I like playing with computers. I’ve played with some pretty big ones in the old days – but that was a long time ago, when computers were a lot simpler. Today a friend referred me to an article in the BBC about Super Computers – the sort of machines you use to predict hurricanes, or […]
Now most of use are never going to see a super computer, or get to use one, just like most of use are never going to get to drive a Formula One car. But like with cars, the technology used in super computers will trickle down to the business and consumer markets at some point – in fact it already has. It’s pretty hard to buy a singe core processor now – the dual core processors in most home computers use technology that was originally designed for super computers and other high end machines. So it was interesting to look at what the most common operating system was. It was Linux.
While I was putting together the article on Electric Cars, a few interesting articles on Copyright came to my attention. Here they are, with some commentary. The Record Business Blues – Interesting article, the author repeats most of the distribution industry (RIAA) talking points, but also questions them, and looks for answers. Some coverage of […]
A robust copyright regime would permit market forces to operate properly – A rather curious article by Barry Sookman. The point that he is making, is that if we had copyright protection as strong as he thinks we should have, all of the ‘content industries’ would be making huge profits. The point that he is missing, is that the United States has laws like these, and it hasn’t made any difference. At least not to the distributors, the artists are doing better than ever.
So I expect this to be a real success for Nissan. While other companies are producing electric vehicles, Nissan is the only one that has long term electric vehicle experience, and a look at the Leaf shows the amount of work that they have done. This car is going to be the hottest car of 2011, with the Chevy Volt coming a close second (the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid)
This car will really hit the fossil fuel companies hard. You don’t have to believe in Climate Change to see the advantages of a Leaf. The monetary savings are real, and huge. Nissan has hit a home run with it. The Premier of Ontario wants 5% of cars in Ontario to be electric by 2020. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that nearly 50% of cars will be electric by 2020. Yes, I expect electric car adoption to occur that quickly.
Oh, and as for Prime Minister Harper, and his government’s support of the Oil Sands project? He’s just wasted a whole pile of taxpayers money for nothing.
But everyone seems to be missing something. What if VP8 becomes the de facto standard? Remember that VP8 is an open standard. Totally open. This means that adding DRM to it will be difficult, if not impossible. So VP8 kills off Windows Media Video (WMV) and Quicktime as a video standards, just like MP3 killed off Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Quicktime as audio standards. Remember that one of the reasons that Microsoft and Apple fought MP3 was because MP3 wasn’t compatible with DRM, and the Frauhoffer Institute controlled the specification. Now we have the same situation with VP8, and we already know that Steve Jobs is panicking. You have to ask yourself why…
Simple – VP8 will destroy the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ACTA, the new Canadian Copyright Act, the WIPO copyright treaties, and every other law which attempts to protect DRM. The ripping noise you hear is Hollywood tearing it’s hair out in clumps.
And now you know why the patent trolls at MPEG.LA are trying to sidetrack VP8 adoption.
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
If we take the argument that Congress MUST do everything under Section Eight, would someone please explain to me why Congress has not issued a Letter of Marque in over a hundred years? Obviously Congress isn’t following the Constitution! Quick, impeach them! For that matter they have to declare WAR – they don’t have any choice in the matter, that’s what the Constitution says. And the line that everyone squeals about is worded in the same way.
As it says above, one of the major reasons that patent law was standardized was so that ‘arbitrary monopolies’ couldn’t be granted. Say that somehow I gain a patent on table salt, even though it’s been in use for thousands of years. That patent would be an unearned license to print money, since I didn’t invent table salt, and that’s one of the things that patent law is designed to prevent.
Which brings us to Heritage Minister James Moore. Rumor is that there was a political battle between James Moore, the Canadian Heritage Minister, and Tony Clement, the Canadian Industry Minister, about the direction of copyright reform in Canada, which James Moore won, and the result will be DMCA Canada. But James Moore is not responsible to the CRIA or the RIAA. He’s responsible to the Canadian public. He has a fiduciary duty to the citizens of Canada, which is represented by the oath of office that he swore. And as Heritage Minister, he is also responsible to Canadian artists and other creators of Canadian culture. To quote from Wikipedia:
In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably reposes confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests.
Will Heritage Minister Moore act for the sole benefit of the Canadian public, or will he act for the benefit of foreign corporations?
We should know this week.
Why does DRM open a system to additional exploits? Because there are more lines of code, and therefore more possibility of error. If you do a search on Google for the term ‘bugs per line of code’ you’ll find 10,800,000 results! Programmers know that this is a serious issue. For every additional thousand lines of code, there will be additional errors. Programmers aim for zero bugs, however it is impossible in a large, complex program like an operating system to achieve this, as there may be interrelationships that do not show up until after the product is shipped. The increasing complexity caused by the addition of Graphical User Interfaces, Networking, Web Browsers, Email Clients, etc. while useful from a user point of view, adds further points of attack. In cases where the various programs are tightly interrelated the problems will be worse, as an exploit in the email client may also allow the attack to work in the web browser (for example the Microsoft Outlook email client uses the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser to render HTML, which means an attack aimed at your web browser could be sent to you as an email message). Other operating systems do not have this problem, for example in Mac OSX the Mail application has it’s own internal HTML rendering engine, and while it is based on the same Webkit engine used in Safari, it does not call Safari. The same is true of the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client. Both use the Gecko rendering engine, but they do not call each other, which limits the effects of any exploit.