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Thursday, October 31, 2002

New Direction in Wireless Policy?
Kevin Werbach likes what FCC Chairman Michael Powell has to say on U.S. spectrum policy. And Kevin's is a voice to be listened to, he knows what he's talking about.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 11:23 PM

ICANN Ends Online Elections
Reuters reports (ZDNET link) that ICANN has abandoned its online election plan. The internet oversight board will instead go for a leadership through appointment process.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 6:10 PM

World Cyber Games Coverage
Jane Pinckard and Justin Hall are covering the World Cyber Games in Daejeon, South Korea for Game Girl Advance.

with the quality of what the people here call "coffee" it's hard to be anything but practicaly catatonic - but there was also an eerie desertedness to the Expo Park, a gigantic leftover relic from the 1993 World Expo and now, as the Lonely Planet guidebook notes, a great setting for a B-grade horror flick. And truly, watching the trickle of people against the background of empty ferris wheels and closed-up giant dome buildings, you did feel a sort of depressed hilarity about the whole thing.

posted by Donald Melanson @ 4:09 PM

Friday, October 25, 2002

Fifteen Seconds of Fame
I missed the launch party of TRANSMEDIA 2002 - FIFTEEN SECONDS OF FAME, presented by Year Zero One, a Toronto based on-line artist run network. But I made it to the corner of Yonge and Isabella and verified the existence of the billboard. Here's a still I took with my digital camera.

At first I thought it was another ad board, but I watched and saw that the 15-second art pieces were interspersed between advertisements. For some reason I was reminded of Max Headroom. The view is clear from the other side of the street, and there's some cheap but tasty dining to be had nearby as well as other entertainment to round out a day out if you want to check it out. For more on the pieces on display, check out the TRANSMEDIA 2002 site.

posted by Jim Lai @ 11:36 PM

Palming law and order
According to this week's Circuits, police are increasingly using PDAs as evidence in prosecutions. Alleged criminals often use Palm pilots, for instance, and that stored information can be very useful in court.

    "It's an alter ego," said Larry Leibrock, who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and has been a consultant in many forensic cases involving hand-helds. "It represents their aspirations, who their contacts are, where they spend their time, their tasks and objectives, and how they completed those."

posted by Bryan Alexander @ 9:38 AM

Thursday, October 24, 2002

IP holders to .coms: watch the p2p
A group of leading intellectual property (IP) holders are about to fire a somber letter to Fortune 500 companies. The RIAA and MPAA, hot on an anti-piracy campaign, warn the power CEOs that their employees might be p2p-swapping files, violating copyright, and opening up said companies to serious lawsuits.

(Thanks to Steve)

posted by Bryan Alexander @ 5:28 PM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Press Freedom Index
Reporters Without Borders has published the first worldwide press freedom index. Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands tie for first, Canada is 5th, the United States comes in at 17th.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 9:39 PM

Get Your ID Chips
Wired News reports that Applied Digital Solutions implantable ID chip that had been held up by the FDA has now been approved for use. The only caveot being it can only be used for "security, financial and personal identifications or safety applications", not for medical purposes, which includes linking it to medical databases.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 4:12 PM

Street Tech Relaunches
Street Tech, one of the best hardware review sites around, recently relaunched with a new design and increased audience participation. Their review of the Scott eVest is just one example of the geeky goodness you'll find at Street Tech on a regular basis. Plus it's run by Gareth Branwyn, media jammer, jargon watcher, Mindjack advisory board member, and honest to goodness cyborg.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 3:53 PM

Monday, October 21, 2002

A Blogger in Doonesbury
"Wait, Don't You Have Something to Say?" Can Dilbert be far behind? - via MeFi
posted by Donald Melanson @ 4:04 PM

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Open Source Challenger to Outlook
Lotus founder and EFF co-founder, Mitch Kapor, lays out his goals for creating an open source personal information manager (PIM) to challenge the overwhelmingly dominent Microsoft Outlook.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 9:31 PM

Saturday, October 19, 2002

PopTech Blogged
The annual PopTech conference is now underway in Maine. JD Lasica, Dan Gillmor and others are blogging the event in fine style.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 12:02 AM

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Weblogs create global awareness and archive of Bali terror
Within minutes and hours of the explosion, the Web offered a rich information set for anyone connected to, or interested in the Bali terror attack.
posted by Bryan Alexander @ 4:08 PM

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Blogging Ethics
Dan Gillmor points to a number of discussions about blogging and ethics that have sprung up in recent days as a result of Microsoft paying a group of bloggers to attend its Mobius 2002 conference.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 7:35 PM

MPAA moves against individual p2p traders?
In what might be the next step in the copyright wars, the MPAA reportedly tracked down an individual p2p trader at his school, then asked him to stop doing it:

    Ben Albert, a freshman at the university, downloaded "Austin Powers 3: Goldmember" from the KaZaA file-sharing service late last month, and was contacted only days later by the administration. The MPAA had demanded that the university take administrative action against Albert, and the school gave in. Albert told 2600.com that he was not allowed to discuss the situation until now.

    The young biology student seems perplexed as to why the MPAA would target small-time P2P users like himself. He suggests that the motion picture industry might cut off the movies at their source - the users who initially encode the works and place them on the network. However, in a telephone interview with 2600.com, Albert offered that the MPAA could do better, creating its own competitive P2P network. "I would pay a few dollars to download that movie," Albert mused. And in what might come as the biggest surprise to industry insiders, he did not hesitate to say he would consider buying the DVD.

    Remaining unclear is how the MPAA discovered the copyright violation in the first place. Was the copy of "Austin Powers" a trap set by the industry's goon squad? Was Ben Albert's computer, or the University of Georgia network, somehow monitored? Unfortunately, none of these important questions were asked by the school.

