
Jong VLD

More information

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Prison Break

I love this show... The modern Tin Tin.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The World of Internet

It has been a while since I posted on this blog: one year and a half to be precise. In that one year and a half, since september 2005, some very popular websites have emerged on the internet. They all existed at that time, but I was not too aware of them. Now they are big, and according to me, these 10 websites will be even bigger in the future. Do I forget any? Please tell me.

1 Wikipedia

Wikipedia is, according to its founder, not just a website, but “something like the International Red Cross”. He’s probably right. Once in a while there are alternatives launched, but in the end, Wikipedia remains firm on the lead in becoming the “Encyclopedia of humanity”. It is a great platform for stimulating the war of ideas, and who controls the ideas, will control the world.

There is always Google (the Head Quarters of Internet) for less sophisticated and SSRN for more sophisticated research.

And there is Google Books, which reminds of the fact that intellectual property rights may cease to exist in future. And is that maybe a good thing?

The Misesians think it is: they disapprove of intellectual property, as they see it to be an absurd contract: just like you can’t make a contract that someone can only breathe “your air” if he pays you (the contract would be invalid as the absurdity makes it impossible to apply), you cannot sell the mere right to listen to something (however you can sell the product that enables listening, like the cd, or the entrance to the concert)… Find it out here.

2 Facebook

Facebook is one of the networks oriented on young people (well, at least American young people: 85% of US college students is connected on it). I can’t exactly argue why, but I think the simplicity of it all is its greatest strength, that will enable it to capture market share, to the detriment of competitors like MySpace.

3 Linked in

Want to know what ex-study mates are doing for the moment? Want to form a network? This is facebook for grown-ups. No photos, only data.

4 A small world

Facebook for the elite: it is invitation only, and damn hard to get in (Who can get me in?). Once you get in, you can send an email to Paris Hilton (imagine that!), but more interesting: it provides a state of the art city guide: just ask for an Italian restaurant in Brussels: it shows you a place near Louise (where apparently also prince Laurent had been that day), and tells you to send greetings from a certain Olivier and Christelle to the owner (upon which he’ll offer you a free digestive drink at the end of the evening). History of it.

5 Google Earth and GPS

Great site, everybody will agree. Looking forward to google moon, google mars, etc. Nice blog.

What is promising according to me, is the introduction of blue tooth technology into gps (like this ). It probably already exists: you go to a town, and your gps gives you the list of friends that are at that moment in that town (or will be, if people would start share agendas). Combinations of instant messengers msn, google talk, yahoo chat and icq already exist and can help to manage all contacts.

This is maybe an application of it?

6 Youtube

It is popular, you can find most songs on it and rip them, it is a tool used in politics and advertising, and it will mean the final victory of anti-property rights activists, according to me.

Honourable mentioning:

7 Joost

Apparently, the founders of Kazaa and Skype are the same people , and beware, because they are planning something new: peer to peer television, that will be free and financed through advertising.

Meanwhile, you can watch television here and here.

8 BitTorrent

Peer-to-peer sharing means an another threat to intellectual property rights, and may make the victory of the anti-property rights activists even more final. There are legal ways, that require some paying, and other ways.

9 Heritage

Find out how many people with the name Cleppe there are in Belgium or the Netherlands, at and Find out stuff about your ancestors (who would not be interested in that?) on MyHeritage. Just imagine how powerful this could become when local governments all over the world would engage in it, and when historians start using it.

10 Second Life

I don’t think it will be still popular in 10 years time, but it definitely looks like the future: people doing stuff on the internet, being themselves or somebody else, and making some money: you can convert the linden dollars into real dollars. It is inspired on “Snow Crash, a novel dating back from 1992, and describing the future as follows:

The story takes place in the former United States during the early 21st century. In this hypothetical future reality, the United States Federal Government has ceded most of its power to private organizations and entrepreneurs. Mercenary armies compete for national defense contracts, and private security guards preserve the peace in gated, sovereign housing developments. Highway companies compete to attract drivers to their roads rather than the competitors', and all mail deliveries are done by hired couriers. The remnants of the government maintain authority only in isolated compounds, where it transacts business that is by and large irrelevant to the booming, dynamic society around it.

Much of the territory ceded by the government has been carved up into a huge number of sovereign enclaves, each run by its own big business franchise (such as "Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong" or the various residential burbclaves (suburb enclaves). This arrangement bears a similarity to anarcho-capitalism, a theme Stephenson carries over to his next novel The Diamond Age. Hyperinflation has devalued the dollar to the extent that trillion dollar bills, Ed Meeses, are little regarded and the quadrillion dollar note, a Gipper, is the standard 'small' bill. For physical transactions, people resort to alternative, non-hyperinflated currencies like yen or "Kongbucks" (the official currency of Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong).

The Metaverse, a phrase coined by Stephenson as a successor to the Internet, constitutes Stephenson's vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future. Although there are public-access Metaverse terminals in Reality, using them carries a social stigma among Metaverse denizens, in part because of the poor visual representations of themselves via low-quality avatars. In the Metaverse, status is a function of two things: access to restricted environments such as the Black Sun, an exclusive Metaverse club, and technical acumen, which is often demonstrated by the sophistication of one's avatar.