Patent idiocy continues
Aug 15, 2002

Paging Eliza: Patenting IM Bots [Slashdot]

I wrote something that could fall under this patent, I think. And I went trolling through the archives, and damn, I think this is the first hint of its existance, Feb 21, 2001, six months after the patent was filed for. No claims of beating them to the punch for me.

Have to admit I haven't read it carefully, though. I have a headache right now and reading Yet Another Dumb Patent is one of the most reliable ways I could think of to make it worse.

New Plan: Everybody Gets Sued
Aug 09, 2002

The RIAA, following its sue everybody strategy, is ready to go after the Librarian of Congress (via Michael Mussington). [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

From the linked article, RIAA's second claim:

The Librarian ignored 25 separate licensing agreements the RIAA had previously agreed to and submitted as evidence, as well as 115 similar deals signed by the individual record companies. If these agreements -- all of which represented rates born by a fair market -- were appropriately considered by the Librarian, the final royalty rate would have been significantly higher.

Now, I don't understand this. They've already squashed webcasting. What is this about? The standard explanations don't seem to cut it. This can't be naked greed, or they'd be trying to re-grow the market so as to make money from it. It can't just be control, they've already squashed the market, which is effectively 100% controlled, no? What's the deal, here? Are the lawyers just bored or something? Has the RIAA lost the ability to think even remotely rationally?

Palladium -> DRM evidence from the horses mouth
Aug 07, 2002

Dan Sickles points out this on the Microsoft site (when you search for DRM):

Group Program Manager
Are you interested in being part of Microsoft's effort to build the Digital Rights Management (DRM) and trusted platforms of the future (Palladium)?

This is one of many like this.  Despite Microsoft saying that Palladium isn't DRM, it's clearly not the truth. It's mostly about DRM in the short term.  Longer term it is about personal data sharing (a requirement for the next generation of marketing: personal advertisements -- what I call demographic dystopia). [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

The Bell Hath Tolled
Aug 04, 2002
"You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the OS Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the OS Product that will be automatically downloaded to your computer,"

The preceding verbiage appears in the EULA for SP1 for WinXP and SP3 for Win2K. This is it. The bell hath tolled. The tax-man is here. It's time to pay the piper. You must now decide: Will you deed your computer over to Microsoft, or wean yourself from your Microsoft dependence?

(You can hobble along temporarily by not installing these service packs, but that carries the danger of deeding your machine over to a cracker.)

Spread the word: Microsoft operating systems are no longer a viable option for a computer owner. Anybody that agrees to this EULA provision has forfeited the freedom of the PC (Personal Computer) and entered into bondage to Microsoft.

Remember, this provision means Microsoft can force "updates" to your machine that seek out and destroy other OS's on your machine, disable software and force you to upgrade, forcibly install any DRM they see fit, forcibly uninstall any software or capabilities they see fit, or indeed, anything they so desire. The machine will be "yours" in the sense that you have to buy the hardware and pay the power bill, but all the rights of ownership will be firmly in Microsoft's possession.

I strongly recommend to everyone who cares about their computer that they examine alternatives to Microsoft at this point, and go with one.

Damn DRM!
Aug 04, 2002

I am a Vernor Vinge fan. One of my favorite books is his "A Fire Upon the Deep".

For a while I've been aware that there is an annotated edition of it on an obscure, totally impossible to get a copy of CD called The "Electric Science Fiction" 1993 Hugo/Nebula Award Anthology CD. The edition available on that CD claims to contain 500KB of annotations from the author. I, and many others, would very much like to see those annotations, but it seemed they disappeared, along with the CD itself.

I've been tracking this for years, and finally, I've hit paydirt. It is now available for purchase.


It is only available in four closed formats: Palm Reader, Abode eReader, MS Reader, and Mobipocket Reader eBook. I no longer have a Palm (static electricity shock them to death in the winters), and have nothing that can run a Mobipocket Reader. And I flatly refuse to run either MS Reader or Adobe eReader, as both have completely unacceptable licensing provisions.

This is a first for me: Something that I want, really want (at least $20-worth of want, push me and I may go higher), but cannot buy due to DRM and licensing restrictions. I will not deed my computer over to Microsoft or Adobe just to read a book.

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