Saturday, September 23, 2006

Out of Touch

Comcast Denying Access to Google Sites in Massachusetts
eWeek - Sept. 27, 2006
Users of Comcast's Internet services in Massachusetts are unable to access Google sites, Google Watch has learned. Internet users woke up this morning to find that Internet access worked fine for all sites ...
Google investigating access difficulties Seattle Post Intelligencer
Google services slow for some WISWAVE - CBS4Boston - Canoe.caall 58 news articles »

This article originally caught my eye...

Consumer Affairs
Verizon Funded US Government Survey Downplays Net Neutrality
DailyTech - Sept. 20, 2006
In a recent survey conducted by The Glover Park Group and Public Opinion Strategies LLC, 90 percent of Americans said they preferred to have choices for video service providers over net neutrality.

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletters Computerworld
Telecom Reform Hopes Fading
WebProNews - Washington Post all 23 news articles »
Courtesy Google News & affiliates

It only goes to show you that if people don't start standing up for their right to an internet that is devoted to what it was originally created for (the free & equal dissemination of information & data), that the big telecoms & the government are going to transform it into a revenue generating circus. Let your local rep know how you feel about your rights to the internet. Be sure to include their name, party, & position of public office. Set aside 1 or 2 hours a week to remind then in whatever fashion you decide, & do it EVERY week until the lobby money isn't worth the fallout.
(Remember the scene from 'Shawshank Redemption' where Andy Dufresne writes the state governor for a prison library, every week for years until he got it.)

You can bet that this study is slanted, incorrect, & was based on uneducated people who don't know what allowing the 'tiered' system will end up like. (Think retired elderly who think the internet will limit their choices of TV programs) All through the 60's, 70's, & part of the 80's, the telecoms packed away the money without improving the infrastructure with new existing technologies that were available at that time. This is why the European Union & Asian nations like South Korea, who made cost effective decisions that provided for future bandwidth, when the time was right several years ago, far exceed the United States in internet immersion today. Its both the telecoms' & the government's responsibility to enable the people of the US, whom they are supposed to serve, to better utilize & have free & unhindered access to the internet. For the sake of the nation & its future generations.

Dumb 'em Down, Glue 'em to the Tube, & Keep 'em In the Dark.
Why was Verizon funding a (true, factual, & unbiased) study for the US Government anyway ??
Can you say blatant Conflict of Interest ?? On both parts !!

Google ought to start laying dedicated fiber EVERYWHERE !!
Bet that would change articles like the one above real quick !!
Just a thought...

Courtesy Google Video

Courtesy Google Video Pop-Under Present !!

And an interesting sidenote along the same lines (here)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fair Use, Microbeast, & the Fairy Godmother of Inevitable Progress.

"Never mind that ActiveX working behind the curtain, Dorothy!! Hey, your not one of those 'intellectual types', are you ??" said the man in the big white asbestos hood.
- or -
"Do you ever use any of the programs that your ActiveX's destroy ??"
The programer laughed, "That's un-Microsoft!"
"Oh, Of course."

I don't know about you, but everything I make from now on will be an "Experimental Documentary", not that I'm in the habit of violating intellectual rights. I have personal concerns regarding such, but DRM providers that I have corresponded with are unable to guarantee that the code & implementation will remain intact, thus protecting my work.

Anyway, until we as a race reach the point that 'the federation does not use money' & our legislative & judicial systems stop relying on allowing a software company to snuff out our individual civic rights, & actually learn how technology works. Until the time when whatever is in our hearts & minds is not bridled by lines of code & DRM approaches (remember the Sony $sys$), and we as a race are allowed to become more than just a revenue generator. The great appeal of Apple is easily manipulated multimedia, but I don't want to become a serf of my iTunes bill. The appeal of Linux is freedom from monetary constraint, but I don't want to become a 'tester' & be boggled down in the system operating files. And, the appeal of Microsoft used to be functionality & interoperability, but I'm finding more & more I'm having to remove Microsoft ActiveX elements that were never fully explained, as is required by law, right??

Anyone who was lucky enough to read the preload disclaimer that accompanied 'FairUse4WMP' will remember that it was clearly specified that one uses the application as follows:

  1. That it was meant to offer an option of manipulation to enable to share 'bought' music between multiple computers that the person actually owns. (ie. one person, many PC's)
  2. Was NOT meant to be utilized as a DRM cracking or circumventing program.
  3. Was ONLY to be used on legally obtained multimedia that was actually legally owned files of the person using the program.

'Hackers' don't normally write legal disclaimers of intent & use. (but they might) Neither did the major OS software companies, until laptops & cell phones started showing up in caves & deserts.

