Category Archives: Government

Hollywood’s Idea Of Innovation, Make Buffer Copies Regulated & Licensed.

While SOPA and Protect IP are dead, we still need to be aware of what the next regulation or purposed laws will be.  The cause for concern here is a purposed provision in a leaked version of the  Trans-Pacific Parntership agreement (TPP).  What Hollywood in this case wants to regulate is:

the treaty contemplates requiring licenses for ephemeral copies made in a computer’s buffer. That means that the buffers in your machine could need a separate, negotiated license for every playback of copyrighted works, and buffer designs that the entertainment industry doesn’t like — core technical architectures — would become legally fraught because they’d require millions of license negotiations or they’d put users in danger of lawsuits.  

Via Son-of-ACTA, the TPP, wants to legislate buffers – Boing Boing.

This type of regulation has been purposed before (for more information on that see link above) and has been beaten back before.  In a Techdirt.com article, notes how this could present a real challenge to innovation/new services company’s could provide, giving this example as one case:

What the negotiators here are trying to do is to kill off any cloud streaming service (or require it to pay a lot extra). In the US, a few years ago, the 2nd Circuit ruled that Cablevision’s remote DVR was legal. Basically, Cablevision set up a bunch of servers that could act like a standard DVR, but rather than the box being at home, it was in a central data center. The TV networks freaked out about this and insisted that it must be illegal. But, of course, the only real difference between this and a TiVo was how long the cord between the DVR and the TV was. It seems ridiculous to think that the copyright could be impacted by the length of the cable. 

The key, then, to the TV guys’ argument against Cablevision was to show that Cablevision itself was involved in copying works without a license. Since it was the user pushing the button to “record” something that argument wasn’t very strong — so they picked up on a specific piece: that in the process of making this work, Cablevision had to, for an exceptionally brief period of time,buffer the TV streams that it was playing. The crux of the TV networks’ argument against Cablevision was that it was that buffer that violated copyright law. The court laughed this off, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, leaving the ruling standing.

via The Real Goal Of Regulating Buffer Copies? So Hollywood Can Put A Tollbooth On Innovation | Techdirt.

To me this leaked draft provision of the newest TPP agreement, just shows how companies are more interested in trying to control their content and looking for new ways to put up road blocks to innovation and new ways of doing things that is unless they get their cut every time their content is somehow moved even if that is just transferring on a computer for content that the person has already paid for.  As the TechDirt.com article rightly points out, this type of regulation vastly extends beyond just hollywood content, in that it would have an effect really on type of digital file that a buffered copy was created of.  The article goes on to say:

For anyone who knows anything about technology, such a proposal is pure insanity. It’s an attempt to massively expand copyright law in the age of computers, for something that has nothing to do with the intended purpose, nor components, of existing copyright law. It seeks to put a legal liability for a transitional state of content for no reason other than that Hollywood wants to get paid any and every time a piece of content is touched. 

This kind of broad over reach just goes to show how important it is to keep aware of what is going on in these types of new purposed regulations, laws and treaties, to help beat back these type of ideas that are harmful to the future of technology and innovation.

Protect IP/SOPA And The Impact It Could Have On Industries And Jobs

 

All images come from AmericanCensorship.org

When I started to learn about SOPA and the Protect IP Act that were being considered in the House and the Senate, I was saddened to see that both of my Senators Klobuchar and Franken were supporters and co-sponsors of it. I wrote a short letter to Franken about my dislike for Protect IP and I got a letter back from his office which seemed to have as one of the main reasons for his support of it being the protection of American jobs. So in crafting a reply to that argument I did quite a bit of research.  With that research I ended up creating a lengthy reply that I think helps to show while Protect IP may be designed to protect some industries and jobs in them, it also as it is currently written will have quite a negative impact on many other industries and jobs. The results of what I found in my research are below.  If you want to see a PDF of this piece with all the footnotes and bibliography, you can download it here:  PDF

Let me make clear I am not against better enforcement of copyright, as long as it is done in a fair and just way both for the copyright holder and the accused party so that they have reasonable means to contest it if they feel they are wrongfully accused of infringement. Any new bill should balance the need of the copyright holder and potential new business’ ability to innovate without there being overburdened with legal worry.  After looking into SOPA and Protect IP they do not seem to fit into that criteria. Continue reading Protect IP/SOPA And The Impact It Could Have On Industries And Jobs

Osama is dead

Certainly an historic day in American and World history.

“It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9-11 are seared into our national memory: hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the twin towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction. And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world: the empty seat at the dinner table; the children who were forced to grow up without their mother, or their father; parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace… Nearly three thousand citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts. On September 11 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors our hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.”

