This is Part IV in this series. In Part I, I opened the with news that Disneyland Paris is getting rid of its Fastpasses in favor of a per-ride, per-person premium to skip the line, and explored the history of Disney themeparks and what they meant to Walt Disney. In Part II, I explored Disneyland’s changing business-model and the pressures that shifted it from selling ticket-books to selling all-you-can-eat passes, and the resulting queuing problems. …
Last October, the RIAA launched a bizarre campaign of legal bullying against youtube-dl, a free/open library that lets people save Youtube (and other) videos for a variety of purposes, including critical analysis, offline viewing, archiving and remixing.
The RIAA attacked youtube-dl under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA1201) a 1998 law that indiscriminately bans helping people remove DRM, even if no copyright infringement takes place.
DMCA1201 is a pure hazard. For decades, manufacturers have weaponized it to prohibit otherwise legal uses of their products: if a product is designed so that a use requires removing…
#20yrsago RIP, Poul Anderson http://www.locusmag.com/1997/Issues/04/Anderson.html
#20yrsago Copy-protected CDs cracked two weeks after their introduction https://web.archive.org/web/20010803144120/http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/533
#20yrsago PC Forum panel on P2P with Shirky and Gene Kan https://web.archive.org/web/20010820163912/http://www.edventure.com/pcforum/transcript.cfm?Counter=13
#15yrsago How POWs in a Nazi camp got a Disney insignia https://web.archive.org/web/20061209200825/http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/08/01/wwii-pows-get-a-disney-designed-logo/
#10yrsago What Murdoch’s media empire did: the big picture https://web.archive.org/web/20110805111419/http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/07/27/what-rupert-murdoch-means-for-you-personally/
#10yrsago Flowchart shows the complexity of the New Zealand’s Internet Disconnection copyright law https://web.archive.org/web/20111105044005/http://lawgeeknz.posterous.com/copyright-infringing-file-sharing-amendment-a
#10yrsago Stephen Fry vs Ann Widdecombe: Catholic Church https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fN3zDtfivc…
#20yrsago RIP CCC founder Wau Holland https://web.archive.org/web/20011006055514/https://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,45728,00.html
#20yrsago Disney to open Tokyo Disney Sea https://web.archive.org/web/20011120051153/http://www.latimes.com/business/la-000061951jul30.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dbusiness
#15yrsago How thieves steal RFID-enabled cars https://www.wired.com/2006/08/carkey/
#15yrsago Diebold voting machines can be beaten with a switch-flip https://web.archive.org/web/20061007120655/http://openvotingfoundation.org/tiki-index.php?page_ref_id=1
#10yrsago Official London anti-terrorist publication says anarchists should be reported to local police https://web.archive.org/web/20110801233618/http://communitysafe.gov.uk/articles/5962-griffin-weekly-briefing-sheet-attached/attachments/801/download.pdf
#10yrsago Perma-cookie wars continue: KISSMetrics sneaks cookies back onto your computer even if you turn off every cookie vector https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1898390…
There’s a difference between a con-artist and a grifter. A con-artist is just a gabby mugger, and when they vanish with your money, you know you’ve been robbed.
A grifter, on the other hand, is someone who can work the law to declare your stuff to be their stuff, which makes you a lawless cur because your pockets are stuffed full of their money and merely handing it over is the least you can do to make up for your sin.
IP trolls are grifters, not con artists, and that’s by design, a feature of the construction of copyright and…
#15yrsago Melbourne mall defends its photons from terrorists https://www.theage.com.au/national/picture-this-city-puts-photo-ban-in-the-frame-20060730-ge2tga.html
#10yrsago Sleepy English town to be entirely surveilled in case criminals forget and drive through it on their way to crimes https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8670642/Sleepy-market-town-surrounded-by-ring-of-car-cameras.html
#5yrsago How to pay no taxes at all! (if you’re Apple, Google or Facebook) https://www.change.org/p/iphone7boycott-make-apple-pay-its-fair-share-in-tax
#5yrsago Lessons from the DNC: Ronald Reagan, the Southern Strategy, and “abnormal politics” https://crookedtimber.org/2016/07/30/philadelphia-stories-from-reagan-to-trump-to-the-dnc/
#1yrago Interop to the rescue https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#interop-competition
#1yrago Why sweat smells https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#no-sweatski
#1yrago Solar heroin https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#solar-heroin
#1yrago Mexico’s new copyright vs cybersecurity https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/30/roto-en-mexico/#ciberseguridad…
Back in 2019, visitors to the Universal Studios theme park in Florida started to post to social media about their experience with the RFID-chipped paper cups they got to use with the park’s self-serve soda fountains:
Getting nickle-and-dimed in a themepark that charges whopping sums for admission is frustrating, sure, but as Daniel Danger wrote at the time, the noteworthy part was in the clumsy-yet-detailed way that this disciplinary technology was deployed.
Not only did it impose all kinds of rules about how your “unlimited” cup could be used (you had to wait 120 seconds before refilling it, etc)…
Adding sensors to our computers revolutionized them. I remember buying my first computer paddles, my first mic, my first webcam, and the incredible new features unlocked by giving computers a way to sense and respond to the physical world.
Today, our devices are stuffed with sensors to beggar the imagination. My latest phone has four cameras, multiple mics, thermal sensors, and, of course, an accelerometer that lets the system measure how it’s moving from moment to moment.
Device security and privacy models treat cameras and mics as sensitive and control how apps access them, but accelerometers are treated as utilities…
The internet age has certainly transformed journalism; these days we mostly think about investigative journalism’s decline, but there are digital investigative outlets that shine like diamonds.
I’m thinking here about Propublica.
Propublica’s Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel wrote a series of blockbuster stories about the monopolist Intuit, a business organized as a cult around its then-CEO Brad Smith, engaged in decades’ worth of dirty tricks to kill free, IRS tax-prep services.
Not only did they stay with this story for months on end, digging up incredible stories of corruption, they also shamed the IRS and spurred state AGs into…
I’ve been writing about the Sackler crime-family for years, as a new generation turned the family’s benzo empire into a opioid powerhouse, exceeding the Rockefeller family fortune by pushing Oxycontin and jumpstarting an epidemic that has claimed 800,000 American lives.
The Sacklers are canny: for years, they laundered their reputation through elite philanthropy, using blood money to paint their names on the world’s great cultural institutions and spending comparable sums to threaten journalists and critics into silence about their crimes.
But no one can run across a river on the backs of alligators forever — eventually, even the fleetest grifter…