Quick News Links for Week Ending 6/29/2008

  • Pirate Bay offering crypto tools to foil Swedish surveillance law
    The surveillance law is nominally not targeting piracy, per se, but this does remind us of the group’s stance on privacy. Their offerings will include SSL on their tracker, some how-to’s for easy end user encryption, and dropping fees for their commercial VPN offering.
  • Undoing statutory compromise on performance, composition radio royalties
    The exemption from royalties was a regulated compromise to begin with. Radio still thinks it works as it still has promotional value. Does it, though, really, in the wake of media consolidation and online competition? Not that those are the arguments of the labels which are desperate for any revenue other than having to actually innovate.
  • Turing’s birthday
    His birthday would have been June 24th and he would have been 96. If you don’t know Turing’s contribution to computing, read the Wikipedia article at the link.
  • Online forum for algorithm geeks
    Contrast this to academic research into algorithmic complexity. It is a discussion group more informed by practical problems but still pretty deeply geeky stuff. Worth a bookmark against future need for a more efficient solution for thorny computing problems. I wonder if they have anything that could keep Twitter up for longer than a day?
  • Charter calls a halt to deploying NebuAd
    The good news is that a risky, invasive effort has stalled. The bad news it is another point in a disturbing trend in online advertising that begs what is next. And it is merely stalled, not stopped outright.
  • Nokia to buy Symbian and open the source
    This seems to be largely a response to LiMo, another popular open platform, and of course Google’s Android platform. It is encouraging to see open source as a competitive alternative but remains to be seen if the benefits extend to customers in the form of more open, hackable devices.
  • FCC wants to impose onerous conditions on next spectrum block
    This is consistent with other legislative noise tying free access to the internet with porn and other content filters. Worse, this goes beyond filters and could result in truly crippled access, block any sort of free speech protecting technologies, like encryption, and other technologies used as much if not more for other applications than morally questionable content delivery.
  • Amie Street inks deal that will add over 1MM new songs
    Further validation of a very consumer friendly business model. I am heartened to see the catalog continuing to grow on top of last years investment news.
  • Encoding qubits in a vapor
    Some very basic ground work, in optical quantum properties, that could lead to solving the problem of storing, retrieving and manipulating a large amount of qubits.
  • Rebutting the death of the scientific method
    Anderson of Wired suggested with enough data, theory can be skipped. This article does a good job of showing how Anderson misunderstand this idea about limited applications of some classes of mass data correlations, that make sense for Google’s page ranking but not to our general understanding of science and the universe.
  • Data shows Canadian carrier doesn’t have P2P congestion problems
    Bell Canada is desperately trying to spin the low numbers, stating it is all about context and suggests that minimal congestion at one link can apparently multiply non-locally into the kinds of problems it thinks justifies throttling P2P traffic.
  • MPAA lands first P2P jury conviction
    Arguably the defendant, Dove, is in a different class than those in civil cases. Some may see it as borderline but it definitely makes more sense in the light of a criminal conviction to consider home a commercial scale pirate, not a casual home user of P2P for occasional infringing downloads.
  • Should security vulnerabilities be treated as product defects
    Pretty obvious when you think about it, both the should do and the actually do side of it. A bit disturbing to read an anecdote based around a high profile company, though, shrugging off vulnerability reports like feature requests.

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