By the end of the session, the only committee member in attendance, chairman Orrin Hatch-himself a songwriter who sells CDs on his personal Web site-zeroed in on what really bugged him: people sharing copyrighted songs on the Internet without paying for them. Then he ran an idea by one of the panelists: what if you had a system that could detect whether people were getting songs without paying for them and could warn those infringers that what they were doing was wrong? And then, if they didn't stop, the system would remotely "destroy " their computers.Link Discuss (Thanks, Kevin)
"No one's interested in destroying people's computers, " said the panelist. "Well, I'm interested in doing that, "said the senator. "Warn them, do it again, and then destroy their machine! There's no excuse for anyone violating our copyright laws. "
Fortunately Senator Hatch hasn't yet codified his Dr. Strangelovean no-due-process piracy antidote into upcoming legislation. But in the House, Reps. Howard Berman and John Conyers have introduced a bill that encourages a different approach: jail 'em! Among other provisions, the bill lowers the bar for criminal prosecution to the sharing of a single music file and allocates $15 million to go after copyright offenders. Representative Berman says that he anticipates that prosecutors will go only after someone who, knowing the consequences, uploads massive amounts of music. But the bill says in black and white that if you share so much as a single tune with your pals on the Internet-as millions do every day-you are a felon. Penalty: up to five years in jail. (Better fill up your iPod before you go.)
I am truly heartbroken! My complete collection of my husband's (Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers) albums and 45's have been stolen from my home in Tarzana, California. This collection has taken me 25 years to collect and I had intended to pass them on to our two sons. Years before Ebay, I scoured record stores and swap meets to put this collection together. There were over 60 albums and over a hundred 45's stolen. Many were Chambers Brothers' Columbia albums released by Columbia under their many foreign labels and would be needed as proof of their non-payment of years of foreign royalties. These Columbia albums were released under Direction Records out of England, First Records out of Korea, etc. One of their 45's was released in Germany with an abstract orange coloring. Many of their 45's had photo sleeve coverings all in perfect condition. I had their complete recordings from their early years with Vault Records and one of their first albums recorded with Barbara Dane on the Folkways label. I would like to put the word out to all record stores (especially in Southern California), collectors, eBay shoppers, etc in order to try and recover these extremely sentimental albums. Please contact me at (360) 895-7877 or via attorney Lawrence Feldman, firstname.lastname@example.org.Discuss
[I]t was only a matter of time before the two worlds should merge, a convergence of the technological twain, before popular digital cam technology should penetrate the wildly ubiquitous cellphone underworld. Thus transforming, in one divine swoop, not just how we snap photos, not just how we communicate, not even how we snap photos to communicate. But rather, how we get off snapping photos to communicate how we get off. Voila: the new digital cellphone/camera hybrid, now available, yours for upwards of 100 bucks, soon to be everywhere.Link, Discuss (Thanks, ESC)
You've probably seen the commercials: Girl spots best friend's boyfriend macking on some skank at a club, snaps instant five-second cellphone video clip, shoots it over to best friend at library. Friend sees clip, is briefly shocked, right until she looks up and makes eye contact with hot new guy across the room. Coy smiles ensue, slimeball boyfriend is suddenly ex-boyfriend. Voila. Relationship revolution, not a word spoken. Elapsed time: twenty seconds. Commercial #2: Myopic citizen hustles through city streets, looking down into purse, wallet, focusing on one little activity while crazy photogenic circus of life whirls around them. If only you had a cool digital cellphone camera to take it all in! implores the commercial. To instantly record this daily phantasmagoria and send to yourself and look at later on your computer and sigh wistfully at the craziness of life! Indeed.
Do you think they knew? Do you think the sly bastard marketing execs at Nokia or Ericsson or the rest realized what an erotic porn-ready firecracker gizmo they had on their hands? You're goddamn right they did.
