Brainier networking gear to the rescue. Note the list of evildoers in the opening paragraph:

Networking equipment makers are adding “intelligence” to their gear in an effort to protect bandwidth resources from being hijacked by spammers, denial-of-service attackers and peer-to-peer application users.

[…] Traditionally, Internet Protocol (IP) networks have been built for “best effort,” which means that networking devices are designed to simply pump as much traffic through big pipes of bandwidth as quickly as they can. Ensuring quality of service and implementing security are usually done at the periphery of the network.

But as networks get flooded with millions of unwanted e-mail, peer-to-peer traffic, and denial of service attacks, network operators need tools to control how much traffic comes onto their networks.

“Adding intelligence in the network will cause a lot of these problems to go away,” Christy said. “It’s much more effective to simply control who gets access to the resources.”

Slashdot on a New ATi HDTV Card

This discussion, HDTV On Your PC – ATi’s HDTV Wonder, shows just how much people are prepared to invest in the latest and greatest video tech — but it takes quite a while to get around to a key issue: broadcast flag transmission/recognition

ATi TV cards are soon to become useless (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 29, @07:49AM (#8422007)

The messages are pouring out of web forums, broadcasters have discovered the “copyright” tag they can send out with their programs when they’re delivered… and ATi very happily kow-tows to the signal and says “sorry, this program is copyrighted and cannot be recorded” (witness last week’s Enterprise).

Pretty soon all this hardware will be worthless, since nothing will be recordable except your home movies.

I need to track down what that Enterprise cite is about…..

Copyright Infringement & The Truman Show

A topical article from today’s NYTimes just before tonight’s Academy Awards show: A Movie Pondered Reality. A Lawsuit Questions Its Originality.

Mr. Mowry, an independent producer, contends that he originated the idea as well as much of the language, setting and characters that made their way into “The Truman Show” in a script he calls “The Crew.” It was written in the early 1980’s and first copyrighted in 1986, five years before Mr. Niccol’s first treatment, or synopsis, for “The Truman Show” was registered with the Writers Guild of America.

[…] Regardless of how compelling the evidence may be, cases of this sort are tough to prove. “You have to show access, how they got the script,” said Otto L. Haselhoff, a lawyer in Los Angeles. “You have to determine how much money or revenue is derived specifically from the similarities in the material.” Mr. Haselhoff said that in 2001 he helped a screenwriter, Bill Van Daalen, attain an “amicably resolved” settlement with Adam Resnick and Paramount Pictures in a copyright infringement case involving the script for the film “Lucky Numbers.”

“Sure, plaintiffs can win, but usually what happens is they settle before they go to trial, and a condition is that the settlement remain confidential,” Mr. Haselhoff said. “That’s why you never hear about them.” He paused. “They are great cases if you are representing the defendants,” he said, because movie studios “can pay a lot of money and have got a lot of defenses and theory under the law.”

The Mowry case appears to be developing an audience among film industry buffs, who see it as a whodunit dealing with the confusing matters of copyright infringement. Joy R. Butler, a lawyer in Washington, has been talking about Mr. Mowry’s case in seminars she gives on legal matters of concern to creative artists. Examining the court documents, she said, she found that “the entire concept of ‘The Truman Show’ is present in the plaintiff’s copyrighted work.”

[…] Though creative concepts and ideas are not protected by copyright laws, the unique expression of the idea is. “I have no personal involvement in this case, but the reason I mention it in my seminar is it represents a very good illustration of the separation of idea, which is not protectable by copyright law, and the expression of the idea,” Ms. Butler said. “If his case was about just another screenplay, his ‘The Crew,’ about a man trapped in a fictitious world, that would represent only his basic idea, and would not be protectable. But Mr. Mowry cites numerous examples of verbatim copying.”

[..] And he still dreams. Lately, Mr. Mowry has begun thinking he might like to adapt his “Crew” script for the stage. Why not?

Well, said Mr. Heller, his lawyer, there could be a risk in that: “Would Craig’s ‘The Crew’ be subjected to copyright infringement on the part of the people from ‘The Truman Show’?”

I Knew It!!

From Slashdot: For Exercise in New York Futility, Push Button

The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on, according to city Department of Transportation officials. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that still exist function essentially as mechanical placebos, city figures show. Any benefit from them is only imagined.

Here at MIT there are definitely some "Close Door" elevator buttons like those described above — I’ve always assumed that they were part of some Course 9 experiment to measure the mood/stress levels at MIT.

Followup: Monday’s NYTimes editorial — Press Here to Control the Universe


I’ve ruminated about posting something about this, but LawMeme has done a better job than I could: Paris Hilton And Copyright Law. The Reuters article: Paris Hilton ‘Directed’ Sex Video – Court Filing

In court papers, Marvad’s lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out because Salomon was not the sole copyright holder as he apparently had claimed in registration documents.

“Unfortunately for Salomon, the video also depicts Ms. Hilton participating fully in the creation of the video,” the motion said. “Ms. Hilton offered directorial comments and physically controlled and directed the camera.”

At one point in the video, Hilton even pushed Salomon out of the frame so as to not block the shot, the document said.

