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Mar 15

Reddit, and Kony, and Bills! Oh My! — What We Missed

The winter term at my university is coming to a close, and I finally have time to spend with you guys, gals, and geeks. This isn’t just any ol’ post, though; this has to be something special. Sure, I could post about some hot topic and just ignore the fact that I haven’t made a post in over a month, but that wouldn’t be cool. That wouldn’t be fair. One of the keys to a successful relationship is honesty, so let me be honest with you: I’ve missed a lot. So many things have happened since we last spoke, and I’ve let them drift on by. Occasionally I would think, “Oh! What an interesting current event! I should post about it on Neeks and Gerds!” But alas, my eager thoughts never reached my fingers — never became written word. No worries though, because I’m about to make up for lost time.

This post is a recap of sorts. I have listed some exciting happenings in recent history, and have linked to relevant pages so you can read up on them if you’re interested. Let’s get started!

 

The Discovery of Reddit - Before last month, I wasn’t very familiar with Reddit. I would occasionally see the hilarity that emerges from its womb, but I didn’t give it much attention. That had changed. I can no longer go a day without checking “The Front Page of the Internet” at least once or twice. It’s hilarious, informative, and everything and anything you want it to be. Check it out — maybe we can upvote each other.

In related news, Reddit took on a new CEO earlier this month. You can read a humor-laden discussion on the change here.

 

Two Bills Get Burned  - The internet effort to stop SOPA and PIPA turned quite a few heads in the US Congress. It was enough to take the bills off the table for the time being. Go team! However, a new, similar threat has taken its place — ACTA. I’ll be honest, I haven’t properly educated myself on this new bill. I encourage you to look into it for yourself, though. You can start your journey here.

 

Feeding a Hunger for Fire – There are a few rites of passage in my circle of friends. Firstly, you must not be repulsed by bodily gases (ew, right?). Secondly, you must be able to take a joke at your own expense (laugh through the pain, man). Last, and possibly least, you must read The Hunger Games. This trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins is entertaining, and easy for a busy, tired college student to read. And if you’re not a reader, there’s a movie coming out this month!

 

The Kony-splosion - If you’ve been on the internet lately (which you have been), you’ve probably heard about Kony 2012 and Invisible Children. What you may not have heard is the controversy surrounding the campaign. One video, though inspirational, seems to have turned millions of people into activists. But do these people know what they’re acting upon? There is a good bit of insight into the situation from a Ugandan filmmaker here.

Just to be clear, I think the idea behind the campaign is brilliant. I described a similar idea in an earlier post. However, my feelings toward the campaign itself are up in the air.

Edit: Apparently some Ugandans aren’t very big fans of the Kony 2012 campaign. A public screening of the campaign video in Uganda ended in anger, criticism, and the hurling of rocks. From the article: “One woman I spoke to made the comparison of selling Osama Bin Laden paraphernalia post 9/11 – likely to be highly offensive to many Americans, however well intentioned the campaign behind it.” Just something to think about.

 

An Anonymous Betrayal – It is with great disappointment that I bring you this news. Earlier this month, several members of Anonymous were arrested after the leader of a related group, LulzSec, gave information of their identities and whereabouts to the FBI. He had apparently been working undercover with the authorities for weeks. Details are here.

Anonymous may be “criminals,” but I believe that they have our (that is, We the People’s) best interest at heart. Despite this setback, I don’t think the group of hackers will be going away any time soon.

 

Primed to Save Money – After years at war with myself, I finally broke down and purchased Amazon Prime. I’m a sucker for deals, and as a student, I only have to pay $49 for my first 4 years of Prime — $30 cheaper than the usual price. Ironically, I mainly bought Prime so that I could borrow books for Kindle, but I can’t even use this feature without an actual Kindle (I only have a Kindle-compatible iPad app). Despite this, I’m enjoying the free streaming TV (Buffy and Angel!) and movies, though the selection is somewhat limited. Plus, I’m sure I’ll save a lot of money with free 2-day shipping.

At the risk of this sounding too much like a paid advertisement, I’d like to add that there’s still time for me to end up regretting this decision. I’ll keep you posted!

Edit: Amazon customers just received this nice little letter from Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Apparently Amazon struck a deal with the Discovery Network. They’ll soon be adding Discovery Channel shows to Prime Instant Video — an addition of about 3,000 titles. That’s what I like to hear, Jeff.

 

That’s all for now, guys, gals, and geeks. I hope it won’t be too long before we meet again. If you find any post-worthy news, I encourage you to post it on our Facebook page. The sheer pressure induced by this action may force me to type something up — not that I wouldn’t do so happily, of course [poker face].

Until next time!

 

 

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