☞ Delicious Fiction

  • As well as being a fellow digital rights activist, Cory Doctorow is one of my favourite authors and an entrepreneur too. His latest book, “With A Little Help”, is self-published and he’s trying every approach possible to make it succeed in the ways we’re both advocating for the new meshed society. This link will let you download – for free – the entire audio book. I am really looking forward to his experience report of this whole venture.
  • Back when he was my boss, Hal Stern expressed an interest in being introduced to Cory Doctorow. I arranged the introduction, and the result was a delicious blend of fandom and friendship that’s still persisting. Hal just took delivery of his limited edition copy of Cory’s new book, and the resulting book-porn makes a lovely read itself!
  • Whereas my US friends used to look in envy on the Doctor Who Christmas Special, it seems the BBC has got wise to demand and made it available through Amazon US almost immediately for on-demand viewing or DRM-ed-to-death offline viewing.

☞ Debunking Conventional Wisdom

  • Very interesting article (series of articles really) that asserts that the whole concept of using a “food pyramid” to direct nutrition is bad. Excellent proposal at the end.
  • “The fact of the matter is that banks are not like any other business. They run the payments system. That is one of the main reasons that governments protect them from failure with explicit and implicit guarantees.”

    Finally mainstream comment is realising that denying essential services without a court order is a problem, private company or not.

♫ Kids’ Nativity

☆ Hope You Weren’t Too Naughty…

A very happy Christmas to you!

Oh, and:

☞ Betrayal

  • Useful, clear explanation of the threat we all face from the trust we place in device (and software) suppliers who don’t trust us.
  • Well worth reading the full minutes of the discussion in which Oracle decided to push Apache out of the JCP. Note to self: Any question where a public answer would be awkward can be deflected with “I’m afraid I can’t answer legal questions”.

☞ Effects of Transparency

  • I like this initiative to create symbols to represent the most relevant aspects of privacy policies, so that people don’t need to read all the detail on every site (always at least a page away anyway). I like much more the comments Aza makes at the end of the posting about why it might work.
  • Well worth reading this long piece from Bruce Sterling on Wikileaks. He sums up well my own mixed feelings about the case, from the lack of surprise (beyond how long it took to happen) to the uncertainty whether it’s actually a good thing and on to the conclusions about Assange and Manning. Very Sterling.
  • Good to see the project continues to move ahead, but the most significant thing to note here is the huge list of contributors to the release. An independent project certainly encourages more, more significant contribution than a Stepford Wives-style project.

☝ The Typhoid Mary Of Three-Strikes

Over the last year, we saw them spring up all over the world, notably in Australia and in France but also in many other countries. It seemed odd that so many legislatures should simultaneously feel the urge to create extrajudicial protection for mainly foreign – American – copyright holders, especially in a market where the emergence of alternative models favours local rather than imported talent. But I believe Wikileaks has identified the carrier of the disease.

Continue reading over at ComputerWorldUK

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