Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Congress Giveth, Congress Taketh Away

Good news: The House Commerce Committee had a hearing on the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act, which would undo the more obnoxious provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Bad news: The House Judiciary Committee (which handles intellectual property issues) approved the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act, a bill to criminalize the use of false information in WHOIS registrations. This wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t required to divulge a boatload of personal information under the “thick” WHOIS requirements in order to register a domain name. Folks who hate getting beaten up by their governments over free speech issues or just hate the way spammers use the WHOIS database often try to defnd themselves by submitting false information.

More on the merits of the bills below. But also of relevance (and what makes the Sausage Factory so much fun) is to note the difference a change in committee makes.

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General Exception

Infected major Websites spreading malware via Internet Explorer security holes

Normally, I figure that people will hear about these sorts of things on other sites, but I figured that this was important enough to post it up here. According to ZDNet, malicious hackers have compromised several “major websites.” They didn’t deface these sites with the usual “1 0wNez joo, biatch!” (forgive my poor leet speak). Rather, they installed their own software to take advantage of Internet Explorer’s unpatched security holes to install software on visitor’s PCs. The owners of the sites are apparently unaware of the fact that they are infecting their visitors, and visitors are probably complacent that they only visit “reputable” sites and have nothing to fear from spyware.

If you’re reading this using Internet Explorer (on Windows, at least), please, go download the latest version of Mozilla (or their up-and-coming new browser, Firefox). It’s free, and it’s a much more useful browser than IE, nevermind the fact that it doesn’t have the known gaping security holes that IE does. It’s also a supported application under constant development, unlike Internet Explorer.

(Updated: It appears that the problem will only affect users of Internet Explorer 6, not earlier versions. According to Microsoft, if you have installed WIndows XP service Pack 2 Beta (which 99% of you haven’t, I’d guess) then you’re safe as well.)

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Victory is SWEET!

I will have a lot more to say on this later, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its decision on the FCC’s media ownership deregulation that took place last summer.

The result is a near total victory for MAP and the other public interest clients and the American people. The FCC’s June 2, 2003, deregulatory Order is reversed as not supported by logical reasoning based on the record. The court reverses and remands to the FCC, keeping the old rules in effect until the FCC resolves this mess. The court rejects the FCC’s position that the provision of the 1996 Act that requires the FCC to conduct a review of its ownership rules is “deregulatory” or that it prohibits the FCC from making ownership regulations more stringent. Instead, the FCC is supposed to review its ownership rules and decide whether the public interest requires the FCC to keep the rule, relax the rule, eliminate the rule, or make the rule even more stringent.

More information at our website.

YEEEEEEHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

So should we do Boston this summer as press?

According to Wired, the Democratic Convention in Boston is accepting bloggers application for press credentials. So, anybody think Tales of The Sausage Factory should go on a road trip?

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General Exception

DRM on the brain

Hmm… well, been stumbling over piracy and DRM stories all day, so I figured I’d pass along the joy.

First up, Cory Doctorow does the Daniel in the lions’ den thing and tries to convince the folks at Microsoft that anti-piracy techniques like Digital Rights Management are ineffective and worse, (from Microsoft’s standpoint) bad for business. It makes a good primer for many of the issues being discussed regarding copyrights, copy protection, and the full-court press by the RIAA and MPAA to legislate away some of the American citizen’s rights, because they are inconvenient.

Meanwhile, back in the other Washington, Orrin Hatch (well known composer and sometimes legislator) is introducing a bill that might make any device that could be used to violate copyrights illegal. As with most other cases these days, this one is sold as vital to protect our children (which is, of course, just behind preventing terrorism as the excuse du jour for taking away your rights).

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General Exception

Intel literally puts the 'surfing' into web surfing

I thought John would find this amusing, since he’s a surfer and all.

Intel has built a surfboard with an embedded wireless laptop.

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Wetware and Hard Science

Qbits get bigger.

Quantum teleportation so far has involved photons, but two different groups from Austria and Colorado have succeeded in teleporting atoms, so to speak. The quantum states of atoms were transfered In Colorado ( 9Be+) ions) and in Austria (40Ca+ ions).

They report 78% and 75% fidelity so far, and they’re setting it up so that the Qbits are addressable within the system. It isn’t time yet for “Beam me up, Scotty,” but it’s getting closer every day.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Community Radio Needs You!

I’m reprinting below a call to arms by Free Press to help secure passage of S. 2505. This bill will repeal the NAB-sponsored law passed in 2000 that scaled back the community-based low power FM service (LPFM). Details below

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Clear Channel Settlement Signals Indecency Running Out Of Steam

The FCC and Clear Channel reached a settlement on all pending indecency proceedings involving Clear Channel. You can read a copy of the Consent Decree and the statements of the various Commissioners here. As usual, I’m more interested in what it means. To me, this says “the Bush Administration wants indecency to go away as an issue.” Surprised?

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My Thoughts Exactly

Ghost Writer

I was ego surfing today when I came upon this

link to a book “Inside the Sun386i and Sun486i” by Peter Norton and, to my great astonishment, me.


Amazon lists the book as “not in stock”, but I wonder if it even exists, or ever existed. If it does exist I would certainly love to get my hands on a copy. Because I never wrote it.

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