Archive for March 2007

Not long to go now… Just two hours on




Not long to go now… Just two hours on

Orig­i­nally uploaded by zhasper.

Not long to go now… Just two hours on a bus

Coff’s harbour




Coff’s har­bour

Orig­i­nally uploaded by zhasper.

Coff’s har­bour

So are they, or aren’t they?




So are they, or aren’t they?

Orig­i­nally uploaded by zhasper.

So are they, or aren’t they?

Steve, I take it all back.

A while ago I responded to Steve Jobs’ Open Let­ter.

At the time, I wrote:

I stand by what I wrote in that email; Steve’s let­ter is FUD and noth­ing more. Well, except maybe it’s good mar­ket­ing as well.

Well, I don’t stand by that any more. I just read this arti­cle (found cour­tesy of Schneier), which has changed my mind.

It explains, very well, why adding DRM gives no value to Apple, but does give lots of headache. It explains how their deals with stu­dios put them in the unpleas­ant sit­u­a­tion of being on the los­ing side of an arms race. Even more con­vinc­ingly (for me, at least) — it points out the lim­i­ta­tions in Apple’s DRM: they’ve made no attempt to stop a user from being able to decrypt the music they legit­i­mately purchased.

So, I stand.. well, mostly cor­rected. I’m still not entirely cer­tain that Jobs’ let­ter wasn’t FUD, but I’m at least con­vinced that Apple really would pre­fer to be able to sell music DRM-free.

Now, back to talk­ing about Twit­ter and IRC

Update: Appar­ently not every­one is con­vinced: the FSF is com­pos­ing an open response call­ing on Jobs to back his words up with action (found via Boing­Bo­ing)

Update: No, I don’t buy the argu­ments in this page about “the basic con­cept of inter­op­er­a­ble DRM makes no sense”. The Coral Consortium’s site has con­vinced me that that argu­ment is mean­ing­less; it might be a tech­ni­cal issue, but there are busi­ness process that can make that go away. How­ever, my orig­i­nal post was stat­ing that that I didn’t believe that Jobs really did want to get rid of DRM — whether inter­op­er­a­ble DRM was an issue or not was only one part of his let­ter, and only part of my response. This new page has made me think that whether the DRM is inter­op­er­a­ble or not is mostly irrel­e­vant — Apple would ben­e­fit from hav­ing no DRM at all even more than they would from inter­op­er­a­ble DRM.

Latest ladies names == me

It’s strange what you dis­cover through look­ing at your webstats.

#1 search term for peo­ple find­ing my site this month:

lat­est ladies names, for which I’m the top hit.

Bizarre.

Aus Post does viral advertising?

If the email I just got is any­thing to go by, they do — and it works, too.

EFF responds to Microsoft’s attack on google">EFF responds to Microsoft’s attack on google

(found via Boing­Bo­ing:

And it’s lucky for Microsoft that prior inno­va­tors were will­ing to go out on a limb and fight for the free­dom to inno­vate with­out ask­ing per­mis­sion first — oth­er­wise Microsoft would have had to ask per­mis­sion from all the world’s web­sites before it launched Inter­net Explorer (built on the backs of all the web­sites, with­out ask­ing them per­mis­sion, don’t you know).

Remem­ber, if Google wins the Google Library Project law­suits, the fair use prin­ci­ple it estab­lishes will ben­e­fit every­one, includ­ing those who want to scan books to com­pete with Google. Microsoft’s “col­lab­o­rate” prin­ci­ple, in con­trast, will ben­e­fit only those com­pa­nies who are big enough to get big copy­right own­ers to answer their calls — a world where Microsoft will have an unfair advantage.

So kudos to Google for stand­ing up for fair use. And shame on Microsoft for sug­gest­ing that only those who “col­lab­o­rate” are enti­tled to innovate.

(from the EFF)

What more needs to be said?

What’s wrong with using a broadcast medium to send unicast messages, anyway?

Well, it doesn’t scale, that’s what’s wrong. Ever been at a really big party, where a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple were chat­ter­ing away? You might not be able to hear every word every per­son is say­ing — but you sure as hell can hear the com­bined bab­ble assault­ing your eardrums, mak­ing it hard to hear what the really cute guy you’re try­ing to chat up is saying…

That’s one rea­son why Mike doesn’t like peo­ple using Twit­ter to send mes­sages to an indi­vid­ual. To me, it sug­gests one rea­son why Mike prob­a­bly doesn’t like par­ties, either.

Yes, send­ing uni­cast mes­sages over a broad­cast medium is inef­fi­cient; but it’s also the core of a great party. You’re drift­ing towards the punch table when you hear Scoble telling Soul­Sailor about a new fea­ture that you didn’t know about on your favorite site.

Yes, the broad­cast nature means you get hit with a lot of mes­sages that aren’t directed at you. If you don’t like that, go back to your unicast-only media.

The fact that con­ver­sa­tions that start as one-on-one can grow to encom­pass the whole group; the fact that you can learn inter­est­ing things because you hear snatches of con­ver­sa­tion fly­ing past — that’s what makes a good party fun (that, and, afore­men­tioned cute guys and the snog­ging in the cor­ner that hap­pens later); they’re what made IRC great, back before uni­cast IM sys­tems stole the users away. It’s what makes Twit­ter great, too.

Admit­tedly, some way to deal with the scal­ing is needed — have I ranted about chan­nels enough yet?) — but if you think that using a broad­cast medium for uni­cast mes­sages is “abuse” — you’d be bet­ter off not com­ing to the party.

Not the way I’d use it != Abuse

Peo­ple who rant on the basis that “You’re using the ser­vice in a dif­fer­ent way to me” is the same thing as “You’re abus­ing the ser­vice” are… well, they annoy me, lots.

Clearly this is writ­ten by some­one who has never used IRC.

If you don’t like the type of mes­sages that some peo­ple are send­ing on twit­ter, then don’t fol­low them. Send mes­sages to your IM client instead of your phone. Read the FAQ, espe­cially the sec­tion about com­mands — you would be par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in “leave jane”.

What­ever. If you don’t like it, don’t use it — but don’t com­plain that peo­ple who aren’t using it in a way that’s con­ve­nient to use is “abuse”.

Note to Twit­ter peo­ples: Chan­nels! We need channels!

What happened to the spam?

I’ve not had a spam com­ment that I needed to fil­ter in days.

What’s hap­pen­ing? I’m get­ting bored here!