Motion Capture, Animation and Attribution

Or is this just troublemaking? Hard to tell. Penguin, Shmenguin! Those Are Savion Glover’s Happy Feet!

The animated film “Happy Feet” is a big hit for Warner Brothers and for Hollywood. Children of all ages and such.

[…] For lovers of tap dance, his dancing looks powerfully familiar. Almost exactly like the dancing of Savion Glover, at least if Mr. Glover looked like an unstoppably cheerful penguin. Which is no accident, since Mr. Glover is Mumble, or Mumble’s dancing moves.

[…] Mr. Glover himself professes total satisfaction with his credit. “My job was to be a stunt man,” he said yesterday through a spokesman in his office. “I love George Miller, and was happy to be a part of the film. I have no problem at all.”

Maybe a proper credit for Mr. Glover just slipped everybody’s minds, including Mr. Glover’s. Maybe dance, even in a film whose entire plot hinges on dance, is so far from the concerns of most people that Mr. Glover’s credit escaped everyone’s attention. But that omission seems especially worrisome when the dance being slighted is deeply rooted in the black American tradition.

“I was just so excited that someone was putting dance in the movie,” Mr. Glover told Ms. Kaufman. “I didn’t ask any questions. I was just going on the strength of tap-dancing — someone wants tap-dancing.”

Well, someone did, and maybe Mr. Glover is as happy as he says he is with his, and tap’s, new prominence. But if tap is to be respected, its greatest living exponent must be respected too. To win respect, you have to do more than be the best there is. You have to fight, meaning negotiate, for the recognition you deserve.

Another Player in the DataVeillance Game

Microsoft adds behavioral targetingpdf

The company joins Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO – news) and other major Internet sites in implementing personalized ads based on Web surfing habits, a practice known as behavioral targeting. Microsoft’s spin on the tactic, which brings demographic information together with online behavior, may make targeting more accurate, said Emily Riley, advertising analyst for JupiterResearch.

[…] Although critics worry about companies knowing too much about their customers, Microsoft and other proponents of behavioral targeting believe users ultimately benefit when they see only ads relevant to them.

“We think that if we can provide the better experience” — in advertising as well as content — “people will spend more time on our network,” Sohn said.

Slashdot: Microsoft Using Personal Data to Target Ads

Feds: “Oops”

Feds: Homeland Security project didn’t protect privacy

A Department of Homeland Security program that linked details on millions of air travelers with profiles drawn from commercial databases was plagued by “privacy missteps” that misled the public, a new government report concludes.

The Transportation Security Agency, operating under the auspices of Homeland Security, had publicly pledged two years ago–in official notices describing the Secure Flight program–that it “will not receive” or have access to dossiers on American travelers compiled by a Beltway contractor.

That promise turned out to be untrue, according to a report published Friday by DHS’ privacy office. The commercial data “made its way directly to TSA, contrary to the express statements in the fall privacy notices about the Secure Flight program,” the report says. (Click on “Secure Flight Report” to view a PDF version.)

A Few Notes From the NYTimes

A couple of news excerpts in this round-up article: Stuffing the Electronic Ballot Box

First, when the dollars get too tempting:

CNet News.com reported this week that Karim Yergaliyev, 19, one of the top 30 “diggers,” whose stories get the most diggs from fellow users, agreed to a barter transaction from a marketer, Nathan Schorr, the business development manager for JetNumbers. In exchange for free service, Mr. Yergaliyev acknowledged, he planted an article about JetNumbers, which provides “virtual” telephone numbers (news.com).

Next, a Santangelo update:

The music companies have dropped their lawsuit against her, though their lawyer, Richard Gabriel, wrote in court papers that they would probably have won. Instead, he wrote that the companies will “pursue defendant’s children.” The case against Ms. Santangelo’s daughter, 16, and son, 20, will continue (ecommercetimes.com).

Taking A Fight Online

Landis putting lab to the testpdf

Experts for Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, tapping a worldwide pool of scientific knowledge via the Internet, are marshaling a detailed rebuttal to charges that the cyclist took testosterone to fuel his comeback victory in last summer’s race.

Landis’ team has posted online the laboratory reports on which the charge is based. This step, unprecedented in an anti-doping case, has allowed independent scientists to study the evidence against Landis — 370 pages of technical documentation.

The result is a vigorous debate on Internet message forums and bulletin boards about the science underlying the charge and whether Landis, successor to Lance Armstrong as America’s leading competitive cyclist, has been unjustly accused.

[…] Landis’ defense team calls its decision to publicize the evidence against him the “wiki defense,” referring to an online application allowing members of the public to collaborate on encyclopedias, dictionaries, computer programs and other services.

The idea is to counteract the advantages that anti-doping agencies have in bringing cases against athletes. […]

Sony Rootkit Copy Protection Settlement

Users compensated in Sony CD row

Record label Sony BMG will compensate customers in California whose computers were damaged by anti-piracy software on CDs sold by the firm.

It settles a long-running lawsuit between Sony BMG and a number of US states about the nature of digital rights management software on CDs.

The episode caused a great deal of embarrassment for the world’s second largest record label.

Agreements with other states are expected to follow.

See Sony BMG settles with 39 statespdf

Cat and Mouse Games With the FCC

Special Treat in a Box

In less than a week the official uncensored version of the video has been viewed by over two million people on YouTube alone. In the process “Saturday Night Live” appears to have become the first scripted comedy on a broadcast network to use the Web to make an end-run around the prying eyes of both its internal censors and those of the Federal Communications Commission, whose jurisdiction over “Saturday Night Live” effectively ends at the Web frontier.

Action on the AllofMP3 Front

Record firms sue Russian MP3 site

They are suing Moscow-based Mediaservices, which runs Allofmp3.com and another music site, allTunes.com.

The record labels say the sites are selling songs without permission. But Allofmp3.com argues it is paying royalties to a Russian licensing body.

The music industry says that the Russian licensing group does not have the authority to collect and distribute royalties.

Later: Slashdot story says the RIAA is going for broke – RIAA Goes for the Max Against AllofMP3

OT: Under the Weather

H, everyone.

Sorry about the slow posting rate. A mishap has left me with a broken ankle and downtime to put myself back together. While, under some circumstances, that might mean *more* posting, this one is having an opposite effect. I expect that will change soon, but not immediately.