btempleton writes: ""It was 20 years ago today" when I posted to USENET the public launch of ClariNet, my electronic newspaper service delivered over the internet. By finding a way around the NSFNet acceptable use policy, ClariNet was the first business founded to use the internet as its platform for business, and the era of the "dot-com" had begun. For the anniversary I have written a history of the founding of ClariNet and early internet business which outlines how it all took place.
Readers may also enjoy the included anecdote about what I term "M5" reliability, where the news system was so robust that, like the M5 computer on Star Trek, even those authorized to do so were unable to shut it off and a story of
the earliest large SF eBook effort. Extra, extra, read all about it."
btempleton writes: "It all started when I prepared yet another "Downfall" subtitle parody. In this one,
Hitler is the
studio head, upset at all the downfall parodies and he wants
to do DMCA takedowns on them all. (If you're a DMCA/DRM fighting/.er, you'll like
it.) The EFF, which I chair,
reblogged it on
Deeplinks, and hilarity ensued. That
weekend, Exact Magic, an iPhone developer, had submitted a special RSS reader app to
display EFF news on the iPhone. Apple's iPhone app store evaluators looked at the
RSS reader, read the feed it pointed to, and then played the
They saw the F-word flash in the subtitles of the video, and
then rejected the RSS
reading tool from the App Store. We're up to several levels of meta here, as
Apple has banned an app over a parody about banning, and is now parodying itself. Bonus: TFA also has the story of just how hard it
is to be fully legal in obtaining the famous clip for parody."
The key realization is that while the safety and timesavings that
come from having computers as chauffeurs is very important and can
save a million lives every year, a number of interesting consequences
come from the ability of robocars to drive themselves while vacant.
This allows them to deliver themselves to us on demand, to park
themselves and to refuel/recharge themselves. On-demand delivery makes
car sharing pleasant and allows the use of "the right vehicle for
the trip" on most trips. Self-refueling means the people using
cars no longer need care about range or how common fueling stations
are, enabling all sorts of novel energy systems with minimal "chicken
and egg" problems. Because passengers don't care about the range
of their taxis, battery weight and cost are no longer issues in
electric cars and scooters."