Star Wars Episode IV

From windows, open Start|Run and type telnet to see Star Wars Episode IV -- as you've never seen it before! [from Abort, Retry, Fail?].

More on "Les Bricoleurs"

Got a compliment today from the inimitable Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage. This made my day because I respect Denise tons and because she included the following new tidbit regarding "Les Bricoleurs:"

In essence, bricolage is what tinkers do -- collecting odd bits of stuff they think may be potentially useful, then using whatever bits seem to work in the context of some later repair job. Simple. And yet profound. Because the bits the bricoleur ends up using were not designed for the use they end up being put to. Figuring out which bits to collect and how to apply them to some task at hand requires a completely different kind of thinking than the procedural algorithmic thought processes business has become so dependent upon. While the Internet may have convinced some businesses to think "out of the box," most are still not even sure what box they’re in, much less which way to turn for emergency egress. If some unprincipled individual were to yell "fire!" right about now, the entire edifice of global commerce might suddenly collapse.

From Introduction to Gonzo Marketing, by Christopher Locke (also of Cluetrain fame).

Beginning of the End?

Slightly old news, but has an article about Millberg Weiss's decision to attempt to enforce a claimed copyright on their pleadings. [via Linkin at Greedy Associates] A great quotation from the article:


More User Configuration Variables

Newsget user configuration of the number of entries shown per screen (Wendy's request) and easy blog entry (my request) are both now operational. There is no way of editing the configuration values yet, so you will have to e-mail me to set yours.

Binary Pi: DON'T DO IT!

An interesting check on strict liability information possession crimes Converting Pi to binary: DON'T DO IT! [from disLEXia and Russ Perry Jr.].

    WARNING: Do NOT calculate Pi in binary. It is conjectured that this
    number is normal, meaning that it contains ALL finite bit strings.

    If you compute it, you will be guilty of:

    * Copyright infringement (of all books, all short stories, all
    newspapers, all magazines, all web sites, all music, all movies,
    and all software, including the complete Windows source code)

    * Trademark infringement

    * Possession of child pornography

    * Espionage (unauthorized possession of top secret information)

    * Possession of DVD-cracking software

    * Possession of threats to the President

    * Possession of everyone's SSN, everyone's credit card numbers, everyone's PIN numbers, everyone's unlisted phone numbers, and
    everyone's passwords

    * Defaming Islam. Not technically illegal, but you'll have to go
    into hiding along with Salman Rushdie.

    * Defaming Scientology. Which IS illegal -- just ask Keith Henson.

Which of these statements are correct?

New DMCA Comment Period

The Copyright Office is again accepting comments for proposed 3-year exemptions from Section 1201(a)(1) of the DMCA which states:

No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

The Copyright Office has put up the form for submitting comments about "whether noninfringing uses of certain classes of works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected by [the DMCA's] prohibition on the circumvention of measures that control access to copyrighted works."

Three important things to remember: 1) The Copyright Office will only except exemptions that relate to a "class of works" not a type of use or user; 2) The Copyright Office will only except comments related to circumventing access controls under 1201(a)(1) not trafficking in circumvention of access control devices under 1201(a)(2) or trafficking in circumvention of copy controls under 1201(b); and, 3) now that 1201(a)(1) has been in force for a few years, the Copyright Office will be more focused than ever on actual harm, rather than prospective harm.

In the last comments period, the following two exemptions were granted:

1. Compilations consisting of lists of websites blocked by filtering software applications; and

2. Literary works, including computer programs and databases, protected by access control mechanisms that fail to permit access because of malfunction, damage or obsolescence.

These do not get automatically renewed, so if you use these rights, you will have to submit a comment to fight for them.

New Door

A great new tool in expanding your reading list was discussed and made available (including source) by Mark Pilgrim today.

Awesome stuff. Definitely a feature I will try to plug into the NewsGet engine. Way to go Mark!

Delta Information Breakthrough

I couldn't agree more with Jon Udell's excellent praise of Delta's flight information system

NewsGet Release 0.3

This is the first alpha release. I now also have some testers, let me know if you would like to participate as well.

You can look at the source of a perl module to be run under Apache. With the next release, I will provide installation instructions.