Intel's LaGrange Technology - doomed?
Sep 11, 2002

A somewhat technical discussion on why hardware-based content protection is doomed to failure for at least several iterations, based on discussing Intel's "LaGrange" technology. This is the first I've heard of this so I don't know how this fits into the "master plan", whether they believe this is the first and final iteration or what, and how this ties to Palladium. The interesting part about this article is that it's strictly technical and discusses why this just isn't going to work for a while. The main thesis paragraph of the essay is probably this one from the middle:

Read the rest (669 words)

"Praise Murphy" Extended
Sep 10, 2002
So what other religious phrases can we adapt to Murphyism?... Don't be the last on your block to get a Murphy Saves bumpersticker. Ask your friends, Have you accepted Murphy as your personal savior?. I haven't read enough of the Book of Murphy yet to know whether Murphy died for my bugs, or because of them.

Actually, I think some Eastern religion fits in much better here. "We all have a little bit of Murphy inside us." "Bugs do not truly die, they reincarnate. The more Murphy karma they have, the bigger they come back." And the coup de grace, "The Murphy that can be understood is not the true Murphy."

Corporate Spied: Get Out
Sep 06, 2002

At every job I've started since the computer age began, I have been required to sign a document that basically threatens the new employee with expulsion if the phone, computer or office is used for any type of personal business. I have always signed. But now surveillance software has arrived, and I think back on that document with dread and anger. [osOpinion]

I think this is close to the right approach to take if this becomes an issue in your workplace. As I've said before, I think employee surveillance is largely between employee and employer. Point out the decrease in productivity they should expect from their best workers. Especially because of the naive trust placed in computers, it's better that nobody have the information at all.

Of course this works best with a union....

Sep 04, 2002

One week and a handful of days ago, I was knocked offline by the cable company, because they put my connection on a four-way splitter in the cable companies box. I am finally back online.

It took them one week after I called to get someone out here. It took that someone five minutes to fix.

Added to the fact that I correctly diagnosed the problem (adding someone else to the splitter) based on my TV signal behavior, this has been quite exasperating. The fact is that I could have fixed it myself if I could have gotten to the box...

Hence the unusual, even for me, silence. I'm still catching up, since I had only marginal access to the Internet for the last week. (I really only had it while I was supposed to be at work. Not a problem, but it did prevent my normal reading habits.)

Once again it is demonstrated that the main reason I hate losing net access is the ability to look things up easily and swiftly when I want them, both technical and otherwise. For all I enjoy email, weblogging, and reading all the stuff online I read, I can take it or leave it. The only thing I truly miss is the Digital Library aspect of the Internet.

It did give me time to re-focus on what is now called "The Ethics of Modern Communication", which is coming along nicely after stalling for several months. I now feel confident I will actually finish it (or at least release it) at some point. It is the culmination and fulfillment of this site, a (large) essay that represents the understanding I've developed over the past 2.5 years running this weblog. The fact that the 'blog will turn into a book may intrigue some people.

Hopefully, we'll see that sometime this year. I'm enjoying writing it.

John Robb on RIAA and Verizon
Aug 22, 2002

Wired.  The RIAA wants information on the identity of a Verizon user that it claims has thousands of MP3s avaiable via KaZaA.  Verizon, is resisting.  The RIAA would presumably use this information to force Verizon to deny service to the individual as well as sue them for civil penalties.  It would also allow them, if the NET Act is involked, to send this person to jail as a felon.  Obviously, the RIAA wants to use this case as a demonstration to the rest of us that they are in control.

I doubt that even if this action is successful, people will stop using P2P networks.  That would then put the RIAA on a path to attempt to turn off the DSL and cable connections of P2P users it identifies en masse, as it can do via the DMCA.  Verizon and other ISPs would then be in hot water -- they could end being forced to deny broadband service to 50% of all subscribers in the US.   This would be a major blow to Internet and crush any potential for a revival of the US economy.  That a puny $20 b industry is on a path to potentially cause $100 billion ++ in damage to the US economy based on less than $1 b in suspected damages defies reason. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

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