Bike Sharing: How it Works

Bike Sharing - How it Works
by Sue Basko, esq.

You're in a city and you see people ride by on bikes, many of which seem to match.  Then you notice bike stations with racks (called bike docks) and kiosks.  You see people pick out a bike and ride off.  What is this?  It's Bike Sharing! 

Bike Sharing is popular throughout the world.  Bike Sharing combines two of my favorite things - bicycles and the sharing economy.  Each year, more cities add Bike Sharing programs and the existing programs add more stations and  bikes. 

Here is a list of North American cities that have Bike Sharing programs: 

And here is a worldwide map showing which cities have Bike Sharing:  

Bike Sharing programs have different rules and prices in each city.  However, there is a shared commonality among almost all the programs.  This is how it works:

1.  THE BIKES MATCH. All the Bikes in a city are the same.  The seat heights can be adjusted.  Most of the bikes are sturdy and somewhat heavy.  The bikes have a front basket or rack with a bungee cord.  The bikes have lights that go on by themselves. You can tell the Shared Bikes going past on the street because they will all be the same distinctive color.  Bike Shares buy expensive bicycles that are valued at $1000 to $1500 per bike.

2.  BIKE STATIONS.  Bike Share programs have Bike Stations that have a kiosk and bike docks. The kiosk is a computer screen on which the users buy a daily membership, choose a bike, report any bike malfunctions, etc.  The Bike Stations are self-serve and automatic. There are no workers present, though most Bike Share programs have a phone number where a customer service person can be reached. Each bike is locked securely into a bike dock.  A bike may be taken from any bike station and returned to that same bike station or to any other bike station.

3. SHORT RIDES.  The object of Shared Bikes is to provide bikes for short rides, such as errands or commutes to and from a train, university, shopping center, or tourist attractions.  Therefore, the system works such that all short rides are included in one price.  That "short ride" might be defined as 30 minutes, 40 minutes, or one hour.  You need to check the Bike Sharing program you are using.  

4. ONE PRICE FOR ALL THE SHORT RIDES YOU CAN TAKE.  Most Bike Share programs allow a user to join for 24 hours, or for one month, or for one year.  Included in that price are all the short rides you care to make.  When the short ride time limit is up, you must return the bike to any dock location at any station.  You must then wait a minute or two and you can check out a different bike, if you like.  You could, in theory, spend your day taking short bike rides, and this would cost you one price.  If any bike ride you take exceeds the "Short Ride" time limit for that city, you are billed for the extra time.

5. EXAMPLES: These are imaginary examples that are typical approximations of times and prices.  Let's say Fun City has a bike share program with 100 stations throughout the city, with 1200 bikes total.  In Fun City, you can buy a 24 hour Bike Share pass for $10 or a yearly Bike Share pass for $75.  

If you buy the 24 hour pass at noon, you have until noon the next day to use the bikes.  You can check out a bike and take as many short bike rides as you like.  Let's say Fun City has a 30 minute short ride limit. You can check out a bike, and as long as you re-dock the bike at any bike station within 30 minutes, it is included in the daily price.  You can then wait a few minutes and take out another bike, if you like.  Or you can go for a short ride in the morning, another short ride in the evening, and several short rides the following morning.  If you are walking down a street and see a bike station and the mood suits you, you can take a bike.  

If you keep the bike for longer than 30 minutes (or whatever the short ride limit is in that city) on any given ride, you will be billed extra for that.  As an example, it might be an extra $2 for the time period between 30-60 minutes.

6. BIKE SHARING YEAR MEMBERSHIP:  If you join a Bike Sharing program for a month (if available) or a year, you will be given a thick plastic "key" which you will insert into a bike dock to unlock any bike.  This is much quicker than a daily membership, where you must choose a bike number at the kiosk.  You just walk up to any bike, put in the key, pull the bike from the dock, adjust the seat, and ride away.  With a Bike Share yearly membership, you can take as many Short Ride trips as you like for one year.  You might take 3 trips per day or 3 trips per month.  Users are encouraged to use the Shared Bikes as much as they like.  

7. CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD NEEDED.  To join a Bike Share, you need a debit or credit card.  Fees for keeping the bike longer than the Short Ride limit are charged to the card.  In some cities, only one bike can be taken out per credit card.  Other cities allow multiple bikes to be taken on one card.

8. NOT FOR CHILDREN.  Bike Share programs are not designed for children.  Most cities limit use of Bike Share bikes to people age 16 and up.  The bikes are the size and design for an adult rider.  

9. BIKE SHARE APPS.  Many Bike Share programs have apps for a smart phone that show the locations of bike stations and how many bikes are available at that station.  Bike Share programs also have websites that have interactive maps showing stations and bike availability.  

