Czech painter Jeremiah Palacek has created these Vista error message stickers (“Error: The Operation Completed Successfully”) that are the right size to stick over the Vista screens in bus-shelter ads and the like.
McGill University hosted an interesting conference today on music and copyright reform. The conference consisted of two panels plus an afternoon of open dialogue and featured an interesting collection of speakers including Bruce Lehman, the architect of the WIPO Internet Treaties and the DMCA, Ann Chaitovitz of the USPTO, Terry Fisher of Harvard Law School, NDP Heritage critic Charlie Angus, famed music producer Sandy Pearlman, and myself. A video of the event has been posted in Windows format.
The most interesting – and surprising – presentation came from Bruce Lehman, who now heads the International Intellectual Property Institute. Lehman explained the U.S. perspective in the early 1990s that led to the DMCA (ie. greater control though TPMs), yet when reflecting on the success of the DMCA acknowledged that “our Clinton administration policies didn’t work out very well” and “our attempts at copyright control have not been successful” (presentation starts around 11:00).
Moreover, Lehman says that we are entering the “post-copyright” era for music, suggesting that a new form of patronage will emerge with support coming from industries that require music (webcasters, satellite radio) and government funding. While he says that teens have lost respect for copyright, he lays much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace in the mid-1990s.
And he still misses the point by a mile or so. The DMCA was written to support the large record companies, but he fails to ask if the law concern should itself with full, permanent employment for middlemen? If they add value, they’ll survive. If the market doesn’t support them, they’ll go broke, as they should. The point of copyright is to support creativity, not Fortune 100 entertainment giants.
He clicks on it and it asks for a password. He looks surprised and says “it needs a password”. I was like – that is OK, I have it, here you go… Now he is logged in. But – my desktop looks a tad different from most – there is no IE on the desktop, just the recycle bin and a folder called programs – nothing else.
He really doesn’t know what to do now. No special searching software, nothing. He looks at me and says “you know what we are doing here right?”. I said – not really (I knew what we were doing, I read the news and all, but just said “no”). “Well” he says “we are looking for pornography”. Ahh I say… Ok, no problem.
But he is stuck. There is nothing familiar. So he clicks on the start menu and finds “My Pictures”. You know, if I was into that – that is precisely where I would stick all of my porn – right there in “My Pictures”. He goes into it – and sees all of my folders. And al of my pictures, which we looked at. He said “wow, you travel a lot”, I said “yup”.
Now, after about 15 minutes of looking at my pictures (I have to resist the urge to point him to my favorites he shuts down my computer and says “Ok sir, thank you very much, have a nice trip”.
What an utter and complete waste of time. His, mine, all of it.
Feel safer yet?
Take a bow, all you pillars of the community. Torture’s going strong in every state in America, and you taxpayers are the ones who make it possible.
Don’t think I mean some sort of figurative torture. I mean real torture.
In the past few years, almost one million Americans have been imprisoned for having the good taste to prefer various pharmaceuticals to booze. And those people are being subjected to the most horrific tortures imaginable. Right now. In a prison near you.
Real tortures. Starting with gang rape by an endless succession of psycho thugs, and including sexual slavery of the most blatant, literal sort, often ending with murder of the sex slave by bludgeoning or stabbing when his sale value is gone.
Don’t pretend this is news to you, scum. You know it. Everybody knows it. No doubt many of you applaud it: “Can’t have those prisons turning into country clubs.” Unless it’s the minimum-security institution to which Ivan Boesky was sentenced. That really was a country club. Nobody raped Boesky. He’d vanish for weeks; “another of Ivan’s vacations,” his fellow inmates said. Guards loved him. (A $10,000 tip goes a long way.) He lives in his mansion in La Jolla now, unharmed by his stint in minimum-security. But then he only stole a billion or so, wrecked the lives of a few hundred thousand trusting investors. He didn’t do anything really bad, like smoking pot.
Slavery — you Ashcrofts out there, you lovers of the Confederacy, will be delighted to know that slavery is going strong too, in your noble homeland. Again, I don’t mean wage-slavery or anything so ambiguous; I mean literal slavery. Because, you see, when one of these harmless little drug-users, most of whom haven’t been in a fight since grade school, are tossed to the monsters who rule American prisons, they become a very saleable commodity. After they’ve been raped in the ass and mouth a few hundred times, their owners, the Aryan Brotherhood or Muslims or Black Guerrilla Family or Mexican Mafia, get bored with them. They want a new toy. So these terrible “drug criminals,” these smokers of things other than tobacco, are sold. For a carton or two of cigarettes, I am informed. Those who resist being sold are punished. Not by a simple beating, but by quite sophisticated tortures. One which is very popular is to impale the reluctant rape-toy on a metal bar — the more blunt, the better. It causes more agony, you see.
Oh, but you knew all this already, didn’t you? Truly, there are no human beings in this world more vile than the respectable Americans.
You know, but you don’t want to hear. That’s why it’s left to the British papers to print the horror stories. Recently a British paper printed the story of a man in Illinois who is suing the state prison system. At the whim of a sadistic functionary in the prison system, this man, who is white, was placed in a cellblock which was all black and controlled by a very tight, military-style prison gang. He was, of course, gangraped, taught to suck cock on demand, used as a urinal and toilet, and otherwise made to entertain his fellow inmates. He tried to kill himself three times, but was stopped — he was too valuable, and as a slave, had no right to dispose of himself. He is “free” now, HIV-positive of course and unlikely to live long enough to finish the lawsuit. The state of Illinois is arguing that nothing excessive or cruel happened to the complainant. He got what he deserved.
