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suggest a story: relay@mindjack.com

Monday, March 31, 2003

CBS refuses Gateway for copyright URL in ad
CBS, angry over a URL in a Gateway commercial, refused to carry that ad from the bovine-friendly computer company. ""We don't accept advocacy advertising, and this falls under that umbrella," said Dana McClintock, a network spokesman."

The URL, www.ripburnrespect.com, is for a copyright education site sponsored by Gateway. It includes introductions to fair use and free music on-line.

RipBurnRespect is a public service program supported by Gateway to help music fans understand the ways that digital media formats can make music more enjoyable – as well as some of the responsibilities that come with using this powerful technology. We also want to make sure that artists and the recording industry hear the consumer’s voice – after all, their purchases keep the industry going.

(thanks to Marsha Debonis!)
:: posted by Bryan, 5:20 PM |

Studio minions survey moviegoers to check for piracy
In recent screenings, agents of major movie studios were noticed patrolling theaters in order to nab screen-capturing pirates in the act.

People who attended at least two recent Warner screenings --
including the one on March 18 for "Dreamcatcher" at the ArcLight
Hollywood theater -- said night-vision-equipped security guards
walked the darkened aisles looking for evidence of illicit taping.

Media members and their guests were told to leave cell phones,
pagers and other electronic devices outside the theater. People were
then scanned with an electronic wand to ensure compliance.


An official with News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox said that in the last couple of weeks the studio banned cell phones at screenings and already had been successful using night-vision goggles and binoculars to catch pirates.

We'd do well to remember Lessig's admonition: it's about control.
(via Jesse Walker)
:: posted by Bryan, 3:40 PM |

Saturday, March 29, 2003

New Game Blog
Corante has launched Got Game? a new blog about video games and the gaming industry, run by RIT professor Andrew Phelps.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4:59 PM |

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Al-Jazeera's English site woes
Al-Jazeera, the leading Arab cable news channel, has launched an English-language site. However, it's running into problems with bandwidth and hackers.

The new English-language site has no multi-media capability but carried photos from the footage showing the U.S. prisoners of war. The Arabic-language site had the video, prompting a flood of traffic on Sunday.

Lycos cited that video as the factor that made Al Jazeera the most searched term on search engine, generating three times as much search activity as anything else.

The surge traffic badly hit the site's performance. Product manager Roopak Patel of performance tracker Keynote Systems said the site's performance "went to hell" on March 23.

(thanks to Rolin Moe!)
:: posted by Bryan, 5:35 PM |

Monday, March 24, 2003

PC Forum Liveblogging
PC Forum is going on right now in Arizona and all the usual suspects are blogging it as it happens. Check out Cory Doctorow's comments on the Mitch Kapor/Tim O'Reilly discussion on open source, Doc Searls' ongoing commentary, and Dan Bricklin's photo album for starters.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 5:47 PM |

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Sites' Blog Shut Down
As we speculated about earlier, CNN has indeed asked correspondent Kevin Sites to shut down his blog. Sites had been posting photos, reports and audio from Iraq and the surrounding region.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 12:13 AM |

In the new issue of Mindjack...
The State of Digital Rights Management
Byran Alexander reports from the Berkeley DRM Conference

In February the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology held a conference to demonstrate and push the limits of DRM. For a sunny weekend in northern California, representatives of computer science, entertainment, media companies, Congress, the FTC, European copyright law, and the occasional cypherpunk, offered their versions of DRM, while holding each other’s notions up to fierce scrutiny.

Two Degrees of Separation
by Sarah Granger

In an entirely unscientific study, Sarah examines the uncanny social connections that sprout from the Silicon Valley populus.

Editor's Note:

We did a slight redesign to the site. If it's not displaying properly you may have to clear your browser's cache. Sorry for the inconvience.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 12:09 AM |

Friday, March 21, 2003

Blogosphere turns from sex to war
Freeserve claims that search queries for war have outpaced searches for sex.
:: posted by Bryan, 9:12 AM |

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The University of Toronto has launched the Internet Censorship Explorer (ICE), a distributed, collaborative application for testing where internet content access is restricted.

The Internet Censorship Explorer (ICE) is "real time" censorship enumeration software. ICE demonstrates state-sponsored content filtering and blocking by delivering the content of blocked URLs to end users. After completing a query form, ICE will attempt to access the user-specified URL or domain using proxy servers located in the designated country. ICE will then display the results returned by the proxy server.

This is part of a larger project from CitizenLab.