10. BRING YOUR OWN HELMET. You need to bring your own helmet and anything else you might need for your ride.

How to Plan a Million Mask March 2015

How to Plan a Million Mask March 2015
in 10 Easy Steps
by Susan Basko, esq


Maybe you've heard about the Million Mask March scheduled for Thursday, November 5th, 2015.  This is a world-wide peaceful march. Search on Twitter and Facebook to see if your city is planning a march. Note the time carefully because different cities are planning their marches for times beginning anywhere from 9 am to 5 pm.

 If your city or town or campus does not already have a march planned, maybe you want to plan your own march.  It's easy and fun!   HERE IS HOW:

Remember this is a PEACEFUL MARCH. That means no harm will be done to any people or any building or any vehicle or any other thing.

It is fine if your protest is only a few of your friends.  It is also fine if there are many of you.  The idea is that you are joined together with people WORLDWIDE who are doing the Million Mask March on November 5, 2015.  The "million" is worldwide.


 First search on Twitter and Facebook to see if there is a march already planned for your location. If so, join in with that group.  There are many listings on Wordpress sites, Facebook pages, and on Twitter accounts.  A Google search with the words Million Mask March and the name of your city should bring up results.

Some are listed on this Facebook page:

If there is not a march already in your area, to PLAN YOUR OWN:

1) If you need to plan your own march, it is too late in almost any city to get a permit. Therefore, to run a legal protest, you will need to hold it in a public plaza or on the public sidewalk.  How to do this:

2) Choose a location that is a publicly-owned plaza such as by a City Hall, government building, etc. or a place on a public sidewalk.   If possible, get a local lawyer to help you with your plans.

3) The date is THURSDAY, November 5, 2015.  Choose a 2-hour time slot.  The BEST TIME SLOT is when students and workers can attend.  That might be 4pm - 6pm or 5pm - 7pm.    Plan according to what works for your people.  The time slot is start to finish and includes gathering, running your protest, speakers, music and dancing, ending, and clean-up.  Plan and write your schedule and get helpers to keep it on time.

If a protest is longer than 2 hours, local people and police start to get agitated.  Keep it to 2 hours for the most peaceful protest.  Some bigger cities are having long, all-day protests where people will stop in for a while when it is convenient for them, and then leave.  If your protest is going to draw a small group, then you need to make it compact in time to make it effective.

4) Create a facebook page for your event. Invite people using the Facebook invite system.  Ask people to SHARE the invitation.

5) Make a twitter account for your event.  Post your updates.

6) Check your state and municipal statutes to see if it is illegal to wear masks in public.  If it is illegal, print up masks, back them with cardboard or foam core board, and tape them to a flat stick, so you are holding the masks, not wearing them.  MASK TO PRINT: 

7) Plan what you are going to do at the protest.  Dancing, music, a speaker, drums, etc. are all good.  It is nice to have a live streamer, live tweeters, photographers, videos, etc.  A lot of protests are just people standing around wearing masks or dancing.  That is effective, too.

8) The theme is freedom of internet and freedom from surveillance.  The irony, of course, is that your whole protest is likely to be on surveillance cameras, as well as on many peoples' phone cameras.

9) Run your protest.  Afterwards, clean up.  Pick up any papers or fliers that were dropped on the ground.  Leave the space cleaner and neater than you found it.

10) Share your Million Mask March photos and videos on Twitter and Youtube and Facebook.

Extradition! Free Trips to the U.S.
Young geeks sitting in their bedrooms

Extradition! Free Trips to the U.S.
"young geeks sitting in their bedrooms"
by Susan Basko, esq.

The United States Department of Justice is trying to give away FREE trips to the U.S. to several lucky winners.  The prizes are being awarded mainly to young geeks sitting in their bedrooms.  These folks are balking and not wanting to take the trip, also known as "fighting extradition."   Here is a glimpse at a few of the cases:

Kim Dotcom: Mr. Dotcom - and yes, this appears to be his legal name, has been charged by the U.S. with criminal copyright violations for allegedly allowing copies of U.S. music and movies to be on the servers of his popular website Mega Upload.  Kim Dotcom lives in New Zealand and is always seen dressed tastefully in black.  He has a really big house that was raided by the U.S. FBI in a Rambo-esque raid involving helicopters and hundreds of agents dressed in battle armor.  Mr. Dotcom has never been to the U.S., his business is not in the U.S., and he has no assets in the U.S.  The U.S. has been battling to extradite him since 2012 and it looks like a hearing to determine whether he will be extradited will be held in September or October 2015.  Mr. Dotcom has very good lawyers; their court filings are a joy to read.  This article on Torrent Freak will get you started in understanding that case a bit.

