April 7th, 2009


Another Victory For The Public Domain

With DRM going splat, many companies are trying digital rights manipulation. And that goes for the government, too. They already altered copyright law in this country to keep certain works from falling in the public domain. Recently, they passed the URAA, which could revert copyright to foreign works already in the public domain. This was challenged by the Center For Internet And Society. They were successful -- the judge ruled that it was a 1st Amendment problem, as these are supposed to be works anyone can use, and it is taking property away from the public.

What's Shaking? My Head, That's What

First, my thoughts and prayers to the people of Italy who have been affected by the earthquake.

Second, a thought for them -- you might want to rebel against your fascist government.

Gioacchino Giuliani is a siesmologist who was tracking the minor tremors that started back in January. Based on studies of pockets of radon gas in active areas, he concluded a big one was coming about a month ago. A truck rode through the streets, broadcasting the news that this scientist thought something Really Bad was going to happen and people should head for the hills.

The government's response? Slap a muzzle on Giuliani for creating a public disturbance. The Civil Protection agency then trotted out the Major Risks Committee, who tried to reassure the populous that nothing was going to happen to them.

The rest, as they say, is history.

And this is why I love the 1st Amendment so much and hate anyone who tries to curtail it.

"No, Really! We Have The Whole World In Our Hands! Trust Us!"

M$ is feeling heat from Google's Android project. First, they've given HP the right to continue to install XP on machines (yes, the same XP that is going into Extended Service in one week) until 2010, even if it means wiping Windows 7. Now, they are saying that they have 96% of the netbook market. Yes, the same netbook market where Linux rules the roost.

Well, obviously, most netbooks will have XP, since that is the popular software. But that's sold. Here's three key facts to remember:

1) M$ knows exactly how many activation keys they are putting out there.

2) M$ knows exactly which keys are not activated (like the one that came with Kylie, my IBM S10)

3) M$ knows which ones are not being used because they aren't phoning home anymore

Combine this with M$ offering huge discounts on XP to OEM's to put it on netbooks, and you know what? That M$ tax on Kylie because it came with XP? With all the "free" software M$ paid to put on that machine? They actually subsidized the machine, and made it more affordable. They helped put another Linux computer out there.

Thank you, M$. ;-)

ACTA Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size

Canada has given us our first glimpse into what ACTA is. Counterfeiting is only part of the equation. The other part is to avoid the gridlock of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In other words, ACTA is an attempt to do an end run around an international standards body.

No, this is not rebellion against a bloated bureaucracy. All major countries involved in the counterfeiting business, either supply side (China and Russia) or receiving side (many African countries that can't afford the prices of designer drugs) have been excluded from the negotiations.

Read into that what you will.

The Associated Press -- Next Dinosaur On The Block

AP has begun lowering its rates for its news articles while trying to protect its web presence. Recently, they instituted a new policy that any web article that quotes more than 15 words from an AP article has to pay for usage. This is for anything, even if the article is protected by Fair Use. Now, they are stepping up patrols of the Internet to pounce on anyone infringing on their copyrights and not paying up (they recently sued a blogger).

Well, AP should be right at home with the MPAA and the RIAA.

The world is changing, and AP is looking for artificial means to prolong its business lifespan instead of adapting. I think this is why they are lowering their rates. There is so much content on the web, people looking to boycott AP for infringing Fair Use can do so without feeling any hit whatsoever. So they try to make their prices look more attractive.

But nothing they can charge is better than free as in "freedom".

Shut Her Down, Clancy! She's A-Pumpin' Mud!

Word is spreading across the Internet that the heads of major newspaper chains in the US will be meeting outside an industry convention to discuss ways to save their vanishing revenues.

Collusion? How dare you think such a thing! Why would any of that make you think of collusion?

First is a discussion about charging for online content. Next, banning unpaid inbound links. After that? Dropping out of Google.

There is supposed to be a lawyer there to protect against collusion. I'm sure he's got his work cut out for him.

Mortal Kombat Kontinues...Somewhere Else

As mentioned previously, I have not been enamored with the Mortal Kombat series in a long time.

So now that rumors are circulating that the MK team is considering leaving bankrupt Midway and reforming at another studio, I didn't react with more than a shrug.

Gaming blog Kotaku says the 50+ team members are fried about not being paid bonuses for hitting sales marks for MK vs. DC. Midway actually responded to the blog, more or less confirming their story. "Midway is not refusing to pay out those bonuses. It's the unsecured creditors committee that is refusing to allow us to pay them. They're the ones holding that up." Also, the MK team is angry that they have not been given much to do while other A-list titles from Midway have no trouble getting greenlit and released.

So, it looks like if anyone buys the MK franchise, they won't be getting the dev staff. Well, good. Maybe some studio will reinvest it with the fun, character, and excitement that made me love it so much in the beginning.

Power Is An Illusion. STUPIDITY Is Real.

Everyone knows that law enforcement likes to surf the Internet posing as underage kids to try and lure freaks ("pedophile" is wrong. The word translates into "love of children". What these freaks do sure as shit ain't love) into propositioning them so they can arrest them. In fact, random trolls on the Internet, in pursuit of lulz, will often pretend to be federal agents posing as underage kids just to fuck with people.

Well, we have a new member of the Moron Brigade. Juan Alberto Ovalle just got nailed. What makes this so funny is that 1) he narrates a popular version of the Bible in Spanish, and 2) he's a member of Focus On The Family, a conservative religious (some would say fascist) group that, among other things, thinks gays are sickos.

Political hypocrisy...religious hypocrisy...social hypocrisy...I think we have our EPIC FAIL poster child for the month.