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Wednesday, January 15, 2003

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New Year Resolutions

This year my resolutions are about you more than me. I will probably convert to a blogging system. Radio in fact. It has a number of features that make it exciting. Joe Jenett has already proven that you can build Valid Radio designs, so I will still be able to code to Standards. I will also enable the comments feature making taking shots at me easier than ever.

With the news feeds, RSS, and the other toys, this will help me to push ideas related to the freedom of speech on the web.

One of the primary areas I want to address is changing legislation. I want to eliminate the amendment. If we need legislation to address an issue, it should not be subject to amending or last minute alteration. The most recent prime example was the Homeland Security Bill. Buried in the bottom of this bill was an amendent giving free ride for drug companies if their vaccine don't work or has unpleasant side effects such as autism in children.

Broadens the definition of "vaccine" for purposes of the no-fault Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to include preservatives. This departure from the original intent of the program is meant to insulate pharmaceutical companies from liability for mercury-based chemicals that may have caused autism in children. The bill reaches back in time to wipe out pending litigation. But even worse, it reduces future incentives for drug manufacturers to produce safe vaccines. This is a sweet reward for the pharmaceutical industry, which consistently has been one of the largest GOP contributors.
Homeland Security Act Poses Threat to Government Oversight, Civil Rights and Liberties

May have caused is the message here. The tragedy is real, but the studies are still going on. This amendment has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, but exempts drug companies from responsibility or liability, win lose or draw.

Digital Restriction Monopolies
To get people to understand that Digital Rights Management is not about your rights. DRM is actually Digital Restriction Monopolies. DRM is being presented as a so called solution to the so called piracy problem. The entertainment industry is attempting to get you to beleive that every computer on the planet has to be replaced before you can download music amd movies using the internet. Palladium, Trusted Computing, Liberty Alliance are just a few of the proposals being pushed around for restricting what you can do with your computer in your house.

The attraction of using the internet to deliver entertainment cannot be understated. It will be fast, accurate and cheap for them. No packaging woes, returns, losses through theft, or anti-trust follies such as MAP nonsense. But to do this they want to control what happens to it after you buy it. You can't back it up, sell it, watch or listen to it more than a certian number of times, send it to you TV in the case of video, because trust me, watching a DVD on a 17 inch monitor with crappy sound is not the best way to enjoy a movie at home.

Currently the entertainment industry is trying to to step back from the early legislation. Too Little Too Late. What the entertainment industry fails to understand is that they will have to take a pay cut. They will have to be fairer to the artists that participate in creating music and video.

Not because they want to, but because the internet will catch them being thieves and liars. Server logs do not lie. When you call a link on the web, the internet creates a connection that leaves an audit trail on the server where the resource is located. When you download anything on the web, your computer and the server work in concert to see that you get it. The server will keep sending it until you have it and your computer tells the server you have it. This makes counting downloads absurdly easy and calculating royalties for the artists a no brainer. No more promo expenses, no more obscene production charges, no more cooking the books to justify why everybody is listening and the artists are dying broke.

Artists do not need to know anything about the internet. They just need to get folks to step up and audit server logs. Trust me, music junkies will line up to help their favorite artists continue to create their music.

Movies and books will have the same advantages in the digital world. People will still buy Books, CD's and DVD's.

Books are going to be problematic for a while as there is no real good way to read online, and nobody has stepped up with a handheld tablet type machine with a taller than wider screen. but it is early days yet.

Repeal of the DCMA.

Bringing Copyright back to 14 Years. Requiring the Government to reinstate the registration requirements for Copyright to facilitate the just and equitable administration of copyright claims

Bill still doesn't get it.

SPOT(Smart Personal Objects Technology) is the latest lunacy from Microsoft. Remember BOB? Microsoft's cartoon operating system. SPOT will go down this same road, hopefully a bit faster. Aside from the problems inherent in reading a watchface, and having to punch tiny buttons to program the thing,(how many calculator watches have you seen recently) just looking at some of the offerings beyond time keeping make this just the latest Bad Idea.

Did I mention crashes? Not just the operating system, but things like car crashes from driver inattention when your watch beeps at you?


One of the least mentioned parts of my life is my half brother. My mother divorced my father when I was real young. My father had another son from a previous marriage. I have never met him, seen pictures, or know anything else about him. He emailed me the other day.


Hiding Content [Posted] 12/11/02

One of the re-occurring themes that appear on design lists is 'hiding content', or making one's code invisible. Most of the solutions just don't work. The internet is not about hiding stuff. But in the interest of fairness I can offer a proven method of hiding content.

p i x e l v i e w

Mitch Ratcliffe is definitely an other. The 21st century holds the promise of rich multimedia across the web. Mitch was blazing this trail in the 20th century. From code to finance.

p i x e l v i e w - behind the screen with Mitch Ratcliffe
read here - go there

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