General Exception

The new limit of DRM lunacy: requiring fingerprints for DVDs

Wired has this story about researchers at UCLA coming up with what has to be the most assinine form of DRM yet: a DVD that will be encoded so it will only play for the person who specifically bought it. This is accomplished through some handwaving mumbo-jumbo involving that recent poster child of privacy invasion: the RFID chip.

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Posted in General Exception, Hardware | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

a rant on copy protection

<rant on>

I could just slap Steve Jobs. He really had a good thing going with me, until today.

All the people I hang out with are pretty avidly anti-Microsoft, on technical, business, and moral grounds. I work at a University where I and everyone else use Macs. My wife was a Mac pioneer from way back, has a business that may soon be buying educational computers by the truckload, and is a perfect candidate for the “Switch’ ads. I like Pixar movies, and I’m tickled that ol’ Steve’s iTunes was able to show those RIAA guys what morons they’ve been.

Well, it that’s all changed.

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Posted in Inventing the Future, Software | Also tagged | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

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).

Posted in General Exception | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Feeding the RIAA Pig at the Regulatory Trough

I wish *I* could change the criminal law of the United States to make it a crime to compete with me, and jack up the punishment to huge fines and more jail time than any Enron exec will ever serve. I wish *I* could persuade a regulatory agency and Congress to make everyone else in the universe personally responsible for watching all my stuff. Oh,and then I’d make everyone give me the keys to their house so I could look inside whenever I want.

Sadly for me, *I* am not the RIAA. The introduction of HR4077, a bill which makes the FBI the RIAA’s personal police force for monitoring peer-to-peer networks and says all sorts of nasty things about peer-to-peer generally, and the FCC’s,Notice of Inquiry on whether it should mandate content controls on digital radio certainly give credence to the accusations that big money owns Washington lock, stock ‘n barrel. Interested in helping my ongoing experiment to prove if democracy still works and reminding your Senator and Representative that they really work for you? Read below . . .

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Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Wetmachine Wants Music

Hi, it’s Gary, the guy who maintains the drunken machinery[1] here at Wetmachine.

John has asked me to install a Soundblox MP3 player on Wetmachine for your listening pleasure (don’t panic, it won’t start playing automatically, and it’s a lot better than those cheesy MIDI tunes of yesteryear).

But we need music to play!

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Posted in General, General Exception, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Yet More On Fileswapping

Fileswapping is in the New York Times today. The RIAA gears up for more lawsuits while some bands try to actually serve their fans and make a buck. Wow!

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Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Fileswapping- Wither To in '04

The inevitable end of year/start of year column of rehash and predictions. No doubt I’ll regret this column next December, but if you’re interested in my predictions for the future of file sharing in 2004, read on.

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Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A good week for civil liberties — mostly

Three opinions came out last week that made a nice little Chanukah gift for civil liberties buffs. Two related to Ashcroft’s attempts to circumvent the Constitution in the name fo security, one cuts short the RIAA’s efforts to gut the Constitution in the name of copyright. But the opinions still leave a lot of room for concern.

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Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)
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