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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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1/17/2003

Watch this Space

Ok, the anti-sharing folk in Hollywood keep losing on issues like DeSS. But their real problem has always been that we carbon based lifeforms do not actually have the personal equipment to process digital signals. Ones and zeros zipping by mean neither music nor The Two Towers to our digitally untutored senses.

We meat machines need to have digital converted into pictures and sounds. Which means letting intellectual property out into the analog world where it, by definition, is not encrypted.

Now as quick as you can say camcorder any analog signal can be captured and redigitalized at the cost of a slight degradation of quality. And once redigitalized it can be up loaded and shared. End of copy protection.

The Analog Reconversion Discussion Group chartered by the big brains of the Copy Protection Technical Working Group is going to address this rather catastrophic glitch in the copyprotection system.

How? Beats me. If I can see it so can a Sony camcorder. If the camcorder can't neither can I. That's some catch that catch 22.

Stay tuned....I smell a "trusted devices" argument coming up. Which I will write more about later.

1/14/2003

New Life

The scientific details are in the article; the interest is in the fact scientists have created a new, self replicating, evolving form of life.

Nutballs cloning, or pretending to clone, humans raise important ethical issues; but creating an entirely new form of life resonates in more interesting ways.

First, it puts a final paid to the idea that all life was "created" by God. Now this is not a big deal where I live; but it may make the Christian fundamentalists a little queasy as they ram through required "creation science" teaching in various american school districts.

Second, it opens the way to bio-engineers creating evolving and very useful organisms. Recombinant DNA broke trail for this step and the path is clear for really clever bacteria and other animals to be created for specific, not usually very pleasant, niches.

Third, the potential for real horrors coming out of the lab is increased to a degree. The particular organism repored in Science Daily is, for the moment, crippled and benign. This may not remain true. The point about evolution is that you cannot predict where it will take you.

Like most science there are a variety of possible long term outcomes for man-made life. As a species we need to make sure we have some sense of where we need to proceed with caution. New life is probably a good place to start.

1/13/2003

Nasty American Imperialists - Whatever will they do next?

Shocking.

Those dastardly Americans are threatening to feed people in Zimbabwe. People who Mr. Mugabe has decreed to be enemies of the state. People who, for the greater soverignty of this grand African nation should starve to death as their government decrees.

"A spokesman for Mr Mugabe said other African countries should take heed of "the mad talk of intrusive and interventionist challenges to Zimbabwe's sovereignty. Today it is about Zimbabwe. Heaven knows who is next", he said."

Hear, hear, say I. The Sudanese may be denied the right to starve the South, the assorted genocidieres still lurking in the jungles of Rawanda may be brought to a late justice. Further genocide may be prevented.

Why can't the Americans just leave Africa to her own devices. After all, these are sovereign nations. Their governments are recognized by the United Nations. If they want to use food as a political weapon it is entirely up to them.

The astonishing thing is that the Americans, after all the international flak they are taking on Iraq, could even be bothered walking into the firestorms of protest - is that Bishop Tutu I hear warming up his anti-imperialist rhetoric? - which will greet any intervention in Zimbabwe.

Well, I suspect it is all a plot to get the American's hands on Zimbabwe's oil. Now don't be telling me Zimbabwe has no oil...Americans never, ever, intervene where there is no oil. Ever. Scout's honour.