Archive for March 2007

Not long to go now… Just two hours on

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.


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

(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!