Digital Historian and Archeology, Whacky but Indefensible Copyright Theory, and More

  • Insane theories on copyright don’t grant you a right to infringe
    I don’t even know where to begin commenting. Nate Anderson of Ars has done a good job of getting to the bottom of what is ultimately a very whacky, willfully wrong interpretation of how copyright works, even how it defines a protected work.
  • New Google privacy tool
    NYT has the details around Google’s new Dashboard. I found its location a bit non-obvious and the tool itself not entirely impressive as you still need to drill down into each separate product to tweak any privacy settings. Couple with no real change to Google’s privacy practices, I have to side with the skeptics.
  • Remembering Gopher and realizing it is not entirely dead
    Nate Anderson at Ars does a nice bit of digital archeology. I too have fond memories of using Gopher before the web took off. I find it heart warming that the protocol lives on even if the number of servers available is shrinking away to nothing.
  • Preserving digital pre-history
    Complementing Nate’s piece on Gopher, Jeff Atwood has a similar piece looking at a documentary about BBSes and the film makers idea to go full time at working as a computer historian. I certainly like the idea and will be looking into his kickstarter project.
  • Second day of committee review on Patroit and NSL reform acts
    According to the EFF who has been following the committee’s work closely today and yesterday, we could have gotten more from the Patriot Act reforms but the NSL reform went better than expected.
  • Anti-fraud act could introduce new limit on ISP safe harbor
    John Timmer has plenty of details on the proposed bill at Ars. I am not sure I find at least the intent here all that troubling. Despite problematic language, harms usually suggest reasonable limits on freedoms like exemptions from direct liability as is the case with safe harbors.
  • Magnatune launches its own iPhone app
    RWW has the news, what I consider to be great news. I love Magnatune and even more so reading the details that the song plays through their new mobile phone app are free and infinite, the only tax being an audio tag identifying the song and artist.
  • Google releases its JavaScript library and tools
    My initial reaction is, meh, though I remain open to someone demonstrating why I should be more excited. We already have a ton of other, great AJAX libraries with thriving communities and active development. Every time I see something like this, I really have to wonder why they don’t contribute to more open projects than they do instead of rolling their own.
  • More to consider on Intel suit brought by NY AG
    Ed Felten offers some food for thought, mostly unanswered questions on how the AG will provide evidence for his interpretation of Intel’s actions. He seems optimistic about our chances to do some more arm chair analysis
  • New study debunks prior notions about tech reducing socialization
    Cecilia Kang at the WaPo, among many others, shares a Pew study that flies in the face of some previous research which originally suggested a somewhat Luddite hypothesis. Given the connecting power of the network itself, let alone explicitly socializing tools like social networks and messaging systems, the newer study is hardly surprising.

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