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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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1/11/2003

N. Korea threatens `Third World War'

Is it just me or does anyone else have a hard time getting all that worried about North Korea. Yes, nukes in the hands of Stalinist heirs are a bad thing. Yes, the big Dong - which is apparently what the North Koreans in an excess of mirth call their alledged ICBM - is disconcerting. But this is a country which cannot feed its people, has virtually no industry, next to no electric lights and leadership from the Gong Show.

No doubt, if I lived in Soeul I would be worried. But I don't. The North Koreans probably could hit Toyko but would they? Or rather, why would they?

This is the part of the story which does not make much sense.

1/09/2003

Copy Protection redux

The whole idea of a technical fix to copy issues is so appealing that I have no doubt it will keep being tried. Real Networks has tossed its hat into the fray and good for it.

The problem, however, is that everything humans hear or see has to be delivered in analog. We do not respond to 1's and 0's. So, at some point music and movies have to come up on a screen and there they can be captured. Once captured off they go into the great world of peer to peer networking.

The analog hole is not going to go away anytime soon...It is just the way humans are made. All the digital encryption in the world will not change this. It will, however, provide hours of fun for hackers around the world.

1/07/2003

Defendant Acquitted in DVD Hacking Case

This seems like a sensible decision. Narrow in the sense that Jon Johansen hacked his own DVD - but very broad in its implications for the silly Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

If hacking for personal use is legal then the guts of the no hacking restriction in the DMCA are gone. Once they are gone then all it takes is a hack and a posting to a net site saying - "hi, if you own the particular thing you want to hack you might want to try this" followed by the code - and the copy protection is gone.

Hollywood is going to have to find a better way. So is the record biz which saw its sales drop another 10% in 2001.

1/06/2003

What is flash for anyway? Well telling your Bank off for one thing

This is a wonderful bit of Flash which puts the boots to the Royal Bank of Canada....With a bit of luck a mildly intelligent member of their PR department is going to see this and realize just how many customers they are losing.

1/05/2003

All you need to know about the triumph of Stalinism

I suppose you could argue that the North Koreans need nuclear power for lighting....nah..

Backyard Ballistics

Now this is a book I want to review!

The idea of building a really good potato cannon is enticing. So is the following,

"One particularly amusing story comes from the first days of underground atomic bomb testing. In the first test, scientists placed what was essentially a huge manhole cover over the well that led to where the bomb would explode. After the test, no trace of that cover was never found. Where did it go? Gurstelle describes how calculations and video evidence from the scene indicate that this cover, not the Russian satellite Sputnik, was actually the first manmade object to be launched into space."

Lovely.