Also see the list of articles, none to be taken seriously.

Macintouch has some interesting commentary on anti-counterfeiting measures that Adobe quietly slipped into Photoshop CS. The program now detects images containing currency and prevents you from working with them, even though doing so is perfectly legal, as long as you don’t then make a printout that’s double-sided or very close in size to the original.

[Tim Wright] It would be fairly easy to create other documents which would mistrigger this pattern [described in eurion.pdf].

Now the cat is out of the bag, I fully expect this to start appearing on magazine page backgrounds, books, any documents considered "sensitive", grocery coupons, etc, which will rapidly render colour photocopiers pretty useless until they disable this feature.

For more amusement, why not put it onto t-shirts or baseball caps, which will neatly prevent people from printing (or editing) photos of you? I’m sure more inventive people will be able to think of plenty of other uses, like car decorations, wallpaper, badges and so on...

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Clay Shirky: Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content. The answer is simple: creators are not publishers, and putting the power to publish directly into their hands does not make them publishers. It makes them artists with printing presses. This matters because creative people crave attention in a way publishers do not. [Tomalak's Realm]

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For quite a long time during the Northeast blackouts yesterday, MSNBC was running video of tens of thousands of New Yorkers leaving the city on foot, with the only caption being “Breaking News: All Broadway Shows Cancelled.” I’m not sure this was the most important piece of information to convey. The commentary was often centered on how the exodus was going, and there was no actual mention of blackouts onscreen.

When they finally rotated the headline, it said “20,000 New Yorkers Wait to Leave the City by Ferry,” which wouldn’t have resolved the confusion of viewers tuning in late either.

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Davos Newbies quotes an article by Richard Gayle, with an insight that explains a lot about software engineering vs. management.

In a general sense, most business types are process-driven. Once you find a process, once you determine what the best practice is, you are set. If the process fails, it is because someone failed and they either need to be retrained or fired. Problems are bad. The business type is often backwards-looking and pessimistic. They know how easy it is for a company to fail.

Many scientists are just the opposite. They love problems, especially since their ego-driven approaches to life suggest that they will solve them in unique ways. They have solved them in the past and will surely solve them in the future. This engenders a more forward-looking, optimistic approach to difficulties.

[via Davos Newbies]

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Washington Post: Web Firms Choose Profit Over Privacy. Marketers and an array of service providers are expanding their collection and use of consumers' e-mail addresses and other personal information, despite broad assurances to protect individual privacy and honor consumers' choices about how much marketing they want to receive.

Marketers also insist that they maintain the right to send messages to customers with which they have "existing business relationships." ... "Some companies, like psycho ex-boyfriends, tend to see relationships where they don't exist," said Chris Murray, legislative counsel for Consumers Union.

[via Tomalak's Realm]

Read and Post Comments Wendy Seltzer.

Parallels between law and open source software. It's generally public, has a revision history, forks and joins (Supreme Court over differing circuit courts). But process of forming arguments hasn't been public. So they opened up the process to the public in Eldred vs. Ashcroft. Now opening the DeCSS DVD DMCA case.

Developed an annotation system to comment on or rebut other web pages. Looked like a scrollable iframe with the original site on right, with comments in parallel on left. The courts have accepted their amicus briefs, and they have submitted comments to Copyright Office. Archives of case material, opinions, articles, etc. Important take-away from the session: now I know how to pronounce “amicus.” Or I thought I had just learned, but Larry Rosen behind me pronounced it a different way.

Often just the threat of monetary losses in cease-and-desist letters is enough to shut the site down, independent of legal merit. “Shadow of the law.” Example: “you are sharing approximately 0 song files”. Little cost to send C & Ds.

So Chilling Effects archives and publicises them, increasing the cost of sending them by shaming the companies. This also spreads knowledge of the issues.

Update: Donna Wentworth at Harvard Law picked up this entry and provided the link for the C & D example. See her entry for more notes. Thanks, Donna!

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I had no idea the credit reporting agencies were institutionally this sloppy.

Hartford Courant: A credit trap for consumers. The nation's credit reporting business is built on a system so seriously flawed that costly errors are inevitable. [via Dan Gillmor's eJournal]

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London boasts about its extensive CCTV camera network on streets and buses.

Across London, these posters can be seen telling us all that we are ‘Secure beneath The Watchful Eyes’ of the Metropolitan Police. I cannot tell you how much better that makes me feel. The imagery is pure 1930’s/1940’s and conjurors up the ‘Golden Age of Totalitarianism’. [more...]

This picture (from the article linked above) would fit right into the movie Brazil, alongside the “Happiness: We’re All In It Together” and “Don’t Suspect a Friend. Report Him.” posters.

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