Gary Davis:  Gary Davis was allegedly a Silk Road administrator.  Since Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, was given an outlandishly unfair trial and then sentenced to life in prison, Mr. Davis justifiably wishes to stay out of the clutches of the U.S.  Gary Davis also has the autism spectrum disorder known as Aspergers, a condition which is ignored and mistreated in the U.S. justice system.   Is it a crime to help run a website?  Ireland is not interested in pursuing this as a crime.  Mr. Davis' extradition hearing continues.  This article in the Irish Times can get you up to speed on this case.

Eric Eoin Marques:  Eric Marques is from Ireland, but has dual U.S. citizenship because he was born in the U.S.  Mr. Marques has the autism spectrum disorder known as Aspergers.  He is known to have sat all day in his bedroom in his father's apartment, where he quietly founded and ran the Tor website hosting company called Freedom Hosting.  Freedom Hosting made it quick, easy, and cheap for anyone to start a website on Tor, aka the Deep Web.  Freedom Hosting had a strict Terms of Service that did not allow anything illegal on the sites.  Freedom Hosting  was a one-man operation, even though its website claimed it was not.  As with any website hosting company, some users pushed the boundaries and did not follow the Terms of Service.  Mr. Marques apparently failed to ferret out the offending websites, and now the U.S. Department of Justice has charged him with running the servers on which other people ran sites containing child pornography.

To make the case more salacious and to prejudice the public and media against Mr. Marques, the U.S. Prosecutors have referred to Mr. Marques as "the largest facilitator of child porn on the web."   This is like charging Amazon Web Services for all the legal violations taking place on the websites it serves or charging  the owners of Twitter for all the millions of death and rape threats and obscene pictures on Twitter.  Ireland has stated it is not interested in pursuing this matter as crimes under its own system.  Will Ireland throw Eric Eoin Marques to the dogs?  If a young man can sit in his bedroom and create a very successful website hosting company that demystifies the Deep Web, why does the U.S. want to charge him with crimes, rather than aiming its prosecution at those actually running child porn sites?  Why is Ireland not stepping up to claim this bright young man and protect him?  Extradition hearings took place at the end of June 2015 and a decision is expected in the upcoming months.  The Irish Times has a story here.

Lauri Love:  Lauri Love is a British student and former member of Occupy Glasgow, Scotland.  He is known as a peace and social justice activist who allegedly hacked some U.S. websites.  The U.S.  issued indictments against him in 3 different federal districts in different states.  He was arrested, let out on bail, the bail was dropped a year ago. Then he was arrested again and let out on bail again.  He is fighting extradition to the U.S.  This story in The Guardian gives a bit of background.

Janis Sharp, the mother of Gary MacKinnon, yet another young man with autism who fought off extradition to the U.S. over computer hacking charges, made this statement to The Guardian:  "They are just young geeks sitting in their bedrooms; they're not murderers, they're not terrorists, they're not selling secrets, they're just searching for information," said Sharp. "Being taken away from your country is a sentence and it is not [in line with the principle of] innocent until proven guilty. Extradition was meant for terrorists, not some young British geek in his bedroom in Suffolk."

The statement by Ms. Sharp seems more than apt.  It appears the U.S. is trying to scour the planet and imprison young folks with good computer skills. The U.S. is dragnetting young entrepreneurs and innovators and thinkers off the internet.  We need to ask what this is all about.

Autism and Federal Court Criminal Defendants

Autism and Federal Court Criminal Defendants
by Susan Basko, Esq

As many people know, I have worked hard for years to assist people who have become snagged in the criminal system and who also have a mental disability such as autism, brain injury, mental illness, OCD, memory loss, and other such conditions that affect behavior, affect how people are perceived, and require treatment.

Over the past couple of years, I have been doing all I can to assist a young man named Brian.  Brian is caught up in the federal criminal system.  He is innocent, but it is hard to convey that since Brian has autism and OCD, both of which affect his behavior dramatically.  It is very difficult for Brian to work with his lawyers or to aid in his own defense, and at times, he appears to be sabotaging himself.  He NEEDS an autism advocate, something which the federal court system has not supplied, even though asked to do so many times.

   Brian has a loving mother and grandparents.  What they have seen over and over is that the federal court system does not have any system for dealing with people with autism or other such disorders.  They do have a system for dealing with mental illness, so they have tried to label Brian as mentally ill.

Brian was not given an autism advocate at any phase of his situation - from questioning to trial to parole.  He was assigned a parole officer who was "afraid" of his behavior.

