Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year! Have a great 2004!

I wish you prosperity and joy!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Monday, December 22, 2003

Suing your customers isn't just bad press, now it is more difficult legally:
[A] three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday that the RIAA can't force Internet service providers to drop the dime on their customers who are suspected of illegally trading songs online
(from, Yahoo News).
RIAA has had a rough bunch of decisions around the world :
Other officials have also recently ruled in opposition to the RIAA. A Dutch court ruled last week in favor of leading download software program, Kazaa, saying its owners aren't liable for the actions of its users. The week before, the Canadian government ruled that downloading unauthorized online music was legal - but sharing it was not. The decisions make it harder to close pirate sites. About 50% of online trading of music is done outside the USA, says Eric Garland of Internet tracker BigChampagne
(from USA Today, via Yahoo News).
The Recording industry can no longer sue its customers:
The recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders, a federal appeals court said Friday in a major decision shielding online privacy while undercutting the industry's anti-piracy campaign.
The ruling does not legalize distributing copyrighted songs over the Internet, but it will greatly increase the cost and effort for the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America to track such activity and sue those who are swapping music online
"Consumers' rights cannot be trampled upon in the quest to enforce your copyright," Deutsch [a Verizon company lawyer] said.
(from Associated Press, via The New York Times).

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase:
On Dec. 20, 1803, ownership of more than 800,000 square miles - now part or all of 15 states - was formally transferred from France to the United States at ceremonies in New Orleans. President Jefferson had wanted to buy a portion of the land, which France had acquired from Spain in 1800, but wound up getting the whole parcel for $15 million
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Best of Notable Quotables 2003 - Quote of the Year - First Place:
"If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."
- Charles Pierce in a January 5 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy's submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It is the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brothers' 12-second first powered flight that took place at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1903:

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Inflation at 38-Year Low:
U.S. consumer prices took a surprise tumble last month, dragging the underlying inflation rate to a nearly 38-year low, even as industrial output and groundbreaking for homes surged, reports showed on Tuesday
(from Reuters, via My Way).

Monday, December 15, 2003

Evidently Dean and Clark are courting the non-American vote, how odd:
Frustrated with the lack of domestic support, left-leaning website has apparently been reaching beyond American borders to generate cash revenue over the internet!
The provocative international fundraising strategy threatens to embroil the presidential candidacies of General Wesley Clark and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
Both men are named on international fundraising websites suggesting donations to
(from Drudge Report).

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam Hussein seems to have been captured by US forces in Iraq

U.S. military captured a man in the basement of a building in Tikrit, Iraq, during raids seeking Saddam Hussein, and initial efforts to verify his identity indicate he is the deposed Iraqi dictator, U.S. officials said

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

See-through public toilet:
An artist has put up a see-through loo outside an art gallery to see if anyone will use it.
But people who spend a penny there will have to get over their embarrassment, as the walls of the cubicle are made of one-way mirrored glass.
This means they can see people walking by, but those outside the Tate Britain gallery in London can't see in
(from BBC News).