Quick News Links for Week Ending 7/6/2008

  • Rhapsody drops some DRM
    This is a complementary, not a replacement, offering to their DRM subscription service. Like Amazon, it seems mostly motivated by the desire to sell onto iPods.
  • Non-Apple Cocoa workalike in JavaScript
    The framework aspect is not new with many other AJAX libraries. It makes sense to appeal to the comfort zone of existing developers rather than re-invent the wheel. Objective-J, though, seems to say more to me about the rising complexity of rich client applications and the necessary tools to manage that complexity.
  • Researchers able to identify protocol inside SSH, VPN
    The research is limited, identify just an SSH tunnel more reliably than the actual protocol. It is also limited to an SSH server they control. However, it may be possible to extrapolate their work to be more generally useful and hence more dangerous to those look to foil network discrimination and filtering.
  • Copyright office finally uses online tools for some registrations
    About time. The limits seem to be driven by the medium of the work to be registered.
  • Randomized distributed storage to foil infringements claims
    I don’t think this idea is entirely new. There certainly isn’t any tested legal theory to back their claims that infringement through this technology is impossible as someone, somewhere needs to reconstitute a copy of a work to get any sort of use out of the network.
  • Tech companies create massive patent holding shell company
    Using one of the existing projects for patent protection would seem like a safer bet than this new venture that has the potential to be the worst patent troll of all time.
  • TV adaptation of Pirate’s Dilemma, pay what you want PDF too
    I am almost finished with the book, I easily could see video content used to explain and demonstrate the points made in each chapter.
  • Identifying the brain’s structural core
    Yet another step towards a functional understanding of the brain and the mind. Basically answers the question of whether there is a CPU analog in the positive.
  • Short documentary about CC based business models
    Thirty minutes made of of ten minute interviews. One if with Buckman of Magnatune. A good snapshot of success built in open and free content, fodder for persuading others to consider more progressive business models.
  • Open source alternative to Twitter
    I have signed up as cmdln. I like that it is open source and uses an open protocol. I don’t know know Laconica/identi.ca becomes more like IM, where it doesn’t matter if you use Twitter, Plurk or identi.ca, it all just interoperates and works. I am concerned that even if such a model is possible, this would be no better than Jabber, a bit of an also ran.
  • Judge holds FISA trumps state secret privilege
    This is a ruling in one of the cases challenging the NSA wire tapping. The case itself was dismissed, though the judge left room for the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to assert more facts.
  • Flat atom could have applications in quantum computing
    This research deals with a so-called exotic molecule. Its shape and characteristics make it feasible for storing information as quantum states, useful to registers or memory for a quantum computer.
  • Court order violates privacy of YouTube viewers
    This is part of the Viacom suit. It violates an existing law, the VPPA, which clearly protects users’ video watching records despite the judge’s opinion that logins are pseudonymous and perhaps that the VPPA only applies to tap, despite specific language making applicable to comparable technologies, like YouTube.
  • Future plans for Wikileaks
    Much of the article considers criticisms of the site. The future plans simply are the dropping of the wiki aspect which hasn’t really taken off. Instead they’ll work closely with journalists and academics to review the documents they uncover.
  • Civil liberties groups press DoJ on use of mobile phone tracking
    The ACLU and EFF are just trying to assess how widespread investigations using mobile phone tracking are. They seem to have reason to believe it is being used in the absence of proper court oversight.
  • Browser expiration date to enhance security
    The idea is motivated by how out of date some browsers are and hence the number of vulnerabilities to which they are exposed. I am skeptical that an expiration date is a constructive answer. I think the article has a better answer, making sure all browsers use a central, easy update mechanism.
  • Netflix opens set top box
    It would be nice if they also adopted the Neuros Unlocked Media brand to go along with the move.
  • Generative artwork in JavaScript
    Impressive that this is implemented purely in browser. That it is open source means you are free to adapt it for applications that may not be just purely cosmetic.
  • Court rejects attempt to expand DMCA
    This is a fairly nuanced issue, the difference between rights-control and access-control. Regardless, I am happy the EFF filed a brief and is experienced at distinguishing these rights and fighting to prevent expansion of DMCA claims with questionable merit.
  • Interview with DMCA fighting Canadian MP
    Ex-punk musician, Charlie Angus, has been involved in opposing C-61. As a musician and a legislator, I would say he’s uniquely qualified to talk about the balance between content owners’ rights and the public good.
  • Security tools in MSIE8
    I’d be happier to see them adopting and supporting some standards in the offing. I am also concerned at the continued mention of compatibility. This has been the continued Achilles’ heel of much of Microsoft’s technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *