Friday, 24 August 2007

Linkage

Won't THIS put a twist in their shorts!


Can you say "collateral damage?"

 The story so far:

  • United States bans citizens from engaging in international internet gambling.
  • Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda files complaint with the World Trade Organization, charging that the ban violates A&B's rights as member of the W.T.O.
  • They win.
  • U.S. appeals. A&B win again.
  • U.S. fails to comply. W.T.O. acts to assess damages. A&B claim $3.4 billion.
So in compensation, Antigua and Barbuda
"...has asked the trade organization to grant a rare form of compensation if the American government refuses to accept the ruling: permission for Antiguans to violate intellectual property laws by allowing them to distribute copies of American music, movie and software products, among others. [Bolding mine - O.G.]
Details in this New York Times story.

Explosion from the Content Cartel predicted in 3-- 2-- 1...  And if this goes through, I know where I'm hosting my internet radio station.
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Via Slashdot.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 15:34:16 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Friday, 17 August 2007

Linkage

Well, you DID ask...


Tamara, on historical comparisons to the late Roman empire:

Oh, really? Where are our foederati then?
Her commenters offered the obvious .answer, although I might have mentioned Dearbornistan, too.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 20:16:22 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Linkage

Gouged tiles

Disturbing discussion of tile damage on the space shuttle Endeavour at Steven Den Beste's.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 15:25:52 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Linkage

The politically-incorrectness just keeps on coming

Mark Steyn has some advice for asylum-seekers headed for Canada:

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 01:49:29 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Linkage

I admit it! I laughed! I'm guilty!


This post and comment thread reads like sitcom dialogue-- if sitcoms were this funny.   [Mysogyny alert - possibly NSFW if co-workers are humor-impaired.]
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Blame Clayton Jones, commenting at DP, for linking it.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 01:16:24 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Press

They can't do math, either


Howard finds the decimal point:

200 pts, is what percent of 13,000? 15%? Well those dopes at CNBC might think so, but 200 points is around 1-1/2 percent.

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 21:48:01 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Monday, 13 August 2007

Linkage

Welcome to the brave new world of "unproperty"

Ken Fisher, at Ars Technica:

...After Google takes its video store down, its Internet-based DRM system will no longer function. This means that customers who have built video collections with Google Video offerings will find that their purchases no longer work. This is one of the major flaws in any DRM system based on secrets and centralized authorities: when these DRM data warehouses shut down, the DRM stops working, and consumers are left with useless junk.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 15:59:27 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Sunday, 12 August 2007

The Press

How's that again?


"Ohad," commenting at Harry's Place:

An Arab man grabbed the gun of a security guard in Jerusalem, shot the guard, engages in a gunfight, and is killed by another guard. What's the headline at the BBC?

"Palestinian killed in Jerusalem" (!)

[Note: As of this posting (2 days later), hed now reads: "Gunman dies in Jerusalem shootout."  Interesting how he lost the "Palestinian" when he became a "gunman."]

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 22:36:43 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Linkage

Technology marches on

...whether we want it to, or not.

Don't expect to sleep past your stop any more, because this bus wakes you up every couple of minutes by telling you where you are and where you're going. "This is route N73 to Walthamstow Central" "Marble Arch station"

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 21:01:53 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 48 words, total size 1 kb.

Rants

Your tax dollars at work - 2

Remember that fiber-to-the-home high speed data service that we were promised "by the year 2000?"

All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia contracted with their local telecommunication utilities for the build-out of fiber and hybrid fiber-coax networks intended to bring bidirectional digital video service to millions of homes by the year 2000. The Telecom Act set the mandate but, as it works with phone companies, the details were left to the states. Fifty-one plans were laid and 51 plans failed.

...I find it hard to remember any company or industry segment ever going zero for 51. This is a failure rate so amazing that any statistician would question the motives of those even entering such an endeavor. Did they actually expect to succeed? Or did they actually expect to fail? We may never know and it probably doesn't even matter, but one thing is sure: they expected to be paid and they were.

Over the decade from 1994-2004 the major telephone companies profited from higher phone rates paid by all of us, accelerated depreciation on their networks, and direct tax credits an average of $2,000 per subscriber for which the companies delivered precisely nothing in terms of service to customers. That's $200 billion with nothing to be shown for it.
 -- Robert Cringely
In my "major metropolitan" location there's no DSL (lines too old/too long), and fiber is nowhere in the future. I think I'd like my $2000 back. Then I could use it for something useful, like buying beer.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Rants at 19:42:35 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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