I have gone from one organization to another that supposedly assist those with autism, looking for someone to provide an advocate, a friend of the court brief, or some such thing, but they all said they do not get involved in the courts.   And the court has thus far provided nothing.

I write about this to let people know.  If there are any other advocates who wish to assist, maybe we can get a federal court case going where we ask the courts to mandate that people with autism and other such disabilities have rights to an advocate, for information to be given to judges, for expert witnesses, and the like.

Meanwhile, I want to mention something sad and pathetic.  As many readers will know, a fake autism "expert" who uses the name "Liz Ditz" has widely published defamation about me and about my advocacy work regarding autism. It is my understanding that "Liz Ditz" is a serial defamation smear artist, who falsely claims to be an expert in whatever field in which she is conducting a defamation campaign against those who actually work to help others.  I have been contacted by other victims of her massive smear campaigns.  This persona, Liz Ditz, has waged other defamation campaigns against others who have spent their lifetimes helping others. In each smear campaign, she claims to be an expert in the field in which she is smearing those who help others. Her evil tactics have driven good people out from helping those in great need.

NOTE: "Liz Ditz" is not anyone I have ever met, spoken with, or had any contact with.  It is a a person who somehow got into my Facebook and stole photos. Liz Ditz then wrote her own words and her own opinions about parents of autistic children being on a "a gravy train," to quote Liz Ditz's exact words.  To try to get publicity, Liz Ditz then posted her own words and ideas about autistic people and parents, and claimed they were mine.  There is no connection, and never was any connection, between me and the words and ideas spread by Liz Ditz.  She is merely a deranged stalker who tries to attribute her own words to others to smear them, and has been doing this for many years.

   This same defamation campaign of this twisted Liz Ditz persona has now been picked up by the equally evil and dishonest James McGibney, of the corporation ViaView, Inc., which engages in posting sex pictures of  girls and women without consent, photoshopping defamatory pictures of people,  revenge, hate speech, defamation campaigns, harassment, extortion, blackmail, threats,  purchasing of domains in the names of his victims, interference and manipulations conducted against entire families, and other such bad acts.  James McGibney and ViaView operate the attack-defamation websites, and the twitter accounts @Cheaterville and @Bullyville, as well as the related twitter account @JoinUs4Tea, and many other websites and twitter accounts.  He purchases domain names in the names of his victims and makes websites to lie about them, smear them, invade their privacy, and demean and bully them.

UPDATE July 2105: Please note that Twitter has permanently suspended many of the accounts mentioned here, since they were in violation of Twitter Terms of Service.    Twitter has removed many accounts owned by James McGibney and his associates, but these people simply wait a few weeks and form new accounts.

 It appears that the stalker-defamatoin artist "Liz Ditz" has now teamed up with the equally nefarious and anti-autism people James McGibney/ @Cheaterville/ @JoinUs4Tea.   James McGibney and his @Cheaterville twitter account and his websites, as well as the @JoinUs4Tea twitter account are now copying and promoting the lies and defamation created by "Liz Ditz."  It seems they are now all working together to harass people helping those with autism, and making it that much more difficult for people to be willing to help those in need. If there are fewer and fewer helping resources, it is because of the harassment of people like Liz Ditz, and her associates Mark Calladus, Brian Zaiger (of Encyclopedia Dramatic or @ED_Updates) and James McGibney and his Bullyville and Cheaterville and his many other malicious websites, and the associated twitter accounts @JoinUs4Tea and @Cheaterville and many others.

James McGibney has even purchases autism-related domains, presumably to spread more lies about people who help those with autism.  He owns hundreds of domains in peoples' names and uses those to stalk, defame, disparage professional reputations, and cause all-around societal harm.

There is very little that can be done to stop such people like Liz Ditz and James McGibney,  who are intent on harming people with autism and harming those of us who assist them.  All we can ask is that you do not fall into their traps of thinking they are trying to help. They are tearing down the support structures for those with autism.  As someone who has worked tirelessly for years to assist those with autism and other mental disorders, I can attest that the negative liars and defamers such as Liz Ditz, her associate named Mark Calladus, James McGibney and such, do a great deal of harm.  It is difficult enough getting courts, judges, parole officers, jail personnel, lawyers and journalists to understand, without the negative campaigns of hate waged by the likes of Liz Ditz, Mark Calladus, James McGibney, and their ilk.  These malicious and counterproductive people have waged a campaign to try to stop me personally from helping those most in need of help.  (They work hard to harm many good people!) At the same time, those I have helped and their families are incredibly grateful.  Who do I listen to?  The good people, and it is rather obvious who those are.

