Monthly Archives: October 2003

Information vs Control

One of the most distructive pieces of legislation comming out of Congress might be this little beauty, at least for programmers. What is it and what does it to?  Click on the link below to find out more…

Anyone here ever heard of Senator Fritz Hollings the Democrat from South Carolina? This gentleman (along with several other Senators) wants to make all programs have government approved copy protection put in them. Everything from Windows “copy” and “paste” to video games and camcorders. It would have essentially the same effect if you required that all writers to write using only government approved pencils and paper; writing only government approved content.

So why in the world would someone want this kind of draconian law knowing that would virtually stop software innovation within the United States? The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America feel its the only way to stop IP piracy that has been occurring since the proliferation of the Internet. While it may be true that excessive software regulation may be the only thing to save the MPAA and RIAA, fundamentally the problem comes down to; do we really want to give up our personal software rights to prop-up an obsolete industry structure?

Make no mistake about it, this fight is NOT about wither quality music and movies will be created. Nor is it about wither musicians, actors, and directors will be able to make a living from their content. Music was being created, paid for, and distributed long before the recording industry existed; and it will continue to do so long after. Both the MPAA and RIAA know this.

Computer networks and digital content are changing the way information is available. Fundamentally (regardless of what we thought during the dot com bubble) the Internet is about knowledge proliferation. At no other time in history has information been so easily available at such an inexpensive price. Organizations like the RIAA and MPAA are content (i.e. information) distributors and because there is a much faster, easier, and less pensive way to deliver content, these groups are finding themselves becoming extinct. And they know it. They could change their business models but the sad reality for them is that they will no longer be in control. One way or the other they will forever loose the iron grip (and by extension huge profits) they once had on information.

…and I am not willing to pay the price of my freedoms to keep it from happening.

Motivation and Advice

What the heck, its Friday right?  Two pieces of weekend humor.  First is a motivational video sent to me by Daniel. The second is a useful piece of bachelor advice for cleaning up:

How To Thoroughly Clean The Toilet

  1. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and put both lids up.
  2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
  3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. (You may need to stand on the lid. ) The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. (Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.)
  4. Flush the toilet three or four times. (This provides a ” power-wash “and “rinse”.)
  5. Have someone open the door to the outside (Be sure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.)
  6. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.
  7. The now clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself off. The toilet will be sparkling clean!

Sincerely, The Dog

Good advice to be sure.

Clueless

This article from the PBS author “i, cringely” does a wonderful job of explaining to the lay-person why Microsoft continues to underestimate and misunderstand the success of Open Source software (specifically Linux.) 

Wisdom

Quotes for the day:

In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it – thou art a fool.
— The Talmud

Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.
— William Wordsworth

Matrix Theory

Warning to all… this link could easily be one of the biggest movie spoilers in history.  Its a current working theory of how the Matrix trilogy works out in the end.  Read the entire thing (if you decide you want to…) there are some additional comments made by contributers that really fill out the whole theory.

The article is devastatingly interesting, and entirely possible.  Just how dramatic are the Wachowski brothers? We shale have to wait and see.

Justice and Censorship

Couple quotes for the day:

No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.
— Theodore Roosevelt
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.
— Thomas Jefferson

I am spending more time looking at the words of our founding fathers lately. 

More on HL2

My brother sent me this link.  It goes into greater detail about the theft of Half Life 2 from Valve.  Sounds like it was a well executed attack.  Its fairly simple to secure yourself against virus and worm attacks… its a whole other issue when you have to protect your systems from a intentional, highly focus, methodical, intelligent attacks.  Has anyone actually gotten their hands on a working copy of the code yet?

Thanks for the heads up Adam.

kdialog –msgbox “Check this out.”

So KDE is easily the best GUI for *nix type OSes… but how useful is it really for command line application usage?  Funny you should ask.  This developer.kde.org tutorial covers kdialog; a command-line driven script-able window generation tool for KDE. Good tutorial with some great examples.  Just perfect for the new programmer or the system admin.

Get KDE to COMDEX

COMDEX is the largest technology conference in the world.  Its held each year in Los Vegas as an opportunity to show off the latest and greatest in the technology world.  O’Reilly’s (the book publisher) has made a agreement with COMDEX to sponsor 6 open source project, with display space, on the exhibit floor (where no Open Source project  has been  before.)

Go to Oreillynet.com to vote.  You can vote once a day so make it part of your daily routine.  And be sure to check KDE as one of your three projects.