On April 14th, 2005 the Advanced Access Content System License Administrator, LLC (“AACS LA”) released for public review the 0.9 versions of the AACS LA technical specification books for optical media. These specifications were developed through an unprecedented collaboration of leading companies from the CE, IT and entertainment industries. Consistent with its commitment to keep all interested participants apprised of progress, AACS LA is making these completed specifications publicly available to enable third parties to review and evaluate the technology.
Well, “publicly available” means “if you accept our license agreement” to them, apparently. If you don’t want to click “I accept”, click here instead.
This is going to be the standard used to “protect” content on the new HD (high-definition) DVD’s. Most interesting part is that they learned from the CSS debacle, but only a bit. They can now revoke a device’s keys, which means if you own a device whose keys are hacked, your device will stop working. I find it amazing that any company would want to build devices that can be rended useless by another company, but that’s no less amazing than people actually buying them. I wonder how long it will take before, say, Sony is blackmailed. “Gee, nice device you have there. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we released the key to it?”
There’s also a lot of “online enabled” stuff in the spec. As a result, expect your DVD to stop working whenever the company who sold it to you feels like it.
Here’s the list of companies to boycot over this: Intel, IBM, Matsushita, Microsoft, Sony, Toshiba, Walt Disney and Warner Brothers. I wonder if they could be sued under RICO.
A Texas oil executive, his two companies and two foreign associates were indicted Thursday on charges that they illegally paid millions of dollars to Iraqi officials in exchange for lucrative deals to buy discounted oil from the government of Saddam Hussein.
I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame this on Kofi Annan as well.
Mr. Hurt: Have you ever crossed the line of ethical behavior in terms of dealing with lobbyists, your use of government authority or with fundraising?
Mr. DeLay: Ever is a very strong word.
I guess it depends on what your definition of the word “is” is.
Here’s another beautiful quote from DeLay from that link:
I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that’s nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn’t stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn’t stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn’t stop them.
Undated handout photo issued by Bristol Zoo Gardens, of ‘Kintana’, the first captive bred aye-aye, an arboreal nocturnal lemur, Daubentonia madagascariensis, a native to Madagascar, to be born in the United Kingdom. Bristol Zoo Gardens announced Friday April 15, 2005, that it is the first UK zoo to successfully breed and hand-rear an aye-aye, the largest nocturnal primate in the world and one of the strangest mammals on the planet. (AP Photo/Bristol Zoo Gardens)
A car bomb explodes, detonated by U.S. troops after it was discovered at the scene of the double car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, April 14, 2005. The initial attack killed 18 and wounded three dozen, but no one was injured in this controlled explosion. The sign at left reads ‘Keep Your City Clean’ in Arabic.(AP Photo/Samir Mizban)
Surveilling the surveillers. It’s an idea that Number 6, the nameless hero of the classic British TV show The Prisoner, would have loved.
In an attempt to establish equity in the world of surveillance, participants at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in Seattle this week took to the streets to ferret out surveillance cameras and turn the tables on offensive eyes taking their picture.
Following wearable computing guru Steve Mann into a downtown Seattle shopping mall, about two dozen conference attendees, some of them armed with handheld cameras, snapped photos of smoked-glass ceiling domes in Nordstrom and Gap stores, which may or may not have contained cameras.
The opposite of surveillance — French for watching from above — sousveillance refers to watching from below, essentially from beneath the eye in the sky. It’s the equivalent of keeping an eye on the eye.
With that in mind, Mann conducted his tour with conference participants to see how those conducting surveillance would respond to being monitored.
Mann sported his signature camera eyewear, while some of the other participants wore CFP conference bags around their necks. The bags had a dark plastic dome stitched on one side — modeled after store surveillance domes — which they pointed randomly at passersby, unnerving them. Conference organizers had outfitted a handful of the bag domes with wireless webcams — they wouldn’t say which bags contained cameras — which transmitted and recorded live streaming video to monitors in the conference lobby.
In the stores, as conference attendees snapped pictures of three smoked domes in the ceiling of a Mont Blanc pen shop, an employee inside waved his arms overhead. The intruders interpreted his gesture as happy excitement at being photographed until a summoned security guard halted the photography.
Mann asked the guard why, if the Mont Blanc cameras were recording him, he couldn’t, in turn, record the cameras. But the philosophical question, asked again at Nordstrom and the Gap, was beyond the comprehension of store managers who were more concerned with the practical issues of prohibiting store photography.
At the Gap, photographers were told they couldn’t take pictures because the Gap didn’t want competitors to study and copy its clothing displays. At Nordstrom, an undercover security guard who looked like Baby Spice and sported a badge identifying her as Agent No. 1, summoned a manager who told Mann that customers would be disturbed by the handheld cameras.
Illogically, she didn’t have a problem with participants pointing their conference bag domes around the store to take photos, just with the handheld cameras.
Mann said that duplicity is often necessary in order to mirror the Kafkaesque nature of surveillance.
He has designed a wallet that requires someone to show ID in order to see his ID. The device consists of a wallet with a card reader on it. His driver’s license can be seen only partially through a display. And in order for someone to see the rest of his ID, they have to swipe their own ID through the card reader to open the wallet.
Hollywood is anxious to embrace BitTorrent as a method of movie distribution, according to the father of the Internet, Dr Vinton Cerf.
Cerf, who wrote the original TCP/IP protocol and is currently chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), told a roundtable on Internet governance in Sydney this week he had recently discussed peer to peer file-sharing program BitTorrent with at least two interested movie producers.
“I know personally for a fact that various members of the movie industry are really getting interested in how to use the Internet–even BitTorrent–as a distributed method for distributing content,” Cerf said. “I’ve spoken with several movie producers in the last month.”
However Cerf was adamant the entertainment industry still did not understand the online environment. “They are only just now starting to come to honest grips with the possibilities of using the Internet,” he said.