I feel that I both fit into & would have adhered to the conditions above. I don't 'surf' for music & video. All my music exist in CD form. I have a few computers that I like to listen to music on while I'm working. Oh, 95% of the music were talking about here is pre-1980, so I believe its Public Realm now. I refuse to update my oldest PC's WMP past WMP8 because that when DRM became more important than usability. Nothing past WMP9 allows for file property manipulation that fixes incorrect attributes that are added by people who either do not know how to write them, or must have been using Win3.0. The attribute problem shows up when a file is used in WMP10 & you know you own a copy of something, but its not in the album artist or the contributing artist. Don't hold your breath or ask Microsoft to fix the feature. Their not listening, & WMP works just the way they want it to. Aha, 'cept for the FairUse4WMP issue.

I feel like my rights to my music have been violated. But I have a temporary solution...

  1. Copy approximately 9.6Gb of Public Realm WMF files & a copy of FairUse between drives on multiple systems.
  2. Remove all the Microsoft ActiveX, (heck, just dump the OS entirely) especially the dreaded WGA because my copies are legal & I don't need the undeclared extras. Instructions (here)
  3. Make an extra special copy to an external HDD along with all the other anti-monopoly goodies & keep it under the floor boards.

Remember the last scene from Fahrenheit 451 where everyone is walking around reciting....

I think were already there

While this has nothing to do with DRM, WMP, Music, or your rights, it is along the same lines about how the public needs to recognize & begin to proactively 'Protect Your Rights'.

But first, a little education on the ethics of Fair Use.


And finally a 'Fair Example', albiet a little hard to follow.

Center for Social Media

All coments & videos are offered for educational fair use only. Video material obtained via Google Video. If you feel that your work has been violated, please contact Google to have it removed.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Web 3.0 or The New Internet ??

Warning: Contains Supper Geekdom (may melt sliderule & fray pocket protector)
The next logical step in internet technology may replace centralized general search engines (Google, Yahoo, AltaVista, etc) with decentralized autonomous Peer To Peer implementations for academic & industry specific searches of data or information.

Something educational for a change.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Web 2.0 vs. Assumed Democracy

McAfee's SiteAdvisor uses site analysis report.^democracy. Why Can't I ??

An example (here) in the event you don't want to download & install. About half way down the report is the User Review Summary.

I thought it was interesting for the product to include a Web 2.0 presence for users. I also though it was rather thoughtful of the developers to leave an option for site owners to leave comments.

It seems that the basic argument today is breaking down as to whether the general public has the 'right' to dispute any entity's 'official statement' or their 'modus operandi'. This can be illustrated by the release of YouTube's Video from Michael De Kort and the subsequent rebuttal from Lockheed's spoksperson. (source: TIME)

"Anybody with a webcam & something to say, regardless of whether it's true or not, can say it on YouTube... "

And yes, that IS precisely the POINT.

Long before it's implementation & use, the Web 2.0 concept was being hailed by both the academic and blogosphere communities that it had the potential to raise the bar on the process of 'democratic debate' & 'user interactivity' on the web. Nobody complained about this issue when it was hidden behind the veil of BBS, Forums, & Private Sites of the late 80's. Remember the Tidal Wave of 2005, and how bloggers & similar means of communication were the very first elements to be utilized until the actual 'recognized authorities' were able to respond !! Remember how the entire blogosphere was praised by the world press, for weeks ??

But today, when it's out in the open, either in print in a blog, or as a video, on such a site that has a million or so users, subscribers, viewers, whatever; Yes, now 'freedom' might be a bad thing.

Let's face it:

Individuals tend to have varying levels of 'common sense' & the ability to determine between 'right & wrong'.

Entities (governments, corporations, organizations, affiliations, groups, etc) however must review & apply policies & procedures that resemble 'common sense' & define 'right & wrong' within their actions. Entities do not have the power of individuality! Nor will they ever.

According to Oxford American Dictionary ISBN: 0-380-60772-7, the definition of 'individualism' is as follows: n. 1. self-centered feeling or conduct. 2. independence in thought and action. 3. a social theory advocating free and independent action of the individual.

My friends (yes, I do get out some) know I have a few blogs & pages. Most of them do not utilize the internet as much as I do. They tend to know that I can be a bit individualistic, within reason at times. Sometimes they disagree with my viewpoint & we discuss it over dinner or a beer. Sometimes, they agree with my viewpoint, & we still discuss it. We have similarities & differences. We know that diversity has some advantages. And we all tend to still get along. "Attention all other drunks in the bar! . . . . . We have assumed democracy."

In minimalistic terms, Web 2.0 is for individuals' within a democratic concept. It allows one to customize their web interfacing experience, customize their homepage, write blogs, distribute videos, distribute art, music, & pictures, publish very specific mapsets, etc . . .

This does not go without saying that there are responsibilities that go in hand, such as not slandering, lying, misleading, or otherwise tarnish the truth.

But hey, if you actually experienced it & you believe in it, well . . .

Every viewer, reader, commentor, and the like are all endowed by their creator with the abilities of judgment, logic, review; & in a truly democratic setting, editorial.

Let's hope we can keep it that way !!

Courtesy Mike WalshFourth Estate Google Video