We need to organize and half Wikileaks like we are halping TPB.

A botnet is nothing more than thousands and thousands of networked computers following the instructions of a single remote authority. The machines tend to be running Windows and, conventionally, their owners are unaware that they are involved. During a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, each computer in the botnet repeatedly performs a simple task like pinging a web server somewhere else on the net.

Given a sufficiently large botnet, the server is so overwhelmed that no one can access any of the websites that it hosts.

join the botnet?

As far as I can tell, botnet participants usually join up accidently while flailing around in search of pr0n (or buying a computer in China.) During today’s DDoS attacks on Visa and Mastercard, however, it looks like a significant number of people voluntarily added their machines to the botnet.

Outrage through outtage?


Barlow says “we’re all footsoldiers in this war” but we should resist war-like metaphors. Anons are not risking their lives when they “get behind the proxy” and join the DDoS attack on Visa. It’s a trap: no one but the U.S. government ever wins a War on Whatever.

This is about the failure of private institutions to steward our popular culture. But what makes us think they would? Will Soundcloud take down Assange’s old dubstep mixes?

We really need an anthem, Dutty Artz! What’s the sound of a volunteer botnet?

dj ghostdad in the studio

You can stream DJ Ghostdad‘s latest 5-part mix for free, but mp3s of Acid Yazz are gonna cost you… a tweet. Using a “tweet-for-track” script, Ghostdad offers a pretty reasonable exchange: you tweet about the mix, he’ll give you a download link.

The script was written by CASH music, a new non-profit developing software to help musicians free themselves from data-mining megacorps. They don’t mince words on their commitment to free/open source software:

“Sustainability for artists is the goal, and an open source solution gives musicians and coders the power to build solutions together. We can’t rely on Facebook, the RIAA, or even Apple to invent a new model that works with the best interests of artists in mind. Let’s create those models together.”

I like that CASH calls their work “music tech”. Why shouldn’t webapps for musicians be in the same category as MooT BooXLe’s “ghetto” talkbox or the Wii2MIDI hack?

They told me I could get geeked out on here so I’m going ham!

Prime Minista (aka Sir Mix-A-Lot) – “No Excuses on the Bowl

Last weekend, I spent 8 hours in the basement of Eagle Rock City Hall drinking coffee out of a styrofoam cup and cramming for the technician class amateur radio licensing exam. The class was taught by a couple of local hams who volunteer their time to help new people get involved with “the hobby”.

The infrastructure that most of us rely on for internet access is owned and operated by vertically-integrated corporations like Time Warner and Comcast. These organizations maintain virtual monopolies in American cities, leave rural and poor communities off the network, charge arbitrarily high prices for mediocre service, and then use our own money against us when they lobby Congress. It’s not sustainable, it’s not working, and we need to get serious about plan B before they start charging us an extra $10 per month for the “Walk on the Wild Side” plan.

28Mhz – A61BK – United Arab Emirates – DUBAI – دبي – ドバイ

Hams know infrastructure. Long ago, they figured out how to make transcontinental contact by reflecting signals off of the ionosphere. Now they’re launching amateur satellite projects and experimenting with various forms of digital packet radio. In the vid below, you can hear Ultima designer and space tourist Richard Garriott making contact with Earth from the International Space Station via amateur radio.

International Space Station – Richard Garriott – W5KWQ with PS8RF

“Hinternet” == “ham” + “internet”. It usually involves modifying off-the-shelf wi-fi routers and amplifying their output. Licensed hams are allowed to operate at much higher wattage than civilian operators. As a result, hams experimenting with amplified data transmission report making contact over distances as far as 6 miles!

For those of us accustomed to always-on broadband connections, periodic data transmission over radio will require rethinking our whole workflow — but the benefits of diversifying our network activities are huge. Imagine a repeater on a hill that constantly spits out mp3s to the neighborhood. Or a public messageboard accessible to the globe but no one needs a service provider to join in.

These things won’t exist unless we try building them so search for a class in your area and let’s all go ham.

QRP Mountain-topping with FT817 – Ham Radio