Is it because of people like Liz Ditz and James McGibney that it is so difficult to get the courts to treat people with autism fairly?  Those engaging in support are clearly being driven away by defamation campaigns being conducted by Liz Ditz and James McGibney, two defamation "artists" who have now teamed up to make the world a worse place and much more difficult for those in need.

"Special Place in Hell" for Silk Road Judge

Economy Class in Hell  
"Special Place in Hell" for Silk Road Judge

by Susan Basko, Esq.

June 10, 2015.  On June 2, 2015, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and one his Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Niketh Velamoor, sent a Grand Jury Subpoena to, a political blog headquartered in Los Angeles.   The subpoena can be seen HERE on the Popehat blog, thanks to lawyer/ journalist Ken White, aka Popehat.  Kudos for the good journalism, Popehat.

The subpoena seeks identifying information on the people who wrote 8 comments below a blog post about Judge Katherine Forrest giving a life sentence to Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road.  In case you've been asleep for a year or so, Silk Road was a tor site that allowed vendors to sell things in a situation where seller and buyer remained anonymous. The transactions were conducted using bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin is currency generated by people doing math problems on machines called Bitcoin miners.  Ross Ulbricht founded the Silk Road site.  He was arrested and charged with a bunch of crimes, then given an unfair trial where Judge Forrest kept a huge amount of highly pertinent information from the jury.

After the sham of a trial, which openly mocked the notion of Due Process, Judge Forrest sentenced Ross Ulbricht to life in prison. All federal life sentences are automatically LWOP, meaning Life Without Parole.  What this means is that the government locks the person in a very small cage and warehouses them until they die. If you want to see just how much this sentence is like being buried alive,  read HERE. That is a blog I founded and help run, written by Paul Modrowski, a man given an Illinois LWOP sentence at age 18 for allegedly lending his car to another man who allegedly killed someone, but the co-defendant was acquitted.  Paul wrote hundreds of blog posts detailing life in maximum security prison.

It would be nice to think that LWOP is a rarity for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.  However, LWOP for nonviolent drug-related crimes is fairly common, according to this ACLU 2013 STUDY ON LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.   What does seem to be uncommon is a judge giving such a sentence when not mandated by sentencing guidelines to do so.   Judge Katherine Forrest was in no way mandated to give Ross Ulbricht a life sentence and yet she did so.  She stated in court that the sentence was to "send a message."  The message it sent to the public is not what the Judge intended.  The message it sent seems to be that the government is out of control.

The vast majority of people have no intention of selling drugs online; those same people want Due Process and fair sentencing for all.  When a bright young man who created a breakthrough marketing plan is sentenced to Life in Prison, it reeks of Galileo being sentenced for believing the earth revolves around the sun.  However, Galileo, for all the brouhaha surrounding his Inquisition case, was sentenced to house arrest, unlike Ross Ulbricht, who is sentenced to live out his days in one of the U.S. government's hellishly vapid and bureaucratic prisons.

WHICH BRINGS US TO THE blog comments and the subpoena to find the identities of those posting the comments.  A few of the comments were the typical armchair faux-revolutionary comments about summary execution.  A few other comments alluded to the wood chipper scene in the movie "Fargo."

One comment was posted by someone using the name "Rhywun," which is Welsh for "Someone."  This someone wrote:

"I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman."

It is important to get this quote exactly right, since Rhywun is being accused of making a threat to a federal judge, a crime that could bring 10 years in prison.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided in Elonis v. United States that for words on the internet to be considered a threat, the person has to intend a threat. The Supreme Court held:  "Section 875(c)’s mental state requirement is satisfied if the defendant transmits a communication for the purpose of issuing a threat or with knowledge that the communication will be viewed as a threat. The Court declines to address whether a mental state of recklessness would also suffice." 

Following this definition, is Rhywun's comment about a "special place in hell" a threat?  First, it seems a given that the intended recipient of the threat would have to see the threat, and thus that the threat would have to be made in some location that the Judge would be likely to see it.  Does Judge Forrest read the comments sections of blogs?  Maybe so, and that is what is being implied by the issuance of this subpoena.  Second, the commenter, in this case Rhywun, would have to be writing with the purpose of making a threat or knowing the Judge will perceive it as a threat.  

Does Judge Forrest really consider Rhywun's comment a threat?  To consider it so, one must believe in hell.  One must also believe that hell is a bad place and that it has special sections, like an airline with First Class, Business Class, or Economy Class.   In First Class, the passengers get wide seats and good meals.  The service goes down a notch in Business Class.  In Economy Class, the seats are narrow with little leg room, and the passengers are lucky to be tossed a bag of crackers. Presumably, Judge Forrest would be sent to hell's equivalent of Economy Class, the special place nearest to the coals of hellfire.  There, she would keep company with Devils with pitchforks, heathens, and those who prefer to kick back on Sunday and drink a cold beer and listen to old Led Zeppelin albums, rather than attending church.    

