aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, September 30, 2005
They’re locking up our culture
“Right now,” [Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary] Shapiro reported, “the recording industry is approaching another Senate committee with a proposal to give the FCC broad power to impose design requirements on new digital radios. Unlike the TV ‘broadcast flag,’ the proposal from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is not aimed at mass, indiscriminate, anonymous distribution of content over the Internet. The RIAA digital radio proposal is aimed squarely at limiting noncommercial recording entirely within private homes and automobiles.
Twenty members of Congress are calling for the reinstatement of the “broadcast flag,” a controversial form of copy prevention technology for digital TV broadcasts.
In a letter Thursday, the politicians called for rapid approval of a federal law adopting the broadcast flag, which would outlaw over-the-air digital TV receivers and computer tuner cards that don’t follow strict anticopying standards.
We’ve got to take back our culture or we’ll have none of it left tomorrow.
I just wonder
So we know now that we were warned again and again of the consequences of a storm hitting New Orleans. I wonder, what have we learned?
A global influenza pandemic is imminent and will kill up to 150 million people, the UN official in charge of coordinating the worldwide response to an outbreak has warned.
David Nabarro, one of the most senior public health experts at the World Health Organisation, said outbreaks of bird flu, which have killed at least 65 people in Asia, could mutate into a form transmittable between people.
“The consequences in terms of human life when the pandemic does start are going to be extraordinary and very damaging,” he said.
I know, I know, the press feeds on scaring people.
A computer for the whole world
A sub-$100 PC:
Professor [Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Labs] came up with the idea for a cheap computer for all after visiting a Cambodian village.
His non-profit One Laptop Per Child group plans to have up to 15 million machines in production within a year.
A prototype of the machine should be ready in November at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia.
Children in Brazil, China, Egypt, Thailand, and South Africa will be among the first to get the under-$100 (Ã‚Â£57) computer, said Professor Negroponte at the Emerging Technologies conference at MIT.
Via Steve Gillard, who apparently doesn’t get it:
So, who writes the software?
It’s not like you can use Office, can you?
This isn’t a bad idea, but it seems to be less thought out than you would think.
It seems very thought out to me - hand cranked power, super bright screens, a shared “brain.”
How about the notion that they’ll write their own software? Maybe even open source; less bloated! And not bought into our Mac chic and Microsoft money.
A movement I can support:
Negroponte thinks that even $100 remains too expensive for some.
He said he is committed to the idea that children all over the world should be equipped with technology so that they can tap into the educational and communications benefits of the net.
Miller & the downfall of the Times
I watched last not for Arianna’s reaction. It came at 2:30 a.m.:
The claim that Miller “has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver” is laughableÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and, indeed, has already been laughed at by 1) my increasingly frustrated sources within the Times 2) a chorus of voices in the blogosphere (see here, here, and here [I’d add here]) and 3) (and much more significantly) Joseph Tate, Scooter Libby’s lawyer, who told the Washington Post yesterday that he informed Miller’s attorney, Floyd Abrams, a year ago that Libby’s waiver “was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify”.
The truth of the matter is there is no way that the New York Times editorial claiming “it should be clearÃ¢â‚¬Â¦that Ms. Miller is not going to change her mind” can be squared with Ms. Miller changing her mind. And there is no way to accept at face value Miller’s grandstanding about “fighting for the cause of the free flow of information.” Who is she still trying to convince? Herself?
After she answers Patrick Fitzgerald’s questions today, Judy Miller needs to start answering some of the obvious questions raised by her head-scratching stance.
UPDATE, it looks like Salon’s with me:
The biggest loser in Judith Miller’s capitulation yesterday to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald isn’t freedom of the press. And it isn’t Miller, the New York Times reporter whose reporting on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq had previously sullied her reputation.
It’s the Times editorial page