Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I confess, I haven't been updating the blog regularly. As you see, my addiction eats into the available time I have for blogging.

This isn't the type of thing you want to say in public, but, well, when the PC first came out I started playing Rogue.

Yes, that's right, I am an addict of the silly little game where you are an @ symbol running through a fixed space font maze battling letters of the alphabet. Players of rogue usually several terrible bloody deaths at the hands of Hs, Cs, Ts and the dreaded W.

Those few times you get past the Ws...Rogue players find themselves face to face with Gs, Us, Vs and the almost invincible D. The Ds are able to through dashes at you. The Vs take away your hit points and the Gs can run faster your @ sign.

Earlier this year, I discovered a java version of Rogue on the internet. I was safe at the time. My laptop did not have a keypad...so I was able to stay away from the maze.

But, with my expensive new computer, I can start playing rogue again.

Friday, July 25, 2003

The programming feat for the the day: I added a rating report to the community sites. This way people can view the various web site ratings. It will also help me figure out what sites to promote to site of the day.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

The big news, I spent the day and added a new Site of the Day feature to Salt Lake Sites, and Provo. I figured that since July 24th, 1847 was the start of Salt Lake, I would make Pioneer Day the start of my new program.

Monday, July 14, 2003

To add to the previous post, the EFF's call to support Fair Labeling for copy-protected media is right on the nose. It is showing a little covert action that the RIAA is taking to try and change the current fair use laws. Other letters such as the one against CIPA are correctly addressing very important issues.

I was reading through the EFF website. I like reading different people's opinion on issues, but hate when their opinions really are clouded by logical fallacies. The EFF has a letter to Congress asking for hearings on the P2P and the musical industry's current move to start prosecuting people for having P2P servers that share unauthorized copies of music. The first paragraph in the letter has this plea:

As a constituent, I urge you to call for Congressional hearings on how to compensate artists without breaking the Internet or turning millions of American citizens into criminals.

The logical fallacy of this statement is that it implies the RIAA and the music industry is the group that is "turning people into criminals." The truth of the matter is that the people who put up their little KaZaA servers to exchange music have turned themselves into criminals. Installing a server and sharing music is an act of volition.

The fact that a large number of people engage in behavior X does not change whether or not behavior X is currently illegal. It does, however, indicate that there needs to be a dramatic effort to look at and adjust existing laws. The fact that millions of Americans are posed against a rather corrupt music industry in what will be a very loud and angry fight should be a concern for Congress. The fact that, in reaction to this illicit copying of works, both the computer industry and music industry are created extremely intrusive new technologies should be a matter of concern.

My fear is that by making logically incorrect statements, organizations like the EFF are really not helping the cause of creating a better copyright law, but are simply adding to tensions.

P2P is a situation like the speed limit where a large number of people believe that behavior-x should be allowed.

We are also in an area where there is not a set of easily enforceable rules. With the development of modern computers, we've gone from a state where it was difficult to copy material to a point where it is a breeze; so the real logical argument is of the EFF is that copying and sharing music is no longer a difficult chore and is a difficult behavior to control.

We have a serious problem. What should we do? Should we depend on the system of laws and individual restraint? Should we legalize unlimited copying of music? Should we demand that the music industry create better mechanisms to assure easier, less expensive access to the large music libraries? Should we have more intrusive systems that control how and when people can listen to music?

The disconnected, flawed arguments like the one above are only adding fuel to the flame and are not getting the world closer to a better system of law.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

I ported the last chapter of The Roots of Sound Rational Thinking to the new format. The format looks good, but I worry that that the author will have a hard time adhering the the HTML. I guess I need to figure out how to write an HTML parser in PHP so I can keep the the format correct.

Friday, July 04, 2003

I am finally finishing up the new format for The Roots of Sound Rational Thinking. Here is a taste of the new site: The Big Puzzle.

This page, of course, is PHP/MySQL driven. I have started documentation on the programming process.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

I got my new computer in the mail today. It is a refurbished HP Pavilion...about 1GhZ with 256 MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive and a DVD player. My laptop skipped when playing DVDs, I suspect that this new computer will handle them with little ado. I got the system from Tiger Direct for about $375.00. It is not a budget buster...Well, being unemployed, all expenses are budget busters.

The machine has XP, so I get to learn a new operating system. Best of all, it has a flat screen monitor. Hurray.
I made a nice little retort on slashdot to the "Information wants to be free" argument that seems to justify everything. Unfortunately, I was in anonymous mode.

Anyway, was the retort:

Buyers want all goods to be free. Sellers want all goods to have a high price. The goods themselves really don't "want" anything. Inanimate objects really don't have complex desires and social lives like the gurus pretend they do.

Saying a car "wants" to go fast or information "wants" to be free is just an anthtropomorphism. It is you, as a buyer, assigning your emotions on to an object.

Although OSS appears to be a matter of discussing ideals, from a market perspective it is still about exchanging goods. When work hard to create something of value, you don't want to give it away. Also, there is a drive of artisans to create, trade and reinvest.

This new idea that all intellectual creations must be given to the public with no benefit to the creator is simply a one sided argument. The great statements like "information wants to be free" is rather meaningless.

Basically, the buyer is stating that information is extremely easy to steal, borrow, or what ever.