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Journal Journal: Class action complaint against RIAA available online 4

Recommended reading for all interested in the RIAA's litigation war against p2p file sharing is the amended class action complaint just filed in Oregon in Andersen v. Atlantic. This landmark 109-page document (pdf) tells both the general story of the RIAA's campaign against ordinary folks, and the specific story of its harassment of Tanya Andersen, and even of her young daughter. The complaint includes federal and state RICO claims, as well as other legal theories, and alleges that "The world's four major recording studios had devised an illegal enterprise intent on maintaining their virtually complete monopoly over the distribution of recorded music." The point has been made by one commentator that the RIAA won't be able to weasel its out of this one by simply withdrawing it; this one, they will have to answer for. If the relief requested in the complaint is granted, the RIAA's entire campaign will be shut down for good.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 1.3E6 to 1 Time Lapse

I have already talked about my long term time-lapse project, but now almost 6 months later, I have... 14 seconds of video.

I chose 22:00 UTC (4PM during "daylight saving[sic] time") for my latest video which is August 2007 through March 2008.

It took 217 days to make that video, and the output is 14 seconds at 15 fps. I think the effect is pretty cool, especially with the tiny tree "dancing" in the snow.

Here is what the camera that made that video looks like, and here is a high quality picture of what the camera can see

My other camera had problems in November, so it will be about 4 more months before I can get a useful picture from that camera.

Reflections on this project: the amount of light from day to day is very variable, with clouds and other atmospheric disturbances meaning that there is a "flicker" to the movie. But, without clouds there wouldn't be that cool snow to fall and melt. Spring might be really cool with the grass going green and then brown in summer. The 6mm f/1.8(fixed) lens isn't very good at this, I would like to stop down to about f/4 or so to prevent those blown highlights during the day. My other camera that is outside has major problems with freezing and changing the focus/focal length of the lens due to the thermal expansion of the housings. The Tamron 2.8-12 f/1.4 zoom that I originally had was horrible at this because it is a varifocal design, but the Pentax 12mm f/1.2 is a bit better.

Because of this project I know quite a bit about wifi and making it stable, as trying to send data over a failing wifi link does bad things. Directional antennas, power adjustments, using Tomato on my routers, singal losses over cables, and ping all are useful in keeping the packets going smoothly.

User Journal

Journal Journal: EFF travels to Arizona to argue Howell case

Although based in San Francisco, and only an amicus curiae in the Phoenix, Arizona, case of Atlantic v. Howell, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is sending its senior intellectual property lawyer Fred Von Lohmann to Phoenix to argue the Howell case, on behalf of the defendant, who is not represented by counsel. Due to the RIAA's attempt to take advantage of Mr. Howell's being undefended to try to convince the judge that merely 'making files available for distribution' -- i.e., just having them on one's computer in a manner that is accessible to sharing -- and that copying files from one's cd onto one's computer in mp3 format is itself "unlawful", EFF filed an amicus brief in January. Now it's taking the unusual step of actually sending someone to the courthouse to orally argue the motion.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Should RIAA's investigator have to disclose backup? 12

A technology battle is raging in UMG v. Lindor in Brooklyn over whether the RIAA's investigator, SafeNet (formerly known as MediaSentry), which has produced certain *txt printouts, now needs to disclose its digital files, validation methodology, testing procedures, failure rates, software manuals, protocols, packet logs, source code, and other materials, so that the validity of its methods can be evaluated by the other side. SafeNet and the RIAA say no, the information is "proprietary and confidential". Ms. Lindor says yes, if you're going to testify in federal court the other side has a right to test your evidence. A list of what is being sought is here (pdf). MediaSentry has produced 'none of the above'. "Put up or shut up" says one commentator to MediaSentry. What do you say?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Connecticut Judge rejects RIAA 'making available' theory 3

A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the RIAA's "making available" theory, which is the basis of all of the RIAA's peer to peer file sharing cases. In Atlantic v. Brennan, in a 9-page opinion (pdf), Judge Janet Bond Arterton held that the RIAA needs to prove "actual distribution of copies", and cannot rely -- as it was permitted to do in Capitol v. Thomas -- upon the mere fact that there are song files on the defendant's computer and that they were "available". This is the same issue that has been the subject of extensive briefing in two contested cases in New York, Elektra v. Barker and Warner v. Cassin. Judge Arterton also held that the defendant had other possible defenses, such as the unconstitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory and possible copyright misuse flowing from the record companies' anticompetitive behavior.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Ubuntu Rocks 1

I have a HP dv2000t that I got for running Linux. I made sure all of the hardware was supported in Linux easily, with the Intel wifi card, Intel integrated graphics, etc...

I originally installed Gentoo, and after the 3 days of compiling my system, it worked fairly well. Getting wifi and the 1280x800 screen to work took a bit of configuration, but no big problems.

One year later, I accidentally upgraded libexpat while trying to compile Wine, and promptly broke almost everything that was installed.

I tried to fix it, and then decided to install Ubuntu. Aside from some problems burning the CDs, it booted up quickly and recognized everything I needed, including the screen resolution, wifi, the trackpad and scrolling zone, etc... Plus, no need to spend a week compiling everything and then configuring and installing the kernel.

One thing I always do when I set up a Linux box is to make /home a separate partition, so that I can easily swap out the operating system when it gets really messed up.

