2003 April 1

(entry last updated: 2003-04-02 08:36:29)

  • Declan’s Politech has a report from Penn State that the P2P police are coming….

  • Can anybody explain this graphic from an article from the NYTimes on the increase in HDTV sales? This excerpt from the accompanying graphic (click on the thumbnail for the full image) on the pros and cons of alternative technologies mystifies me – what happens to plasma TVs at 6500 feet above sea level?

  • Even Madonna appears to be afraid of becoming a Dixie Chick – so she’s withdrawing her anti-war video of her "American Life" single.

  • BoingBoing plumbs the depths of cluelessness in an American Bar Association discussion of WiFi. Ernie the Attorney has a few points to make as well.

  • Derek points out that Ed Felten has gotten his hands on the MPAA materials employed in the state super-DMCA push.

  • The sale of SonicBlue assets to D&M seems to have fallen through; so an auction is coming. (Reuters via NYTimes)

  • Here’s how out of touch I am – I never considered this possibility when discussions of copyright and game "mods" came up: Nude volleyball angers game makers

    Japanese games developer Tecmo has warned of legal action against anyone who published information rendering the women in Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball completely nude during gameplay.

    “We’re watching you very closely! Please do not post things that infringe copyrights and other legal issues,” said the firm on its official website.

    This is not the first time that a video game featuring a cyber babe has been altered by game enthusiasts. Patches to remove the clothes of the most famous virtual heroine of all, Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider games, are widely available on the internet.

    Update: If you’re curious to know just how far these patches go, here’s a directory of screen captures. Looking at these images, it’s quite clear what the game designers had in mind, even with the bathing suits, so I’d be really surprised to see that litigation would actually get them anywhere.
    BE ADVISED: a lot of effort has gone into making these images "anatomically correct!"

  • Salon reports that it appears that the latest round of bombings has taken Internet access away from Iraq.

  • Mark Mulligan speculates on Radiohead’s reaction to the widespread Internet availability of their yet-to-be-released album, Hail to the Thief:

    So why aren’t Radiohead up in arms. Firstly, it is down to the nature of the band themselves. Even though they are a multi-million selling international rock band now, they stick close to their roots and have retained much of their artistic integrity, opting for experimentation over sing-along stadium anthems. Secondly, they have always been ahead of the curve in utilising new technology and recognising its marketing and promotional potential. (See our report on Radiohead’s Budy Bot for Amnesiac) . Their last two albums were widely shared online, ahead of and after release, yet were massive hits, establishing the band stateside. Both albums benefited hugely from the underground buzz created online. Not many albums manage to make it to the top of the US charts and still retain an underground, alternative vibe.

    Radiohead are an innovative band who place their music and fans ahead of record sales, yet as a direct result, the sales follow. I remember seeing a Radiohead gig before they were signed (many aeons ago *sighs*) and was blown away by them then. They’ve stuck to their guns and make a refreshing change to the highly manufactured air that hangs around today’s charts. But it is their whol- hearted embracement of the Internet that sets them apart and establishes them as a model of good practice for the Music Industry.

  • Ken Hamidi’s continuing efforts to tweak Intel’s tail get another hearing – does the owner of a network get to police speech? This has been kicking around for some time, and I have to admit right now that I have a Zippy the Pinhead moment every time I hear the expression "Trespass to Chattels!"

  • CNet also reports on the ongoing discussions around the DRM specification for MPEG-4. Note the persistent language of control, and to whom that control is assumed to rightfully belong:

    “In developing this specification, we spent a significant amount of time gathering feedback from major content owners,” ISMA President Tom Jacobs said in a statement. “As a result, our specification does not bind them to utilize specific rights and key management systems or preselected solution vendors. This allows content owners to retain control over critical business processes and related decisions.”

    More thorny issues that awaited resolution included the establishment of a standard way of evaluating and managing “trust,” or the degree to which a certain player or device that is downloading media is considered secure. That will require some kind of entity that certifies players and devices after a high degree of technical analysis, Koenen said.