We've spent the two years since September 11th writing blank checks to anyone who's got a good story about preventing terrorism through the wholesale abridgement of civil liberties, trading off freedom for the perception of safety. It's time that we called our civil servants to account on these scores -- they've spent our money and our freedom, what did we get in return?
Each report shall include -40k PDF Link Discuss
(A) a list of all contracts, memoranda of understanding, or other agreements entered into by the department or agency, or any other national security, intelligence, or law enforcement element under the jurisdiction of the department or agency for the use of, access to, or analysis of databases that were obtained from or remain under the control of a non-Federal entity, or that contain information that was acquired initially by another department or agency of the Federal Government for purposes other than national security, intelligence, or law enforcement;
(B) the duration and dollar amount of such contracts;
(C) the types of data contained in the databases referred to in subparagraph (A);
(D) the purposes for which such databases are used, analyzed, or accessed;
(E) the extent to which such databases are used, analyzed, or accessed;
(F) the extent to which information from such databases is retained by the department or agency, or any national security, intelligence, or law enforcement element under the jurisdiction of the department or agency, including how long the information is retained and for what purpose;
(G) a thorough description, in unclassified form, of any methodologies being used or developed by the department or agency, or any intelligence or law enforcement element under the jurisdiction of the department or agency, to search, access, or analyze such databases;
(H) an assessment of the likely efficacy of such methodologies in identifying or locating criminals, terrorists, or terrorist groups, and in providing practically valuable predictive assessments of the plans, intentions, or capabilities of criminals, terrorists, or terrorist groups;
And when something goes wrong with e-mail for a week, the experience can be more traumatic that moving home, getting married or divorce, at least for a third of those taking part in the survey.Link Discuss
After lightning touched off the Coyote Fire July 16, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) deployed more than 1,700 firefighters, 10 helicopters and several bulldozers to battle the blaze. To provide Internet communications for the CDF operations camp, researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and San Diego State University deployed a high-speed wireless link to the remote site in northeastern San Diego County within hours of a request for help.Link Discuss (via WiFi Net News)
"The dissemination of information and incident intelligence up and down the command-and-control chain of command is more important than ever," said Jim Garrett, CDF Emergency Command Center chief. "The connectivity provided to CDF for the Coyote Fire was a real-life exercise that clearly demonstrated how valuable and useful the technology provided by HPWREN is to our agency. HPWREN provided us an invaluable service that cannot be overestimated." The 19,000-acre Coyote Fire was contained by July 24 and controlled by July 27
"Physiological effects have been observed in a human subject in response to stimulation of the skin with weak electromagnetic fields that are pulsed with certain frequencies near 1/2 Hz or 2.4 Hz, such as to excite a sensory resonance. Many computer monitors and TV tubes, when displaying pulsed images, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields of sufficient amplitudes to cause such excitation. It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set."As Doug Rushkoff says about television, "they don't call it programming for nothing!" Link Discuss
Hi Xeni -- this week is a French Week. First QTVR is by Ray Broussard, "Flashing at Mardi Gras New Orleans." The Cajun music is from Basin Street Records. The page will be updated with more "French VR" during the week.Discuss
However, like many open source software projects, installing and configuring mythtv isn't for the faint of heart. This HOWTO is a good step in the direction of making mythtv accessible to the masses. Link Discuss (via Wasted Bits)
But most of those networks are unprotected, vulnerable to hackers who could steal data, introduce viruses, launch spam or attack other computers. Even as the number of wireless networks has risen dramatically, Poole's surveys suggest that the rough percentage of them that are unprotected remains above 60 percent.None of these are risks that are unique to WiFi. The world is full of coin-operated or cash-based network access systems (I spent an hour feeding quarters into an Ethernet-equipped payphone in the Vancouver airport in June), and the idea that I, as a hotspot provider, am "unprotected" because the people who gain access to my network can do something bad to someone else is (deliberately) misleading.
