Searching the Haight for Signs of Life

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quotes about Microsoft Vista

Clipped from here, the analysis was a little dry, but the quotes are good:
“I propose that each copy of the OS should ship with an orange jumpsuit and sensory deprivation goggles, since all Vista users have been unilaterally declared 'enemy combatants' by the content apparatchiki ” — Daniel Nevin.
“Windows Vista? And what a vista! All you see as you look around your garden is a 60foot high brick wall” — Crosbie Fitch.
“[Microsoft researcher] England has a bold plan to improve the PC and make it a secure delivery system for audio and video. England's solution involves making minor modifications to the PC's hardware to allow Microsoft to make a secure version of the Windows Media Player. Essentially, this would turn the PC into a record player as far as music is concerned” — Microsoft Research News.
“This is obviously some strange use of the word 'improve' which I've previously been unaware of” — Arthur dent.
“welcome to the new world of DRM where expensive pieces of hardware across the world could potentially be remotely rendered useless by over-zealous copyright holders. Way to go, Hollywood!” — Chip Mulligan.
“Digital rights management technology will still fail to prevent widespread infringement. In a related development, pigs will still fail to fly. I predict that every year, and it turns out to be true every year” — Ed Felten.
“Microsoft wasted no time; it issued a patch three days after learning about the hack. There's no month-long wait for copyright holders who rely on Microsoft's DRM. This clearly demonstrates that economics is a much more powerful motivator than security” — Bruce Schneier on Microsoft's DRM re-enabling patch for FairUse4WM.
“Good job, industry! Spend an incredible amount of time and effort developing the next generation of video quality only to step on it BEFORE THERE'S EVEN A DECIDED UPON STANDARD in the name of Copy Protection which will just be outflanked by a couple of 14 year old hackers and distributed over BitTorrent anyway” — “SweetMercury”.
“I was reminded of a quote from a Disney executive that I read a while ago [in the Economist]. The quote is: If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed. If I went to play premium content and all that shows up on my monitor is a message telling me that part of the display process isn't supported by content protection, this would scream DRM to even the most unsavvy users” — Steven Grueber.
“The only reason this debate over DRM as it applies to electronic text is still going on is simply because our opponents have what amounts to a quasi-religious and sometimes downright hysterical blind faith in the magic powers of DRM. As a test of competing business strategies in the real world of economic intercourse, the debate is over. We won, they lost — and it was a rout.” — Eric Flint, content producer and artist.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gender Genie

The Gender Genie presents an interesting conclusion - that there is a difference in the writing, and thus thinking, of men and women. It seems to draw much of its conclusions based on a set of specific machine-learned keywords.

Now that the computer has spit out the number 42, maybe it will answer the real question: why? Nature or nurture? Oppression or evolution?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What happens when everyone knows everything?

I think, "What happens when everyone knows everything?" is a worthy and even lucrative question to ponder in this day and age. With the convergence of mass communications technology in the last decade, the information stored, shared, and produced from those very activities has created a wellspring of knowledge. The application of that knowledge keeps me in business. It's very existence shakes the world:

1. Cars and Coffins - The internet destroyed the information asymmetry between the buying public and the dealers of cars, coffins, and other commodity goods. I presume it's less lucrative to sell many things now. The internet keeps businesses honest.

2. The Meta-Media - The media is subjected to the scrutiny of the blogosphere which is critiqued by the media which is made fun of by the blogosphere in an infinite loop of information-refining debate that threatens to topple the most corrupt of American politicos and other double-talking celebrities. I don't like seeing the sausage made, but the information at the end is getting truer. See Katrina and Iraq as prime examples - we know how fucked up everything is now. Yay!

3. Collectible Nonsense - The internet provided a perfect distribution and quantification of overprinted collectibles such as baseball cards and Pokemon cards. Every sucker in south Tennessee could get their Nolan Ryan Donruss card, and prices plummeted, at least on the collectible side of the consumerist construct. I think wax packs are up to like $10 per though, and nary a piece of bubble gum to be found. Thanks eBay!

4. Information Wants to be Free - Lawyers are befuddled, but making money. The public is grabbing every piece of data that gets encoded. The RIAA is spending cash like mad to protect the old order. And interest groups are calling for everything from the freeing of all data, to a billion dollar effort to lock all the data down in gossamer chains of DRM. Give it 10 years, a couple more essays from Steve Jobs, the increased demonification of the MPAA, refinement of Linux, about faces from labels (like EMI), and there will be a new order. Copyright law, even with the DMCA just does not equate to reality. When information distribution companies (labels, studios) begin constricting the flow of information, something is broken.

5) Microsoft's Struggle - The internet has essentially supplanted the PC model for the next generation of computers. A new wave of multicore supercomputers working in tandem over loosely coupled web services and tightly coupled Java apps will usher in a new era of efficiency, cost, and functionality. Microsoft will continue to struggle until their platform becomes fully integrated with the open network and they become a good citizen. Linux, catalyzed by distributed work over the internet, will forever challenge any notion of the proprietary desktop.

6) Learning Music is Different - If you want to learn songs, particularly on the guitar, the content owners are fighting for their lives to keep the secrets to making the music off the internet. But they are failing as evidenced for a search for _[any song name] tab_ on the Google.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Photos of Recency

Here you can see photos of Tim Bowen's wedding.

Here you can see photos of Anna's and my trip to Henry Coe State Park.