Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Microsoft Drops Paid Inclusion

This is interesting... they may forgo a potential of tens of millions of dollars in revenue to try and influence / change an industry model. Wow.

Link to Financial Times via John Battelle's Searchblog

Link to Reuter's story.

Awesome Photos of SpaceShip One Flight

Here are some awesome photos of the SpaceShip One flight last week.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cool mini-DV cam

Ooooooh, baby!

Gadget fetish kicking in.


Free Speech Ruling

via Xeni Jardin BoingBoing:

"Supreme court rules web porn is Free Speech"

Today, America's highest court ruled that a law intended to punish child pornographers is an unconstitutional restriction for online free speech.

The high court divided 5-to-4 over a law passed in 1998, signed by then-President Clinton and now backed by the Bush administration. The majority said a lower court was correct to block the law from taking effect because it likely violates the First Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics of the law said that it would restrict far too much material that adults may legally see and buy, the court said. "Today's ruling from the court demonstrates that there are many less restrictive ways to protect children without sacrificing communication intended for adults," said ACLU associate litigation director Ann Beeson in a statement. Beeson argued the case before the court in 2001 and again last March.

Link to Wired News (there's a .pdf link to the actual ruling)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation pipes in here.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Videoconference at 35,000 Feet

via Gizmodo and WiFiNetNews:

Here are details of the "first commercial in-air videoconference," between two Apple employees, one in Cupertino, and the other on a jet using Lufthansa's wireless high-speed internet ground-to-plane internet. Link.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Orin Hatch: INDUCE Act Criminalzes the iPod?

Cory at BoingBoing says:

"With Orrin Hatch's nation-destroying "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act" headed for law, EFF has decided to create a real example of just what kind of "piracy" Hatch is targetting. Here's EFF's hypothetical complaint against Apple (for making the iPod) C|Net (for reviewing the iPod), and Toshiba (for supplying hard drives for iPods). All three of these activities fall within the scope of activity that Hatch's bill seeks to end": link to

Link directly to EFF Article.

UPDATE: If not INDUCE, then what might be some alternatives? Link.

UPDATE: A pair of NYT editorials explore alternatives to mass lawsuits against peer-to-peer filesharers and harmful legislation like the Induce Act.

In one of them William Fisher, a professor at Harvard Law School, puts file sharing into a historical perspective and concludes -- like so many before him -- that "the entertainment industry must develop a business model that takes advantage of the way the Internet has changed the economics of content distribution. The story with the happiest ending -- both for the public and for the copyright owners -- was the one in which the owners were denied any share in the revenues earned by the developers of the new technology but instead had to develop a new business model to take advantage of it (VCRs)," Link.

And finally (whew!) here's a very cool opinion piece by 17 year old Julian Portillo! Link.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Microsoft Patents Human Circuit

Microsoft has been granted a patent for technology that will allow human skin to conduct power and transmit data.

Let the jokes begin.

My fav so far is from SlashDot: "Micrsoft to sue all future survivors of lightning strikes"

"Search" vs. "Discovery"

Something worth considering as the net grows.
A great little tidbit from John Battelle's recent chat with Jeff Bezos.

Better than flipping it over...

I want a Chillow of my very own one day.

My musical influences?: Kaftwerk, Falco, Hasselhoff

MacMerc reports that Apple's iTunes Europe sold 800,000 songs in the first week of operations. Wow.

I also read this moring that an iTunes on-line store is in the works for Canada.

We have a New Quarter!

A cool design by an 11 year old boy from B.C. NOT an homage to that wonderful American from Frostbite Falls, North Dakota... Bullwinkle J :-)


Future of Filesharing / The US INDUCE act

This isn't so much a problem in Canada as courts have ruled that the recording industry can only go after file "uploaders" of copyrighted works (read: music) but use of P2P technologies is and will become a hotter issue globally moving forward.

Prof Ed Felton posted an excellent piece today on the Future of Filesharing something I suggest all parents of teenagers read (if not everyone).

In a related post Prof Lawrence Lessig chimes in here on a US government "fast track" regularory program introduced by Sen Orin Hatch which would criminalize the act of inducing another to commit a copyright violation by making software or any technology available with this ability -- whether it's intended to or not.

Can you say: "legitimate non-infringing use" ? :-)

UPDATE: and this just in...

UPDATE: Ernest Miller savages Orrin Hatch's grotesque new law (via BoingBoing)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Spirit / History

There were some great photos taken and blogged today but Todd Lappin says, "I love this one (above). It seems to capture so much of the backyard spirit of the adventure."

Right on Todd.

There's a great photoblog of today's successful SpaceShip flight at Alan's Mojave WebLog here.

Punch Press TrueType Font

I just think this is a really cool TrueType font.

I actually received one of these Dymo punch tape labelers for my 15th birthday from my aunt Norni. Bart Simpson received one as well -- in the episode: "Dog of Death" from Season Three :-)

Save the CBC?

This is a tough one...
I mean this is where the "Beachcomber's" TV show came from isn't it? :-)

Click Here for the On-Line Petiton:

Click here to find out more

Melanie McBride, a Canadian journalist, has launched an online blog

Buy My Brothers Book!

This has been out for a while but REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS is an excellent read!

Order From Amazon

"Oh, and Trudy, I'll be needing the company spaceship this weekend"

Congratulations to Scaled Composites and 62 year old Mike Melville!

They did it!

Also see post below.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Let the Count Down begin!

