Wednesday, September 29, 2010

eve no jikan




watched this recently. good stuff. you know how the japanese are fascinated by the idea of 'what makes a human?'...
and the state of the art now, seiko-chan, from murata.

security and obscurity

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/fbi-drive-for-encryption-backdoors-is-deja-vu-for-security-experts.ars

how soon before someone evil finds the backdoor?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-27/craigslist-adult-services-sex-slaves-who-fought-back/

whack-a-mole? and what about its utility to other users?

Monday, September 27, 2010

chatting within the firm

yammer , and i wonder how is Opzi different.

unrelated :

xmarks is about to close down...

and




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

i say..

"The only freedom which counts is the freedom to do what some other people think to be wrong. There is no point in demanding freedom to do that which all will applaud. All the so-called liberties or rights are things which have to be asserted against others who claim that if such things are to be allowed their own rights are infringed or their own liberties threatened. This is always true, even when we speak of the freedom to worship, of the right of free speech or association, or of public assembly. If we are to allow freedoms at all there will constantly be complaints that either the liberty itself or the way in which it is exercised is being abused, and, if it is a genuine freedom, these complaints will often be justified. There is no way of having a free society in which there is not abuse. Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty." -- Lord Chief Justice Halisham


A bit of venting here today..

1. when an isp blocks any specific port, can it do so with a little bit of courtesy and say 'port blocked by xyz isp' when i telnet there? thats all i ask for at this point. i shall not go into the question of what difference does it make to them whether i run my server on 80 or 88 or 8080 or 1337. nor shall i go into the question of my paying $70/mth for 100mbps, unlimited usage, when blocking port 80 is definitely a limitation.

i'm not even going to complain that selling 'up to' 100mbps is disingenuous if i only get that occasionally - its a number that has exactly zero use for predicting what i will get most of the time.

2. all over the world, the media industries are trying to influence governments to take an active stance in enforcing i.p. rights. like the 3-strikes law in france. why would law enforcement do something like that is beyond me.

i believe its a purely civil matter. if anyone infringed on any patent or copyright, it should be up to the owner of the copyright to sue the infringer in court to recover damages. the government is not supposed to be handling disputes between you and your neighbour, it protects its people. disputes between you and your neighbour, you have to sue your neighbour yourself.

the government enforcing i.p. rights is like the police arresting people for being late with their phone bills. its entirely up to the telecoms firm to recover the bills you owe them. and so it should be entirely up to the recording and movie industries to recover their losses caused by infringements on their copyrights.

3. i.p. protections like copyrights and patents are temporary monopolies on the distribution of the protected item given to the creator to let them earn some money off it so that it encourages them to continue creating more things, and to encourage others to create. at the end of the temporary monopoly, the work goes to public domain. the idea is once anything is published, its in public domain. we the people pitied the starving artists and let them earn a bit of coin to feed themselves, thats all. if they didn't like handing over the work to the public, then they could jolly well keep it private. like what kfc and coca cola do for their recipes, for example.

so i don't understand why film studios own the rights to films and not directors, why recording companies own the rights to the music and not the singers and bands. nor why the copyright on music has grown from 12yrs to life+99yrs now. especially since the pharmaceutical companies spends billions every year on research, and their products get only a 5 year patent(extendable to 10 for specialised use cases).

4. if, impossible as it may seem, the governments actually get it, and restore copyrights to what they once were - 12 yrs long, and require the creators to do their own enforcement just like everyone else, then they may be forced to see their real problem.

throughout history consumers really ever paid for content. content is literally free. what consumers paid for was distribution. and copyright was about the distribution. not content.

think about the newspaper industry - the readers pay the cover price of the newspapers and the advertisers pay for the right to advertise to those readers.
tv - viewers pay the tv license and advertisers pay for the right , again, to advertise to those viewers.
we only pay for books because they needed to be carted from the printer to the bookshop and that costs money.

but now with digital content, the cost of distributing an addition copy is essentially nothing. only the copyright prevents the second copy from being distributed at a price reasonable to what its distribution costs.

fair enough that authors and song writers should have the protection of copyrights - and they should be allowed to enforce them. but the copyrights should be nearer 12 years and not 100 years long, and the authors and song writers should do it for themselves.

and if they thought that it was not realistic to do so, then they should come up with a new business model like what everyone else had to do. if they cannot adapt to digital media then they deserve to go out of business, like how the horse-carriage makers went out of business after Ford made cars affordable for everyone.

moreover, even the authors and song writers adapted to new conditions before. they survived the photocopying machine, the phonograph, the cassette tape, the VHS tape, the CDR and the DVD-R/RW. the real problem is this time they're just too lazy or too powerful, and they're not adapting to the advent of the internet. thats all.

