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Journal: Tell Congress/WIPO: No B'cast Treaty Without Representation

Journal by Bruce Perens
Please read the alert here. The Broadcast Flag is back, this time as a WIPO treaty, and if you don't speak up, it'll be decided by bureaucrats without any democratic input at all.

The alert provides a web form to write to your congress person. Please do that. And please put the alert up elsewhere, so that other people can help too.

I'm in Washington DC working on this today, and your support will help.



User Journal

Journal: is back 13

Journal by Bruce Perens
Some of you may remember my technology policy / technology news site The site is reactivated. It's intended to be a more mature, and hopefully more relevant, forum than Slashdot. No ACs, a special focus on technology policy and high technology outside of the conventional corporate model, but conventional tech news as well.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd create a login on the site and submit articles. Especially original work, which hasn't always been well recieved on Slashdot - they seem to prefer linking to other people's coverage. RDF and RSS are available at and, so you can keep track of articles from elsewhere.


User Journal

Journal: Yerricde Signing Off? 8

Journal by yerricde

by Damian Yerrick

I got the nick "yerricde" in late 1999 when my former school created my user accounts under a nick based on my legal name (Yerrick, Damian E.) It seems that too many people have seen an extra 'i' (*yerricide) in my nick. To prevent further confusion, I decided to phase out that nick starting in early 2002. I wrote a program in the Scheme language to generate a nick that's not so easy to misread, and the result was "tepples". You may recognize me from NewsForge, gbadev, DDRei, or nesdev.

I'm a quick reader. I'm also a quick typist. And I've held this Slashdot account for nearly four years. Though I have posted nearly 10,000 comments to Slashdot stories, claiming that I "have no life" would be thoroughly misleading. But some trolls seem to imply this, having started some sort of countdown to 10,000 comments by user "yerricde". I'd as soon shed this nick and ho up a new Slashdot account in the 720000's rather than let them win. I might even subscribe this time.

New on Pin Eight: GPL'd NES games | The real Brother Bear

User Journal

Journal: Oregon Coast and OryCon

Journal by Jack William Bell

Anita and I will be travelling for the next few days. First down to visit my parents on the Oregon coast, then back up to Portland for OryCon over the weekend. I will try to get the rest of the 'best of' posts up when I can. (I have posted tons more verbage than seems reasonable in the last year, so there is lots to go through.)

Cue music: 'On the Road Again'

User Journal

Journal: Eric Raymond has moved, but rants on nonetheless 6

Journal by Jack William Bell

Eric Raymond's blog 'Armed and Dangerous' has moved here. Which may be a good thing, he is certainly posting more. His latest rant tears a new asshole out of the ". . . dope-smoking ponytailed dimwits . . ." who create stylesheets with absolute font and box sizes. (AKA graphic designers...)

Such have been the bane of my existance when doing websites as well. Nothing sucks more than getting an email saying "Do the page exactly like this." with a 3 mb graphic created in photoshop attached.

P.S. I cut off my ponytail more than a month ago...

User Journal

Journal: What is RSS? 2

Journal by Jack William Bell

Well I know what RSS is of course, but you might not. And I could tell you, except Mark Pilgrim does a better job of answering the question 'What is RSS?' than I could. So you should read that.

But why am I answering a question you haven't asked yet? Well, because even here on /. people are trying to use it and because I am working on something that does cool things with it. So I think talking about this is very timely and I think you should want to know about RSS even if you don't know that you want to know. That's why.


Journal: Best of: The Columbia Disaster

Journal by Jack William Bell
(It seems odd to call this post 'Best of: The Columbia Disaster' when there was nothing 'best' about the Columbia disaster. However this is the first part of a series of entries linking to my best posts in the past year, and these posts certainly qualify.)

After the Columbia disaster I was fairly upset with the regular media reporting and with NASA's lack of open discussion. However NASA did release some telemetry information gathered right before the shuttle breakup. That information seemed to contain some clues as to exactly what had happened, but it was pretty hard to understand. Being a visual thinker I needed a more graphical view of the sensor results over time, so I created my own animation of the data.

