Pirate Cat Radio



The live streaming of DJ sets has become a widespread trend within dance music over the last couple of years. From full-scale operations such as the Mixmag DJ Lab, Boiler Room and B@TV to tongue-in-cheek spoofs such as the Toilet Room and Being Boiled, watching selectors bang it out on a screen has become the norm. It’s got to the point that if a DJ hasn’t been filmed playing in some obscure, far flung, exotic location, then they’re not really worth their salt. Seriously, if you want to stay ahead in the business, you’ll need to think creatively. Here’s some of our location suggestions to get you and your stream rolling…

The Phonebox

The live stream business is all about one-upmanship, with brands constantly thinking up new, far-out locations in which to thrust unassuming DJs who only agreed to play because their manager said it would be a “good look”. So what started as a Ustream session from a kitchen table in the corner of a Hackney Wick warehouse has now escalated into a succession of Miami pool parties, Ibiza villa jams and Brazilian beach raves. But in the search for ultimate exclusivity, why not take a step back and book a stream from a phonebox? Fitting a maximum of three people and a webcam, it’ll leave hungry party kids clamoring to get in while the rest of the world tunes in to see the DJ dislocate their left shoulder in order to mix records in such a demandingly tight space. Plus the poor jock can take requests directly, giving new meaning to the term ‘partyline’. A good look indeed.

The Chainstore

Problems finding a venue with reliable power points and a decent wifi connection? Try hitting up a chainstore, especially a cash-strapped one like HMV that’s currently gagging for revenue since everyone stopped splashing out on £40 Die Hard boxsets. Since DJs don’t bother getting out of bed unless their breakfast, lunch and dinner is sponsored, you won’t be accused of selling out; rather, you and your stream team will look like diligent entrepreneurs about to change the face of music distribution…or something. Just make sure your broadcast is done and dusted before the bailiffs arrive for the store manager and the piles of unsold Beats By Dre headphones.

The Barber Shop

Alongside the clapped-out launderette round the corner, the local barber shop is one of the most sought after live stream locations in town thanks to its old-skool aesthetic and no-bullshit approach. Small and compact, it’s perfect for achieving that sardine tin level of intimacy required to make a broadcast look like it’s popping off. It’s also popular with DJs who like to keep their hair high ‘n tight, so tempting Zomby out of hiding to play live in return for a slick new fade should be pretty simple. Getting those all important anonymous DJ exclusives is the aim of the game folks!

The Wheelie Bin

Nothing says ‘outsider house’ like playing out the top of a Biffa bin. It’s perfect for experimental artists, who can improvise with black bags full of discarded computer hardware and sample the sound of glass bottles breaking beneath their feet. To get a strong stream going you’ll have to scope out an office block with a prime set of bins and bundle your equipment in under the cloak of darkness, giving that panty-wetting sense of pirate radio danger. But instead of dodging burly geezers from the Department of Trade and Industry, you’ll have to divert the attention of the building’s janitor, who hates anything released on the LIES label and will break your knee caps in a second.

The Market Stall

Forget New York, Berlin or London; the market stall is a great way to get a live stream going in provincial towns with a population of less than 15,000. It’s got the perfect combination of constant footfall, vibrant décor and an MC with at least 10 years experience, meaning high streets across Little Britain (and hopefully provincial Europe too) will soon be belting out the sound of underground techno. Don’t worry if the DJ you’ve booked is a little nervous; market stall traders can flog back catalogue mix CDs quicker than they can bags of sprouts, meaning you’ll be making it rain in no time.

The Supermarket

How to solve the problem of everyone on the guestlist nicking your carefully stashed bottles of complimentary Corona? Set up in the booze aisles of a supermarket. That way you can enjoy a bev while the fanboys rummage around in the crates of Carling and your star DJ can pick from a selection of upmarket vodkas. If you get everyone drunk enough, someone might get naked or throw a tantrum, adding extra viral potential. Like the time Skream threatened to chuck a couple grand’s worth of equipment into the crowd at SXSW or that other time when he was on the verge of photocopying his arse in our office.

The Office

It’s easy enough to get people dancing when you huddle them into a frosty East London warehouse and ply them with sponsored booze. But to be really boundary breaking, why not set up a DJ booth in one of the least fun places known to man- the office. With the stench of Dave’s shepherd’s pie lunch still lingering in the air, and the IT dorks from floor two complaining about the noise, it’s probably the worst place to throw a party. But then, the party pioneers throwing raves by the M25 probably had haters, and look what happened. Stupid can become legendary. We’re still waiting for the legendary part.

