inside the man

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Lycanthropy today

People just don't talk about werewolves enough anymore ( ** flashbacks to the Monster Manual ** ). This great article will get you right back up to speed on the topic.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

The global p2p holy war

The RIAA crusade proceeds around the globe with all of the fervor, self riteousness, enterprise, wealth, opportunism, and exclusivity of membership of the Knights Templar (or is this the right Templar link?). Copyright is sacred, and exceptions such as fair use sully its holy purity!

Saturday, April 10, 2004

The argument against privacy

kuro5hin is running a thought provoking piece discussing some recent criticisms of 'privocrats'. Regardless of your current perspective, this is a valuable read.
Directory of 'Kill Bill' cinematic references

The New York Times has published an interesting brief survey of some of the chief cinematic references in Tarantino's two part 'Kill Bill' revenge flick. There are reports now that a third installment is now in the works.
Marx as justification for G. W. Bush's foreign policy

I stumbled across this one year old article today and was immediately drawn to the author's use of Marx to justify the most recent US invasion of Iraq. A brief quotation will illustrate my fascination:

But all of this is lost on the man who simply pays another man to build his home for him. He is free to imagine his dream house, and to indulge in every kind of fantasy. The proper nature of the material need not concern him - gravity doesn't interest him. He makes the plans out of his head and expects them to be fulfilled at his whim.

If we look at the source of the Arab wealth we find it is nothing they created for themselves. It has come to them by magic, much like a story of the Arabian nights, and it allows them to live in a feudal fantasyland.

What Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have in common is that they became rich because the West paid them for natural resources that the West could simply have taken from them at will, and without so much as a Thank You, if the West had been inclined to do so.

What are we to think of these comments? While I am neither a philosopher nor a political scientist, I am fairly certain that a Marxist could arrive at similarly negative conclusions regarding George W. Bush's rise to power. The entire article is filled with similar misapplications of the thoughts of famous philosophers and questionable historical recall - I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Privacy advocates unimpressed with Google's Gmail

Google is one of the most successful Internet enterprises ever. Now, they are trying to dominate the free (well, actually ad funded) email space with the recent announcement of Gmail - free web mail with 1 Gb of storage. However, among the concerns that privacy advocates have raised are statements that do not promise that email deleted by the owner of a Gmail account will be erased from Google's systems, and that Google's advertising engine will read your email and display ads related to the topics discussed in the message you are reading. One gig of storage: cool. Privacy issues: not cool. How long will it take before the new English verb "to google" takes on a new Orwellian flavor?
Playing video games makes better surgeons

A new study reveals that surgeons who play video games complete laparoscopic surgery in less time with substantially fewer errors. The usual eclectic commentary on this story can be found on slashdot.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Canada a rogue nation?

The Miami Herald, in reference to the recent Canadian legal decision on p2p music sharing (see slashdot here and here, and below) reports that "The Canadians, who often consign the United States to the status of rogue nation, demonstrated last week that they too can thumb their noses at international law when the fancy takes them." Does this legal decision consign countries like Canada and New Zealand (see here and here) to the status of international outlaws? In what other countries is file swapping legal?
Canadian minister promises to fix copyright law

In response to the recent court decision in favor of p2p file sharing of music, Canada's Federal Minister of Heritage, Helene Scherre, has stated publicly that she will make changes to Canadian law in order to outlaw music file sharing. The minister is correct on one point, Canadian copyright legislation is badly in need of modernization in order to clarify a number of points raised by new technology. New Zealand, for instance, has rewritten their aged intellectual property legislation from the ground up. Notably, it is clearly legal to download and make digital backups of copyrighted music for personal non-commercial use in New Zealand.

Friday, April 02, 2004

No April fools blog post

I thought that I would buck the trend and not put up an April Fools Day blog post. There were some good ones out there, however. Here is my favorite: Mandatory subdermal RFID tags for the homeless.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

More on the recent file Canadian file sharing decision

The morning papers have brought a flood of information and opinion to light. The Calgary Herald reports that the court likened p2p file sharing to libraries placing a photocopier in the midst of copyrighted material - a legitimate tool for personal non-commercial use of copyrighted information. I am overjoyed that the court made this analogy, as the publishing industry has been grumbling about photocopiers in libraries for years. BBC news reports that the court further decided that p2p networks do not constitute "commercial distribution" and thus do not violate Canada's concept of fair use of copyrighted material.

About Me

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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