17 Mart 2010 Çarşamba

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part -- By: Daniel Foster

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part -- By: Daniel Foster: "The word around Washington is that there is no CBO score of the reconciliation package because the Democrats can't find a way to make the bill reduce the deficit by the legally required $1 billion through 2014.

“They were less than expected” said Rep. Gene Green (D., Texas) of early, unofficial CBO scores.

In a bill that, by the Democrats' own lights, will cost nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, a lousy billion spread out over four years doesn't sound like much. But consider that reconciliation is designed for deficit-cutting, and nearly all of the House's differences with the Senate bill -- the donut hole, the expansion of the Cornhusker Kickback to all 50 states, bigger subsidies -- are in the direction of increased spending. Moreover, the delay and watering-down of the Cadillac tax will be scored as a revenue-decreasing measure, further putting the Democrats in the hole.

It is almost as if the reconciliation process were ill-suited for something like Obamacare.


Property Outlaws: important scholarly book on how breaking property law improves it

Property Outlaws: important scholarly book on how breaking property law improves it: "
Eduardo Penalver and Sonia Katyal's Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership has been at the top of my discretionary reading pile for months, now ever since the publisher, Yale, sent me a review copy. Unfortunately, it's been months since I've done any substantial discretionary reading and it'll be months still before I get to do so. So yesterday, I just carved out 45 minutes to give it a good, thorough skim, and while I don't have enough of the book in me to do an actual review, I can tell you that my suspicions were confirmed.

Property Outlaws is a great and deep read on how the violation of property rights -- from trespassing to sit-ins to copyright infringement -- have been critical to the evolution of 'the law of ownership,' establishing the principles that led to anti-discrimination laws (lunch-counter sit-ins), justice for indigenous people (Indian occupation of Alcatraz) and the many shifts and turns in copyright that accommodate speech, privacy, and free expression.

Katyal and Penalver go at the subject with academic thoroughness (both are academic lawyers), but without ever being dry. This is an important book -- important enough that I'm putting it back in the stack so that I get a chance to read it cover to cover someday.

We've featured Katyal's work here before, Copyright, Technology, and The New Surveillance is a great paper on privacy and copyright enforcement that's a must-read.

Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership


Home Taping is Killing Music: funny video about UK record industry's plan to legislate British Internet into oblivion

Home Taping is Killing Music: funny video about UK record industry's plan to legislate British Internet into oblivion: "

Phil from Don't Disconnect Us sez, 'Commissioned by UK ISP TalkTalk, we've been campaigning against the British Government's anti-filesharing proposals which form part of the Digital Economy Bill.

In a nutshell the music industry has been lobbying the UK government saying that filesharing is killing the music industry.

That's why we teamed up with Dan Bull, the musician behind Dear Lily and Dear Mandy, to create our very own music video. 'Home Taping is Killing Music' is a tongue-in-cheek video that features 80s legends Madonna, George Michael and Adam Ant (well, actually it's just a trio of look-alikes) lip-synching to the song Top of the Pops style.'

This is some extremely funny stuff -- especially by the time we get to the grand finale and all the other industries at risk ('Home sleeping is killing hotels'). Taking the apocalyptic claims of the record industry about the net at face value is so short-sighted and short-memoried. These Chicken Littles have been telling us that the sky is falling and that they must must must have business-friendly laws and enforcement or the world will end since 1908, when the piano roll was invented. Every time, it just turned out that some of the old guard were going to lose out, and a new guard, who saw how to make a living in the new world, were going to come along to take their place.

Yet here we are in Britain, ready to establish a China-style Great Firewall to block sites the record industry doesn't like, ready to shut whole families off from the information society if one member is accused of copyright violations, ready to sacrifice national technological competitiveness to shore up the doddering relics who don't want to make way for the next generation of entrepreneurs and artists who thrive in a networked world. And the dumbest part is that there's no way it will actually reduce infringement: we're just going to further criminalize and alienate young fans and creators.

It's not too late: write to your MP and ask for a full debate on the Digital Economy Bill. The British record industry admits that its legislation will only pass because Parliament isn't holding a debate on it. Demand that your elected representative do her job!

Home Taping is Killing Music

(Thanks, Phil!)


PayPal Wants To Go From 1000 To 2000 Employees In Asia – This Year

PayPal Wants To Go From 1000 To 2000 Employees In Asia – This Year: "

PayPal has seen the future, and apparently it lies out East. The eBay company has just announced plans to double its presence in the Asian-Pacific region by the end of 2010, and made a couple of other, separate announcements to underscore its focus on Asia.