(via Wired and BNA.com)
:: posted by Bryan, 10:13 AM |

Monday, March 17, 2003

Creative Commons enters versioning
The Creative Commons is soliciting feedback on its licensing scheme. Lessig asks for your participation.
:: posted by Bryan, 10:49 AM |

Thursday, March 13, 2003

CNN's Kevin Sites Launches War Blog
CNN correspondent Kevin Sites, covering Iraq and the surrounding region, has started a blog, using Audblog to post audio reports from the region. His previous journal entries, which had made their way to BoingBoing have also been posted to the site. It'll be interesting to see what CNN does with it, if anything. Will they play it up? Make it part of their site? Shut it down? In any event, this is surely a milestone for blogging.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 10:47 PM |

collaborative, multimedia, mystery games
A new article sketches out what might be a developing genre: multi-player, multi-media, interactive, collaborative mystery fiction.

There's a history to this. The awful film A.I. was supported (and exceeded) by "The Beast," an ambitious marketing scheme that carefully knitted an entire world into our own, Borges-style. Numerous and referential Web sites, telephone numbers, and clues seeded in AI's trailers formed this subcreated world. A group of players, the Cloudmakers, formed to collaboratively explore and solve the game. Some of the Beast's designers, the Puppetmasters - perhaps - got involved. At the same time, Electronic Arts released Majestic. This game "pushed" content at players through communication media in their personal lives - cell phones, pagers, email, fax, URLs. This X-Files-themed game's slogan was "it plays you," and might have done a boom business but for 9-11.

Herold updates us on the field, pointing out resources like the Alternate Reality Gaming Group, Dead Drop, and Unfiction. Some games are live as of this blogging, like NoahBoddy and Search4E.
:: posted by Bryan, 4:10 PM |

Cringley on internet advertising
Cringley's new column takes on net advertising:

Right now spammers waste 99.9 percent of their effort contacting the wrong people. They don't particularly want to do that, but at this point they simply don't care since the cost of such inefficiency is so low. But they also want to remain in business. Here is the key: If they were contacting only the right people, it wouldn't be called spam. So we -- spammers and the spammed alike -- have a common interest in finding a way to efficiently target only the people who really want to buy Viagra. I believe it can be done.

Any ideas?

:: posted by Bryan, 12:50 PM |

South Korean e-news net leader
Oh My News offers hard-hitting, and widely-read news for South Korea.

The paper also played a part in helping to swing public opinion behind Roh Moo-hyun during December's presidential election campaign.

At that time, OhmyNews registered as many as 20 million hits a day, although it has now settled down to around 15 million hits...
The internet is where many South Koreans, particularly the younger generation, get their news first, bypassing the traditional media.

The country is one of the most wired in the world, with nearly 70% of households enjoying broadband connections.

There are now several internet newspapers in South Korea, but OhmyNews is the most popular - and one of the most radical.

(thanks to Pablo Beckham!)
:: posted by Bryan, 12:33 PM |

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Video from SXSW
Wes Felter's been providing some streamed and archived video from SXSW Interactive. Check out Cory Doctorow's talk on The Hollywood Agenda, and Justin Hall's Geek Out session.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 7:34 PM |

McDonald's to Offer WiFi
The AP reports that McDonald's will offer wireless Internet acess in ten McDonald's restaurents in NYC, eventually rolling out to 300 restaurants by the end of the year. Customers will get a free hour of access witht he purchase of an extra value meal -- another hour of access will cost you another meal, or $3.

But will the french fry packets be warchalked?
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 7:01 PM |

Costikyan on the GDC
Greg Costikyan has posted a great report on the Game Developers Conference, and more generally, the state of the game industry, on his weblog.
The game is a virtually infinitely plastic medium; it's adaptable to every technology from the neolithic on. Digital games have explored a tiny fraction of the possible--particularly tiny because of their (up until recently) inherently single-player nature. Inexorable business forces--fuelled at least as much by the lack of imagination of publishers as their risk averseness--have nonetheless squeezed the range of the commercially possible down to a few hackneyed lines. Yet at the same time, developers have become far more aware of the potential, far more respectful of their own history and the promise it held, far more educated about the possibilities of design--and consequently far more frustrated at the narrowing paths into which their talents are channelled.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 6:40 PM |

Balance Act
The Balance Act, introduced by Zoe Lofgren, would expand personal use copyrights for digital materials.

(via Copyfight)
:: posted by Bryan, 4:03 PM |

Monday, March 10, 2003

In the new issue of Mindjack...
More Machine than Flesh
a review essay of Rodney Brooks's Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us
by J. Johnson

Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us is the latest book by Rodney Brooks, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The author’s affiliation is telling. It informs the reader of Brooks’ academic and research accomplishments and, in addition, it prepares him or her for the enthusiastic, techno sophisticated view of the world for which the MIT is well known.

