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Archive for August, 2007

Obvious

As the WSJ Lawblog so dutifully notes, change is in the wind for US patent policy.

 “It’s a victory against patent trolls,” Goldin told the Times. “This has changed the landscape. The days of coming up with an obvious idea and patenting it and using legal extortion are over.”

One can only hope he’s right.

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Cory has a post up at boingboing summarizing the RIAA’s crusade against their most loyal customers.

[T]he paper moves into a section on empirical studies of P2P activity during the four year campaign — and shows that the “educational campaign” has been a total failure, with more Americans sharing files than ever, and downloading from P2P at forty times the rate that they use authorized download services like iTunes (italics in original).

So here’s a thought.  And forgive me because it’s not very original.  But since what they’ve been trying to do isn’t working, maybe it’s time to try a different approach.  (more…)

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Because, really, I don’t care about his problems, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I just assume that any vocally anti-gay politician of either party must be in the closet and consumed with self-loathing, and isn’t that punishment enough?

Seriously. This is a distraction from any number of much more important topics. And if Republicans weren’t so ready and willing to engage in gay-bashing at the drop of the soap a hat, this never would have happened in the first place.

Earth to media: find something else to get all worked up about. Like the fact that New Orleans is still a ghost town, 2 years later. Or the fact that Americans are dying in Iraq, today. Or, you know, that the guy who is still our Attorney General for two more weeks is obviously a felon. This is the political equivalent of Lohan Goes to Jail: despite what your management is telling you to say, your audience doesn’t care.

Update: THIS is a post about Larry Craig.  Emptywheel (as usual) nails this one- the story here isn’t whether or not he’s gay.  The real meat of the story is the way that the national GOP, members of that party, and the traditional media have been tripping over themselves to put the next knife in Craig’s back, while none of them have made a goddamn peep about all of the other Republican figures in positions of national leadership who have brought shame on themselves and their party over the last six years.    Where was John McCain when Tom DeLay got indicted?  Where is John McCain today on Pete Domenici?  Where is the hypocrite who would be President, John McCain, on David Vitter?

*crickets*

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I’ve tried five or six for Windows and two for linux, and I still haven’t found one that I like.  I want it to:

  • (a) display all feed updates from all subscribed feeds chronologically by time of update in one single window,
  • (b) allow me to mark stories to be saved even after I’ve read them, so I can refer back later,
  • (c) allow me to specify a date (e.g. today) before which it won’t pick up material, and
  • (d) just work.  That is, don’t alert me 20 times about the same article from the same site.
  • oh, and it should (e) be free-as-in-beer, and preferably open-source as well.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  Yes, I’ve tried that newfangled thing called “Google News.” That ain’t getting the job done.

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From AFP via Raw Story comes the release that Altria will be moving Philip Morris offshore.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier the new company to be spun off would be based in Switzerland, and thus free from legal and public relations problem in the United States over tobacco marketing.

Heh. I’m not sure whether this says more about the people who are still buying cigarettes, or the US stock market, or the evils of the Swiss. In any case, I’m sure the i-bankers will stand to make lots of money.

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Don’t think this will make us forget about the perjury, or the torture, or the 4th amendment violations.

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This post at RawStory caught my eye:

The alert issued by FBI agents in Seattle on Monday called for the public’s help in identifying photographs of two Middle Eastern-looking men who had been reported travelling on ferries exhibiting “unusual behavior.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer refused to run the photos, explaining:

“We have no confirmation that these men’s behavior was anything but innocuous, and to forever taint them by associating them with terrorism under these circumstances is not consistent with our policy,” the paper said.

Not consistent with the newspaper’s policy, or, you know, the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press from government interference and equal protection under the law for everyone in the United States. Even ‘persons of interest” to the FBI (you can’t even call them suspects, because no crime has been committed! Some FBI monkey just decided that they had brown skin and were ‘acting suspicious’).

The FBI should know better. Thank goodness the newspaper did the right thing. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies are not alone in their tendency to ignore the law when they find it inconvenient: (more…)

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