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Archive for December, 2007

Unbelievably standing up for the RIAA (this one time)

December 31st, 2007

Yesterday, Marc Fisher of the Washington Post wrote a piece entiled “Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use.” (Free registration might be required to view.)
One of my favorite bloggers, Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber, referenced this briefly yesterday. I’ve seen this crop up on lots of other blogs and various media outlets, and the story is always presented in basically the way that Fisher presented it:

[I]n an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.

The problem is that’s not what the brief says at all.

Read more…

Intellectual Property

Flickr Uploadr is Bettr Than Evr

December 14th, 2007

Karmann Ghia 1I’ve been disappointed that I haven’t made better use of the digital SLR I bought last year, so I hereby dub 2008 the Year of Photogregory. Or Rittography. Or something clever that combines my name and photography.
I did get good use out of the Nikon D50 a few months back on my vacation to California for (a) Tim & Sharon’s San Francisco wedding and (b) driving down the coast in a convertible Mustang.
And yesterday I finally got around to starting to get good use out of my Flickr account via the newly released Flickr Uploadr 3.0. The Uploadr is quite nice and takes nearly all the pain out of uploading batches of photos to Flickr. (The only remaining pain is the fault of Verizon DSL, not Flickr.)
So enjoy some brightly colored San Francisco pics which make the pallette of colors in last year’s vacation to Edinburgh look damn near monochromatic.
Still to come on my Flickr account: photos from last year’s not-so-monochromatic trip to Nice and the driving-down-the-coast-in-a-convertible-Mustang portion of this year’s vacation. And promises of more regular, non-vacation, man-about-town photos as I reclaim my creative life in 2008. ;-)

Photography

Why I want to be an Italian semiotician/novelist when I grow up

December 3rd, 2007

From a New York Times Magazine interview with Umberto Eco:

I am wondering if you read Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code,” which some critics see as the pop version of your “Name of the Rose.”

I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. My answer is that Dan Brown is one of the characters in my novel, “Foucault’s Pendulum,” which is about people who start believing in occult stuff.

But you yourself seem interested in the kabbalah, alchemy and other occult practices explored in the novel.

No, in “Foucault’s Pendulum” I wrote the grotesque representation of these kind of people. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures.

Point Umberto!
I’ve frequently said that The Da Vinci Code is a dumbed-down knock-off of Foucault’s Pendulum. I’m glad Eco agrees.

Books, Writing & Literature