Follow The Frog

Love this video. Pass it on.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iIkOi3srLo]

☆ Hollow Point

Each time I am told I should unreservedly respect decisions made by authorities in secret, I remember this song by Chris Wood. I always cry when I play it.

[youtube http://youtu.be/tI2YdHt_V7s]

In case you don’t recognise the story, it’s about Jean Charles de Menezes and his killing by British police whose certainty he was an Islamic terrorist overcame their humanity.

Folk music is still our folk memory. Bad laws limiting criticism of official business, restricting mention of trademark terms or preventing adaptation of popular culture will kill it and make us forget.

☆ IPEG-SA Announces Tapeworm Licensing

Tapeworm AdvertFollowing news that MPEG-LA have generously offered to sell patent licenses to implementers of the latest 3D-capable video standard, MVC, the world’s tapeworms announced they have formed a new collective inspired by the same principle.

Dubbed IPEG-SA (Intestinal Parasites Exploitation Group – Service Administration), they will offer humans the opportunity to license suitably sanitized tapeworms for a small fee. Charging only 10 cents per meal per worm, a representative said this was “an unparalleled opportunity to be assured that future infestations of the digestive system will be sanitary.”

The representative went on to explain the scheme in greater detail. “While humans may face risks from unlicensed infestations, sanitized tapeworms of the kind administered by IPEG-SA have acknowledged health benefits, especially for the control of obesity”, said the spokesworm. “We have been preparing this initiative ever since MPEG-LA announced they intended to offer licenses to implementers of the open WebM video format. We were impressed that, even though they had no hard evidence of any need for a license, they still went ahead and offered one. What inspiring innovation!”

IPEG-SA admitted they could not offer any assurance against other infestations, but noted that their fees – around $2 per week if snacks are avoided – offer tremendous value and were in no way “a tax on living” as some detractors claim.

✈ Yosemite HD

I need to go back.

☆ Baby Owls

Scops OwlWe have owls in the woods around here. I love going to and from the office after dark and hearing the sound of them going about their business (and competing with our cats for mice).

A friend of ours put up an owl box last year which has a family living in it this spring. It looks like four eggs hatched yesterday so today there are four small balls of light grey owl-fluff huddling in the centre of the nest.

Our friend has just started publishing the video feed so we can all watch the eggs hatch and the owlets grow up. If you’d like to watch along with us, the video is on justin.tv.

♫ Kids’ Nativity

✍ Explaining Freedom

Geeks Vote Too logoWith two weeks to the UK parliamentary elections, digital liberty issues are still almost completely missing from the UK political debate, despite the fact there are so many of them. The political debate is anodyne and assumes its consumers – for consumption, not engagement, is the order of the day – wouldn’t understand that word. I looked through all the major party manifestos and found almost no mention of:

  • the Digital Economy Act and its consequences for WiFi availability and internet filtering,
  • the consequences of widespread data triangulation precipitated by surveillance,
  • the need for open data formats and not just “open data”,
  • the reasons why the publication of the ACTA draft doesn’t clear up many concerns despite the people behind it claiming there are no problems.

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