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North Korea confirms it landed a man on the sun

The State News Agency of North Korea has confirmed today that the country has become the first in the world to ever land a man on the sun.

It reported that astronaut Hung Il Gong left for the sun on a specially designed rocket ship at approximately 3am this morning.
Hung, who traveled alone, reached his destination some four hours later, landing his craft on the far side of the lonely star.
“We are very delighted to announce a successful mission to put a man on the sun.” a North Korean central news anchor man said on a live broadcast earlier. “North Korea has beaten every other country in the world to the sun. Hung Il Gong is a hero and deserves a hero’s welcome when he returns home later this evening.” The specially trained astronaut is expected to return back to earth at 9pm tonight, where he will meet his uncle and supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

It is understood that the 17-year-old ‘space explorer’ traveled at night to avoid being engulfed by the suns rays, and that this genius approach has brought the soviet state to the top of the global space rankings.
While on the sun, Mr. Hung collected sun spot samples to bring back to his supreme leader as a present.
The 18 hour mission is already being called the ‘greatest human achievement of our time’ by the North Korean central news agency.

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Why Germany Feels Strongly About NSA Surveillance

What if everyone were a suspect?

That was not hard to imagine this week at the Digital-Life-Design conference, where talk of the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs overshadowed wonkier tech topics including wearable devices, whether Nest will keep its user data private now that it’s part of Google, and a plan to save the world using mobile phones.

You see, spying is kind of a sensitive topic in the reunified Germany. Before the reunification in 1990, citizens of Communist East Germany grappled with spying on one’s own friends, family and colleagues, under orders by the Stasi secret police.

Anke Domscheit-Berg, a German political activist and politician, aimed to make sure this week’s gathering of technology, arts and intellectual cognoscenti reflected on the darker, earlier era in pre-unified Germany. She recalled what it was like living under the Stasi. Now 46, she was a 21-year old art student when the Berlin Wall fell. Interviewed on stage at DLD by Jeff Jarvis, the American professor and commentator, she described how she was blackmailed by the Stasi into spying on fellow students — they implied that if she did not comply, her father, a government employee, would lose his job. She had come to their attention after writing a letter complaining about the reliability of deliveries from the East German post office.

It’s an example of how benign information can, in the wrong circumstances, be turned against you by a government. And as much as that government — indeed any government — might defend its actions as being for the benefit and protection of the people now, it’s not hard to imagine a moment in the future when the circumstances might change.

“Every information can be used against you, about your passions, about your fears, about relationships you have. This is something we must remember,” Domscheit-Berg said.

It’s not just an American problem. She thinks the Germany security agencies are also “out of control.”

Knowing surveillance is going on is enough to make people think twice about saying otherwise reasonable things in public. When she started a petition drive against a system of secret prisons that the U.S. has set up around the world as part of the war on terror, Domscheit-Berg heard privately from a lot of people who agreed with her but who were afraid to take a stand. They wanted to be able to visit the U.S. one day and didn’t want to be denied a visa. “When you use mass surveillance, the surveilled people are not free. It’s as simple as that.”

Domscheit-Berg said that Germans view this issue more passionately. “It is our historic responsibility because it’s our national history, which makes us so sensitive.”

It’s worth noting that in Internet and political activism circles, Domsheit-Berg is one half of a European power couple. Her husband is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for Wikileaks who had a very public falling out with the organization and destroyed thousands of documents that it had intended to leak.

She’s also running for political office. She’s standing for a seat in the European Union Parliament representing the Pirate Party. Why stand for office? “I believe still enough in democracy to change it from the inside,” she said.


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Pirate Party Passes into Irrelevance

Vast Internet surveillance. A cross-border network of state-sponsored digital snoopery. Governments shrugging their shoulders at widespread protest against the omnipresence of Big Brother. The NSA spying scandal has taught us a lot in recent weeks. One lesson in Germany, however, has gone largely unnoticed. The Pirate Party, hailed only recently as a new kind of political activism, is dead.

It was not a dramatic passing. It was not sudden. There was no external foul play involved. It was more like those stories one hears of some poor soul dying in his apartment only to be found months later. This week, it has become clear that the Pirates actually left us long ago.
The proof is in the surveys. If ever there was a news event that might provide a boost to a political party focused on issues relating to Internet freedom and digital privacy, it is the recent revelations that the US, the United Kingdom and several other countries have spent years maintaining a close surveillance of the worldwide web. And yet the most recent public opinion polls published in Germany show that support for the Pirate Party remains paltry. A mere 3 percent of voters would cast their ballots for the party were elections held this Sunday.

