Archive for March, 2008

Apple and Microsoft

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

I have very low expectations for Apple, so them installing software without the user requesting it doesn’t surprise me.

But I’m mock-horrified that there are users who make two bad choices — first, running Windows, second, running Apple software.

Of course users are a combination of stupid and rationally ignorant and install malware all the time — a primary reason a consumer-friendly software vendor should not make a practice of defaulting users into installing unrequested software.

It’s a short step from installing unrequested software to installing , i.e., malware.

Addendum 20080327: Safari 3.1 For Windows Violates Its Own EULA, Vulnerable To Hacks

Free the Emperors Club VIP!

Monday, March 10th, 2008

As much as I love to see an abominable person destroyed, ‘s fall is unwelcome due to how it came about: privacy is dead. And of course prostitution should be legal.

You may continue cheering. (I read somewhere that traders on the floor of the NYSE cheered when the news hit, but I can’t find it.)

Previously: Spitzer shits to music.

Somehow apropos to SXSW going on now and the , last year I noticed there’s a street in Austin called Bold Ruler Way. Update: A commenter notes that .

Best of SXSW

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

In lieu of going to SXSW this year, I recommend you check out the best session from SXSWi 2007.

If you are at SXSW this year, see (other) Creative Commons people at the tradeshow, parties, and panels.

MIN US$750k for NIN

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

The $300 “ultra deluxe edition” of , limited to 2500 copies, sold out in a couple days (I believe released Sunday, no longer available this morning). There are some manufacturing costs, but they don’t appear to be using any precious materials. So if an artist typically makes $1.60 on a $15.99 CD sale, profit from sales of the limited edition already matches profit from a CD selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

Then there are non-limited sales of a $75 merely “deluxe edition”, $10 CD, and $5 download, and whatever other products NIN comes up with around Ghosts.

The ultra deluxe success seems to me to validate the encouragement by some to pursue large revenue from rabid fans and collectors willing and able to pay for personalization, authenticity, embodiment, etc., rather than attempting to suppress zero cost distribution to the masses.

Speaking of distribution, click on the magnet to search for a fully legal P2P download of Ghosts, assuming you have the right filesharing software installed. (283.7 MB)

End Software Patents

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I strongly prefer voluntary action. However, software patents are not amenable to workaround and so must be attacked directly through less savory legal, legislative, and electoral routes (though if software patents are toxic to free software, the opposite is also true, so simply creating and using free software is a voluntary if indirect attack on software patents).

Software patents are the major reason multimedia on the web (and on computers generally) is so messed up — few multimedia formats may be implemented without obtaining many patent licenses, and amazingly, this is sometimes impossible:

[The framework] is so patent-encumbered that today no one really knows who has “rights” to it. Indeed, right now, no new MPEG-4 licenses are even being issued.

As the End Software Patents site emphasizes, software patents negatively impact every sector now that everything uses software.

My only problem with the ESP site (and many others, this is just a general peeve of mine) is that it does not even link to similar resources with a non-U.S. jurisdiction focus. For example, the What Can I Do? page might state that if one is reading the page but not in the U.S. (because that never happens), please check out FFII (EU) and similar.

In any case, please join the effort of ESP and others to eradicate software patentsweapons of mass destruction. Ars Technica has a good introductory article on ESP.