For a long time it has been obvious that in all cases anti-piracy technologies discourage purchases and in many cases encourage piracy. I first discovered the significance of this in about 1991 when I attended a public lecture by a senior employee of Borland and a member of the audience claimed that the Borland product [...]
Making Light has a post about the Canadian sci-fi author Peter Watts who was beaten and jailed overnight without access to a lawyer by US border guards because he asked what they were doing . Apparently one is supposed to cringe in fear whenever questioned by authority in the US, so much for “land of [...]
Above is the picture of the RFID device in my new UK passport. The outer wire loop is 72mm * 42mm which is by far the largest RFID device I’ve seen. It appears that they want the passport to be RFID readable from distances that are significantly greater than those which are typically used [...]
Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting little column for Make magazine about Wikipedia and the way that it “contains facts about facts” . One of the issues with this is that you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) make corrections based on your own knowledge of a subject, you need to cite references. Cory gives a hypothetical [...]
I’ve just been disappointed to read about the DNI (Defence in the National Interest) web site closing down . The final blog post says “In the meantime, I’ll leave everything up unless we start having more security problems“, but unfortunately they have had a number of security problems in the past. I doubt the ability [...]
One thing I noticed when I got my new LG U990 Viewty  mobile phone is the way the core telephony functionality has suffered while features for web browsing etc have been added. It seems that the core phone functionality (making and receiving calls and maintaining a list of names and phone numbers) has generally [...]
There is currently a discussion on a private mailing list about whether some money from a community organisation should be used to assist the development of Gnash (the free software Flash player) . The main reason for this is that there are apparently some schools that depend on flash web sites to such a degree [...]
Some people seem to believe that the problem with copyright law is the inability of people on the free culture side of the debate to compete with the large amounts of money that are being spent but the RIAA et al.
I think that a significant part of the problem is that many intelligent and [...]
Cory Doctorow has written an interesting column for the Locus Magazine about his experience in giving away free copies of his books . Mainly he rants about some of the criticism he has received, initially it was people claiming that giving away books for free only worked because he was not a well known author, [...]
The Washington Monthly has an interesting article about healthcare and Free Software . It seems that a free system named “VistA” from the US Veterans Affairs department (not to be confused with the unpopular OS “Vista” that Microsoft released a few years ago) is competing against a range of proprietary software for managing patient data.