One does wonder why this story wasn’t picked up by a single American newspaper or network. No, that’s a disingenuous remark; I know very well why not. Because, at heart, you churchgoing filth, you utterest scum of the species, not only know but approve of subjecting harmless drug users to non-stop torture.
In the “well, that didn’t take long” department, just a fews days after the first one shipped, people have hacked the Apple TV to show xvid video, and as aside effect, enable ssh and smb access to it.
New Rule: Liberals must stop saying President Bush hasn’t asked Americans to sacrifice for the war on terror. On the contrary, he’s asked us to sacrifice something enormous. Our civil rights.
Now, when I heard George Bush was reading my emails, I probably had the same reaction you did: George Bush can read?! Yes, he can. And this administration has read your phone records, credit card statements, mail, Internet logs. I can’t tell if they’re fighting a war on terror or producing the next season of “Cheaters.” I mail myself a copy of the Constitution every morning just on the hope they’ll open it and see what it says.
So -so when it comes to sacrifice, don’t kid yourself. You have given up a lot. You’ve given up faith in your government’s honesty, the goodwill of people overseas, and six-tenths of the Bill of Rights. Here’s what you’ve sacrificed: search and seizure, warrants, self-incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment. Here’s what you have left: hand guns, religion, and they can’t make you quarter a British soldier. If Prince Harry invades the Inland Empire, he has to bring a tent.
You know, in previous wars on the home front made a very different kind of sacrifice. During World War II, we endured rationing, paid higher taxes, bought war bonds, and in the interest of national unity, people even pretended Bob Hope was funny. Right, like you laughed at him.
Okay, women, donated their silk undergarments so they could be sewn into parachutes. Can you imagine nowadays a Britney Spears or a Lindsay Lohan going without underwear? Bad example.
But, look, George Bush has never been too bright about understanding “fereigners.” But he does know Americans. He asked this generation to sacrifice the things he knew we would not miss: our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money. But he made a cynical bet that we wouldn’t much care if we became a “Big Brother” country that has now tortured a lot of random people.
And yet no one asks the tough questions like, “Is torture necessary?” “Who will watch the watchers?” “And when does Jack Bauer go to the bathroom?” I mean, it’s been five years. Is he wearing one of those astronaut diapers?
In conclusion, after 9/11, President Bush told us Osama bin Laden could run but he couldn’t hide. But, then he ran and hid. So, Bush went to Plan B: pissing on the Constitution and torturing random people.
Conservatives always say the great thing Reagan did was make us feel good about America again. Well, do you feel good about America now? I’ll give you my answer, and to get it out of me, you don’t even have to hold my head underwater and have a snarling guard dog rip my nuts off. No, I don’t feel very good about that.
They say evil happens when good men do nothing. Well, the Democrats prove it also happens when mediocre people do nothing.
Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case — including the mere fact that I received an NSL — from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie.
I resent being conscripted as a secret informer for the government and being made to mislead those who are close to me, especially because I have doubts about the legitimacy of the underlying investigation.
The inspector general’s report makes clear that NSL gag orders have had even more pernicious effects. Without the gag orders issued on recipients of the letters, it is doubtful that the FBI would have been able to abuse the NSL power the way that it did.
I found it particularly difficult to be silent about my concerns while Congress was debating the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2005 and early 2006. If I hadn’t been under a gag order, I would have contacted members of Congress to discuss my experiences and to advocate changes in the law. The inspector general’s report confirms that Congress lacked a complete picture of the problem during a critical time: Even though the NSL statute requires the director of the FBI to fully inform members of the House and Senate about all requests issued under the statute, the FBI significantly underrepresented the number of NSL requests in 2003, 2004 and 2005, according to the report.
Kafka would be proud.
The greatest danger to national security is the use of “national security” as an excuse to justify acts that have nothing whatsoever to do with national security.
BeatBots is a project to develop technologies and methodologies for human-robot interaction that incorporate the rhythmic properties of human interactive behavior.
Check out the “Keepon dancing to Spoon” video… the thing’s got more rhythm than I do. If I were a DJ, I’d love to have one sitting on my gear during a performance. And if they’d start selling them, I’m sure they’d sell tons of them!
nrrd on #memepool and I were looking up some expensive things on Amazon, and I felt a blog post coming on, so here you have it: the most expensive things in every Amazon category.
Toys: A city-park-size playground system for $32,229.59. The most expensive toy for a single child is an electric monster truck for $13,800. For that I bet the kid would have more fun with a real, yet not monster, truck.
Musical Instruments: Gulbransen Bottle Organ, $33,150. Now that’s the kind of thing I want to see as the most expensive thing in a category! The runners-up here are big outdoor searchlights, like you’d expect at a theatre opening, and a $17,500 violin-playing robot.
Electronics: HP StorageWorks SDLT Tape Library, $351,816. 400 tapes, 16 drives, 3.2TB capacity.
Many more funny stuff, read the whole thing!