January 18, 2012


Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. The two bills in question are known as the Protect IP Act, PIPA, in the Senate (“IP” stands for “intellectual property”), and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), in the House.
Both SOPA and PIPA would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. To raise awareness about this harmful legislation, the English Wikipedia, along with a dozen other major websites (including Google, Wordpress, Reddit, and Moveon) are protesting the PIPA/SOPA legislation by either completely blacking out their sites for 24 hours or by modifying their front pages. Read here to learn more. In my view, a very worthy cause to support. Needless to say, please spread the word!

Ship Commander? This Guy... Not So Much (Updated)

Capt. Francesco Schettino and Capt. Gregorio De Falco
I really think there’s not much to be said about what happened that night, except that there are no words. However, here (and here) is a translation of the transcript of the conversation between Capt. Francesco Schettino, commander of the grounded Costa Concordia, and Capt. Gregorio De Falco of the Italian Coast Guard in Livorno. De Falco vehemently and repeatedly ordered Schettino to return to the ship to oversee the evacuation. Two opposite ways of understanding and practicing what  the duties of a Ship Commander are, one is honorable, the other is not…

UPDATE:  January 18, 2012, 9:15 pm

This piece by John Hooper in today’s online edition of The Guardian is definitely worth reading. The title says much about what’s inside the piece: “Costa Concordia shipwreck’s hero and villain lay bare two souls of Italy.”