Coping with the SSSCA
Permalink
Mar 19, 2002

[a proposed reaction to the SSSCA:] 'Unfortunately, mass civil disobedience is historically the best antidote to an unjust law.... Bootleg everything you can get your hands on.'

There's a certain amount of validity to the civil disobedience bit; but in every other regard this article totally misses the mark. The problem with the SSSCA isn't that it might prevent bootlegging. That's simply the stated goal. The problem is the lengths it goes to to attempt to obtain that goal, with no regard whatsoever for balance or collateral damage.

Bootlegging frantically completely misses the point. I might support some forms of civil disobedience, but for the importent things, like standing on your right to use your computer to communicate with others in an unobstructed manner.

If you must strike back against the content control parts of the law, the real solution is to refuse to buy any content controlled media or content controlling hardware. This I fully intend to do, even if it involves sacrifice.

I'll pity this guy if he goes to jail, but I won't support him.


Frustration is...
Permalink
Mar 19, 2002

Frustration is... staring at your News Aggregator page just before your network connection goes out. It's like being a kid in a candy store, except you get zapped when you try to take something.


IETF Draft on Disclosure Retracted
Permalink
Mar 19, 2002

A followup to this earlier post: The IETF Draft on Security Disclosure has been retracted. Not sure what to think about that. No agreement would ever have been reached, and debate may or may not have been useful; there's probably nothing to add.


Judge rules Lindows can keep its name for now - threatens Microsoft with trademark loss
Permalink
Mar 19, 2002

'Microsoft sued Lindows over its name in December. Lindows is capitalizing on the reputation of the Windows brand, the suit said, and its name is confusingly similar to that of the Windows operating system....'

'Microsoft may have received more than it bargained for. Not only did U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour deny the company's request, he also said Microsoft has raised "serious questions" about the validity of its own trademark.'

The second bit is interesting. Microsoft has certainly defended Windows to an extent, with the certification programs and logo programs, but it has also at the same time been fairly loose in allowing other products to contain the word. It's not hard to come up with a list of products with "windows" in the name that Microsoft would probably rather didn't exist, and are clearly in the same trademark domain: XWindows, wxWindows, the use of the generic term 'window' to refer to windows in any number of systems, including the Mac. Plus the use of the prefix "Win", clearly referring to MS Windows, and not always chased down by Microsoft and stopped.

Let the legal fun begin!


Epidemic of fear
Permalink
Mar 18, 2002

"...it is wrong to blame today's culture of fear on the collapse of the World Trade Centre. Long before 11 September, public panics were widespread - on everything from GM crops to mobile phones, from global warming to foot-and-mouth.... Perceptions of risk... are shaped by cultural assumptions about human vulnerability."

I blame the news media. Not Hollywood so much, but the Daily Disaster Report that is your local and national news programs. First you hear about the murders and car accidents, then the weather, then next up, because we need to fill time and international news isn't interesting enough for Americans, a puff piece on a local emotional story ("My landlord won't fix my bathtub, and me with twenty-seven kids...") or a puff piece on the next potential terrorist attack. ("Tonight on News 8: Could terrorists be using excessive quantities of CFCs, creating holes in the ozone layer, and KILLING YOUR CHILDREN? Could Al Qaeda operatives infiltrated your car seat's manufacturing plant and compromised your child's car seat, potentially KILLING YOUR CHILD? A leading psychic claims bin Laden's hate aura could be affecting the country's psychic balance, potentially causing a rise in school shootings which will CAUSE YOUR CHILDREN TO DIE A GRISLY, NATIONALLY TELEVISED DEATH! Could terrorists infect your pet cat or dog with infleunza, KILLING YOUR CHILDREN, AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO? These reports and more on News 8 at 8!").

I've stopped watching the local news.


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