Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Riga Latvia as European Capital of Culture in 2014

Valentina Pop writes at EUobserver.com in Riga says it can handle expense of being EU Capital of Culture:
"Despite slashed budgets and economic woes, Latvia's capital, Riga, is confident of being able to raise the necessary funding for a series of cultural events in 2014, when it is due to become the European capital of culture, its mayor told this website."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Keep up on Europe with EUobserver Blogs

Keep up on doings in Europe with these blogs from EUobserver.com:

Monday, March 08, 2010

EDGE: "Europe, Where the Idea of Competition in the Internet Space Appears to Focus on Litigation, Legislation, Regulation, and Criminalization"

Does Europe especially need to reconsider their approach to the Internet? EDGE would say yes:

Edge: TIME TO START TAKING THE INTERNET SERIOUSLY By David Gelernter: "Introduction: Our Algorithmic Culture" by John Brockman:
"Edge was in Munich in January for DLD 2010 and an Edge/DLD event entitled 'Informavore' — a discussion featuring Frank Schirrmacher, Editor of the Feuilleton and Co-Publisher of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Andrian Kreye, Feuilleton Editor of Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich; and Yale computer science visionary David Gelernter, who, in his 1991 book Mirror Worlds presented what's now called 'cloud computing.'

The intent of the panel was to discuss — for the benefit of a German audience — the import of the recent Frank Schirrmacher interview on Edge entitled 'The Age of the Informavore.' David Gelernter, who predicted the Web, and who first presented the idea of 'the cloud', was the scientist on the panel along with Schirrmacher and Kreye, Feuilleton editors of the two leading German national newspapers, both distinguished intellectuals....

Take a look at the photos from the recent Edge annual dinner and you will find the people who are re-writing global culture, and also changing your business, and, your head. What do Evan Williams (Twitter), Larry Page (Google), Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web Consortium), Sergey Brin (Google), Bill Joy (Sun), Salar Kamangar (Google), Keith Coleman (Google Gmail), Marissa Mayer (Google), Lori Park (Google), W. Daniel Hillis (Applied Minds), Nathan Myhrvold (Intellectual Ventures), Dave Morin (formerly Facebook), Michael Tchao (Apple iPad), Tony Fadell (Apple/iPod), Jeff Skoll (formerly eBay), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) have in common? All are software engineers or scientists.

So what's the point? It's a culture. Call it the algorithmic culture. To get it, you need to be part of it, you need to come out of it. Otherwise, you spend the rest of your life dancing to the tune of other people's code. Just look at Europe where the idea of competition in the Internet space appears to focus on litigation, legislation, regulation, and criminalization. [emphasis added]"

Read the whole thing here.

Hat tip to the Encyclopaedia Britannica at Facebook.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Antithesis of Justice : Criminal Convictions in Italy of Google Execs Point to Flaws in European Union (EU) Law

We posted about this absurd case previously at EU Pundit.

Struan Robertson, editor of out-law.com, writes on March 3, 2010 in Google convictions reveal two flaws in EU law, not just Italian law inter alia as follows regarding the inexcusable criminal convictions of Google execs - made in absentia in Italy - for alleged untimely takedown of criminally offending video material posted online by youthful criminals in Italy and totally unknown to Google execs at the time for which their criminal conviction for non-action applies:
"Web hosts are unfairly exposed all across the EU and two legal changes are needed....

Problem 1: An unreasonable caveat to safe harbour....

Problem 2: We don't know enough about notice and takedown...."
Read the whole posting here.

Robertson in our opinion in focusing on the ill-drafted EU laws and on the shambles of law in Italy is much too lax with the misguided officials in Italy and with the responsible lawmakers in the European Union, all of whom are much more directly at fault than Google for the appearance of the offending video.

Why have government officials in Italy and the EU not instituted effective procedures in their own law enforcement systems to timely catch criminal postings in their areas of jurisdiction - AS IS THEIR JOB, rather than putting the entire onus of "policing" on Google or other online providers. Why should Google be more effective in catching criminals than THE government institutions are - it is not Google's line of business at all.

Everyone always wants to put the blame on the other guy, rather than honestly shouldering their true part of the blame themselves. Policing is a responsibility of government institutions and not of Google. Maybe nations and communities should not have 90% of their officers playing cops and robbers with normal citizens for minor things like traffic violations etc. - and should direct more of the attention of their own State employees to combatting real crime. Now - THAT would be a major change.

If the purpose of Italy's convictions is to seek scapegoats, which the guilty often do to ward culpability away from themselves, it would be equally logical to issue criminal convictions for all those in Italy and the EU responsible for what happened in the instant video case, and we would not stop at judges, legislators and officials, but would also include the teachers and parents of the criminals, who were unable to keep the offenders from doing their offensive acts. Google is at the end of a very long chain of societal and legal blunders and errors which create criminal offenders to begin with.

As it now stands, the people FURTHEST REMOVED from the actual criminal video activity have been held criminally responsible rather than those CLOSEST to it. How convenient for all of the institutions involved, whose members via overinflated salaries are all stuffing their pockets with taxpayer monies but of course disclaiming any responsibility themselves for the state of affairs in their own jurisdiction. Some distant executive from a far-away jurisdiction will be picked to shoulder the blame - a blame which ITALY and the EU rightly should share among themselves.

That is not a miscarriage of justice. It is the ANTITHESIS of justice.