Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-29

STOP SOPA AND PIPA!

STOP SOPA!

drawing courtesy of Nsponge200

Today is officially SOPA Resistance Day. If you haven’t heard about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act), don’t let their names fool you as they’re anything but.

Learn why Wikipedia, Google and many other sites are protesting against these 2 bills.

I had emailed my 3 congressmen sometime in December:

I understand that a similar proposal to the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act called Protect-IP will be up for voting in the Senate early next year.

Given the huge opposition from the people against SOPA, I implore that you understand the implications of Protect-IP and not only vote against it, but convince your peers to do so too.

Thank you.

Of course my email to my House rep was worded a bit differently since SOPA is the House bill and PIPA is the Senate bill. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy of that email.

So far I’ve received 2 responses and all I got out of it was “Thanks for your expressing your view. Please sign up for my newsletter.”

So contact your representatives TODAY. Don’t wait till tomorrow or when you think you’ll have some spare time.

Hopefully as more and more people contact them, we’ll be able to stop the destruction of what made the internet great.

Here’s Rep. David Reichert’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the protection of intellectual property on the Internet. I appreciate hearing your views on this matter and welcome the opportunity to respond.

U.S. law enforcement agencies may protect against violations of intellectual property rights when perpetrators are acting within the United States. However, the Internet provides a way for businesses to expand across borders, and poses a challenge for the enforcement of intellectual property rights when violators are acting outside the U.S. Currently, U.S. authorities cannot reach foreign websites offering pirated or counterfeit goods to U.S. citizens.

In response to these concerns, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) introduced the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) on May 12, 2011. This legislation would authorize the Justice Department or an intellectual property rights owner harmed by an Internet site “dedicated to infringing activities” to pursue a cause of action against either the registrant of an infringing domain name or an owner or operator of one. Moreover, the bill allows the Justice Department to pursue such actions against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign domain names as well. The bill has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for consideration. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. This legislation would also authorize an action by the Justice Department against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign infringing sites. Though both bills would increase the criminal penalties for those that sell counterfeit goods of certain categories, like counterfeit medicine, the House legislation includes military equipment as a special category.

Promoting and protecting innovation is critical to U.S. businesses remaining competitive in the global economy. Many industries, from pharmaceutical companies to recording studios, depend on intellectual property protections. These industries contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and serve as significant job-creators. At the same time, some have expressed concern that this legislation goes too far, and would lead to government overreach resulting in the chilling of free speech online and the stifling of innovation. As a result of these concerns, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) have released an alternative proposal, called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, which would authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate, and if necessary, take action against foreign websites involved in the advertising or selling of counterfeit products. This proposal is based on the premise that the International Trade Commission would be better suited to investigate such issues because of its current investigative role in determining whether certain imports into the U.S. violate U.S. property rights. Rest assured, should this legislation come to the House floor vote a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me. Your interest and input are valued and I hope to hear from you in the future regarding other matters of importance. I encourage you to visit my website and sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter at http://reichert.house.gov to learn more about other issues impacting the 8th Congressional District and our nation. You can also follow my work online and receive frequent updates on legislation being considered in Congress by visiting me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/davereichert) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/repdavereichert).

Sincerely,

David G. Reichert
Member of Congress

Here’s Sen. Patty Murray’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act , which is currently pending in the United States House of Representatives. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

In the Senate, this legislation would fall under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Patty Murray
United States Senator

Update: At least we know Sen. Maria Cantwell is on our side: Internet Censorship Bill Coming Up in Senate in Three Weeks

Nevertheless, Wyden has at least three colleagues from both parties opposed to cloture – Jerry Moran, Maria Cantwell and Rand Paul. They will need a lot of help to block the 60 votes needed to clear cloture and get PIPA to the floor.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-15

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-08

  • Really fun stop motion animation – Kalle Mattson – Thick As Thieves: http://t.co/2Ma0CsmB #
  • When WordPress fails to contact Akismet, it no longer sends me a ton of "Please Moderate" emails and waits to resume connectivity. #awesome #
  • It's Uncle Iroh! RT @steamykitchen: LOL – funny tea bag (don't know if I could drink that!) http://t.co/ExIK3E5j #
  • @krunk4ever Spoke too early. The please moderate emails came once their services were back up and running. in reply to krunk4ever #
  • @Akismet @WordPress It would be nice to have the option to not send "Please moderate" emails when WordPress can't connect to Akismet. #
  • Minecraft lovers will enjoy this upcoming game: Castle Story http://t.co/uYlkHx4m via @hjo3 #
  • Something that's going to take me a very long time to get used ton the Mac is to eject CD/DVD, I have to do it from the computer. #
  • Pushing the eject button does nothing. 🙁 I guess Mac doesn't actually sell any CD/DVD player with an eject button. #
  • Not shocking that top 3 rated animes of 2011 (by fans w/ a huge margin) were ones that were rated with the best story. http://t.co/DFTYND64 #
  • already saw Steins;Gate and AnoHana, both which were excellent, but can I convince myself to watch magic girl anime? *shivers* #ElPsyCongroo #
  • @rothgar In parts of the US, coke is synonymous to soda. 🙂 in reply to rothgar #
  • After reading this comic, I got a sudden craving for cheese: http://t.co/F36SON0n #
  • @abhijeet80 Account got hacked? in reply to abhijeet80 #
  • @loganb Unfortunately it's the easiest legit way got watch HD movies these days. Plus my Macbook Air / Mac mini doesn't have a spare bay. 🙂 in reply to loganb #
  • Ever hear the 1st 5 seconds of a song and in your mind, you're like oooh, I know this, but it turns out to be a completely different song? #
  • @charlie_white Just saw: http://t.co/XrKATBbi Was wondering if you've seen this viral video yet: Time is Nothing http://t.co/34vkHDis #

January to March Cash Back

Starting of a new quarter means a new set of categories for cash back. For January to March:

Discover – 5% cash back

  • Gas
  • Museums
  • Movies

Chase – 5% cash back

  • Gas
  • Amazon.com

Fidelity – 4.5% cash back

  • Gas
  • Grocery
  • Drug Stores
  • Restaurants

Apparently every bank thinks gas is used the least often during the 1st quarter of the year. Fidelity is definitely the winner this round by having restaurants and groceries.

Online Stores Should Make It Easy To Convert Prepaid VISA Gift Cards

prepaid credit cardOnline stores should take advantage of people disliking prepaid VISA gift cards with all the hidden fees and the fact that it’s hard to use up every last penny on that darn thing. I just got a prepaid American Express card from a recent deal I took apart of and I do what I always do, I convert them into Amazon.com gift cards and add it to my balance.

Today, if I wanted to cash out my prepaid credit card, I would have to go to Amazon.com, purchase a gift card, and send it to myself. Afterwards, I’d have to redeem it once I got the email. Though not a complicated process, it seems it can be easily simplified.

If I was an online store, I’d add a convert button on my website that’ll allow users to input a credit card number, expiration date, and an amount. The amount immediately gets charged and automatically gets added to my gift card balance. In fact, I’d probably advertise that there’s no hidden fees and no expiration date and stick it on any page where I already advertise about gift cards.

Simple, easy, fast.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-01