Splinter Cell for Xbox
reviewed by Jane Pinckard and Justin Hall

There is something creepily naïve about a game which unproblematically posits you, protagonist Sam Fisher, as a willing and deathly efficient tool of an ultra-secret U.S. government organization in a setting rife with contemporary geo-political machinations.

Vonage Digital Voice Phone Service
reviewed by Raffi Krikorian

Raffi takes a look at the latest attempt to bring telephone over the Internet.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 6:42 PM |

Friday, March 07, 2003

World of Ends
The Cluetrain Manifesto conspirator and Dave Wienberger have released a new work, called World of Ends.

When it comes to the Net, a lot of us suffer from Repetitive Mistake Syndrome. This is especially true for magazine and newspaper publishing, broadcasting, cable television, the record industry, the movie industry, and the telephone industry, to name just six.

Thanks to the enormous influence of those industries in Washington, Repetitive Mistake Syndrome also afflicts lawmakers, regulators and even the courts.

Their main points:

The Nutshell

1. The Internet isn't complicated
2. The Internet isn't a thing. It's an agreement.
3. The Internet is stupid.
4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
5. All the Internet's value grows on its edges.
6. Money moves to the suburbs.
7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends.
8. The Internet’s three virtues:
a. No one owns it
b. Everyone can use it
c. Anyone can improve it
9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it?
10. Some mistakes we can stop making already

Eric Norlin adds: "The internet pushes everything that touches it toward the public domain".

Speaking of which, World of Ends is released under a Creative Commons Public Domain license.

(via BoingBoing)
:: posted by Bryan, 10:10 AM |

Thursday, March 06, 2003

A virtual university to help farmers grow more and better crops in the face of droughts was announced.
Semi-Arid Tropics Virtual University (SAT-VU) will use "spoke and wheel" structures to get information to Indian farmers suffering under drought conditions.

Addressing a press conference, Prof Swaminathan said, “To mitigate the effects of drought, there is an urgent need for sustained information which can be obtained from modern science and reach the rural farmers.” The three important factors necessary for developing the VU are the 3Ms - meteorology, management and marketing, he said.

Funding comes from International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (Icrisat) and the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF),

(via eLearn)
:: posted by Bryan, 2:44 PM |

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

No WiFi and No Ethernet Make Editor Something Something
In case you're wondering where the new issue of Mindjack is -- half of it's sitting on my iBook's hard drive and the other half is in my web mail account. But I'm stuck here in northern New Brunswick without my DSL connection and, wouldn't you know, my iBook's modem crapped out, so piecing it together is proving to be a bit of a problem. Hopefully I'll be able to work something out. In the meantime, please enjoy the fine blogging in Daily Relay.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 3:18 PM |

Monday, March 03, 2003

blogging for cow drink
Dr. Pepper is trying out blogs as marketing tools for its new drink, Raging Cow. On the one hand, they're trying to get bloggers interested, and therefore to use the blogosphere's surfacing/linking abilities to create free publicity. On the other, the drink has a Website which looks distinctly bloglike, and is powered by Moveable Type (featuring "Milk it" as a discussion cue).

Doc Searls gives it a spinning kick:

“It seems ironic that a company would want to manipulate a phenomenon that’s so generally bent on exposing things,” says alpha blogger Doc Searls. “In my view blogs are the antidote to viral marketing.”

(via Doc Searls)
:: posted by Bryan, 11:16 AM |

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Class snobbery on the Web via digital i.d.?
Disenchanted argues that classism is heading for the internet, partly as a response to leveling search and discovery teachnologies:

    One such tool is the digital identity, or the electronic signature. With Public Key Cryptography you can create an electronic key that cannot be forged, and that establishes the identity part. But these keys can also be signed by someone else, and the goal is the transference of trust: if I trust Charles, and Charles signs Vyvian's key, then I can now trust that Vyvian is who Charles says he is. If Vyvian then signs Reginald's key then Reginald is indirectly trusted, but not as much as Vyvian. If it turns out that Reginald has plans to spoil the party by signing Bubba's key, then everybody can punish Reginald by setting their software to distrust Reginald's key and any key signed with it.

    The only limit on digital classes is how far they can scale, because after a certain point it becomes impossible to guarantee the... er... quality of a person with a signed key. It's not like your butler can't trace the naughty fellow who let the riff-raff join, but that as you get closer to the base of the pyramid there simply aren't enough butlers to keep up. The most effective digital classes won't grow much larger than a few thousand members.

:: posted by Bryan, 5:07 PM |

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