Quick News Links for Week Ending 4/13/2008

  • European coalition opposes three strikes file sharing laws
    I am glad to see concerted opposition as I think the proposed punishment is way out of proportion with the problem, especially when copyright provides for more accurate complaint and resolution, if more time and effort intensive.
  • French parliament rejects three strikes rule
    Despite opposition and internal devision, the European parliament rejected the Sarkovsky-style three strikes rule.
  • Consider attack as part of a cyber defense strategy
    Looking to define online offensives by standards for traditional warfare but an early statement by Lt. General Elder hints at an ambiguity in operational boundaries the article doesn’t explore.
  • Phorm’s harms beyond privacy
    Phorm uses custom routers to spook domain specific cookie. Harlan Yu clearly explains the risks of this practice.
  • Free software self replicating printer
    I’ve read about RepRap before, this is a quick update and a nice confirmation that the project is still active and improving.
  • Wrapping up the Sigler/Crown experiment
    Interesting to read Crown’s perspective, that they didn’t mean anything bad by the limited availability of the free PDF of Sigler’s book.
  • Anti-fair use whisper campaign
    In simplest terms, those opposing reform are trying a new arena to increase control, namely appealing to the rigid rules of the Berne Convention to potentially reign in or eliminate fair use.
  • Civil liberties groups ask EU to annul mass surveillance
    Part of ongoing concern over data retention, related laws in the EU. The petition appeals to rights of privacy, a tact that may be problematic in countries traditionally more willing to undertake government surveillance despite stronger corporate privacy protections.
  • Microsoft calls for dialogue on security, privacy
    When Microsoft starts talking interoperability, be concerned. Probably more of a sign that their own efforts haven’t been adopted as quickly, deeply as they would like. Not sure what this will really mean for measurable security improvements.
  • Foreshadowing of reactions to Canada’s forthcoming opt out legislation
    Similar reaction to US law, unclear if it will be more effective. Early experiment, in particular, appears to have attracted quick industry criticism.
  • Symposium on voluntary collective licensing for music downloads
    A series of posts by authors from a variety of backgrounds, considering the relevant questions. Worth reading if you are interested in this proposed plan to address critics of file sharing.
  • New Zealand to get its own DMCA as a result of US trade relations
    As with other nations, this is part of trade negotiations. At first brush, these seems pretty consistent with the form seen in other countries under trade pressure.
  • Silver lining in NZ DMCA
    On further examination, some essential rights and freedoms appear to be preserved. Mostly these are realized in substantial limits to the anti-circumvention components of the law.
  • Pirate’s Dilemma author recommends emulating pirates
    Clarifies and expands on ideas others have expressed. Goes further in suggesting there is an opportunity to be realized in examining and emulating pirates.
  • Building an in browser database with HTML tables
    As browsers become more capable and the pressure to deliver ever more interactive applications increases, this sort of clever use of client side resources makes more sense.
  • Using Google Earth to aid in humanitarian causes
    At this stage, it is a communication tool, not for relief workers but for politicians. Those involved see the potential for use on the ground but its a bit frustrating that that was not the first application.
  • Why Google puts privacy second
    Soghoian dissects Google’s rationalization for defying the EU push to shorten retention periods for log data. At their base, that’s all they appear to be, after the fact rationalizations not a compelling argument.
  • Early access build of Mozilla mobile browser
    A fellow up to the advanced look at Weave. The pre-release version, and the principles it embodies, are promising. I am also curious to see a positive second order effect on other mobile browsers.
  • Are devices killing innovation on the internet?
    I just don’t buy his core contention, that enough users will give up general purpose computers for any reason, security or otherwise. If you agree with that assumption, I think he overlooks the underlying openness of the internet’s platform and standards.
  • NYT article on ubiquitous computing
    This story is not new but it is a sign things are progressing to see mainstream media cover it. I like the mention of the LilyPad Arduino, the Arduino being a great DIY electronics platform.
  • Proposals to modernize GTK
    The list of proposed features looks like a standard software project laundry list. The real story is that a break in backwards compatibility, a critical principal of GTK 2, is being considered.
  • Extensive photos of Difference Engine for Computer History Museum
    Built for Myrhvold’s private collection, a little bit of paleo-computer porn.
  • Latest research on 3D storage
    This is essentially a stack based memory register, nothing so esoteric as optical holography which IBM has explored in the past. It may have applications for processing elements, as well, if some of the remaining challenges can be overcome like waste heat.
  • New attempts where muni wireless has failed
    Non-profits pick up where cities left off. They hope a mix of technologies and of models to manage and sustain the networks will prove more successful.
  • Set top box for Bit Torrent downloads
    Interesting to see just how open this will be in practice when they are courting the official BitTorrent seal with the commercial entity of that name. Will it work with PirateBay is the real question.
  • Other unusual chip architectures other than quantum
    Far out but very real experiments on computing in some very surprising media like slime moulds and ripples in water.

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