James Grimmelmann asks the right question, particularly when dealing with freaks like these:

Really. Is this the sort of factual issue on which anything ought to turn?

See also the TLA writeup: Paris Hilton ‘Directed’ Sex Video

Online Film Critics

Invasion of the Web Film Critics

Though their readership is growing, online film critics remain at the bottom of the movie-publicity food chain — far below daily newspaper critics, magazine writers and broadcast reporters. They are the last to be invited for preview screenings, are seldom quoted in movie ads and remain largely off the radar for Hollywood studios.

“Online critics have nowhere near the kind of respect that is given to other journalists,” said David Edelstein of Slate, who also is the film critic for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. “Variety doesn’t take them seriously, skipping them when it samples critics. The New York Film Critics Circle doesn’t allow onliners in. I write for a publication with between 5 (million) and 6 million readers, but most studio publicists make no distinctions between it and any other website.”

If Ye Fayle To Shoppe, Ye Colonials Shall Wynne?

Here’s a provocative history, claiming the shape of American culture lies in the pocketbook: Armies of Consumers: 1776’s Secret Weapon?

Deceptively simple, his argument goes like this: two and a half million strong and scattered along 1,800 miles of coastline, the colonists had little in common besides a weakness for what Samuel Adams derisively termed “the Baubles of Britain.” When Britain imposed stiff taxes on this appetite for stuff — without granting any political representation — Americans responded with an ingenious invention with instant and widespread appeal: the consumer boycott. By the time the First Continental Congress was convened in September 1774, transforming mass consumer mobilization into a successful political rebellion was a relatively straightforward task.

[…] It sounds far-fetched, possibly scandalous: pinning Americans’ success in the war for independence even partly on their common experience in the marketplace. Moreover the notion seems to contradict the long-standing assumption among scholars that lofty ideas elegantly expressed — and a brisk trade in political pamphlets and newspapers — were sufficient to unite the public behind the revolutionary cause.

[…] And while others, including Gordon S. Wood, another Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who teaches at Brown, predict that Mr. Breen’s thesis will be controversial, they concede his book is important. “I’m not persuaded by the attempt to explain the Revolution,” Mr. Gordon said. But he added, it is the first book about the period “to show the scale and depth of consumption in any kind of statistical detail.”

How long before this set of thoughts becomes a basis for a new interpretation of “Progress of Science and Useful Arts?”

From One of My Day Jobs (Offtopic)

With the TPP applications process drawing to a conclusion (hopefully resulting in a little less weekend work!), here’s an article from the NYTimes that I missed that echoes what I and many others have found particularly notable in this cycle of the process: Decline Seen in Science Applications From Overseas

“It’s really what we’ve been fearing all along,” said Vic Johnson, associate director for public policy at the Association of International Educators. “It’s the accumulation of a lot of things that is just causing a change in the attractiveness of the United States as a destination for students and scholars.”

The General Accounting Office study said the nation’s system for issuing visas for research in sensitive areas was unnecessarily slow and cumbersome.

For example, it said, while the State Department, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are all involved in researching candidates for visas, the three agencies do not have data systems that can work with each other. In addition, the report said, it takes the State Department two weeks just to notify consular officials abroad once it has cleared a candidate to receive a visa.

“Everyone has to be willing to put up with more delays and bureaucracy in the post-Sept. 11 world,” Representative Sherwood Boehlert, the New York Republican who is chairman of the House Committee on Science, said at a hearing on the report today. “But we still have an obligation to ensure that we are not needlessly alienating scholars from around the world who could help this nation, and that we are not unnecessarily hamstringing or burdening our universities and research centers.”

As this year’s crop of TMP general exam takers know already, there’s a pretty ambitious RFP (for a really ambitious amount of $$) out there that expects to resolve the problem cited in the second paragraph in this excerpt. As I did for them, I leave to the reader a consideration of Section C and then just how feasible such a program might be from an organizational, computational and institutional perspective.

Not What I Expected

When reading an article at Salon about the yanking of Howard Stern from some Clear Channel stations: Pulling the plug on Howard

What got Howard Stern pulled from six Clear Channel radio stations this week? The corporate line is that Howard is too raunchy for the radio giant. Clear Channel president John Hogan went up to the Hill and apologized to Congress for airing Howard’s filth on the great American airwaves.

[…] But some Salon readers and webloggers are wondering if Clear Channel getting religion about Howard has anything to do with Stern’s recent political change-of-heart. It was just recently that Stern started trashing President Bush, who he has strongly supported in the past. On the blog Music Angle Michael Fremer says: “On Tuesday, Stern took a strong stance against Bush, the Republican party and the strong stench of fascism and intolerance in the air when it comes to free speech and gay rights, among other things. John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel is a strong Bush supporter. When the war in Iraq began, Clear Channel organized rallys supporting the action and actually banned John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and anything by The B-52s. Hard to believe, but true. Stern has great sway over millions of listeners. His political stand is what got him thrown off Clear Channel’s network of stations, not his supposed ‘indecent’ remarks towards women and blacks. This is a sickening development.”

If you’ve missed Howard, Robin and friends recently, MarksFriggin.com helpfully paraphrases every Stern radio show for you.

Update: As I come late to this, I see that others have already responded to this suggestion as unlikely.