Gentoo is good if your goal is to learn Linux, Ubuntu is good if your goal is to use Linux.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pure electric voting is as reliable as the space it occupies

One thing I expected around the 2004 election was a virus/worm that randomly changed the values in Access databases. Don't change the schema, don't delete rows, just change the values that was in there. Not changing the schema and not deleting stuff would make it relatively unnoticeable for as long as possible.

If it used a 0-day exploit, and had a way to get through NATs (piggy back on a website request or something), then you couldn't trust any tallies or votes done on anything that touched the internet.

Imagine the havoc that would ensue if it was found out the next day that any elections that were voted on using electronic voting machines were void, and had to be done again? that would make 2000 seem like a small problem.

Too many people think "the computer said X, and computers can't lie" forget that computers get most of their information from humans, and if a human says they don't lie, they are lying.

User Journal

Journal Journal: U. of Maine legal clinic fights RIAA; first in country

"A student law clinic is about to cause a revolution" says p2pnet. For the first time in the history of the RIAA's ex parte litigation campaign against college students, a university law school's legal aid clinic has taken up the fight against the RIAA in defense of the university's college students. Student attorneys at the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, under the supervision of law school prof Deirdre M. Smith, have moved to dismiss the RIAA's complaint in a Portland, Maine, case, Arista v. Does 1-27, on behalf of 2 University of Maine undergrads. Their recently filed reply brief (pdf) points to the US Supreme Court decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, and the subsequent California decision following Twombly, Interscope v. Rodriguez, which dismissed the RIAA's "making available" complaint as mere "conclusory", "boilerplate" "speculation". The 2 students represented by Cumberland join the 8 students represented by a prominent Portland law firm, bringing to 10 the number of University of Maine students fighting back in this case.
User Journal

Journal Journal: RIAA objects to Oregon AG's request for information 2

The RIAA is apparently having an allergic reaction to the request by the State Attorney General of Oregon for information about the RIAA's investigative tactics, in Arista v. Does 1-17, the Portland, Oregon, case targeting students at the University of Oregon. See The Oregonian, December 1, 2007 ("UO suspects music industry of spying") and p2pnet, November 29, 2007 ("RIAA may be spying on students: Oregon AG"). Not only are the record companies opposing the request (pdf), they're asking the Judge not to even read it. (pdf) Commentary: "RIAA scorns Oregon University request".
User Journal

Journal Journal: DRM-Free Upconverting DVD player

When I got my 720p LCD TV, I went looking for a new DVD player to go with it. I wanted: 720p over component video, and if possible as little DRM as possible. I found that no players sold in the US were allowed to do anything over 480p over component video if the disc had macrovision. However, Helios Labs, with their North American office in Canada, was selling the h2000 and the h4000. They both are region-free, up-converting (720p/1080i for the h2000 and 1080p for the h4000) over Component, VGA, and of course HDMI. The good news is that the HDMI port doesn't have any HDCP, so there aren't any compatibility issues with TVs.

The best feature, which I have quite come to love: Both players ignore the User operation prohibition flag, so I can skip through almost any "FBI Warning" or other logo screens, and get to the movie faster. Imagine that, something that actually does what you want, and doesn't cater to the MAFIAA.

I like my H2000 so much that I am not going to get a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player until Helios Labs makes one.

User Journal

Journal Journal: RIAA targets 7 out of 8 Ivies; steers clear of Harvard 7

The RIAA's latest anti-college round of "early settlement" letters targets 7 out of 8 Ivy League schools, but continues to give Harvard University a wide berth. This is perhaps the most astonishing display of cowardice exhibited to date by the multinational cartel of SONY BMG, Warner Bros. Records, EMI, and Vivendi/Universal (the "Big Four" record companies, which are rapidly become less "big"). The lesson which other colleges and universities should draw from this latest of many acts of cowardice: "All bullies are cowards. Appeasement of bullies doesn't work. Standing up to bullies and fighting back has a much higher success rate."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Dumb

This is stupid. Email is supposed to be quick, not take days to get routed from the domain entry to my desktop.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Ohio U. Gets RIAA off its back by paying $60k + $16k a year 6

Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, has found the key to getting the RIAA to stop inundating it and its students with "settlement" letters. According to the university's student online publication, the university paid $60,000, plus $16,000 per year "maintenance", to Audible Magic, the business partner of the RIAA's all-purpose expert witness Dr. Doug Jacobson, for its "CopySense" filtering software. Once it made the payments, the letters stopped. This of course raises a lot of questions as to the 'disinterestedness' of Dr. Jacobson, whose deposition in the UMG v. Lindor case was the subject of interesting Slashdot commentary.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Rochester Judge Holds RIAA Evidence Insufficient 7

Judge David G. Larimer, presiding in Rochester, New York, has denied an RIAA application for default judgment on the ground that the RIAA's evidence was insufficient, in that it contained no details of actual downloads or distributions, and no sufficient evidence that defendant was in fact Kazaa user "heavyjeffmc@KaZaA". The decision (pdf) concluded that "there are significant issues of fact regarding the identification of the defendant from his alleged "online media distribution system" username". (In case you're unfamiliar with the term "online media distribution system", that's because it is a term the RIAA coined 4 years ago to describe p2p file sharing accounts in its lawsuits; the term is not known to have been used by anyone else anywhere else.) In August a similar RIAA default judgment motion was denied on the ground that the pleadings failed to allege sufficient factual details supporting a claim of copyright infringement, in a San Diego, California, case, Interscope v. Rodriguez.

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