2015-12-13 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I will be attending SCALE in the latter half of next month if anyone else planning to be there wants to meet up.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

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Lunch Talk

I have been working on a presentation for a lunch talk at work, on testing in JavaScript. I had been struggling with a framing and approach that appealed for such a complex subject. By trying to keep some kind of story in mind, really my own coming from testing older technologies, it finally clicked. Now I am excited to finish the slide deck, before it was hard to find the motivation.

A Bit Torrent Tracker for CC Licensed Works, Considering Copyright Puzzlers, and More

  • Pirate Party of Canada launches Creative Commons bit torrent tracker

    Saw this on Prof. Geist’s blog, what looks like a pretty clever idea. The party is only serving torrents to CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 works and includes some pages with more details about included artists, including rotating a new one onto the front page of the tracker each week. No details on how to get your works into the tracker, though.

  • Canadian schools facing stiff retroactive copyright access fees

    Another story from Prof. Geist, this time the culmination of several years of negotiation between educators and the Copyright Board. Despite the surprisingly large fees, this is apparently a much lower rate than originally proposed. It would be easy to ignore the context and suggest schools are being treated unfairly, but these fees are apparently well established and at least some of the educators expect to have to pay them as a matter of course.

  • Research advances in computing with excitons

    According to The Register, the improvements are around the operational temperature of prototype components using a phenomenon that bridges the interaction between optics and electronics.

  • It may be cheaper to skip court than face the RIAA suits

    At Ars, Nate Anderson discusses a couple of cases where the defendants did just that and the default judgement was fair more manageable than the awards in the Thomas and Tenebaum cases. Nate has an update on the post that answered my first question about how settling compares to defaulting, with settling being the cheapest option of all, other than gambling and winning on proving you are innocent.

  • Is it legal to download if you do not upload?

    In this Ars piece, Nate Anderson does an excellent job of parsing through the complaints in the Thomas and Tenenbaum cases. He also considers the state of law and concludes that merely downloading can be argued to violate the reproduction right under the Copyright Act even if a user doesn’t infringe on the distribution right. Well worth the read since he also considers other countries, not just the US.

  • Australian group conflates unlimited bandwidth with piracy

    Via the Net Neutrality Squad list, an IT News AU piece describing a tortured bit of rhetoric by what I am guessing is an industry group. The article does not that AFACT is representing the film industry in a relevant court case, trying to hold an ISP liable for infringing downloads on its network.

Quick Links for 8/25/2009

  • Disruptive innovator in college textbooks
    Nate Anderson has the results at Ars of an experiment that Ars covered when it launched last year. I think this aligns well with Clive Thompson’s short editorial over the Summer, that the focus shouldn’t be on the future of publishing but on the future of reading. Now, for one niche at least, we have some encouraging hard data.
  • Wikipedia will require editing approval for some articles
    This NYT piece is actually pretty thoughtful, characterizing the change as part of a trend as the site matures. Noam Choen also explains it as a compromise not a break down, necessarily, of the norms or the systems that drive Wikipedia.
  • Federal circuit overturns SCO loss on appeal
    As Wired notes, this is not a win for SCO. Rather, the lower courts ruling has been overturned and all that SCO gains is the right to a jury trial. As the article notes, the “copyright fight is far from being settled” indeed.
  • Another suggestion of open source as economic stimulus
    I’ve linked to discussions of patent reform and separately implementing open data services both as novel forms of stimulus. Matt Asay suggest that healthcare could derive similar benefits from existing investments in open source, or new ones moving forward.
  • New partnerships for Sony’s forthcoming e-book reader
    According to John Timmer at Ars, these will include public libraries. The article also has some details on the soon to be released hardware. If only it weren’t Sony, who has an abysmal track record with DRM, and they hadn’t just announced their intent to wrap the otherwise open ePub format with such restrictions.
  • Google crowd sources traffic data for Maps
    RWW has the details of what strikes me as a very clever bit of distributed data collection. How better to supplement traffic information than from the figurative particles that make it up. I am glad to see Google speak immediately to privacy concerns as they could be disastrous if mishandled.
  • Three strikes policy back on the table in the UK
    Mike Masnick draws some compelling parallels to what happened with copyright term extension, the reversal from the Gowers report to rampant maximalism. Now the same thing seems to be happening despite the balanced recommendations from the Digital Britain report, ISP policing via the disputed three strikes notion is back in play.

Recent Podcast Appearances

Dave LaMorte, host and producer of Teaching for the Future, posted his interview with me this past week. This was a fascinating conversation that wandered a bit far afield from open source in the classroom, a topic Dave has been exploring in recent shows. I think the tangents were still highly relevant and our discussion of privacy and professionalism has me mulling over some topics I may put forward for discussion at PrivacyCampDC.

I want to thank Dave for inviting me onto his program and for engaging in such a great discussion.

My other podcast appearance was a bit more light hearted. The gravelly Martyn Darkly invited me to read for his excellent short form show, Movie Mantras. My reading was from the film adaptation of one of my favorite manga, Ghost in the Shell. I say light hearted but when I listened to the full episode in which Martyn used my reading, the meaning of it hit home in a very compelling way given some of my current contemplation around my professional and personal development.

I want to thank Martyn for including me in this clever, well produced series.

Teaching for the Future Interview to be Re-Scheduled

As planned, Dave LaMorte and I met on Ustream last night to record a live interview. After wrangling with the video settings for a bit, we had a great chat followed by a few live viewers. Even after Dave stop recording (after twice as much time as he planned) we continued to chat for some time.

Shortly after I left the video chat, Dave tweeted to me that Ustream had only record his half of the audio and video. I am not sure if this was operator error or an inadequacy of Ustream. It doesn’t really matter, I have forgotten to hit the record button my own self only to realize after hanging up with the other party. All you can do when this happens for whatever reason is apologize and see if everyone is willing to try again.

Having been in this situation before, I am more than happy to try again and immediately let Dave know. It will have to be after Balticon at this point. Hopefully if we stick to Skype or Gizmo the lag will be less of a problem too. Last night was the first time I was on the broadcatsing end of Ustream and the lag was…challenging.