For those who have been keeping a close watch on the Pirate Party in recent months, their inability to profit from the revelations, brought to the public eye by whistleblower Edward Snowden, is hardly a surprise. The Pirates spent much of last year and the first few months of this year engaged in a highly public airing of dirty laundry. Internal spats combined with little in the way of serious policy proposals have turned away followers in droves.

Reinventing Politics?

It was an ugly decline, made worse by the high hopes that many had invested in the party not all that long ago. As recently as the spring of 2012, the party looked as though it was destined to become a fixture of the German political landscape, having been voted into state parliament in a string of regional elections. It was even going to reinvent politics altogether, with its insistence on transparency and use of innovative online tools such as Liquid Feedback so that all party members could have a say in policy.

Even then, though, it was clear that the experiment needed a fair bit of fine-tuning. For one, prominent Pirates showed a penchant for tripping over their tongues, exhibit 1A being Berlin city-state parliamentarian Martin Delius’ boast that the Pirates were growing as fast as the Nazis did in the 1930s.

For another, though, transparency isn’t necessarily a good thing in a party where casual character assassination and tweeted insults are the preferred means of communication. Party chair Bernd Schlömer was driven to quitting by a slew of Tweets and web posts from fellow party members calling him an “asshole,” “babbling Bernd,” a sexist and a number of other, less-friendly appellations. He is not the only one. The party’s former press spokesman Christopher Lang was also driven out last summer by what he said was systematic bullying. Allegations of sexual harassment of female party members were also frequent. Indeed, the party abandoned its committment to transparency earlier this year.
In recent weeks, the party has been doing what it can to regain its lost relevancy. It has organized demonstrations in support of Snowden and has been vocal in its rejection of widespread Internet surveillance.

But when a dead party rolls over in its grave, few take notice.

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German Poles to Vote in Upcoming Election

A decision by Germany’s high court means that Poles with German ancestry can now take part in September’s general election via absentee ballot. For many members of the minority group, the change is of huge symbolic importance.

Bruno Kosak, a Pole of German descent, refers to himself as “more German than Germany itself.” Full of yearning for the “Deutsche Heimat” (German homeland), the 78-year-old insists on staying up to date with current affairs. “I read up on everything that Chancellor Merkel gets up to,” he says. “I even shook her hand once during a visit to Berlin.”

But for all his interest in German politics, Kosak has never been able to vote — until now. A decision last year by Germany’s Constitutional Court means that Germans who reside outside of the country, even if they have never actually lived in Germany, can take part in the election via absentee ballot.
For the German minority in Poland, the change was a watershed moment. “Finally, we felt that we were being acknowledged in Berlin,” says Kosak, whose forefathers settled in Poland centuries ago. “We’ve always been in a kind of limbo state, and the ability to vote means that we are officially part of the German political landscape.”

Close Ties

Previous governments in Berlin have argued that those who have never resided in Germany are not connected to the country — and thus shouldn’t be allowed to cast ballots. Previously, German expats had to have lived in Germany for a minimum of three months in order to qualify.

But one year ago, Germany’s Constitutional Court struck down the provision, agreeing with two plaintiffs who argued that their rights as German citizens had been infringed upon. They had been born in 1982 in Belgium but never lived in Germany, and were not allowed to vote in the 2009 election as a result.

The new status is unprecedented in Europe, where most citizens lose their right to vote in their home country after approximately 15 years of living abroad. But the specific historical circumstances that led to the settlement of Germans in present-day Poland — which dates back to the early medieval period — make it difficult to compare the German minority to other expat groups.

After the flight and expulsions of Germans from Poland after World War II, as many as one million ethnic Germans living in Poland were naturalized and granted Polish citizenship. Today, the vast majority of ethnic Germans live in the southwestern Polish region of Silesia, where the German language is still spoken. Even the region’s street signs are bilingual.

Of the estimated 300,000 ethnic Germans still living in Poland, many have strong links to Germany such as relatives, property, pensions and bank accounts. Kosak, a long-time activist for German minority rights in Poland, encouraged his four children to emigrate soon after the collapse of Communism in 1989. “Of course I care about the outcome of the German election. It’s going to have a direct impact on my children’s children,” he says.

Symbolic Value

In an effort to get as many ethnic Germans as possible to apply for absentee ballots, Lukasz Bily, of the Union of German Socio-Cultural Communities in Poland, has launched a multimedia campaign. Flyers and posters have been distributed, informational websites have been launched and Bily gave a series of seminars to show people how to fill out the paperwork. Now all he can do is wait.

