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Free Books and T-Shirt Sales

Cory Doctorow has written an interesting column for the Locus Magazine about his experience in giving away free copies of his books [1]. 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, [...]

Healthcare and Free Software

The Washington Monthly has an interesting article about healthcare and Free Software [1]. 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.

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The Streisand Effect and Chinese Barratry

Bruce Everiss has received two threatening letters from a NSW law firm representing the Chinese game company Evony. Here is the latest where they whinge about his publication of their first letter [1] (NB if threaten to sue a blogger you have to expect your letter to be published, it’s not discourteous it’s just the [...]

Free K-12 Text Books

The CK12 project is developing free (CC by SA) textbooks for the K-12 market (with a current focus on the early years of high school) [1]. Their primary aim seems to be flex-books – text books that can be localised and modified to better suit the needs of the students. But of course there are [...]

Journalism, Age, and Mono

Daniel Stone has criticised the IT journalist Sam Varghese for writing a negative article about a college student [1].

The student in question is 21 years old, that means he is legally an adult in almost every modern jurisdiction that I am aware of (the exception being Italy where you must be 25 years old [...]

Religion vs Cult

Diane Benscoter gave an interesting TED interview and a slightly less interesting TED lecture about her experiences with the Moonies [1]. She describes how she was a victim of the cult for five years, and then after being deprogrammed she spent five years working as a deprogrammer [2].

In her interview she described the first [...]

Expectations and Fandom

Russ Allbery has written about the hostile reactions of sci-fi fans toward the delay of a book release [1]. Russ makes some good points regarding the issue of whether paying $100 for some books entitles a reader to have the rest of the series written (in summary – no, the author owes the fans nothing). [...]

Too Stupid to be a Judge

Bruce Schneier has written about the foolish actions of Justice Antonin Scalia [1]. Antonin made some comments opposing the need for greater privacy protection, most people could get away with doing that, but when a Supreme Court Justice does so it gets some attention. In response to this Fordham University law professor Joel Reidenberg assigned [...]

The AP and Copyright on the Web

The New York Times has an article about the Associated Press (AP) trying to gain more control over material that it distributes [1]. The article is not clear on the details.

One noteworthy fact is that the AP apparently don’t like search engines showing snippets of their articles. This should however be an issue for [...]

Australian Democracy is “Microsoft Compatible”

Here is the Australian Electoral Commission documentation on how to register a political party [1]. It includes the requirement for “A Microsoft compatible electronic membership list (and paper copy) providing the following information“.

So a prerequisite for registering a political party appears to be the ownership of a PC running Windows. While it may be [...]