5. besides capping copyright periods to 12 yrs and allowing creators to enforce their rights, the government should also look into the consumers' rights, i think.
if i bought a dvd, i expect to be able to watch it anywhere in the world, on my pc and on my dvd-player. i should be persecutable by the movie studio if i distributed copies of that dvd to my friends or other people. but since i bought that dvd, i should be able to enjoy it however/whenever/wherever i damn well please.
this right to do whatever i damn well please with things that are mine, i do hope that governments will take more seriously. but then again, that seems to be impossible in today's climate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

darth zynga? ahahahahha..

i was once asked in a course as to what a firm should do if manufacturing in china was much cheaper but i.p. could be stolen. i answered that the firm should just give up r&d and go set up in china and make copies. it wasnt a popular answer at all.

http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-08/news/farmvillains/

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-zynga-is-just-like-microsoft-2010-1#before-zynga-came-out-with-mafia-wars-1

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/zynga-draws-fire-from-its-ex-employees/

http://valleywag.gawker.com/5634379/the-secret-dealer-for-farmville-addicts


p.s. it was many years ago. in the same course, i was asked also what ben&jerry's should do. i answered that they should sell the firm since they are in a no-win situation against nestle/haagen-dazs. i think the very next year they did(to unilever?).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

stuff to think about...

http://code.google.com/p/clipperz/wiki/CommunityEdition
clipperz..available as a online service, or roll your own server with the community edition..a single-sign-on for the webs...

http://keepass.info/
native app to do the same thing..interestingly the linux port got ported back to windows or something like that...http://www.keepassx.org/

http://sparkleshare.org/
opportunity to eventually roll your own dropbox/zumodrive..now u can only sign up to their server, use it on linux only and use storage on gitorious or github...

Friday, September 3, 2010

run your own Google...wave, that is....

i was looking at news that Consumer Watchdog is running a big video ad in Times Square, nyc, dissing Google. and then the issue, i think, is...
1. credit card companies will sell ur details and ur buying habits for money. u can't actually buy that info from Google. why not complain about the cc companies first?
2. your isp also know where exactly you've been and what sites you've gone to.
3. companies like Sony leave rootkits on your machine. Game firms, even blizzard, often leave a tool to monitor your system processes in the name of anti-cheating and a bit torrent client to steal your bandwidth to deliver patches and game downloads. often without telling you.
4. you can opt out of google http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout , or just use yahoo or bing.
5. think about facebook.
6. i would actually like for Google to succeed. in the sense that when they do, i shld have RELEVANT ads delivered to me. like when i'm looking at exakta mount lenses, maybe they show me an ad for a camera shop nearby my house that carries an exakta-to-canon EF-adaptor ring...knowing that i already have a EF-mount body... that'd be SWEET!

in other news
i) twitter's implementation of OAuth is shit.. http://arstechnica.com/security/guides/2010/09/twitter-a-case-study-on-how-to-do-oauth-wrong.ars
ii) govts are often clueless about things. i wonder if its especially true for tech? they awarded a us$2.3b contract without mentioning redundancy/backup... http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/computing/it/virginia-information-technologies-agency-believes-in-the-perfect-network-fairy
iii) i wanna my own Google Wave!!! http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/09/google-sticks-wave-source-in-a-box-sticks-a-bow-on-top.ars?comments=1#comments-bar

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

addendum

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-difference-between-apple-tv-and-google-tv-2010-9

the thing is, if apple succeeds in getting people familiar with the idea of internet on tv, then the next device they get may be Google TV, since its now probably not alien to them, and Google TV would do more than what Apple TV can do..

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/thomas-edisons-plot-to-destroy-the-movies.ars

stuff like RIAA/MPAA and patent trolls are not new.

fiber plans are out!

singtel is selling at : http://asia.cnet.com/crave/2010/08/31/singtel-goes-exstream-with-fiber-optic-connectivity/

M1 is selling at : http://asia.cnet.com/crave/2010/09/01/m1-offers-fiber-optic-broadband-plans/

new provider superinternet is selling at : http://www.super.net.sg/ngnbn_resi.html , and their commercial offering(best effort! no SLA!) is http://www.super.net.sg/ngnbn_biz.html

likely by the end of my current 6mth-$70 100mbps contract i'll switch to the new fiber based one, also from m1...and save myself 20 odd $ a month in the process...

Obama : piracry is theft! Me : i support this idea unreservedly!

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/08/obama-administration-piracy-is-flat-unadulterated-theft.ars

1. if pirating a cd is exactly the same thing as stealing a cd, then no more $22500/per song awards. something closer to a $200 fine or community service would be more in line with the punishment for petty theft.

2. the copyright holder will have to prove that the copyright violation has deprived him/her of property - the central problem in theft. in so far as i can see, no matter how many copies of your book/picture/song that i make, you still have your book/picture/song with you.

3. lets be clear about this : copyright is a temporary* monopoly on redistribution of intellectual property granted by the government on behalf of society, so that the creators can earn temporary income off their work, and encourage the creation of more intellectual property. once published, the work belongs to the public - only a temporary monopoly on redistribution of that work is given to the creator.

4. so lets abolish copyrights altogether and try all these cases of 'piracy' as theft! i support this idea unreservedly!

*the current death of creator+99yrs copyright period on songs, for example, is stretching temporary abit..especially when medicine costing billions in R&D has only 5-10 years of patent protection - and patents have a screening/registration process while copyrights are automatically assumed.