I'm no more "unprotected" from spammers on my WiFi node (something I've yet to see a single published account of, despite the continuous warnings about it) than I am from spammers sending Nigerian 419 letters from the next terminal at the library. It's like saying that restauranteurs are "unprotected" from bank robbers who use a back table to plan their next job. Sure, they're "unprotected." So what?
Fundamentally, this is a warning against abetting the anonymous use of the Internet. A Beltway-Insider rag like WashPo should have too much familiarity with the Bill of Rights to advance the un-constitutional notion that anonymity is somehow bad, wrong, or illegal.
In their darkest visions, consultants can imagine someone with a WiFi-enabled laptop walking through an airport launching a destructive computer virus at every other unprotected laptop in the vicinity, because users who tap into a vulnerable network are just as exposed as its host.In their sales literature, snake-oil "security" vendors identify "being connected to the network" as a risk, instead of "running unpatched and insecure software" as a risk. It's the public Internet. If connecting your computer to the public Internet puts you at appreciable risk from "destructive computer viruses," you'd better get a new operating system.
Hackers could also use WiFi access to anonymously launch attacks at the broader Internet, also threatening non-WiFi users.Hackers could also use coin-operated Ethernet jacks and Internet Cafes to launch attacks on the broader Internet, also threatening WiFi users. So what? Malice is transport-independent.
Although no calamitous hacking event via wireless has occurred, security professionals say it is only a matter of time."Security professionals" also noted that "although no calamitous hacking event has been launched using a Dvorak keyboard, it is only a matter of time."
"It's broken; it has holes and flaws," Skoudis said of WEP technology. "It's kind of like a Band-Aid, but better to have a Band-Aid than a big gaping hole."Yes, yes they can. Using WEP technology. Geez. Link Discuss
Users can also require passwords for access to their networks.
Here's the irony in Wi-Fi public access pricing: retailers can be profitable by offering free Wi-Fi as a customer acquisition tool. But when they charge for Wi-Fi access, these retailers, and the WISPs serving them, almost certainly lose money. According to a market study coming out this summer, retailers are quickly learning this lesson: up to 30% of US location owners who plan to deploy commercial hotspots in 2004 intend those hotspots to be free or free-with-purchase.Link Discuss (via WiFi Networking News)
And Tara is joining the family, which is not the Doctorow family, nor the Doctorow-Starr family, nor the Doctorow-Starr-Levitt- Cloth-Ceresne-Klayman- Greenfield-Negru- Rochman-Linsday- Goldman-Silver- Fox-West-BenDavid- Halprin family. It's my family, and it's this variegated, global, ramified enterprise whose edges are smeared out and indistinct, so that it's impossiible to tell exactly where it ends.Link Discuss
At events like this one, where we are turned out in our thronged hundreds, I have developed a survival strategy: I bring my dates around and when someone comes up and heartily shakes my hand and marvels at how long it's been, or pinches me -- we're great and cruel pinchers in this family -- and leaves a smudge of lipstick on my cheek, I turn and say, "This is my friend so-and-so," and then, if luck is with me, the familiar face out of my boyhood is joined to a name and a relationship: "Ah, so nice to meet you. I'm Cory's great-aunt's sister-in-law on his mother's father's side, (beat) I knew this one when he wet the bed."
"Exposing Network Solutions to liability when it gives away a registrant's domain name on the basis of a forged letter is no different from holding a corporation liable when it gives away someone's shares under the same circumstances," wrote Judge Alex Kozinski, who penned the unanimous opinion for the three-judge panel.Link Discuss
Christopher, the narrator, is utterly convinving and Martian in a way that is at once both believable and alien. The story manages to pull off the incredible trick of exposing the emotional lives of the characters around the narrator -- whose disorder precludes empathic interpretations of the feelings of the people he's dealing with -- and of the narrator himself, whose emotions are both lost to the noise of autistic overload and still subtly teased out and laid out for the reader.
