feeds | grep links > Pacman on a Voting Machine, PS3 Jailbroken, the Sound of Sorting Algorithms, and More

  • Researchers re-program voting machine to play Pacman
  • PS3 hacked bis USB dongle
  • The sound of sorting algorithms
    Rob at Boing Boing shares some videos that show what sorting algorithms would sound like. Go directly to andrut’s videos on YouTube and read the associated info for details on how he generated the sounds as well as a bit of history as this was apparently not the first time someone came up with and implemented this idea. I love it, it adds a nuance and texture to thinking about these algorithms above and beyond the usual visualization used.
  • Fate of net neutrality in France in the balance
    Fabrice Epelboin at RWW has a good overview of the politics and the likely outcome in the policy making on the subject of net neutrality. On the one hand is strong support for online censorship to fend off the usual demons conjured forth to justify such curtailing of online freedom. On the other Epelboin gives more cause to hope in the form of a few savvy MPs and considerable higher consciousness and activism in the space in the wake of Hadopi, France’s three strikes law.

France to Digitize Its Own Books

France submitted comments expressing concern during the last go round in revising the terms of the original Google Books settlement. Michael Geist links to a New York Times story that at first would seem continuous with the French government’s earlier stance. French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged almost $1.1 billion to fund a new public-private partnership for the country to digitize its own literary works.

The article explains that the French national library originally approached Google about this effort. This is apparently what prompted the criticism filed as part of the ongoing class action against Google. The criticism apparently was not strenuous enough to prevent the Library from once again approaching the search giant as a potential private partner under Sarkozy’s new proposal.

I can only guess, though the article doesn’t say, that the difference is France would retain more control over the resulting data. The article mentions the need for capital beyond what the government can supply. That means there would have to be some consideration, in terms of some privileged access or exclusive opportunity, for whatever outfit steps up. So how would partnering now be any different from partnering with Google before?

There is another aspect to this that the NYT piece doesn’t explore, similar to the story upon which I remarked about the UK pushing civil services online. Namely that there is a troubling conflict implied by Sarkozy’s push to render France’s cultural heritage into digital format for preservation and access online while at the same time Sarkozy is one of the earliest and loudest proponents for three strikes as a measure for dealing with copyright infringement committed via online file sharing.

You cannot champion the ability of digital technology and networks to copy and share information on the one hand while simultaneously suggesting that permanent disconnection from the network is a valid response to a substantially similar activity. Worse, the movement of publicly funded goods and services online exacerbates the loss of access, often under rules that forego due process and judicial oversight.