Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Geek out the vote!


By David Gewirtz

When you think about technological innovations, you might think about computers, cellular phones, or even rockets. Yet none of these innovations have changed the world like the simple concept we've grown to know as voting. No matter who you support or what your cause, that single, simple action of voting connects you to free people throughout the world, back through history, and forward into an unknown, but hopeful future.

Here in the United States, we have a major election coming up in November. No matter who you ask, Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, U.S. citizen, ally, and even opposition, all will agree that the U.S. vote this November will have a worldwide impact, lives will be changed, and freedoms will be gained or lost.

"Get a free ZATZ Solutions Guide if you register to vote."

If you are a U.S. citizen and you are not registered to vote, you must do so by October 2nd for most states. Here at ZATZ, we believe so strongly in this most advanced of technological innovations, that we're actually offering you a gift if you register. Any ZATZ reader who registers to vote between now and October 2nd will be entitled to download any one of our ZATZ Solutions Guides (valued between $3.95 and $49.95 depending on the guide) for free. If you're already registered to vote, you, too can get a free guide simply by finding someone who's not registered, and getting them registered instead.

What does voting have to do with technology?

Make no mistake, this election is not just about choosing the next American president. It's also about our future and freedom for the next century. While there's a war on terrorism, there's also a much quieter war being conducted against the technology of our future, against our children, against our artists, against our engineers, and against our innovators. I'm speaking, of course, about the DMCA, the Patriot Act, CAN-SPAM, the Piracy Act, and the Induce Act -- at the very least. What follows are a few tangible examples.

Students in college (as well as many other Americans) are being sued by the RIAA, forcing them to drop out of college. The RIAA is, in part, funded by Sony and Bertelsmann, Japanese and German companies who are actively engaged in an action that has had, as its eventual result, the chilling effect of keeping hundreds of American kids out of college because they were forced to pay their college money to the RIAA. What's truly disturbing is that these firms also make MP3 players; they're selling these kids the tools and then suing those same kids when they use them.