The novel is very short, 240 pages, and flies past. The above graf makes it sound too soppy, I think -- the book is anything but. It's funny and charming. It's fast and exciting. It's didactic and narrative. I haven't enjoyed a novel this much in recent memory. Link Discuss
With a new school year upon us, kids may soon have the chance to eat healthier and also help the environment, using something unique wrapped around their tuna, turkey or PB&J sandwiches. Edible vegetable and fruit wraps, among the latest developments from modern chemistry, could keep lunches fresher longer and be substituted for some non-biodegradable wraps, says the creator, food chemist Tara McHugh, Ph.D.Link Discuss (Thanks, Stefan!)
Laptop DJ and BoingBoing pal John von Seggern asks, "Can peer-to-peer software be defined legally in such a way that the
definition does not include the entire Internet? Aren't browsers and
servers sharing files all the time? How is Google different than Kazaa
in a larger sense?" And anonymous suggests a grassroots online campaign to counter the congressman's "P4 Act," to be titled "P5: Protecting People from Pitts' Preposterous Proposals."
Discuss (via pho / thanks, Kevin, and thanks Fred von Lohmann for the PDF)
[A]s interactive developers debated the pros and cons of "The Rashomon Factor" -- a term coined by AFI New Media Ventures Associate Director Anna Marie Piersimoni for programs that tell one story through multiple points of view -- some television producers called for a reality check.Link, Discuss
"Audiences are lazy and TV still caters to the lowest common denominator," quipped Fifth Wheel and Blind Date Co-Executive Producer Harley Tat. "We're operating from a heady place where we're thinking about the future, but plenty of viewers don't have PCs and haven't upgraded their cell phones in years. If the information isn't right in front of them while they're microwaving mac and cheese, it's not going to happen. ETV has to be so simple that they can do it half-baked and horizontal on the couch."
The museum is hosted in a building that was originally built in 1911 and at one time was inhabited by a garter company, giving it a historical connection to sexuality beyond even the wide array of exhibits that will be displayed when the museum opens in October. The building, which is located a block from the Kodak Theatre, is currently undergoing renovations designed to bring back the original look. With a mission to "provide the community with a positive image of the potential of human sexuality," the museum will exhibit erotic photography, sculptures and a wide variety of paintings from all eras. Some of the exhibits will include a Picasso etch, covers of gay adult magazines such as Manpower #4 and even stills of John Holmes taken from 8mm loops.Link to museum website, Link to AVN story, Discuss (Thanks, Susannah!)
Boris Smorodinksy, the CEO of the Erotic Museum, notes that "you can?t talk about eroticism without talking about Marilyn," as he points out prints of the Marilyn Monroe photographs taken by Tom Kelley that were used to launch Playboy in December 1995. The museum even includes an adult mahjong video game from the Atari era and a video projection that documents stroke by stroke how Picasso etched Bloch 1762. Bloch 1762, a part of the museum?s permanent collection, is a single etch in a series of etches, many with sexual themes, known as Picasso's Suite 347.
1 Bentley CollegeDiscuss (via pho list)
1 DePaul University
1 Loyola University Chicago
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1 Pacific Bell Internet
2 Adelphia Communications Corporation
2 Boston College
2 Earthlink, Inc.
4 Verizon Internet Services, Inc.
14 RCN Corporation
15 Time Warner Cable
21 Charter Communications
29 Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
The email making the rounds since yesterday states the following (slightly absurd) text in German -- translated here to English:Link one, Link two, Discuss
"Easter rabbits from eastern Styria (province in Austria - ed.) have not eaten anything since yesterday. The dramatic hunger-strike was caused by weather occurences in the adriatic sea and the related efficiency of german bicyclers. please come and donate a small amount to restore the grievances of Austria's wine-region #2 Friday 15:00 - streetcar station Volkstheater (in front of the Palais Epstein on the Ring) P.S.: Update: Meeting is at 15:00, essential info will be handed out by 15:15, the actual happening will take place shortly thereafter."