Here’s an email I sent to Magnatune today about their recent change to the Creative Commons downloads they offer. I’ll let you know if I get a response.
For years now I’ve been licensing Magnatune albums under the Creative Commons license. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I presume from your page on it, you think so too:
I’ve been promoting magnatune to my friends and family for years. I play your music at houseparties. I write about you on my weblog. I’ve made the occaisional CD for my parents, and written on the label that it’s from magnatune and that it’s fully licensed. I mention you every time someone is talking about music downloads. All in the spirit of the Creative Commons.
(I would also hand out your cards, but I keep emailing you asking for them, and still haven’t got any.)
But now you’ve stuck the robot voices in your creative commons licensed music. That sucks. I can see why you want to do it for your radio feeds, but messing with the Creative Commons stuff is just silly. I want to listen to creative commons music. I don’t want your music under normal terms and conditions; for me, it’s very important that it’s creative commons. It’s what I believe in, and I thought you did too.
Still, I can use the creative commons license to strip the speech out of the tracks, and then use them as I normally do – that’s the benefit of the license you use. But it seems silly to make me have to do that.
Please, please, reconsider degrading the creative commons idea like this.
Adam posts about Google’s web accelerator, and gives a fairly simple explaination about what’s going on. Or even more simply, because the web accelerator “clicks” on everything on your behalf, when you log into a website, google might click on things you rather it didn’t. Like logout, or delete, or reset, or so on.
The argument is now going back and forth on technical points (like RFCs), but that’s missing the point. Basically, Google are acting like a prick. They’re doing something that they know is going to, rightly or wrongly, cause a lot of trouble. Hence they’re being pricks. Plain and simple. I don’t care whether indeed what they are doing is right or wrong, what the interpretation of “SHOULD NOT” might be. But the fact that the arguments are about details like that is just an indication that the argument is occuring between techies who lack basic social skills. Continue reading
Politicians occaisionally go around wringing their hands, bemoaning the fact that the general populace don’t hold them in high regard (usually just after nobody bothers to vote at European elections). They usually flail around, looking for reasons for our general contempt for them, blaming politics for “not being exciting”, the media for portraying them in a bad light, and so on. But recently I’ve realised what makes me dislike politicians more than anything else – their complete impunity. Continue reading
Chip and Pin, Eh? (1,2,3). Ed, you’re wrong – if you have your card in your pocket, and you haven’t disclosed you PIN to anyone, you aren’t liable for any transactions that take place. It’s exactly the same as with signatures. If you’ve lost your card, you’re liable for anything that takes place before you report it lost. It’s exactly the same as with signatures.
To the anonymous commentor on Ed’s weblog, it’s only for signature based fraud that the retailer is liable – without this clause, the retailers would never have converted to Chip and PIN in the first place.
And finally, I think Steve was right with the gist of his first article – Chip and PIN is better than signatures. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s better. The website that Ed links to (“Chip and Spin“, doyouseewhatthey’vedonethere) falls into the common trap of pointing out flaws that were in the old system as well – and so shouldn’t be implied as problems with Chip and PIN.
For all the arguements about different email applications (and whether they are “enterprise” applications or not), there are two problems with email apps that I haven’t seen fixed anywhere – and both are to do with having conversations. Which is pretty fundamental really, since that’s what email is primarily used for.
The first things is the Sent Items folder (or whatever your application / mailbox calls it). I don’t like it. I don’t like the concept. Sure, knowing which emails were sent by me is important, but it’s trivial to work out. What I would much prefer is to keep all the messages in a conversation in the one place, so I can look at the screen, and see all 10 emails in a 10 email conversation. Mailing lists are great for this, since I get a copy back of what I sent, and it ends up nestled in amongst the rest of the conversation. If I reply to an email, I want the reply to be shown right beside the original. Anyone know of an email app that does this? I don’t really care where the email is filed, since that’s just an implemenation detail, I just want it displayed the way I want.
Secondly, ad-hoc groups of addresses are very poorly handled by email. For a growing list of people trying to arrange something, I need to make sure to include the most up-to-date list of CC’s in the conversation, which is a pain if I want to reply to a suggestion made a few hours previously. Sure, there are mailing lists, but setting them up just to arrange a theatre visit one week is a bit overkill. Micromanagement of lists of address is surely a solvable problem. Suggestions? (Preferably ones that don’t involve changing the fundamentals of SMTP or requiring everyone to use the same application…)
It’s front page news every day now, and it’s really starting to piss me off. The H5N1 strain of avain flu has now been found in Europe – big fucking deal. It was devastating poultry farms in Thailand when I was there back in January 2004 – almost two years ago – and poultry farmers were dying every day. But only poultry farmers. Everyone else just got on with it.
Think about this – it will eventually jump the species barrier, but where is that more likely to happen – here, where poultry farming is highly industrialised, or where people and animals share houses and streets with one another? And so if it’s going to jump the species barrier somewhere in South East Asia, what does it matter if migratory birds have flu in Greece? If there’s going to be a pandemic, then it’ll start somewhere, and arrive at Heathrow a day or two later. The newspapers seem to be making it out that we’re be doomed once it reaches our shores, and only when it reaches our shores, which is utter nonsense.
Moreover, why is this suddenly such a big deal? Has it escaped everyone’s notice that it’s been going on for years now? Has it become something montrously different now that some birds are dying – (gasp) in Europe?
Generally, we’re all pretty pathetic. Under-educated, over-sensitive, easily agitated, lacking in common sense and needing to brush up a bit on our sense of fatalism.
Song of the day: “Reflections“, by Rob Costlow from the album Woods of Chaos. Really nice, modern piano music, and the entire album is very good. “Reflections” gets the pick for the rythmic chords signature, which develops into a fine, fast syncopated riff. One day I’m going to learn how to play piano, and be this good.
I know that society has a short-term memory problem, but this is getting ridiculous. Think back; long, long into the past; dredge through your oldest memories, and you’ll remember the story of Walter Wolfgang. Yes, just last week, an elderly pensioner was manhandled out of the Labour Party conference for heckling, along with another man for daring to suggest that the guards were being over the top. Now a party conference is, as far as I’m aware, a private event, so I guess it’s up to the Labour Party to decide how much of an ass it makes of itself. As far as I’m concerned, the fuss should be about police behaviour:
After being ejected Mr Wolfgang’s pass was seized and he was detained under the Terrorism Act when he tried to re-enter the conference on Wednesday.
Now colour me daft, but I thought that giving the police draconian powers under anti-terrorism laws was “OK”, because they’ll only use their powers for fighting terrorists, not pension-collecting hecklers at a private function.
Today, the home secretary is again drafting yet-more anti-terrorism laws (I guess the previous legislation was comprehensively well-thought out?). He wants to give the police even more draconian powers – namely to hold suspects for long enough that they’ll definitely lose their jobs, possibly their flats or homes, and generally fall out of society completely – without even having enough evidence to contemplate any charges. But it’s all right, he reassures us;
“The police use their existing detention powers cautiously and in moderation, and I am confident that they would use an amended power in the same careful fashion,”
Last week I was scratching my head about a temperamental KVM switch in a doctor’s office at work, and he mentioned the way that computers never work the way they’re supposed to. I pointed out that I was glad they didn’t, since if they worked properly I wouldn’t have a job. (I’m sure I’d have a different job, but that’s beside the point.) He then commented that IT support techies and doctors have similar job – we both make careers out of fixing things that are broken.
My sinuses need a re-install.