If verified, this case represents part of a larger campaign against p2p trading at American colleges.

In a lawyerly mood, the MPAA also sued a DVD dealer for illicit trading.
(thanks to The Hacktivist and 2600)

posted by Bryan Alexander @ 1:53 PM

Friday, October 11, 2002

Hacktivist or cyberterrorist?
In the new First Monday, Sandor Vegh argues that post-9-11 official discourse is driving a still more negative view of hackers. Politically motivated hackers, cyber-interested hackers, or hacktivists, appear increasingly as terrorists.

Vegh also points to a fine article encourage educators and students to spend more time thinking about information policitics. Check out Cronin and Crawford's "Information warfare: Its Application in Military and Civilian Contexts"

posted by Bryan Alexander @ 5:21 PM

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Blogging From Eldred v. Ashcroft
LawMeme have blogged reports from this morning's Eldred v. Ashcroft supreme court hearing.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 3:13 PM

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Food Drug and Cybernetic Administration?
Wired News story on identification chips (of the implanted variety) hung up by the FDA.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 11:51 PM

Vietnamese government commands ISPs to stop being safe harbors
The Vietnamese government ordered the country's five (that's 5) ISPs to block users' access to content "subversive and harmful to national security". a leading official explained in an interview with Vietnam Investment Review: "The main reason we have this situation is that the management capability of the Internet has not caught up with the development of its demands." That Ministry prefersofficial and approved view only. However, this country's internet culture also thrives on pirated software.
- from Bryan Alexander

posted by Donald Melanson @ 7:45 PM

RIAA Sues Radio Stations for Giving Away Free Music
The Onion finds the voodoo in the RIAA's IP concerns. [Link]

"These radio stations are extremely popular," Rosen said. "They flagrantly string our songs together in 'uninterrupted music blocks' of up to 70 minutes in length, broadcasting nearly one CD's worth of product without a break, and they actually have the gall to allow businesses to advertise between songs. It's bad enough that they're giving away our music for free, but they're actually making a profit off this scheme."

posted by jon lebkowsky @ 1:58 PM

Good news for Internet radio?
The recording industry evidently agreed to allow small webcasters to pay a reduced royalty for streaming music, though recording artists are concerned that the deal is structured in such a way that they won't get paid. Sounds like the deal's almost together, but I seem to recall that there were issues with paperwork requirements as well as royalties - wondering if they worked those out as well? (Got this from Slashdot. [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky @ 10:28 AM

Monday, October 07, 2002

Mindjack reDesigned
This is it. A brand new Mindjack. Our goal is the same as it has always been, to explore and examine the fuzzy connections between technology and society & culture, but we think you'll find the website more organized and better focused than ever. We've also sprinkled in some new bits and pieces, like In Use where Mindjack contributors will recommend cool stuff that they've come across. Finally, as you may have noticed, Daily Relay has started to pick up lately, and hopefully will continue to gain momentum.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 10:05 PM

I Was a Wi-Fi Freeloader
Good Newsweek article by Steven Levy, author of "Hackers", on his discovery of open wireless networks.

The other day, I plopped down on my living-room couch to do some work on my laptop while watching a football game. The family cable modem, which pumps high-speed Internet into our abode, was at the other end of the apartment, hardwired to a computer on a desk in the bedroom. So I had no access to e-mail or the Web. Or did I?

via boing boing

posted by Donald Melanson @ 3:43 PM

Ask Dan Gillmor!
/. is taking questions for Dan Gillmor. The ten highest-moderated questions will be forwarded to Gillmor (and his answers will presumably be posted at Slashdot). [Link]
posted by jon lebkowsky @ 2:08 PM

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Disinformation Book and DVD Announced
Disinformation has announced the upcoming release of Disinformation: The Interviews, Disinfo founder Richard Metzger's new book compiling the best interviews from the Disinfo TV series. A companion DVD, Disinformation: The Complete Series will be released simultaneously, featuring the complete TV series plus footage from the 200 Disinfo.Con. Street date for the book and DVD is November 18, 2002.

Hosted by Disinformation Company co-founder Richard Metzger, the series caused quite a stir when it aired on the UK's Channel 4 TV network. The first season was bizarrely scheduled after Ally McBeal and surely messed with the heads of more than a few fans of that show; the second season went even further in challenging the networkÝs censors, resulting in Channel 4 refusing to air certain segments. Nonetheless, the series was a hit and was bought by SCI FI Channel in the United States. They didn't quite realize what they'd paid for, apparently, and never aired the programs.

posted by Donald Melanson @ 4:59 PM

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Pro-user copyright bill introduced
According to Copyfight, the Digital Choice and Freedom Act of 2002, introduced by Zoe Lofgren, explicitly legalizes users making backup copies of digital works. Brava!
posted by Bryan Alexander @ 11:56 AM

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Dust Up Among Bloggers
Is Kazaa designed to steal things? Ev says yes, Meg says no, Kottke says not likely. What do you think?
posted by Donald Melanson @ 12:20 AM

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Digifest Call for Submissions
Digifest has an open call for submissions for its New Voices Competition. There are three submission categories: 3D Web Cities, Immersive Cities, Game Cities, and Film Cities. Winners will get to present their work at next year's Digifest: Electronic Cities showcases.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 7:57 PM

Danger Hiptop Now Available
T-Mobile has released the first version of the Danger Hiptop to the public today. The all-in-one wireless device, dubbed the Sidekick by T-mobile, has been eagerly anticipated by wireless enthusisats and has received near uninanimous rave reviews. The Sidekick retails for $199US after a $50 rebate with rates starting at $40/month.
posted by Donald Melanson @ 6:45 PM

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