frank_adrian314159 writes "After the Aaron Swartz suicide, people had hoped that CFAA would be modified to be less draconian. Our naivete knows no bounds. Salon reports that the new draft of the modified CFAA makes the law even worse by expanding it (and its penalties) rather than by reining it in. One provision states that anyone conspiring to break this new law will be subject to the same penalty as if they had committed the crime in question. And even though the bill's language on "exceeding authorized access" has been trimmed a bit, the same language in the section about "unauthorized access" makes the point moot and is still broad enough to be troubling, especially given the law's penalties." Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "In an article titled "Stop Pretending Cyberspace Exists", Salon writer Michael Lind notes that "Some ideas make you dumber the moment you learn of them. One of those ideas is the concept of 'cyberspace.'” He says that analogizing cyberspace as a real place leads to an inability to think logically about laws, rules, and how and when the governments could or should intervene to regulate the Internet. He states that such a debate is essential, but that that an "[invasion of] a mythical Oz-like kingdom called cyberspace is just as dopey" when talking about governments and corporations taking a larger role in online communications. Is Lind right? Does the notion of cyberspace make the debate over its governance less fruitful?" Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "David Lowery, musician (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), producer (Sparklehorse, Counting Crows), recording engineer (Archers of Loaf, Lamb of God), and geek (programmer, packet radio operator, ex-CBOT quant) talks about the economics of the music business and how the "old boss" — the record labels — have been replaced by the new boss — file downloading services, song streaming, and commercial online music stores. His take? Although the old boss was often unfair to artists, artists are making even less money under the new boss. Backed with fairly persuasive data, he shows that, under the new distribution model, artists — even small independent ones — are exposed to more risk while making less money. In addition, the old boss was investing in the creation of new music, while the new boss doesn't. This article is lengthy, but worth the attention of anyone interested in the future of music or music distribution." Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "Arthur S. Brisbane, public editor of the New York Times asks if reporters in this world of balance should become "truth vigilantes"? So rather than reporting facts — i.e., politician said X about Y, even if X is false — should the media become "truth vigilantes" by pointing out that X is indeed false? That the public editor of the New York Times has to ask this is probably an indication that the media has strayed too far towards balance rather than truth. Should the media be worried about truth anymore?" Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "The Seattle Times reports that Boeing's CEO is saying that the cost overruns on the 787 "Dreamliner" were greatly exacerbated by the company's heavy use of outsourcing. Although it is now fairly well accepted that outsourcing provides little cost savings and what cost savings there are often get spent in increased management costs and rework, the outsourcing drive goes on. It's nice to see a major industry figure saying that all is not so rosy as the MBAs would have us think." Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "In his Salon article today, Glenn Greenwald tells of the government's plan to prosecute Julian Assange. In short, the government believes that, if they can get Bradley Manning (the source of the leaked information) to testify that Assange convinced him to leak, they can prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act. As a means to this end, they have been holding Manning in isolation and subjecting him to other inhumane treatment, offering him better treatment should he would be willing to testify. That this would endanger with prosecution any investigative journalist who got information from a military informant has notpassed unnoticed." Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "The RIAA will appeal the ruling that reduced Jammie Thomas-Rasset's $1.92 fine for file sharing to $54,000.
"It is a shame that Ms. Thomas-Rasset continues to deny any responsibility for her actions rather than accept a reasonable settlement offer and put this case behind her," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth.
Joe Sibley, an attorney for Thomas-Rasset, said his client would not settle for the $25,000 that the RIAA has asked for.
"Jammie is not going to agree to pay any amount of money to them," Sibley said, adding that it doesn't matter to Thomas-Rasset whether the damages are $25,000 or $1.92 million.
In addition, Thomas-Rasset's attorneys say that, win or lose, they plan to appeal the constitutionality of the fine." Link to Original Source
frank_adrian314159 writes "The folks at HP have outdone themselves this time. It turns out that when a white person tries to use the tracking software on their laptops, it works fine. When a black person tries? It doesn't work as well (or at all). It could be any number of causes to this fault, but one thing is clear — the more complicated you make something, the greater the chance of unintended consequences." Link to Original Source top
Pope Comes Out Against Over-Zealous IP Restriction
frank_adrian314159 writes "In his latest encyclical, Benedictine XVI comes out against overly aggressive IP restrictions. In it, he attacks "excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care." He doesn't seem to be that into a lot of today's capitalism, either — must be that whole uphold-the-downtrodden thing." top
frank_adrian314159 writes "German composer/artist Johannes Kreidler has digitized various stock charts and other graphs, using Microsoft's SongSmith to generate the backing music. The video produced from the animation of the charts using the music as background is interesting. From his web page (my translation):
The prettiest melodies come from life itself! Every man is an artist — so too, every politician and banker: Songs for millions! Times of crisis are always good for art. Thanks for the music!
frank_adrian314159 writes "Clay Burell, 40-year veteran teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator, blogs about a majority in the Texas Board of Education which is likely to vote for state science standards requiring science teachers to teach the (non-existent) "weaknesses or limitations of evolution." The problem? Textbooks used in Texas must align with these standards and as goes Texas (the second largest textbook market in the US, following California), so goes your kids' textbooks, wherever you are in the US. Even worse? These guidelines will be in place for a decade, warping Biology content for that period of time." Link to Original Source top
frank_adrian314159 writes "Tired of the repression in the US? Want to fight "da man"? Want to be a subversive? A person who grew up in an authoritarian regime tells you how to do it in seven simple habits. Although couched in language of ecological concern Amanda Kovattana gives everyone who wants to get off their butts and make a difference a good set of guidelines." Link to Original Source