 Furthermore, Judge Forrest would have to believe that Rhywun, who is just some commenter on a blog, has the authority to sentence her to that "special place in hell."  Has Rhywun been deputized by God, or the Devil, as the Reservations Clerk for the Special Sections of Hell?  Rhywun has to believe that Judge Forrest believes all these things, in order for Rhywun to be making a criminal threat.  Or Rhywun has to believe all these things.  Rhywun, when writing the comment, had to actually believe that Judge Forrest would be shaking in her shoes about being condemned by an internet commenter not just to hell, but to "a special place in hell."

Does all this seem ridiculous?  It is ridiculous, but this is an actual federal  Grand Jury subpoena.  The Grand Jury hearing was scheduled to take place yesterday, June 9, 2015.  Grand Jury hearings are kept secret, so we won't know what happened, unless the folks from decide to tell people.  The witnesses to a Grand Jury are allowed to talk about it, and we presume they will. may or may not have any identifying information on Rhywun and they may or may not voluntarily give that information.  We presume they have very little or no information on the commenters, and that they will refuse to give what little they have, if any.   

If Rhywun's identity is made known, she or he may have to go to court to prove that s/he knows s/he does not actually have the authority to sentence anyone to hell, let alone to a special place there.  And that is pretty damn ridiculous, but the entire Silk Road court case has been pretty damn ridiculous.   So, stay tuned.  

And this brings up the question of religious nuts, for lack of a better term.  Religious nuts, particularly Christian religious nuts, are forever announcing that someone or other is going to hell or that God hates someone or other.  Some religious nuts stand on street corners shouting such things.  Others go door to door with this cheery message.  Once the orators get on the internet, they are in "interstate communication," which brings them under the purview of the federal government under the Interstate Commerce Clause.  

Folks, if you are a religious nut, do not use the internet to condemn specific people to hell, or you may face criminal prosecution for making a threat.   If you want to warn people of their impending doom, you are best to shout about it on a street corner.  But don't use an amplifier, because then you will be violating a local noise ordinance and could be arrested or cited.

PROTIP: If you are planning to go to hell, apparently it is easier to go to hell in a handbasket.  And may we suggest a basket made of a nice, tightly woven wicker, for optimal effect?  The basket weave shown below is especially popular among those seeking a speedy descent.

Good weave for going to Hell in a Handbasket

BitVote Grant Application

A penny for your thoughts.  A quarter for your good ideas.

BitVote Application for Knight Foundation Grant Call
by Aaron Bale and Lynne Flynn

1 What is your project? *

Image a world where each day, a person automatically generated $50 to use on the things they needed or wanted, when anything and everything was at their disposal. One could use these automatic dollars to contribute politically, socially, better their own circumstances, or improve the world, or even save them up and put them toward something they really want to invest in on a larger scale. People would use this money, and not be apathetic to its existence, as they can control its use and direct its spending as they desire. Now, imagine this world, but change the monetary feature to one that expresses and promotes ideas, changes political landscapes, and makes control of the social and economic environments a type of control that each of us can take part in on a fundamental level. BitVote is that world. BitVote is a decentralized, uncensored tool to give each and every person a voice in all facets of their own world, as well as in the broader society. It can be used to place policy, and if put into effect, could implement change as far reaching as being the one tool for a truly democratic voting system.

2 What assumptions will you test?

We assume that the majority of people want to be able to express their opinions and ideas on issues in a way that will have impact for themselves and for society as a whole. We assume that, given the opportunity, people prefer to charter their lives, as opposed to having the social and political landscapes carved out for them and then having to accept what is given, or only being given limited options to choose from. We assume that if people can effect change in ways that advantageous to society, they will participate in a thoughtful and responsible manner. As has recently been proven, people will respond more openly and more willingly under the protective cloak of anonymity. We can use that fact in conjunction with our assumptions to test this theory. Given a chance, people will participate and promote a system which effectually gives them the opportunity to be part of the decision making in matters that currently they are not party to, but that have a great effect on them personally. We will test the assumption that this can be utilized in a large number of fields, such as marketing, social networking, activism, politics, and many others.

