Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Tag: The Internet

A Great Cory Doctorow Speech at USC

SciFi writer, activist, “BoingBoing”: editor, EFF evangelist and now US-Canada Fulbright Chair at the University of Southern California recently gave a talk to people at USC that covers many topics ranging from digital freedoms to science fiction that is “truly worth listening to”: [MP3]. Of course, the greatest Cory Doctorow speech of them all is his “talk at Microsoft about why DRM is bad for business, bad for people, bad for artists and bad technology”: (streaming video). The “text of that talk is also available”: online.

A Debate with the MPAA

The “#2 thesis on of my 95”: was that Violating a license agreement is not theft.

I got a lot of feedback about that one- many people made the point that it could be theft if it involved either loss of property or loss of potential income.

I grant both of those points- and I am not even close to being a lawyer- but my point still holds: Violating a license agreement could also be theft, but in my opinion, is not theft on its own.

The “BBC has a video debate”: between the MPAA President Dan Glickman and the EFF co-founder John Barlow on the subject, and while much of it treads familiar ground for those who follow this issue, it is especially interesting because the two opposing viewpoints have been presented together.

To get a better idea about “John Perry Barlow”: here are a few bits about him:
* Founded the “EFF”: in 1990.
* Was a lyricist for the “Grateful Dead”:
* His article on “The Economy of Ideas”: where he says

Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression any more than real estate law might be revised to cover the allocation of broadcasting spectrum (which, in fact, rather resembles what is being attempted here). We will need to develop an entirely new set of methods as befits this entirely new set of circumstances.

* His “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”: where he writes:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

* And “more recently, more pointed”: remarks from him.

MSN AdCenter Finally Allows Firefox Users In

Back in May, I published “an article here that highlighted how MSN AdCenter kept non-IE users out”: of their service. As a Mac user, it is a mild irritation whenever a major online player keeps non-IE customers out, but this one took the cake. Their customer service rep asked me to buy Windows. Think about that for a second- a major corporation asking a potential advertiser to drastically change their computer usage behavior for the privilege of advertising with them. I’m sorry, but Yahoo and Google will gladly take my business.

In any case, earlier this month- about 3 months after the service launched- “Firefox support has been introduced”: in MSN AdCenter. They listened. I doubt building a standards compliant web site actually took 3 months, but I am glad that it happened. Also glad to see it works in Safari on my Mac.

Take Action: AOL, Privacy and the Database of Intentions

AOL's Data Leak: Were You Exposed?

“AOL has put our privacy at risk by publicly disclosing the recent search history”: of 650,000 users. This wrong in so many different ways- and yes, your search queries say a lot about you, including your identity. The “New York Times discovered just who AOL Searcher #4417749”: was just using their search strings. Read the rest of this entry »

O’Reilly, CMP and the Web 2.0 Service Mark

The controversy started- for those not paying attention- when CMP served a cease-and-desist letter to an Irish non-profit for using the term “Web 2.0” in the name of their conference. Bad move- the blogosphere went in to attack mode and O’Reilly (who runs the conference and is associated with CMP) will never have quite the same reputation again. Before the blogosphere outrage over “CMP’s claim of Web 2.0 as a service mark for conferences”: dies down, I have a few things to say. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Money From Your Web Site

Before I get in to this article, let me tell you a bit about myself- this will help you decide if you think my advice applies to your web site. There are many ways to make money off a web site and my methods have only permitted my web sites to pay for themselves. I run two blogs: this one and another one on film, “WideScreen Glory”: and I have run a large “Star Wars fan site”: since 1998, that makes up the bulk of traffic that I receive.

In a broad sense, there are three methods of advertising on the Internet: Read the rest of this entry »

New Battlefronts Emerge on Net Neutrality

A few interesting developments on the Network Neutrality front: Read the rest of this entry »

More on Network Neutrality

Here are a few more things you can do to get involved in “saving Network Neutrality”: Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy Policy Generator

The “Direct Marketing Association”: has a fantastic “Privacy Policy Generator”: on their web site which is a great tool for all webmasters/bloggers/administrators out there because sooner or later, you will need one for your site as well. Many advertisers require you to have one, many users will feel more comfortable if they can view yours and in general, it is a step in the right direction.

This tool asks you all the right questions regarding what personal information you collect on your site and what you intend to do with it. At the end, it will generate a personalized “Privacy Policy” for your site based on your answers. You can take a look at the one I had it “generate for my Star Wars web site”:

Yahoo! Introduces Free DVR Software

Yahoo! has quietly introduced Yahoo! Go for TV, a free DVR and media center software for Windows PCs. This software is a re-branded version of Meedio, which Yahoo! bought earlier this month and is tightly coupled with Yahoo’s own services.

This is a great entry in this area and should prove to be a significant challenge to Microsoft’s Media Center, if it is marketed and packaged well. For me, the trouble is that it is Windows-only and so would be an option only if it proved to be significantly better than “MythTV”: or “Front Row”: Fun stuff- it seems like everyone is getting a head start on Vista, including those who were never really in competition.

[Via “GigaOm”: Via “John Battelle”: ]