At PayPal’s new international headquarters in Suntec City, Singapore’s technology hub in the middle of the nation’s central business district, the company said that it plans to double the number of employees in Asia Pacific from 1,000 currently to more than 2,000 by the end of the year. The company plans to add more than 100 new jobs at its international headquarters in Singapore alone, as it represents all of the company’s business outside of the United States.

New jobs will be located at all seven offices in the region including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. For its Singapore business headquarters and development center, PayPal will be recruiting Singapore-based professionals with expertise in technology, product development, infrastructure design, risk and engineering.

PayPal says it has processed more than $6 billion of total payment volume (at spot rate) in Asia Pacific in 2009, an increase of 38 percent from 2008. Since its establishment in the region in 2006, the company has struck dozens of partnerships with Asian companies including this morning’s announcements today with DBS, Singapore’s largest bank, and China UnionPay, China’s bankcard association.

As part of PayPal’s plans to help grow the e-commerce ecosystem across Asia Pacific, the company also announced that the PayPal mobile payment software development kit (SDK) will be made available to developers in the region. That way, developers can add a checkout button to accept mobile payments without the need to collect financial information from customers with just a few lines of code.

The mobile SDK, which will initially support iPhone app development, will be available in the second quarter of 2010 to developers in the region.


No Copy And Paste for Windows Phone 7 Devices

No Copy And Paste for Windows Phone 7 Devices: "

Talk about not learning from others’ mistakes. Apple has been bashed for months due to lack of copy and paste on its iPhone – never mind if you actually use clipboard or not (I bet most people don’t), it’s a smartphone, and not having this functionality makes the phone seem a lot less smart.

Users gave Apple no rest until it finally included the functionality, and it seems like Microsoft will have to go through the same ordeal on its Windows Phone 7 devices, as Engadget discovered they won’t have copy and paste, either.

Even worse, Microsoft claims that most users don’t really need clipboard functionality. Yes, it might even be true, but the power users are louder than the rest, and they’ll definitely see lack of this functionality as a huge minus.

Tags: microsoft, smartphones, windows phone 7


Digital: A Love Story, mystery game set "10 minutes in the future of 1988"

Digital: A Love Story, mystery game set "10 minutes in the future of 1988": "

Dan Kaminsky sez, 'Digital: A Love Story is set 'five minutes into the future of 1988', and is one of the most fascinating games I've played in years. Set entirely within an Amiga Workbench desktop, the concept of the game is that you are just your average BBS user, when you meet someone...interesting.'

Just played this for ten minutes and was overwhelmed with nostalgia for my Amiga 1000. Looks like LOADS of fun.

Digital: A Love Story

(Thanks, Dan!)


19th century manly slang

19th century manly slang: "From The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man, an absolutely delightful 'Dictionary of Manly 19th Century Vernacular.' Some of my faves:

Anointing: A good beating. A case for the application of salve.

Blind Monkeys: An imaginary collection at the Zoological Gardens, which are supposed to receive care and attention from persons fitted by nature for such office and for little else. An idle and useless person is often told that he is only fit to lead the Blind Monkeys to evacuate. Another form this elegant conversation takes, is for one man to tell another that he knows of a suitable situation for him. 'How much a week? and what to do?' are natural questions, and then comes the scathing and sarcastic reply, 'Five bob a week at the doctor's-- you're to stand behind the door and make the patients sick. They won't want no physic when they sees your mug.'

Cupboard Love. Pretended love to the cook, or any other person, for the sake of a meal. My guts cry cupboard; i.e. I am hungry.

Earth Bath. A grave.

Fimble-Famble. A lame, prevaricating excuse.

Gentleman of Four Outs. When a vulgar, blustering fellow asserts that he is a gentleman, the retort generally is, ' Yes, a Gentleman Of Four Outs'--that is, without wit, without money, without credit, and without manners.

O'clock. 'Like One O'clock,' a favorite comparison with the lower orders, implying briskness; otherwise 'like winkin'.' 'To know what's O'clock' is to be wide-awake, sharp, and experienced.

Rumbumptious. Haughty, pugilistic.

Snotter, or Wipe-hauler. A pickpocket whose chief fancy is for gentlemen's pocket-handkerchiefs.

Tune the Old Cow Died of. An epithet for any ill-played or discordant piece of music.

The Art of Manliness Dictionary of Manly 19th Century Vernacular