The Space Show --an online talk radio program about space commerce, tourism, R&D, and the like -- will broadcast the Space Ship One launch from the Mojave Airport this Monday morning, June 21. Taxi and takeoff are scheduled for 6:30 a.m Pacific time.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Toronto Star's Michael Geist on Copyright Reform

Professor Larry Lessig of Stanford University says:

"Michael Geist's latest column in the Tornoto Star maps a sane process to realizing balance in IP. Help spread the sanity."

OK Larry, done.

A balanced, fair and sane approach -- you be the judge. Link.

9/11 Panel Says Iraq Rebuffed Bin Laden

Chairman of the 9-11 Commission Thomas Kean listens to witness testimony before the 9-11 Commission (via AP)

So basically:
1) terrorists don't really need a lot of money
2) they know what they're doing
3) the Bush assertion of Iraq / al-Qaida links are bunk

this'll help me sleep tonight.

9/11 Panel Says Iraq Rebuffed Bin Laden Bluntly contradicting the Bush administration, the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday there was "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaida target the United States. In a chilling report that sketched the history of Osama bin Laden's network, the commission said his far-flung training camps were "apparently quite good." Terrorists-to-be were encouraged to "think creatively about ways to commit mass murder," it added. Link.

Roasting the WIPO Broadcast Treaty

The Guardian looks at WIPO's proposed broadcasting treaty, arguing that it reads like a "wish-list of everything a failing industry could want to protect it from the future."
Link via Ren Bucholz

Related post here.

Note to self: "BMW is now best accessory for my iPod"

"MacMinute has obtained a two-page joint advertisement from Apple and BMW for a new iPod car adapter. The ad reads: "The first seamless integration of iPod and automobile. Connect with your music like never before. With the installation of an integrated adapter developed by BMW and Apple -- now available for the BMW 3 Series, X3 and Z4 -- you can control your iPod through the existing audio system and multi-function steering wheel. Which means no loss of power, no loss of sound quality. Link

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Business Week on Convergence

Interesting to see the mainstream press pick up on this idea.

The only things they neglect to mention are:
1) "soon all meals will come in pill form"
2) "soon we'll all be driving flying cars"


Sunday, June 13, 2004

Stanford Commencement Address

Howard Rheingold is giving this commencement speech (tomorrow) to the graduating class at Stanford's Communications Department.

He concludes:

"I know that your education, the tools you have available, and most of all, your determination and enthusiasm constitute a formidable counter-force to the walls that are being built around creativity and discourse. I count on you to get out there and create. You can – you MUST -- innovate faster than your ability to innovate can be enclosed by laws, regulations, and technological fences." Link.

via Dan Gillmor

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Seeing Search

Here's a short Quicktime video showing the relative numbers of queries to the Google site in various parts of the world. Very cool and very revealing.

Thanks to Dan Gillmor, who picked it up at last weeks D-Conference

Friday, June 11, 2004

QuickTime surpasses 250 million downloads

As an alumni of both Apple and RealNewtorks I am delighted with the current state of affairs in the media player wars:

"With news on Thursday that Apple Computer Inc.'s QuickTime player surpassed 250 million downloads, industry analysts say Microsoft and Apple are both poised to take the lead in the streaming media battle. What may make the difference is the level to which each company supports industry standards, an area where Apple has taken the lead so far." Link.

The Town Dock

Shot this just before sunset... kids on the town dock, Moon River, Bala Ontario.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

State of the News Media 2004

As the deranged Network News anchorman Howard Beale says in the film "Network":

"You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here, you're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal! You do whatever the tube tells you: you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion!"

Seems that other 'journalists' are starting to feel the same way:
Here's a report from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press:
"Bottom-Line Pressures Now Hurting Coverage".

Hungry, Hungry, Wipo!

News from the latest World Intellectual Property Organization meeting in Europe:
If you don't know WIPO, these are the guys that ruled a few years back that Sting could not claim rights to the domain name because his name is a verb :-)

Via Cory (

"The Broadcast Treaty is a proposal from a WIPO Subcommittee that's supposedly about stopping "signal theft." But along the way, this proposal has turned into a huge, convoluted hairball that threatens to make the PC illegal, trash the public domain, break copyleft and put a Broadcast Flag on the internet.

The treaty negotiation process is unbelievably convoluted and hard-to-follow, and they've just wrapped up the latest round in Geneva. But for the first time, a really large group of "civil society" orgs were accredited to attend. [...] This is the first time that a really exhaustive peek inside a WIPO treaty negotiation has ever been published -- get it while it's legal!"

Cory and company's (EFF) consolidated notes here.

Source for this post is here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

TiVo to download internet content

Keep an eye on this... I think it's going to be a really great way to source interesting / useful content Link

and I'm delighted to see that John Battelle concurs :-) Link

Monday, June 07, 2004

Turbo Toenail Trimmer

Right out of Dr. Suess er, what? :-)


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Scale Model Concorde

Probably the only Concorde flying today :-)

While that scale B-52 might be the biggest, it's far from the only model airplane taking advantage of those tiny jet engines for modelers. This beautiful Concorde model (with working subsonic nose tilt!) is just one of many models by German modeler Peter Michel, whose work include functional scale replicas of birds from Airbus, Boeing, and more. He even sells kits, so with a few thousands dollars and a few thousand free hours you could build one yourself. (Thanks, Martin!)
Link [Michel-Concorde]

Related link here