President Barack Obama, May 1, 2011, statement on Osama bin Laden’s death [video]

How New York City almost left the Union

Interesting that as a history buff, I did not know that New York City had talked about secession during the Civil War.  As the article talks about, it would have greatly crippled the North because of the huge loss of tax revenue from New York City.  Certainly provides some interesting historical what if’s, if New York City had gone had with secession.

In the wake of South Carolina’s vote to secession in late December 1860, Americans both North and South anxiously wondered which state would be next to leave the Union. Little did they realize that the next call for secession would come not from a Southern state, but from a Northern city — New York City.

What’s more, pro-Southern and pro-independence sentiment was widespread in New York, particularly among the merchant class. Their pro-independence stance was partly a matter of economic opportunism: New York was not only the richest and most populous city in the country, but it was also the critical source of federal tax revenue in these days before income taxes.

via First South Carolina. Then New York? – NYTimes.com.

F-35, the last maned jet fighter?

B-2 Spirit picture via wikipedia
F-117 Nighthawk picture via wikipedia

I have always had a bit of  fascination for the different types of aircraft fighters that have come about and the amazing abilities that they, in some cases, have.  For shear beauty I have always loved the B-2 Spirit Bomber and the F-117 Nighthawk.

I just watched two interesting videos on the new F-35 from the recent BBC news article linked below, and what makes me like it is the features and capabilities that it has, not necessarily the more traditional fighter design it has.  In the video here and at the bottom of the article, it is quite amazing the precise images they can get from the cameras on the plane from 43 miles away from its target or what it is looking at.  Another technology part that is interesting to hear about is an information system to allow the fighter and the pilot to accept information from satellites, other aircraft, sea units and ground based units, that allows the pilot much more complete information to help finish his mission.

Also a question to ponder is the British pilot that is interviewed in the video here talks about how he was honored to be one of the first few to pilot possibly the last new model manned fighter aircraft.  That is certainly a possibility given the recent advancements in the drones and other aircraft that do not require a person to physically fly them.

F-35 Lightning II picture via wikipedia

Granted the F-35 fighter and the other planes I mentioned above are military jet fighters and should be remembered as such.  However I still think you can appreciate either the technology advancements that are shown as in the F-35 or the great design work on the aircraft like the B-2 Spirit Bomber and the F-117 Nighthawk.

BBC News – Joint Strike Fighter: Jet that’s a ‘spy in the sky’.

Eggs by the dozen to be banned by European Union?

For all the good that government does, stories like this can make it seem like they really don’t do any good at all.

In the article it mentions the possibly that the rule will not go into effect for a year  or so.  Hopefully they can turn this around and reverse this purposed rule.

With this sort of rule I am just perplexed on what they where thinking when writing this rule.  In the article they have a quote saying important to “provided [information] in a way that is meaningful and beneficial to consumers” like saying 12 eggs or 6 rolls is not.. Odd is all I can say..

For the first time, eggs and other products such as oranges and bread rolls will be sold by weight instead of by the number contained in a packet. Until now, Britain has been exempt from EU regulations that forbid the selling of goods by number. But last week MEPs voted to end Britain’s deal despite objections from UK members….Or that a bag of white rolls has 322g inside instead of half a dozen. The rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed.

One major food supplier said: ‘This is hindering rather than helping the consumer, taking away one of the key bits of information. If this goes through it would demonstrate how far removed the legislators are from the real world. It’s bonkers.’

via EU to ban selling eggs by the dozen: Shopkeepers’ fury as they are told all food must be weighed and sold by the kilo | Mail Online.

Hat tip (H/T) to No More Buying Eggs By The Dozen in the UK. neatorama.com

Over 2,000 Nukes

Since 1945 to 1998 there have been slightly over 2,000 nuclear warheads detonated by various countries.  What I am not intending with this post is a debate on the effects the nuclear detonations have had on Earth.  What I am interested in is the number of tests done.  I had no idea that the various countries that have tested or used nuclear weapons was in excess of 2,000 times.  I knew countries had done testing over the decades since the advent of nuclear weapons but like I said above did not know to what extent.

I just thought it was an interesting fact regarding the history of the nuclear weapon and figured would pass it on.

Over at the links you can see a video that shows all the detonations on a map between 1945 and 1998 and on second link a map showing all the detonations.

I originally found this information from this Crooks and Liars post: We’ve Already Nuked Ourselves Over 2,000 Times

Crooks & Liars post links to this site: How The World Nuked Itself Over 2,000 Times | zero hedge.