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Friday, January 28, 2005


Blaster Author Gets 18 Months

The author of the Blaster worm got 18 months for intentionally causing certain financial damage to individuals. A member of the DrinkOrDie warez group got 41 months, more than twice what this asshole got, for putting some software on the Internet, causing theoretical financial damage to corporations.
Draw what conclusions you will as to the state of American justice.

Sunday, January 23, 2005



A court declared the federal obscenity law unconstitutional!
This is a giant step forward. Since the Comstock Law in 1873, Congress has been trying to dictate to consenting adults what they may or may not watch, read, and listen to in the privacy of their homes. This ruling reverses this 131 year trend. Let's hope this ruling is affirmed by the Supreme Court. The government has no business deciding what has "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value" . The only job the government has is to ensure that nobody's person or property is physically harmed without their consent.
PS: To anybody worried about child pornography-That is covered under a different law. It is still illegal under this ruling.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


My Thoughts on the Grockster Case

Can be summed up thus:
Putting aside the larger question of the need for intellectual property reform-Hammers can be used to break windows and beat people over the head, like Grockster can be used for piracy. Why aren't megacorps attempting to sue hammers out of existance?

Thursday, January 20, 2005



My thoughts on Bush's inauguration:
I am concerned. Bush said "Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon." I guess this means we won't be getting out of Iraq any time soon. What would be so "dishonorable" about saving American lives and getting out of there, now that we know that Iraq had no WMDs-the supposed casus belli? What is dishonorable about admitting your mistakes?
He also said "We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation -- the moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right." We can't even handle the war we're currently fighting, and we're going to provoke more? Do I feel a draft (God forbid)? When did the United States become the global police department. We are not wanted in Iraq or anywhere else we're looking at getting involved in-so let's get out, and not repeat our mistakes!
Bush is also a hypocrite-""America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies." Right. That's why we're allied with such paragons of human rights and democracy as Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Outlawing P2P

I read an article on CNet News about a law in California that would send developers to jail and give them records for not taking "reasonable care" to prevent copyright infringement.
I strongly disagree with this. Copyright has always been a civil law, which is how it should stay. When, say, a song is downloaded, nobody is deprived of the use of physical property like in theft. A company simply has a lower chance of making money, that's all. There is no right to profit.
In general, I think the penalty for noncommercial copyright infringement vastly outweighs the gravity of the offence. As far as I'm concerned, if nobody is making money off it, copyright infringement should be either
a) Completely legal
b) A civil offence with fines on the level of $100-on the level of a speeding ticket.
Making money off somebody else's work is wrong, but I don't see much wrong with downloading a song.



I just read an article on Technology Review that says biotech might advance to the point of immortality by 2030! I was born in 1984. If I live until 2030 (God willing), I'll be 46. With an average lifespan of 75, I have an excellent chance of having these advances occur in my lifetime. I hope that happens. I want to live forever. I want to see all the technology advances. I want to see if we ever contact other civilizations. I want to see the PlayStation 100. I want to see if we manage to avoid Word War III. I want to see the entire human story.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Thoughts on the new Apple Products

I read about the Mac Mini and iPod Shuffle, and, unlike most people, I'm not impressed. Let's look at the specs of the Mac mini:
Price: $499
CPU: 1.25 Ghz
RAM: 256GB
Graphics: Radeon 9200 32MB
Hard Drive: 40GB
Optical Drive: CDRW/DVD-ROM
Ports: 1 Firewire, 2 USB, DVI, VGA, Audio line out, Ethernet, modem
Monitor: None
Keyboard: None
Speakers: None
Mouse: None
Wireless optional
Warranty-1 year.
Now let's look at a whitebox wintel system:
Price: $299.99
CPU: 2.4GHz
RAM: 256MB
Graphics: Integrated Graphics
Hard Drive: 40GB
Optical Drive: CD-RW
Ports: 4 USB, VGA, Parallel, Serial, PS/2, modem, Ethernet, line out, audio jacks
PCI slots so you can add wireless or anything else you want.
Keyboard: Included
Speakers: None
Mouse: Included
Monitor: None
Warranty: 1 year
So, the PC is cheaper, it has a faster CPU, it includes a keyboard and mouse, and it's more expandable. Looks like its the better deal. For people complaining that I'm comparing a whitebox to a brand name computer:
1. Show me a whitebox Mac-oh, yes, there aren't any!
2. Dell offers a similar system for $399.
Now, let's turn to the iPod Shuffle. The iPod Shuffle is a $99 512MB flash MP3 player. It is only an MP3 player, it has no FM tuner and no voice recording or anything like that. It doesn't even have a screen. For $91.99, you can get a SanDisk player that has an FM tuner, has voice recording, has a screen, and lets you choose the order in which to play the tracks. Gee, which is the better deal?
Personally, I think these products are an attempt by Apple to sell cheap devices at a premium price by putting them in a fancy case.


Arrival at College

Guess how I celebrated my return to college from winter break-I threw up all over myself in the car on the way!
Let's hope this isn't a bad omen...

Friday, January 14, 2005



I'm Dan, a college student out in the sticks, looking to go to law school in a more urban setting. I am into Asian pop and traditional culture, video games, technology, reading, writing poetry, mock trial (I helped start my school's team!), and debate.
This blog will be, as the title suggests, a place for me to randomly muse on whatever crosses my mind. I might post my poetry, I might write about issues of the day, I might write about my life, I might write about politics, it could be anything!
I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I do writing it.

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