3 Who is the audience/user of this project? How will they be impacted? *

Initially, this project will be adopted by tech gurus, website owners, polling and survey sites, etc, as it will eliminate multiple accounts per user and give a more pure, actual result for any demographic. Thereafter, it will be picked up for use as an essential small and large business tool to determine marketing trends, customer care and satisfaction, and likely even corporate environmental and social policy. It, ideally, will give a real and measurable voice to every consumer, every activist, and every voter. The impact of BitVote is profound. Not only can it assure consumers that their purchases reflect their interest in environmental and similar issues, it can also ensure that even political issues, such as the ACTA, SOPA, TPP, CISPA, etc. are not barnstormed through Congress or written into an Executive Order against the will of the majority of citizens. With American citizens voting turn out at an all time low, this will end the frustration that being politically voiceless has created, and intelligent people will once again participate in the democratic process. Not only can the United States benefit, this can be utilized everywhere, throughout the world.
4 Who is on your team? *
Aaron Bale: Founder, instrumental in affecting SOPA Blackout of 2012, special interest in cognitive orthotics, CDSMP, and advocate at the Narcolepsy Network.
Education: Neuroscience University of Louisville

ETHDEV ( Ethereum Development) Members also on our team-
Jasper den Ouden: Lead Code Developer, named Head of HR Satair Group, Product Designer & Co-Founder @Strakzat · Oud-Beijerland, the Netherlands. Education:
(unfinished) Master Particle Physics at Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Bachelor Physics & Astronomy Utrecht Universiteit
HBO Propedeuse(first year) Technische Natuurkunde Fontys Eindhoven(nl)
HAVO Natuur & Techniek Christiaan Huygens, Eindhoven

Vitalek Buterin: programmer, writer, founder of Ethereum, the decentralized web 3.0 publishing platform,co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. In 2014 won the World Technology Award for the co-creation and invention of Ethereum.

Vlad Zamfir: co-inventor Cryptoswartz, Cryptoeconomics expert and keynote speaker.

PR Team:
Leah Chase: public relations, marketing and beta testing. Education: Nursing degree.
Christine Hogg: writing, journalism, interviews, editing, web content, newsletters and press releases.. Education: BA in Film and Media Production from The University of Cape Town
Lynne Flynn: research and creative writing, management, editing, marketing, sales, HTML and networking. Education: Criminal Justice, Graphic Design, and General Studies.

Legal / Funding Advisor:
Sue Basko: Lawyer for Independent Media, licensed in California and Illinois

5 What progress, if any, have you made on this project? *
After seeing the effect of the SOPA Blackout, and seeing the output of time and energy to reach 'critical mass' (when things are adopted by the majority), it was obvious that there was a need for a better template to achieve success in similar operations on such a massive scale. Aaron then came up with the BitVote idea as the one feasible means to accomplish this. After time and discussion with a think tank of technical experts, the social engineering aspect was polished. It was then tested among actual voters in random surveys to assess voter reaction, and any possible pitfalls. Around this time, Aaron met Leah Chase and enlisted her skills for the BitVote team. Leah successfully pitched the project to the Ethereum team. After meeting with their approval, several members of Etherium joined ranks with BitVote, as well, to translate the concept in a technical manner using their programming skills and expertise. After that was accomplished there remained the problem of OnePerID – ensuring that no one person could have more than one account – to ensure accuracy and honesty in the results. To date, this has been solved in theory, but will need A/B testing to ensure effectiveness.

6 Visual Media. Acceptable file types: pdf, jpg, gif, mp4, png, mov, xls, ppt, pptx, avi, mpg.

Project Highlight_ BitVote.mp4

Camping for Music Festivals: Creating a Campground

Camping for Music Festivals: Creating a Campground
by Sue Basko, Esq.

If you want to create a campground to go with a concert or festival, there are many factors to consider.  Below is a list to get you started in planning.  There are so many details. If you're going to do this right, you need to be extremely detail-oriented.  It can be best to work with someone who has done it before. 

Some of the most basic needs are drinking water, portapotties, hand washing stations, and showers.  These can all be rented.

There are companies that will send a big truck filled with potable water that can be used for drinking and showers.  "Potable" means the water is clean and safe for drinking.  It is safest to also use potable water for showers and misters, so there is no risk of bacterial infections in the water mist.

 In hot weather, cooling stations are needed to keep campers from getting heat stroke.  Misters are often used.  A mister is a length of hose or piping with small holes in it, attached to a clean water source,  that emits a fine mist.  Usually the misters are mounted above head height, so people can stand under them. Sometimes misters are fronted with  a fan, to spread the cooling mist. Other cooling stations are a dome or tent that has air conditioning.

 Here are some links to companies that rent misters, portable showers, potable water trucks, portable toilets, etc.  These are links to get you started so you can get an idea of what is available, space needed, and costs involved.   Most of these sites have good photos of the equipment that is for rent and some even provide layout diagrams.  Keep in mind, you have to use a company that delivers to the location of your event.

