Tell This To Your 231 Friends

Brazilians have, on average, 231 friends on their social networks, only behind Malaysians who have 233, according to a study put out this Sunday by the international research company TNS. The study, done with 48.8 thousand people between ages 16 and 60 in 46 countries, shows that the Japanese are still the least ‘friended’ (with 29 friends on average), followed by the Tanzanians (38) and the South Koreans (50). – Source (in PT)

No surprise there but this whole idea of what a friend is has lost all meaning worldwide. There was a time when one reached the end of their life, if they had 4 or 5 real, true friends, that they were lucky. Now, everything has been ‘carnivalized’ to stupidity and we ‘like’ things instead of discuss them and add ‘friends’ instead of make them.

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Geoblocking Brazilians – Tsc Tsc

I came across a post by a guy named Gustavo on Tumblr about how Brazilians are geoblocked on many services. Geoblocking is blocking an Internet service based on where you live. I’m not sure on the specifics behind this practice or why it even has to occur because, for example, if backend agreements are already in place with major record labels, why can’t Brazilians listen to or download songs from those labels? We aren’t talking about giving Brazilians access to music from labels that don’t have agreements with certain services yet, so what’s the problem?

Gustavo says,

“Here in Brazil I can’t use Playstation Network, Hulu, iTunes (for media), Spotify (just like in the states), Last.fm (actually I need to pay for that) and the Kindle store just won’t allow me to download the newest and best stuff. And the list just keeps getting bigger and bigger as new services are launched.”

Anyone know why this is so, especially when Brazilians are heavy Internet users?

Internet access up 75% in Brazil (in 3 yrs)

“The percentage of Brazilians, who are 10 years or older, that are online increased 75.3% in the last 3 years, going from 20.9% in 2005 to 34.8% in 2008 (or 56 million users), the Brazilian Institution of Geography and Statistics stated on Friday.

The increase occurred just as much among men (21.9% in 2005 to 35.8% in 2008) as it did among women (from 20.1% to 33.9%). Last year, the utilization was larger among the youth: those between 15 and 17 years old registered the highest percentage (62%) of people that went online and also they represented the group with the highest increase in the last three years (when it was at 33.7%).”

Source (more here, in PT)

Monitoring internet usage in Brazil

As France just approved its version of a law to monitor Internet usage (Hadopi – High Authority for the Broadcast of Content and the Protection of Rights on the Internet) under the veil of stopping illegal downloaders from having Internet access, Brazil has its own version in the works.

The “Lei Azeredo” which was approved in the Senate mid-year in 2008 and on its way to being approved as an official law, criminalizes thirteen acts made possible by the Internet. The criminalization is just the veil under which Internet usage would be monitored by law and kept on record for three years, including what sites you visited, when and for how long. As with most laws internationally, the “positive” side is highlighted while the negative side is tucked away in the back somewhere in fine print.

Critics are comparing the “Lei Azeredo”, named after the Senator Eduardo Azeredo, to the AI-5 (Institutional Act 5) which is one of the principal signs of a military dictatorship in Brazil. The AI-5 was authored in 1968 and gave permission to the President of the Republic of Brazil to ignore checks and balances and suspend the political rights of any citizen. While invoking such a resemblance might be seen as going too far, it is very important to always search out the hidden ramifications of any law that is a threat to liberty. Often times, citizens consider “being informed” as watching the news and reading the newspaper in order to understand multi-faceted and complex laws when in reality, they are merely being herded like sheep.

“When you consult specialists, you would see that there isn’t any kind of threat being made against freedom on the Internet, there is no spying being done online. The objective is to combat crimes”, affirmed the Senator.

Apparently, the Senator knows how to invoke something from his own arsenal, the “expert religion”, which depends on experts and authorities to give the people their ideas and opinions. What is important here is to think for yourself and to begin to ask yourself fundamental questions such as, “what is a law?” Perhaps you may see that the terms legal and illegal don’t always coincide with right and wrong, that they are merely terms for acts and ideas which lawmakers deem to be right and wrong.

– Adam