spiraling towards contentless content
birthdays and beyond
Posted: 2003-04-22 13:08
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Stuff

The first widely used graphical web browser, Mosaic was released exactly 10 years ago today, ushering in the era of graphical web browsers, along with the Flash, Java, etc. that are (ab)used today. It's noteworthy, and provides a good segue to my next point, that today (April 22)is my birthday.

The Copyright Office has announced a period for public comments about rules for governing SoundExchange, the RIAA division charged with collecting royalty payments from webcasters. It's something to look into writing about, once my testimony about DMCA exemptions is completed.

On that same note, I've been moved to the morning session of the May 2 hearings after some email communication with Rob Kasunic of the LOC. The only thing that's changed is the time, my argument remains the same and will most likely be more relevant to the subject-at-hand at the time.

Tomorrow at 6:30 is day 2 of Adam Kosmin's small claims case against Toshiba. For those who have no idea what this about, I recommend reading my first mention of the case, my summary of day one, or Adam's site. The case will be heard at the Queens County Courthouse, same as last time, and anyone interesting in coming out to show support is encouraged to do so.

Earlier this morning, a suspicious white powder was found at a mail distribution center in Washington (state, not DC). Preliminary testing indicated it contained plague and botulism, and everyone was whipped up into a frenzy. And then, reality. And then, more powder, this time at an airport in Florida.

The Guardian has an article about the Iraqi leadership, and how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Members of the Ba'at party, who were supporters of Saddam during his reign, still hold most of the government positions and jobs in Iraq. Even if these people had no real loyalty to Saddam, and just played along, they're going to have their previous experience to work against, making it a lot harder to change things. It will be interesting to see how easily these people can work against their experiences of years past.

On Sunday, the NY Times ran an article about a former Iraqi scientist who is verifying all the US allegations of Iraqi WMD and allegedly helping point US forces to their locations. The article, however, reads like nothing more than government propoganda. The reporter was not allowed to interview the scientist, had to wait 3 days before publishing the article, and then subjected it to military officials, who reviewed it and made some suggested edits. These changes were incorporated, and any detail the article may have had is gone now. Now it says, there's a scientist who confirms all the allegations the US made for war (but hasn't substantiated), but we can't talk to him, or even mention where or what kind of weapons he knows about. This article has been widely criticized for failing to provide any evidence to back up these claims, or even show them to possibly be credible.

And since there's more to the world than just the US and Iraq, Maoist rebels in Nepal will be holding talks with the government of Nepal. A cease fire of three months ago ended a seven-year insurgency by the Maoists, and the Nepalese government has conceded it has no choice but to talk with the rebels, who have become a powerful force within Nepal.

Record labels Universal Music and EMI are suing one of Napster's investors. Hummer Winblad Venture Partners is being sued for a presently unknown amount. The labels allege that Hummer Winblad's investment in Napster contributed to copyright infringement, and are seeking punitive damages.


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