  Misting/ Cooling:

  Potable Water, Showers, Restrooms:

 Another main need for any festival or campground is electricity. If there is not adequate on-site electricity (and there rarely is), you need to rent a generator.  Here are some generator rental companies to get you started on understanding what is available and costs involved:

  Electricity Generators:

 The links above are not recommendations, they are simply examples of companies you can explore to get started in finding what you need.  Your choice of a company should include such factors as location, price and add-on prices, availability, reputation, customer service.   Most such companies will be able to give you a lot of information.  For example, if you tell a company that you will have a 2 day festival with 200 people present all day and night, the company can tell you how many toilets you will need, etc.

Here is a basic checklist to get you started in planning a concert or festival campground: (These are numbered for convenience, but all items are important.)
  1. Zoning 
  2. Permits
  3. Local laws
  4. Inspections required 
  5. Campground temporary - can you get a permit for that?
  6. Is the ground surface suitable to tents?
  7. What must be done to the ground surface to make it suited for tents?
  8. Surface cushioning, leveling, drainage
  9. Flood plain areas?
  10. Electric wires overhead?
  11. Lighting danger?
  12. Sewage and water run-off? 
  13. Presence of wildlife
  14. Presence of mosquitoes, ants, mice, etc. 
  15. Presence of any endangered species
  16. Insurance - how much and can you get it?
  17. Water sources
  18. Water for drinking.
  19. Showers - are there any?
  20. Toilets - can you rent portapotties?  How many will be needed legally? Price them out.
  21. Hand-washing stations
  22. Servicing of portapotties, Cleaning several times per day
  23. Toilet paper, paper towels, soap 
  24. Electricity
  25. Basic Lighting
  26. Trash bins and collection
  27. Recycling
  28.  Clean-up during and afterwards
  29. Security and safety
  30. Layout done accurately to scale
  31. Plotting the space, marking the space
  32. Temporary fencing for exterior perimeter 
  33. Fencing to demark roads, areas, toilet area, etc.
  34. Layout marked or fenced, "street" signs and space signs made and posted
  35. Signage
  36. Car Parking
  37. Car parking layout – must follow recommended sizes
  38. Parking accommodations for handicapped
  39. In and out allowed? How many times per day?
  40. Alcohol allowed in?
  41. Layout to accommodate cars and camping; should not mix or dangerous 
  42. Picnic benches, tables, chairs?
  43. Preparations for possible severe weather conditions
  44. Having a central fire pit and shelter/ tent/ dome
  45. Not allowing campfires 
  46. Propane and cook stoves allowed or not? 
  47. Establishing a business entity for accepting payments
  48. Establishing a reservation system
  49. Establishing reservation and refund policies
  50. Camping price per car? per tent? Per person?
  51. Campers should have ticket to event, show it to reserve campsite
  52. Plan to have any “glamping” sites, that is glamorous camping with nice tents, furniture, etc, provided? (These rent for higher prices) 
  53. Noise ordinances, drug ordinances, drinking, guns, weapons, fireworks, glass
  54. Working with local sheriff (you don't want them coming on property)
  55. Emergency Medical Techs on location at all times
  56. Preparation for medical emergencies such as overdoses.
  57. Advance prep for med helicopter, ambulance, etc.
  58. Children, babies – allowed or not?
  59. Camping 18 and up only?
  60. Waivers of liability
  61. Rules stated on website before purchase of camping spot
  62. Dogs, cats, snakes and other pets brought by campers?
  63. Handicapped accessibility? Ramps, portapotties
  64. Availability of phone service, radio, wifi
  65. Need to run phone line for campsite business/ emergency contact within camp and to the outside? Buy/ rent satellite phones/ radios? (This can be especially true in a ravine, cave, mountain valley, deep forest area)
  66. Note: some ticketing systems depend on availability of phone service/ wifi to check authenticity of tickets.
  67. Food vendors
  68. Food vendor licensing, permits, health department inspections
  69. Presence of potable water for kitchens
  70. Source of electricity for kitchens 
  71. Other vendors - sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlights, etc.
  72. Possible entertainment on site 
  73. Cleanup, Damages, Repairs, Restitution, Trash, Recycling
  74. Set-up Time needed in advance (How many days/ weeks?)
  75. Break down / clean-up time needed after? (How many days?)
  76. Tire treads, ground damage, resurfacing (especially if it rains)
  77. Hiring people for entry gate security, layout, set up, security all day and night, EMTs, recycling, toilet maintenance, trash pickup.