“The deadline for absentee ballot applications is September 1,” he says. “So if people want to act, they have to act fast.”

Despite the effort, it remains to be seen how many ethnic Germans in Poland will actually end up voting in the election. Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, tensions can still flare up between ethnic Germans and their Polish neighbors. Many in the community would rather keep their heritage under wraps — one reason, it is suspected, why the number of people declaring German ancestry in Poland’s 2011 national census was extremely low.

According to a spokesperson for the German embassy in Warsaw, many chose to categorize themselves simply as “Silesian” to avoid revealing their German roots. For this reason, pointing to a precise number of Germans living in Poland is extremely difficult. Even Germany’s Office of Foreign Affairs was not able to shed light on the demographic, confirming only that German consulates in Poland issued a total of 16,800 passports in 2011 and 2012. Given that most German passports are valid for 10 years, one could calculate a not-very-reliable estimate based on those issuances.
“As you can imagine, the number of people who will vote is even harder to estimate,” says a spokesperson.

Bily maintains that even if turnout is lower than expected, the change to the voting law remains hugely important on a symbolic level. “People are beginning to understand the relevance of the change,” he says. “It’s an important time for the community to come together, and to acknowledge its heritage. We’re sending a clear message to Berlin — we’re here, we’re interested and we can make a difference.”

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Schwarzenegger leaves mixed legacy in California


Sacramento – Arnold Schwarzenegger landed in the governor’s office after announcing his upstart bid on late night TV and railing against government spending during raucous campaign rallies — at one playing a spirited round of air guitar to the rock anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

Then the world’s best known action star, Schwarzenegger conveyed an image of invincibility, persuading Californians that anything was possible if only they had the right mindset.

“I know how to sell something,” he said then.

As he would come to learn, selling a political idea is one thing. Delivering on it is quite another.

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NATO, Afghan forces say they killed 15 insurgents


Afghanistan (AP) —

Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 15 insurgents in eastern Afghanistan during an overnight search for a senior Taliban leader in remote eastern Afghanistan, NATO said Saturday.

Security forces came under attack near a compound in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province on Friday night, sparking a battle that killed the insurgents. NATO also used airstrikes in the operation.

The insurgents were the only casualties, NATO said.

Authorities were trying to determine whether the Taliban leader the troops were searching for was among those killed. The leader was not identified, but NATO said he helped foreign fighters, raised money and planned attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

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Menlo Park research facility refuses to let humane society see monkey that bit worker

By Bonnie Eslinger

A Menlo Park research facility Monday refused to allow a humane society representative to check up on a monkey that bit a female lab worker the day before.

SRI International officials said the lab worker is OK and because their facility is under federal oversight, the Peninsula Humane Society doesn’t have to be given access to its research animals.

“The worker … received a very minor injury to the finger, was treated onsite by emergency response personnel and then at a local medical facility,” SRI said in a statement released Monday. “The worker is fine and returned to work on Monday.”

“The worker is fine and returned to work on Monday.”

The research facility provided little information about the biting incident, other than to say it occurred “during a routine procedure.”

At 9:11 a.m. Sunday, Menlo Park police received a call from SRI security reporting that a woman had passed out after being bitten by a monkey, said police spokeswoman Nicole Acker.

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La Niña may reduce California water allocations

Kelly Zito, Chronicle Staff Writer

California – Despite an unusually wet October and weekend storms that deposited more than 10 feet of snow in parts of the Sierra Nevada, the state next year expects to deliver about one-quarter of the water requested by agencies that depend on the California Aqueduct, state hydrologists said Monday.

By definition the estimate is preliminary and certain to change as the rainy season wears on. But experts at the Department of Water Resources say that “strong” La Niña conditions are likely to offset this fall’s deluges.

“We’re off to a good start for this year’s precipitation … but La Niña could mean dry conditions later in the (water) year … especially in Southern California,” Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin said in a conference call with reporters.

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Netflix expects video streaming to drown out DVDs

associated press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is preparing for the day when getting DVDs by mail is as old-fashioned as going to the video store. It’s hoping to wean people from DVDs with a cheap plan that offers movies and old TV episodes exclusively through online streaming. It will cost $8 per month, matching a recent price cut by rival Hulu.

So should you get rid of your DVD player? Maybe not yet. But it might be a good time to make sure your television can connect to the Internet.

Most analysts expect the streaming-only plan to appeal to younger subscribers, especially those who have signed up for Netflix in the past couple years as the service became available through video game consoles. To them, the new price will probably seem like a bargain: Netflix had been charging $9 per month for the lowest-priced plan that included unlimited video streaming.

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