Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Freedom to steal intellectual property. Freedom to exploit children for sex.

The Pirate Bay. The darling cause of the IT Left.
I don't pretend to understand this quantum mechanics stuff. I also have an inherent distrust of it. I'm not sure how transmitting "information" across a distance can be the same thing as transmitting matter. I'm not sure anyone really does.
Well, this is good news, I supposed. I only wish Fox had listened to the browncoats, and resurrected Firefly.
Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 5949 Diggs, is the worst sort of Digg misinformation. Here, Guiliani allegedly had some "journalist" arrested merely for asking a question. That's not how I see the video, and note that this was a private GOP event.

And, these were Truthers. Enough said, I think. Read the comments if you want a good laugh.
If you're so inclined, here's Scott Adams latest controversy honeypot. Chime in if you want to join the rabid pack.
Yegads. And this guy's running for President. has a new look. Check it out. It's a tad slower than Google, but it provides more compelling results in that they're also categorized. I can't say that the results are more pertinent; only additional testing will flesh that out one way or the other--and how has time for that?
This is a little techie, but I wonder: is Google just replaying the old "centralized vs. decentralized" game in a different way? After all, people wanted their own computers with their own applications and data for reasons. What makes the Web so different than the old legacy mainframes? And, once Google applications start running on the client, they're no different than Microsoft applications--and, they'll probably start being held to the same standard.

I think people accept Google's simplicity because it works for Web apps, and people appreciate their Web applications being quick and snappy. The same isn't true for client applications--people expect those to be robust and feature-rich. Sure, I might only typically use 1% of Microsoft Word's capabilities, but when I want that other 99%, I want it. I use Word because it has a very deep feature set, even if I don't use it most of the time.

The next few years should be interesting. I think some poeple are writing Microsoft off far too quickly.
I agree with most of this. When I write, I find myself using about 1% of Micrsoft Word's capabilities. I could probably write as well in Notepad--maybe better, because there are fewer distractions. I like technology, even complex technology, as long as it doesn't get in its own way.
This is as close to political as I've seen Dilbert get, and I even like it.
Would Boing Boing find a graphic novel about the Nazis "gripping, savage, and thoughtful," and in a good way? After all, the Nazi's were on the "Other Side" as well... Maybe the author will put out something on al Qaida next, perhaps showing the bliss experienced by the martyrs as the planes slammed into the buildings and they ascended in an instant to paradise.
This Boing Boing post contains a reference to likely the most popular error made about intellectual property and digital rights management (DRM): that DRM "(adds) restriction on what can be done with something (people have) paid for." A purchase is a two way transaction, between a purchaser and a seller. Both have terms that define the transaction. For example, in the case of media such as CD's and DVD's, the seller's terms are clearly laid out on the packaging: no unauthorized copies are to be made, which in practice means no copies, because none are authorized by the seller.

DRM actually only applies to materials sold in purely digital form (hence the name) and to which DRM has been attached. By definition, DRM can't hamper one's right to "do something" with what he's "purchased," because the DRMed product is specifically what was sold. Implicit in this sale (and, I'm sure, laid out clearly in the sales agreement with whatever online store sold the material) is the idea that the DRM will remain in place and will dictate the product's use. The purchasers right, if he doesn't like those terms, is to simply not purchase the product.

Only if one asserts that a sale is an open-ended transaction for the purchaser, with no rights allowed to the seller and with the right to do anything he wants allowed to the purchaser, can one make the claim that DRM somehow stops the purchaser from using a product appropriately. Instead, DRM actually defines quite cleary what the purchaser is buying: that is, a digital product with certain inherent restrictions.

The fact that DRM is circumvented does not mitigate its appropriateness. Many people know how to circumvent automobile security, but there are no calls claiming that the inability to protect an automobile from theft means that it should no longer be subject to protection. Rather, automobile manufacturers continue to develop new and better ways to protect them.

The same should be done with intellectual property. Some sellers have given up on DRM, and are selling unprotected materials. That's their right, of course. It's a great evil, however, that they do so primarily because they see no other choice.
Intellectual property protection remains a misunderstood and misconceived notion. I personally don't know a single soul who knows or cares about DRM; it's mainly a core group of Left-leaning, technologically savvy elites who make all the noise on the issue. Like the typical Leftist anti-globalization and anti-industrial (read, anti-capitalist) "rallies," the anti-DRM movement is not made up of typical people (i.e., you and me).