☞ Extension of Power

  • Alert To Activists: Customs Enforcement of IPR
    “This is a very worrying development. Borders are places with arbitrary rules, over-empowered and unaccountable officers and no recourse for victims. It is simply wrong to give open-ended powers regarding arguable and intangible “infringements” to these people.”
  • Amarino – “Android meets Arduino”
    Fascinating toolkit to allow open hardware hackers to integrate Android devices into their schemes.”
  • Patent trolls cost inventors half a trillion dollars
    “If we needed any further proof that the patent system has undergone thorough and irreversible “regulatory capture”, surely this has to be it? Isn’t the last remaining political justification for them that they “promote innovation”?”
  • Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options
    “Longer (and in my view substantially more complex and less readable) than the US Constitution, and changing so often I can’t keep track of it. Do Facebook want to prevent us controlling our own privacy by making it too complex to manage?”

☝ Think Before You Give!

Should You Donate To Open Source Projects? Donating money to your favourite open source project may not be the first thing you should do. Support the sources of income for the co-developers first. Read more on ComputerWorldUK

☝ Open Core MySQL? Contributor Agreements!

Oracle has finally done what the business management at MySQL had been asymptotically approaching for years. It’s taking MySQL open core. It’s interesting to read both Monty’s view and the comments for this one. It’s all on ComputerWorldUK

☞ Tricks

☞ Corporate Actions

  • Sony demonstrates it still has no respect for its customers. This is the same company that installed an exploitable rootkit on its customers computers. Surely the ability to force your customers to surrender their recourse against you has to be a signal that you have monopoly power or something very close to it? I can’t help thinking that rights to remedy your supplier’s negligence should be inalienable.
  • This is what happens when you allow lobbyists for oh-so-trustworthy companies (like Sony) to dominate the framing of law. In this case it’s obvious and explainable what the problem is, but the opportunity for overreach and abuse of laws like this – especially as regulatory creep makes them broader and more severe – is huge. Just look at what happened to badly-framed wiretap laws from a previous era, allowing recording of police outside the context of the original law to be interpreted as criminal by those wishing to escape scrutiny.
  • Good job someone is paying attention this time. All the same, the way the overall law is shaped is very worrying, as is the mere fact there are people in the process who believe that breach of Terms of Service should be a felony. Seriously, what planet does that come from?
  • Very interesting move to offer a standard and open way to add features to cars.
  • I’d probably rent one of these at a transit stop. It would also be interesting to be able to check in for a morning flight the night before and sleep over at the gate…

☞ Government In Action

  • RIM has started up BlackBerry Hands-On Workshops, in which students will take apart BlackBerry smartphones to see how they work.”

    Free hoodie with every class?  Seriously, we would do far better teaching kids to program and to solder using open source software and hardware than letting major brands teach them how to be respectful consumers. Yet another problem when technological philistines attempt to legislate in areas they don’t respect, let alone understand.

  • A problem Cliff Richard and his friends just made worse. Legislators have completely lost sight of the “social contract” behind copyright and are letting the elimination of the cultural commons by the lucky rich few copyright mediators run amok.
  • Wonderful, warm, honest, inspiring and brave posting by Jeff Waugh, who I proud to count as a friend.
  • While it’s not a surprise it works, it’s good to see proof.

☞ Poetic Justice?

  • Interesting how the government is keen to protect Cliff Richard’s pension (by criminalising his fans) and to protect celebrities against hacking yet has no policy to pursue scammers or protect against criminal hacking. Instead they prefer to allow the public domain to be eroded and to follow the advice of lobbyists representing outdated monopolistic business, creating dangerously broad laws that are just waiting to be abused.
    Think I’m extreme? That’s how US police forces are using poorly-drafted wiretap laws from a previous era to persecute citizens who try to video police misbehaviour, and in the US the same malign process is running again.
  • Still not very compelling writing, and for longer articles it’s definitely the work of a very junior reporter, but you can see the direction this is taking.
  • When we speak of free
    software, we are referring
    to freedom, not price.

    I stumbled across this almost-decade-old posting from Danny’s site after being reminded of it by his new postings.

  • Interesting move by the venerable and progressive Guardian newspaper from the UK – this is their new US-focussed home page on a new .com domain. About time the US had a new and independent voice…

☞ Behind The Scenes

♫ Whitacre Concert

If you were blissed-out by the amazingly beautiful choral music I linked to on Bank Holiday Monday, and if you happen to live within reach of London, you will definitely want to check out the concert that composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is organising in mid-October.

If the review of last year’s equivalent performance is anything to go by, it should be splendid, although there’s no detailed programme listed on the web site yet. The review says:

Eric is almost too good to be true. Along with his musical gifts and rock star-ish appearance (complete with a mane of blonde hair that makes you think of surfboards, though he comes from Nevada), Whitacre is also a ridiculously relaxed communicator, setting up each composition with anecdotes and droll asides.

His comments on Twitter suggested early on that he will be performing some new compositions as well as works from his wonderful album Light & Gold, which I have been playing repeatedly ever since it arrived from Amazon UK (it’s also on Amazon US). From the blog posting, he’s definitely performing the Grace he composed for Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge:

as well as premièring other new works. So buy some tickets and I’ll see you there!

☆ Writer’s Almanac

Over the weekend I realised how much pleasure I get from listening to Garrison Keillor each day with his small but perfectly formed “Writer’s Almanac” podcast.I’m also a fan of the Lake Wobegone podcast, but the Writer’s Almanac is a different, more thoughtful creation.

Catching up with a few days, I heard (among many other fragments) a deep and thoughtful poem about death and relationships as well as fascinating biographical background about American poet Mary Oliver. If you love poetry, enjoy literature or just take a delight in serendipity, it’s well worth subscribing.

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