Archive for March, 2003

Freedom and privacy

Monday, March 31st, 2003

You may have heard about the sinister DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). Now the Super-DMCA is on its way. It has already started to gain acceptance in several states already.

This new legislation could very well outlaw useful things like SSH (secure shell), VPNs (virtual private networking), NATs (network address translation), and home networks in general. I use all of the mentioned technology on a daily basis, with none employed for any nefarious reason.

In other related news, Wired is reporting that the US government is watching credit card transactions. Some people are concerned, such as a lawyer from the ACLU.

With all the new laws on the books (including the Patriot Act), it’s not too far-fetched that someone might be locked up without any reason. Scary stuff.

Nice ice photographs

Monday, March 31st, 2003

Check out a site with some amazing ice photographs.

Lots of storage

Monday, March 31st, 2003

Wow. Two petabytes of storage! That would finally provide the space I need for lots of my photos. Okay, well, maybe it would be a small amount of overkill. *smile* (A petabyte is an awful lot of space.)

Rosetta & Gutenburg – Public Domain archives

Monday, March 31st, 2003

The Rosetta Project is a website which has a large library of illustrated children’s books composed of works in the public domain. There’s no doubt that you have probably heard of many of each which are posted on the website, including: Old Mother Hubbard, Mother Goose Rhymes, Robinson Crusoe, The Ugly Duckling, and The Three Little Pigs. Many other books are also located on the Rosetta Project’s website.

I’m sure the Rosetta Project was inspired by the Gutenburg Project which is an archive of public domain literature in text form. On the Gutenburg website, you can search for Shakespeare, download all of Mark Twain’s various works, get the Time Machine by H. G. Wells (or download the audio version), or browse the recently added music section (another related site is "the Classical Music Archives").

All of the above is thanks to something called "the Public Domain", which is being artificially slowed down due to various laws. Lots of websites have stories about the semi-recent happenings, such as Salon, Wired, and the New York Times. If you would like to read more about the Bono Copyright Extension and its impacts on our culture, check out "Opposing Copyright Extension" or browse around Lawrence Lessig’s web page.

If you’re interested in placing your work in the public domain or loosening the restrictions on what can be done with things you produce, check out Creative Commons.

The public domain is a great thing. It allows people to see and hear things that they would not otherwise be able to experience, provides a great resource to draw from for derivative works, and can also be utilized as an archive of the works of the past.

The weather outside is frightful…

Sunday, March 30th, 2003

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… Well, that’s what the weather forecasters have been predicting, at least. Yesterday, the temperature was nice, although it was a little muggy out due to the humidity. Today, it has been a very cold, rainy Sunday — with a chance of snow in the forecast. The Raleigh-Durham area has gone from Bermuda to Fairbanks in the matter of a few hours overnight.

Mozquake?

Friday, March 28th, 2003

Someone recently got the idea to embed the classic game "Quake" in Mozilla. I am not making this up.

Time traveller

Thursday, March 27th, 2003

"Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges — and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!"

Wow. Sounds like Biff from Back to the Future II, an HG Wells novel gone wrong, or a bad Star Trek Voyager episode.

Thanks to Bryan to pointing out this article on Yahoo News (well, it seems to have been sourced from Weekly World News. Shocker, huh?)