But I don’t care if you want to attempt to stop people from copying your work over the internet, or if you plan on building a business around this idea. I mean, it sounds daft to me, but I’ve been surprised before.
But here’s what I do care about. I care if your plan involves using "digital rights management" technologies that prohibit people from opening up and improving their own property; if your plan requires that online services censor their user submissions; if your plan involves disconnecting whole families from the internet because they are accused of infringement; if your plan involves bulk surveillance of the internet to catch infringers, if your plan requires extraordinarily complex legislation to be shoved through parliament without democratic debate; if your plan prohibits me from keeping online videos of my personal life private because you won’t be able to catch infringers if you can’t spy on every video.
And this is the plan that the entertainment industries have pursued to in their doomed attempt to prevent copying. The US record industry has sued 40,000 people. The BBC has received Ofcom’s approval to use our mandatory licence fees to lock up its broadcasts with DRM so that we can’t tinker with or improve on our own TVs and recorders (and lest you think that this is no big deal, keep in mind that the entire web was created by amateurs tinkering with systems around them). What’s more Apple, Audible, Sony and others have stitched up several digital distribution channels with mandatory DRM requirements, so copyright holders don’t get to choose to make their works available on equitable terms.
In France, the HADOPI "three strikes" rule just went into effect; they’re sending out 10,000 legal threats a week now, and have promised 150,000 a week in short order. After three unsubstantiated accusations of infringement, your whole family is disconnected from the Internet -from work, education, civic engagement, distant relatives, health information, community. And of course, we’ll have the same regime here shortly, thanks to the Digital Economy Act, passed in a three-whip washup in the last days of parliament without any substantive debate, despite the thousands and thousands of Britons who asked their legislators to at least discuss this extraordinarily technical legislation before passing it into law.
My brother began to dictate in his best oratorical style, the one which has the tribes hanging on his words.
"In the beginning," he said, "exactly fifteen point two billion years ago, there was a big bang and the Universe–"
But I had stopped writing. "Fifteen billion years ago?" I said incredulously.
"Absolutely," he said. "I’m inspired."
"I don’t question your inspiration," I said. (I had better not. He’s three years younger than I am, but I don’t try questioning his inspiration. Neither does anyone else or there’s hell to pay.) "But are you going to tell the story of the Creation over a period of fifteen billion years?"
"I have to," said my brother. "That’s how long it took. I have it all in here," he tapped his forehead, "and it’s on the very highest authority."
By now I had put down my stylus. "Do you know the price of papyrus?" I said.
"What?" (He may be inspired but I frequently noticed that the inspiration didn’t include such sordid matters as the price of papyrus.)
I said, "Suppose you describe one million years of events to each roll of papyrus. That means you’ll have to fill fifteen thousand rolls. You’ll have to talk long enough to fill them and you know that you begin to stammer after a while. I’ll have to write enough to fill them and my fingers will fall off. And even if we can afford all that papyrus and you have the voice and I have thee strength, who’s going to copy it? We’ve got to have a guarantee of a hundred copies before we can publish and without that where will we get royalties from?"
My brother thought awhile. He said, "You think I ought to cut it down?"
"Way down," I said, "if you expect to reach the public."
"How about a hundred years?" he said.
"How about six days?" I said.
He said, horrified, "You can’t squeeze Creation into six days."
I said, "This is all the papyrus I have. What do you think?"
"Oh, well," he said, and began to dictate again, "In the beginning — Does it have to be six days, Aaron?"
I said, firmly, "Six days, Moses."
Isaac Asimov’s “How It Happened” (1979)
This is the world’s first total artificial heart.
Surgeons Domingo Liotta and Denton Cooley placed it into Haskell Carp’s chest on April 4, 1969 in Houston. They removed it 64 hours later when a donor heart became available.
But the heart did what it was supposed to do, explained Judy Chelnick, an associate curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The patient did not live long, but not because the manmade heart malfunctioned. It worked just fine, laying the stage for many later variations.
"Meg Whitman, our own candidate for governor of California, is running on a platform that’s as tough as nails on illegal immigration. We found out this week she had an illegal immigrant working in her house for nine years. Today Meg Whitman said she’s willing to take a lie detector test to prove that she didn’t know that she had an illegal alien cleaning her house. You know what, if we wanted a governor who swears they have no idea what’s happening in their house, we’d move to Alaska."
As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests. But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy.
As the Republican political analyst David Frum put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox” — literally, in the case of all those non-Mitt-Romney presidential hopefuls. It was days later, by the way, that Mr. Frum was fired by the American Enterprise Institute. Conservatives criticize Fox at their peril.
Federal agents arrested VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, state Sen. Jim Preuitt and nine others in a vote-buying investigation related to April’s attempt to pass electronic bingo legislation.
A 39-count federal indictment was unsealed Monday charging McGregor, Country Crossing’s Ronald Gilley, four state senators, lobbyists and others of “a variety of criminal offenses, including conspiracy, federal program bribery, extortion, money laundering, honest services mail and wire fraud, obstruction of justice and making a false statement,” according to the DOJ press release. DOJ attorneys said the 11 were indicted for their roles in “a wide-ranging conspiracy to influence and corrupt votes related to electronic bingo legislation.”
When Bennet asked about the possibility of a Google “implant,” Schmidt invoked what the company calls the “creepy line.”
“Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it,” he said. Google implants, he added, probably crosses that line.
At the same time, Schmidt envisions a future where we embrace a larger role for machines and technology. “With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches,” he said. “We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
And that’s not creepy?
You should not expect regulations to stop Google from invading your life, you’ll have to take measures yourself, because, as the post below shows, “laws are written by lobbyists”..