Tag Archives: Law


Burning down libraries remotely

Seeing this article over at Wired (Public Libraries, Private DRM) reminded me of a cool thing you can do to help accelerate the downfall of civilization:

  • Invent a DRM scheme with revocation (naturally, most of the ones coming out, such as AACS, have this).
  • Get useful content recorded with your scheme, then into libraries, through the force of the marketplace.
  • Let people go on thinking that libraries are a way to preserve cultural content beyond its life in the market and outside of the hands of future censors.
  • Revoke, revoke, revoke! The content magically disappears off library shelves (given that devices can no longer read the content, ever again).
  • Instead of revoking explicitly, you can also go out of business, release a new and incompatible version of your DRM scheme, have a bug in your DRM, let your servers go down, etc. The possibilities are wide open.

“The Eternal Value of Privacy”

I don’t usually link-blog, but this is a good piece:

Wired News: The Eternal Value of Privacy


Field v. Google

Wow, how amazingly different. Today I read a legal document, for fun, and found it readable and informative, and it did not raise my blood pressure.

This is a pretty interesting case. It highlights some of the complexities surrounding copyright law, and comes to what I consider to be reasonable conclusions. One almost thinks that Field tried this not to win, but to lose and thereby establish some precedent for further decisions, or to at least draw some public attention to the matters.

So if it turns out that this is all an elaborate ruse by some intellectual freedom fighter, or Google itself, you read it here first. Just don’t cache it, OK?



“Analog Hole Bill Would Impose a Secret Law”

I wonder what other such gems can be found in the land of the intersection between technology and law…

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » Analog Hole Bill Would Impose a Secret Law


Oh, patents

You could claim that it’s a result of having lived in the world in which this had already been invented, or something like that, but the first time I ever thought about hot-swapping software modules, this is the basic scheme I came up with in about 10 minutes of contemplation. To think that I might be legally unable to use such a method because someone else wrote a massively oververbose document about it just seems wrong…
Real time control system and method for replacing software in a controlled system – US Patent 5421017

Patentstorm looks like it might be a useful resource.

(I happened upon this while doing the search for ‘entitization’ mentioned in the last post.)


An ounce of social engineering…

Things make me laugh. Like, for instance: Grins banned from passport pics, wherein it is declared that there are rules for passport pictures that say you can’t smile because it confuses face recognition systems.

What’s really going on is that the face recognition systems don’t work at all, and they just want to get people who don’t want to be found to run around airports smiling all the time.

It’s also interesting that in my three-and-a-half seconds of research for this post, the second hit in a web search reveals this paper: Smiling Faces are Better for Face Recognition. Har, and I mean har. Of course, we can’t trust that paper, right, cuz the first author is named Yaser.

And speaking of things that are amusing in various ways and simultaneously related to face recognition, I love the term ‘eigenfaces’ (Eigenfaces for recognition).