October 2006 Archives

links for 2006-10-31

links for 2006-10-30

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links for 2006-10-28

links for 2006-10-27

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I Really Need A New Title Line


…after all, it’s been out of beta for so long that it’s time to rebuild it again. And it’s been so freaking long since I’ve done this….

So, let’s suggest something seasonal for the title line (in the comments, please!). It doesn’t necessarily have to work the word “November” in there, though if you can, why the heck not. Bonus points if you can work it into haiku (5-7-5) form.

links for 2006-10-26

links for 2006-10-25

links for 2006-10-24

links for 2006-10-23

links for 2006-10-22

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links for 2006-10-21

links for 2006-10-20

God Bless Microsoft

As it turns out, IE 7 breaks the layout of this site. It’s not entirely borked, as the main content is still there, but the left-hand column has just completely vanished. Gone. Disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa.

Well, it’s about time that I rebuilt this site anyway.

Oh, and IE 7 is not exactly pleasing to the eye either, with some curious design choices. Remember: use Firefox!

links for 2006-10-19

Implosion in 3, 2, 1...


Deadspin features this great clip of Denny Green’s post-game press conference after the Cardinals blew a 20-3 halftime lead (note that the Bears didn’t manage an offensive touchdown; rather, Chicago scored on two fumbles returned for touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown).

Let’s just say that the game was pretty ugly and leave it at that, ok?

links for 2006-10-17

I Go To Skool With Smart People

Two interesting cyberlaw/IP things on the interweb from my classmates:

  1. Alice Goldmann has written an interesting paper about community-based Internet governance. Alice’s paper, which was inspired by Craigslist’s governance model, was even mentioned on Craig Newmark’s blog. It’s worth noting that trying to run the Internet from the bottom up is a very kind of Interwebby idea.
  2. Renaissance man Patrick Runkle (writer, journalist, musician, soon-to-be-lawyer and general all-around suave dude) muses about the copyright implications of services that automatically check term papers for plagiarism. I’d argue that first, these services are a non-infringing fair use[1], and second, even if they are infringing, what are the damages?

Patrick’s point raises something that I’ve been thinking about. Prior to 1976, to secure a copyrightin the United States, you needed to register it with the Copyright Office. However, the Copyright Act of 1976 changed that completely; now, whenever an expressive work is fixed in a tangible medium, a copyright automatically attaches to the fixed work. For example, a dance performance can’t be copyrighted; however, choreographer’s notes that describe how the dance is performed are copyrighted, as would be any video recordings of the dance. Note, however, that the copyright of the video recording extends only to the tape itself and not the actual dance.

Anyway, this automatic copyright provision greatly expanded the reach of what’s copyrighted and what is copyrightable. A letter from your aunt is now copyrighted, for example. There are, however, some unforseen side effects from this very broad expansion of IP rights; for one thing, it makes doing things in the public commons much more difficult. Going back to Patrick’s example of the plagerism services; prior to the 1976 Act, there would be no copyright problem, in part becase copyright wasn’t originally intended to cover things like school papers. Indeed, one could ask if the drafters of the 1976 Act really thought about the applicability of a lifetime+50 year copyright term for term papers.

[1] The four fair use factors are
1. The purpose and character of the use [e.g. how transformative is the use and to what purpose is the use put; educational and research purposes get a very broad pass here] 2. The nature of the copyrighted work [e.g. fact-based works get less protection than wholly fictional works] 3. The amount and substantiality taken [or, in English, how much of the work did you take? While as a general rule, the more you take, the less likely your use will pass muster with the courts, it’s quite possible to take the entirety of a work and still have it pass as a fair use] 4. And finally, what is the effect of the use on the potential market for the work?

It is left as an excercise to the reader to apply the four fair use factors to the case of the plagerism services.

links for 2006-10-16

links for 2006-10-15

links for 2006-10-12

  • “if the snail (chasing a scrap of lettuce) travels at 0.000023 metres per second, the snail-system performance rate is over thirty-seven megabits per second. That blows ADSL out of the water. (There are flaws, however. As Vardi noted, “In some regions,

links for 2006-10-11

Everybody's a Winner


So, here are the answers to last week’s quiz:

Your two co-winners both scored 25 points out of 30 possible, which, given the difficulty of the quiz, is really quite respectable.

links for 2006-10-10

Last Train To Transcentral

Just a note—if you want to try your luck at the cover song trivia contest, the deadline to enter is midnight ET tonight. So give it a go!

links for 2006-10-09

links for 2006-10-06

Au Revoir, Johnny Appleseed

R.W. Apple, one of the last great newspapermen, died yesterday. He wrote about everything from war to politics to food. His last article detailed 10 of his favorite restaurants around the world. He is missed by many.

links for 2006-10-04

links for 2006-10-03

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Consumptions of Liquids is Contraindicated

So, We're Trying Something New Here

It’s the first (and, depending on participation, perhaps the last) Official pf.org Cover Song Contest!

Here’s how it works: below, you’ll find links to 10 clips of cover songs. Each clip is about 30 seconds, and is in MP3 format. Some of these are really easy, some are somewhat harder (the first version had 15 songs and was, by all accounts, much harder).

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the artist playing, the song that they’re playing, and the original artist. Each answer is worth one point; each song is worth up to 3 points; the maximum possible score is 30. I suspect the actual winning score will be somewhat less than 30.

Email your answers to contests@paulfrankenstein.org (or just click on the link). This contest will run for a week, so enter early and enter often!

And what does the winner get? A fabulous pf.org prize package (that is to say, at least a t-shirt and maybe some other stuff)! That’s right—you’ll actually win real stuff on the Internet! Who ever said that technology never got you anything?

links for 2006-10-01