Yaba Yaba

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Posts Tagged ‘human rights

Free Philip Rizk!

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I heard about Philip Rizk from 3arabawy‘s twitter feed. According to various sources, Rizk was arrested by the Egyptian secret police after organising a rally in support of Gazans. You can follow updates on

Hossam’s del.icio.us and Ben White‘s blog and join the facebook group. (Maybe he should have organised the rally in Tel-Aviv instead)

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Written by yishaym

February 9, 2009 at 1:38 am

save Farzad! act NOW

with one comment

This just in from Eric Lee:

farzad_kamangarThis morning I received news that jailed Iranian teacher union activist Farzad Kamangar may be hanged within the next few hours.
According to the Education International, he has been taken from his cell in Tehran’s Evin prison in preparation for execution. The guards have told him he is about to be executed and they are making fun of him, calling him a martyr.
We need your help and we need it right now.
Send off your message to the Iranian president:
http://www.labourstart.org/farzad
Pass on the this message to everyone you know who might support this campaign. We may only have a few hours left.
I know that I can count on your help.  Thank you.

Eric Lee

You can read more & send an e-message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at:

http://www.ei-ie.org/en/urgentactionappeal/show.php?id=12&country=iran

Written by yishaym

November 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm

FaceBook is evil.

with 4 comments

FaceBook’s strategy may be genius, or it may be bonkers. I’m betting on bonkers – and praying for it too. Yes, privacy is dead, it has been for a while now. But this is taking it to an extreme. There an old line from an old radio sketch that comes to mind: yes, everyone pisses in the pool, but they don’t do it from the top of the jumping board.

Google has been serving me ads tailored for my behaviour for ages. Whether it’s adsense or the little clips on my gmail. Amazon tells me that people who bought this book also liked that one. The big difference is that whatever is personal, stays personal. No one tells my friends what I bought unless I do.

Mr. Zuckerberg thinks we’re ready to cross that bridge: hand over whatever is left of our dignity to the noble cause of making corporates richer. It kinda makes sense with the MS deal. Funny, how the same people who will go to great lengths to protect “their” intellectual property (read: DRM) are so eager to violate ours.

The irony is that FaceBook will fail, but not because the masses will awake. It will fail for the same reason that Friendster, Yahoo360 and so many of its predecessors failed: our short span of attention, and our low tolerance of bad products. And let’s say it once and for all: FaceBook is a crap product. Don’t give me the 800M users can’t all be wrong. They’re not. They came, had some fun, and will soon move on to something new. Why? Because FB gives you very little in terms of actual social value. Ok, you threw a fish at me, I joined your save the penguins cause. Now what? What does FB give me, in terms of managing my life, that email doesn’t? In fact, in most cases – it’s just a pain compared to email. Even the big API hoo-ha turned out to be an embarrassment. The only FB applications that carry any weight are those that point you to external services, like Zoho. Believe me, I’ve tried them.

Now google, that’s a different story. I can communicate with my friends with gmail, share document and edit them collaboratively, coordinate social activities with my calender and mailing lists. And you know what? I don’t mind their targeted ads, because their targeting actually works: most of the content that gets pushed my way is actually of interest (compare FB: I’m still getting dating ads. Please someone tell them I’m in a relationship, been happily in one for decades. Oh – that’s on my profile).

Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius social engineer, but as a software engineer he sucks. He was smart to start with college kids and expand upwards. He rode the wave of carnival for a year, now the party’s over. Which is why he’s resorting to hysterical business strategies.

(originally posted as a comment on

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/11/dont_tap_on_the.php)

(digg this)

Written by yishaym

November 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Free Burma!

with 3 comments


Free Burma!

Can we make a difference? I really don’t know. But can we allow ourselves not to try?

Written by yishaym

October 4, 2007 at 1:27 pm