Week in Review for 5/10/2009

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  • Warner Music takes down its own content
    Cory has the details at Boing Boing, specifically that the takedowns were first noticed on the site for a subsidiary, Sire Records. It looks like all the official Warner videos were taken down at YouTube, not necessarily just the ones for Sire artists. The easiest explanation is that Warner is just so large, this happened on autopilot but think it really magnifies the opportunity for indies to make themselves appear more clueful in comparison.
  • RIP documentary available as pay-what-you-like download
    Cory has a good snippet on this at Boing Boing along with some clarifications on availability. The film can be seen for free from anywhere, even remixed from sources at its open source cinema site. Apparently just the pay as you go is limited to the US. I have to imagine the film makers are set up to receive donations from anywhere, regardless, if you are interested in supporting their efforts.
  • Learning lessons of copyright from virtual world experiment
    A smart bit of reporting from Techdirt’s Masnick. And I nice concession from the EFF, learning from the unintended and unexpected consequences of trying to apply copyright directly to Second Life.
  • Social desktop experiment in KDE
    This makes a great deal of sense with the increasing emphasis on social networking. What I’d really like to see is this leverage the work of dataportability.org and autonomo.us to try to ensure that such an integrated environment also strengthens the user’s claims to and protections of their own data. Without that, I am a bit concerned at the long term effect this might have.
  • Anthropology as a key to a successful social site
    RWW has a pretty good explanation straight from Stack Overflow’s co-founder of how it achieves filtering of knowledge for relevance and credibility better than a bare search engine. Not surprisingly it infuses a newer peer model with some solid lessons from existing social sciences.
  • Open graphics card successfully bootstrapped
    The hardware design, which is totally open source, is being brought up on FPGAs which are a rapid way to implement these designs without custom fabrication though they won’t perform as well as actual boards which will hopefully be produced eventually by interested vendors.
  • NoScript caught out again interfering with other extensions on its site
    via Hacker News, this has been clarified again as a change to NoScript’s web site, not the extension itself. Maone has also worked to cooperate with the Ghostery extension developer.
  • Remix context for Lessig’s last copyright book
    Cory’s got the details straight from the publisher. I received a clarification that it was in fact a publisher’s contract that caused the delay in the CC licensed edition. This remix contest helps make the wait worth it.
  • Webcomic highlights progenitors of computing
    What little is available, at the Link provided by the GeekDads, is highly enjoyable with a style I really enjoy. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a dedicated feed for just this story or any details on its future release schedule.
  • Indie label sponsors isoHunt with ad, link to torrent
    Techdirt’s Masnick has the details about the label, Honor Roll Music, which is buying ads on isoHunt. The ads then themselves link to torrents of music from one of the label’s bands. We hardly need more proof that modern tools can be used to support and drive creative efforts but it sure doesn’t hurt to have yet another positive example to point out to skeptics.
  • Video on small firms leveraging creativity to survive downturn
    The video, as Cory’s BB post explains, was inspired by an even earlier BB post. I think this is an excellent example of how peer production models can allow individuals to scale down, if need, to pursue opportunities that keep them viable but during better times wouldn’t be worthwhile compared to those open to firm and market production.
  • Ill considered law to regulate harmful speech online
    Xeni has the details and some choice quotes at BB. I don’t think this law is going to stand up to any sort of constitution scrutiny. We have such well established standards of harm as limits on free speech. Otherwise, this is entirely a matter of first amendment rights. Unfortunately, much harm could be done along the way until it crashes on these well charted rocks of constitutional reality.
  • Short video on digital activism
    The P2P foundation has the embedded video originally produced at the Berkman Center. Good advice and examples from folks who are doing not just thinking. It also speaks well to motivations.
  • P2P notice, consent law could have unintended, broad consequences
    Masnick has a good write up of the risks at Techdirt. The motivation is understandable, the poor folks snared in P2P suits who had no idea their machines were sharing files. But you cannot legislate away ignorance and in this case it could be disastrous just to try.
  • A history of Rogue
    I even have Rogue installed on my iPod touch. The game is definitely a touch stone of my own personal history of computer gaming. This is a great piece, even getting into the procedurally generated aspects of the game. It was definitely one of the first to do so in such a compelling and replayable fashion.
  • Search Engine podcast cancelled, picked up by rival
    The CBC has cancelled a good deal of its programming due to budgetary concerns. I am just happy there will be more Search Engine. Jesse does such an excellent job of making these topics accessible while sticking to such critical and complex issues.
  • Educational programming language, Scratch, tops 400K sharable projects
    This is phenomenal news from the Creative Commons, under whose license most if not all of these projects are being shared. I try to encourage my older son to spend a fraction of his computer time working on creative projects, including programming in Scratch. I need to help him find and experiment with remixing this amazing wealth of content and scripting.
  • Documentary on Canada’s C61
    This video that Cory has shared on BB couldn’t be more timely given the ridiculous listing of Canada on the US’s priority watch list as part of their annual special 301 report, as specious as that bit of paper is becoming.
  • New web privacy bill would make data sharing opt in
    As Matthew Lasar explains at Ars, this is some more information at a recent caucus on Boucher’s plans for a new privacy bill. The opt-in measure actually specifically would apply to third party data usage. First party usage would have to have an opt-out but would be allowed by default.
  • Mozilla SSO solution
    Very slick but until it gets a bit further along, I’ll stick with Sxipper. That may not be for very long at the rate Mozilla has been moving lately. I can easily see an integration of their efforts around profiles, login, autofill, etc. to come up with a compelling, native feature.
  • Open video format closes gap with most popular closed codec
    I am thrilled to see Ogg Theora alive and thriving–by objective standards no less. As the slashdot summary points out, the timing is excellent with Firefox’s plans to support the codec with its adoption of HTML5’s multimedia capabilities.
  • Mininova starts filtering content
    This is a shame, especially given Mininova’s apparent actions in code faith to respond to takedown notices. It is only at the trial stages, according to TorrentFreak, so it is still possible, though unlikely, it will be deemed to be of no improvement over the existing, manual processing.

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