Technolotics #13 – Kiddy Fiddling Slander Monkeys



Listen: Episode 13
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Technolotics gets its first wikispam
Adds for Viagra and phentermine
Changes could only be seen by looking at the wiki code The Page in Question
Wiki article on wikispam Wiki Spam

DVD John Joins Mp3tunes

Jon Lech Johansen, cracker of DVD encryption with DeCSS and creater of JHymn (which removes DRM crippling from iTunes store bought tracks) has joined Mp3tunes [1]
Mp3tunes is a start up created by Michael Robertson, creator of the Lindows linux distribution, which allows users to purchase songs in *.mp3 format, and ‘controversially’ to download those songs an unlimited number of times
Mp3s are in 192kbps VPR and artists get approx 60c of the 88c price (as opposed to roughly 7c of an iTunes music store track)
This feature has in the past lead to a lawsuit from
Johansen is to work on a new project ‘Oboe’ – which will ‘”bring digital music into the 21st century”
Since Norway adopted EU anti-circumvention legislation Johansen is no longer free from legal threats
A column in this weeks wallstreet journal profiles Johansens bumpy legal history [2]

Johansens teen years were eaten up in trials, as they recording industry tried unsucessfully to have him imprisoned for cracking (aged just 15) the ‘protection’ which ment DVD’s couldn’t be played on open operating systems like Linux
Johansen initially one a prestigious award for developing DeCSS
Later his computer systems were siezed and he was charged (but ultimately not convicted) with gaining unauthorised access to a DVD
Johansen’s legal costs were met by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) [3], who fight to protect citizen’s privacy and consumer rights online
Publishing or linking to DeCSS code is still illegal in the US

The EFF disect new EU DRM proposals

An EU working group have proposed a DRM toolkit – a set of standards for public access to creative and copyrighted works accross europe
EFF allege These requirements would preclude developments and use of free and open source devices and..creative commons works [4]
They further suggest that the proposed compulsory DRM remove fair use style rights extant in copyright law and practise
The EFF point out that DRM is not equivalent to a contract as it can be summarily renegotiated at any point in the future by the “rights holder” with no recourse – e.g.: Apples alterations to the amount ot times an iTunes track and be burned
Here’s the original proposal

The Big Kahuna

Microsoft hops on the Mail 2.0 bandwaggon with Kahuna
Kahuna will be the new interface for hotmail – a service which in the past has lost public confidence due to practices like auto deleting old mail when its tiny (still only 2MEG) storage was used up, and deleting accounts which have lain unused for periods as short as one month
The beta is available to 200,000 users of Hotmail
The mail beta uses AJAX to create a responsive client Article on Kahuna
No word yet as to whether it will work with all browser – three guesses

Google Blog Post

Microsoft has allied with RealNetworks the maker of the Real media player and Yahoo to combine their instant messaging systems.
Real in return dropped a 1 billion lawsuit against Microsofts use of the windows monopoly to promote windows media player. Lawsuit was will be settled for about 700 million to be paid over the next 18 months.
They will also work together on new DRM tech and on an ‘anti-apple’ online music strategy
Google and Comcast are interested in buying AOL from Time Warner – providing Google with access to what exactly?
Google also partnered with Sun Microsystems – Dvorak on TWIT speculated that this partnership was merely to spread google bar (its stated purpose), and worry microsoft
Others speculate – despite Googles flat denial – an online thin clinet office suite – with Google Earth and Print integration. One argument against this, is that Google, unlike apple, do not have a history of flat out denial followed by u-turn. E.g: Google browser. Additionally, they may wish to develop technology mearly to keep their options open
Google and Microsofts actions have been seen by many as a frank competition for the future of the online space – a war that microsoft is far from guarenteed to win

Google software and online products are free to use
Google is actively producing Web 2.0 applications that Microsoft has spent years failing to comercialise – with its .net infrastructure
Google has show huge flexability and speed of product development – in stark contrast to Microsofts historic ‘3 times to get it right’ iterative development process
Microsoft has only had two original ideas Clippy and the BSOD
Google have, by and large kept their goody two shoes image, while Microsoft have gained huge enimy within the industry and amongst cusomers
Google’s gross revenue shot up 96% to 1.58 billion this year in the 3rd quarter and its stock price went up to $342 about 11%. Most of this revenue was from text ads that are placed on google searches and about 1 billion in net revenue


Microsoft are 3 times googles size
Historically highly effective competitors, whereas google have shied away from competition where radical improvement on existing tech is not possible
Microsoft have huge install base and market share with Windows – can bundle any app they like post anti-trust

How to be Happy

Research on Happyness is in psychological vogue The Sunday Times Article
Recent years have seen the launch of a journal of happieness studies and the publication of 3,000 papers on the topic
Psychologists differentiate between immediate Joy, and a satisfaction with ones life
Happyness seems to have a strong genetic component – with even major life changes having little long term effect
A study of the top 10% happiest of students has determined they have the most social contacts – although given the history American blindspots of status and class – these variables may not have been considered – additionally its easy to confuse cause and effect. People like happy people
Martin Seligman, president of the APA – has led the legitamisation of happiness research

Previously known for the discovery of learned helplessness – which has had an effect on the development of cognitive therapy
Seligman funded 50 research groups to study the problem
Researchers have discovered six virtues recogised crossculturally – wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence
Humans seem to have a bias tword negative feelings – 4 of the six universal human emotions are negative
Positive emotions seem to originate from the higher “less bestial” part of the brian, the frontal cortex
We seem rigged with evolved pain and danger recognition mechanisms, which prevent us from being happy – making us take good things for granted
Despite this researchers remain convinced that appreciable improvements in happiness are achieveable

The article mentions two take home methods of increasing your happiness

    Write down three things that went well and why, every day for a week.
    Identifying your signature strengths and use one of them in a new and different way every day for a week.

Cynics might also note that Seligman charges 10 dollars to register on his website for happiness tips [5]

Whats behind the Revolution

1 up take a look behind Nintendos thinking, and the development of their ‘revolutionary’ controller

1 up article

Although the new controller seems very different its in keeping with Nintendos history of design innovation – the GameCube controller was the exception
The new control system endevours to make gaming a more social activity – and remove control barriers to entry
Nintendo see online as a buzzword which hides the lack of innovation in game development – a little rich from a company who’s output is almost entirely sequel based
Nintendo is taking a completely different approach to expanding the gaming market

Rather than Microsoft and Sony – adding non gaming features, and ever higher graphics – they aim to expand the market to all age groups – make gaming more casual, and in a word, fun

The remote controll format is as much an asthetic device to remove the intimidation as a usability decision
In a sense the revolution remote is a way of skipping a technology generation – real time tracking is still to primitive to use for anything more sensitive than a parlour game (e.g.: Eyetoy)

almost equal functionality in a much simpler – though still bleeding edge – technology

Latest in a long line of movement based controllers – from power glove, to Capcoms Onimusha sword controller – yet managed to be (in concept at least) more accurate, yet more general than any

Bram Cohen, woos hollywood

BitTorrent easily allows downloading of files
BitTorrent now accounts for at least 20% of net
Cohen has made no attempt to allow his users any degree of privacy
and has no problem when the MPAA and RIAA launch suits against people posting copyright-infringing material
Last month venture firm DCM-Doll Capital Management invested $8.75 million in the startup
Cohen suffers from Asperger’s syndrome

story on cnn money

Media Pimp

Prince of Persia in flash [6]
Two irish Geeks and a TV [7]
Ajax Calendar – only works in IE! [8]
Fast Seduction [9]


2 thoughts on “Technolotics #13 – Kiddy Fiddling Slander Monkeys

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