Stop Censorship: Protest SOPA/ PIPA

Many websites are blacked out today to protest the proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

While I do not support piracy, SOPA, as it is written, won’t shut down pirate sites. Instead, these sites will simply change their IP address and continue their criminal activities, while law-abiding companies will suffer penalties for breaches they were unaware of.

If these bills are passed, the U.S. government could order websites to be blocked using similar methods to those employed in China. Entire websites would be deleted from search results. This is not just inconvenient, it’s censorship. As an avid reader, writer, a journalist, a blogger, and a social media user, I do not support censorship in any way, shape, or form.

Please do your part to stop censorship by writing to your congressperson and tell him/her to oppose SOPA and PIPA. Not only am I against this act, but Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Google, Twitpic, Mozilla, Zynga, LinkedIn, and other internet “giants” oppose this act. Hell, even the White House/Obama administration is against it as it is currently written.

Amy’s Bookshelf will be blacked out on January 18, 2012 from 8:00 AM- 8:00 PM EST (or 5:00 AM- 5:00 PM for all of my fellow West Coasters).

Please write to your congressperson and ask him/her to oppose these acts.

My Company’s Blog

So for today’s post, I thought I’d let you know about the other place I blog for–All Green Electronics Recycling: The Blog.

I know I sometimes slack on posts on Amy’s Bookshelf, but in reality I blog 5 time a week for my company and still attempt to do Post a Day here . . . so I do write quite a bit.

So if you like my writing for some reason, check out my company’s blog. I sometimes write some cool stuff on there, if I do say so myself.

Would you live forever?

If you could live forever, would you? Why or why not?

 

If I lived forever, I’d never get anything done. Why would I do something when there’s always next day . . . the next month . . . the next millennium . . .? I believe that living forever would be more like existing than living.

 

On the other hand, growing old can be scary. At times, I’d much rather be a kid again.

What would you do?

My Ideal Job

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If I could have any job in the world, I would be a novelist. In my head, this means that I will sit around in European cafes and write the next Harry Potter-type series. And while I’m at it, I’ll also write some future classics. This way I can make some money while I’m alive, but still be known hundreds of years after my death.

Essentially, I’ll be rich, famous, live in Europe, drink plenty of coffee, and write a lot.

Black Swan

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I finally saw Black Swan. I’ve wanted to see it for months . . . ever since I saw the trailer.

It was a beautiful and fascinating movie, falling under the psychological thriller movie category with some horror thrown in. And drama. A lot of drama.

*Spoiler Alert*

I love how Nina’s life mirrored Swan Lake, and how at times the audience couldn’t tell whether she was hallucinating or not. It was done nicely. I thought her descent into madness was subtle enough to be believable in the context of the movie. Natalie Portman did an amazing job; I’d like to see her win best actress for this role.

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Have you seen this movie? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Spam Update

Due to the large amount of spam I have received in the past couple of weeks, I have temporarily changed the comment settings on this blog. For the time being, I will allow comments only from people who are registered and signed into WordPress (or Open ID if that works with this setting). I will revisit this after the holidays and see what happens . . .  I just can’t deal with all of the spam right now. I mean, seriously, this is my Askimet chart:

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I originally wanted to allow comments from everyone,  but I don’t have time to sort through hundreds of spam comments at the moment. Since no spammers have been signed in, I’m hope this helps matters.

I also wanted to say that there will be no Twitter Tuesday and Facebook Friday for the next two weeks due to the holidays and my new job. I will still post though!

~Amy

What You Should Know About Spam

Today I want to talk to you about spam. I’ve been getting a lot more of it than usual lately, so I did some research on it.

AKISMET

Free WordPress blogs—like mine—use a service called Akismet. Askimet uses a filter that automatically detects trackbacks and spam comments. It can mark legitimate comments as spam, so check your folder at least every 15 days (as this is when the spam is deleted).



WHAT DOES A SPAM COMMENT LOOK LIKE?

Spam comments will often have multiple links in the text. However, my most popular type of spam comment appears to be innocent at first—like this:
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At first glance, this seems great. But when I dive in deeper, I notice the red flags—namely the website and the IP address. Spammers will post comments like this to get people to click on their link and to



HOW DO I CHECK FOR SPAM?

I make an effort to read through and look at every comment on my blog. When I get spam messages, I look at the name, website, comment, and IP address. Spammers will often leave multiple comments under different names from the same IP address. If I see that, I skim the messages and delete them.

If I am not sure about a comment, I will check the website to see if it looks legitimate. If the comment looks okay, but I don’t like the website, I will delete the site but leave the comment. Other than that (and possibly editing out bad words), I do not change the content of the comment.



HOW TO NOT GET MARKED AS SPAM

  • Leave a comment related to the post. General comments about the blog are better emailed to me at amy@amyerickson.net or placed on one of my pages.
  • Link to a real website, blog, or Twitter account. This way I can see if you’re a real person. Most spammers link to a pharmaceutical site or something similar.
  • Email or tweet me if you are concerned. This extra step will go a long way in proving that your comment is legitimate.

Of course, I will keep looking over my spam, so don’t worry too much.


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How many spam messages do you get on your blog? Let me know in the comments below.