Veiwing my animation and a picture taken of the shuttle right before the breakup led me to the conclusion that one of the leading edge carbon/carbon shielding blocks had failed, just outboard of the wheel well. For whatever it is worth, I turned out to be 100% correct!

However being right did not make me feel good. Instead I was irritated on several levels. First off, I was an amateur using those little bits of information openly released to come by my findings, while NASA engineers with access to even more information were silenced -- even after the 'official' findings were released. Something that took another four months. Certainly they arrived at the same conclusion long before I did; why weren't they alowed to speak and why did it take so long?

Furthermore none of the various news sources, any of whom could have done the same thing I did, paid any attention to this data at all. Yet another case of someone in the blogosphere getting it right while the media yammers about inconsequentials. Oh well. And it didn't even lead to fifteen minutes of fame for me. Probably a good thing...

User Journal

Journal: One year ago today... 1

Journal by Jack William Bell

One year ago today I posted my first /. journal entry. From the beginning I have used this /. journal as more of a weblog than a personal diary. Although I have sometimes talked about my personal life, and occasionally posted a rant or an essay or a review, most often I just posted links to something I found interesting at the moment and wanted to be able to find again in the future. So, for me, this journal has been a sort of backup memory. One that I am sharing with you.

Along the way I gathered up a few readers (yourself for an instance) and, hopefully, you have found your time here worthwhile. Although I probably could have boosted my readership by making this journal more of a soap opera that just isn't what I am about. So I am proud to think that you read me for content and (hopefully) quality of prose instead of for titillation. I do know that I intend to continue, although it is certain that I will move off of /. before another year passes. And I hope some of you will come along for the ride when I do, just as I hope I will gather more non /. readers by doing so. So I guess I am part of the /. exodus (also here).

Nonetheless I am grateful to /. for giving me this venue and for the opportunity to connect to people like yourself. I like it that you read my writing and I like it when you comment. And, even though I am not doing this entirely for the egoboo, I can say for a certanty that - if you were not reading this I wouldn't be writing it. So I would like to thank each and every one of you that has marked me as a /. friend or who links to me from the great web outside or who has added this journal to your favorites list; you do me honor by reading...

Anyway, to celebrate the one year anniversery of this journal (and maybe to get you to read stuff you might have missed) I am going to post some 'best of' entries over the next couple of days. These will contain links to those entries from the past year that I am most proud of, organized by subject. Enjoy!

Update: Best of: The Columbia Disaster links to posts where I analyze the data from the breakup of the shuttle and get the right answer months before the official findings.

User Journal

Journal: Last flight of the Concorde 2

Journal by Jack William Bell

I am driving one handed while I fumble for my cell phone. Quick glance, select the number, press 'Call'. Put phone to my ear. It rings.


"Anita, it's me. I am driving down Pine and guess what I just saw in the sky?"

"What? Oh, the Concorde. Very cool! It was supposed to come in at 3:00."

"Ya, I think it was on final approach to Boeing Field."

"Well, now you have something to blog."

Yes, I suppose I do. But just what do I blog? Do I talk about how this particular Concorde was on its final flight because British Airways had given it as a permanent loan to Seattle's Museum of Flight? How cool it is that I will get to walk through it just as soon as the exhibit is ready?

Or do I talk about the mix of feelings that swept through me as I watched that bright arrow slip through the Seattle skyline as it came in for what may well be its last landing? The joy of being in the exactly right place at exactly the right time to get that amazing view? And the sorrow that I felt knowing that an era which never really came to be was somehow coming to an end? How this was yet another proof that the future had failed to deliver on the promises Heinlein, Clarke and Asimov had made to me when I was a child? How truly bittersweet that moment was?

I don't know what to say. I really don't...

"Time is money and money can't buy you love and I love your outfit" - T.H.U.N.D.E.R. #1