Not too long ago, the key for hacking AACS Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disks was discovered and published. It’s a simple 128-bit number: 09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0
(It’s a hexidecimal number, where the numbers go from 0-15 rather than 0-9).
When this number was published, the AACS threatened 1.8 million sites saying that it owned the number and any use of it was a copyright violation.
This is probably the first time in US history that a group has claimed ownership of a number. It is also the first time in history that a law (the
DMCA — Digital Millenium Copyright Act) allows a company to censor the use of a number by mere threat. The law states that a person must stop
using it merely if a complaint is made, not if a real violation is proven.
This is clearly a bad law, and has implications in all professions that use numbers. To show this, another group is giving away ownership of
other numbers. Mine is:
I wanted “5”, but apparently it was taken.
I suggest you get your own.
Hat tip BoingBoing
This captures it pretty well.
Think of that video every time you see Nancy Pelosi wearing a scarf and veil out of respect for this kind of culture. But let’s not be “judgemental”… After all, it’s not our place to criticize this kind of thing, right?
One of the biggest reasons I’m not a liberal is that I just can’t take the lies, particularly those lies wrapped in the flag of “civility.” This first came home to me some years ago when a friend of mine wrote a bit of a screed talking about how evil the Spanish conquistadores were in suppressing those poor innocent Aztecs. I pointed out that the Aztecs were no great prize — that the society the Spanish suppressed was one that celebrated mass murder (Moctezuma sacrificed thousands of prisoners to honor Cortez) and was so oppressive that much of the fighting for the Spanish was done by surrounding peoples who felt that no matter how oppressive the Spanish were, they couldn’t be worse than the Aztecs. And, as bad as the Spanish were, they were right. Being a student of comparative religion, I went through the Aztec pantheon and described the rites associated with each diety.
I was, of course, called a racist — not because anything I wrote was untrue. My respondent agreed that everything that I wrote was factual. I was a racist because anybody who condemned those acts was racist. The bottom line was that only a racist would judge the Aztecs by modern moral values — and only a racist would *fail* to judge Cortez by modern standards. The hypocrisy was perfect. I’m sure Don Imus would appreciate it.
More recently, in another forum, a correspondent made a statement about Adolf Hitler and gun control. Another respondent noted that she was Jewish and found *all* references to the holocaust, Hitler, etc “offensive.” Ignoring the fact that the original correspondent was *also* Jewish, I was struck by the arrogance of deciding to control a conversation by declaring an entire segment of history “offensive.” I wrote back and said that my father took up arms and got a bullet in his head fighting that evil, and that constituted just as good of dues in terms of writing about it as having a relative who was a victim. I was criticized as being “uncivil” and a request was made to the moderator to have me banned. As you might expect, the people wanting to have me banned for not respecting their desire to control the conversation were liberals.
It’s a classic pattern, this demand for untruth in the name of civlity, and one that Andrew Klavan wrote an excellent column about. It’s well worth a read. And LaShawn Barber’s commentary is also great. To quote Klavan:
The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God…
And I won’t.
A couple of months ago, we had a big power spike at the Billoblog household. It blew out the hard drive on my server, but hey, I’m a computer scientist and had everything backed up on a NAS drive. No problemo!
Except, of course, the NAS drive was on the same circuit as the server. Not so bright. So, I looked back among my old DVDs of backups from beforeI got my NAS, and have been able to restore the posts up to the beginning of last year. I’ve lost a year of posts. Bummer. So I’ve learned that backups arent’ enough — you have to have your backups in another location.
More important, however, I’ve lost all those wonderful comments. Sorry about that, folks. Note that a lot of the old posts say “no comments” when there really are some. That’s a database problem. The MySQL database for the WordPress I used in 2005 and the one I use now are not exactly the same, and I can’t seem to transfer the comment count exactly. However, if I *add* another comment, the count ends up correct. Go figure. I guess I could figure out how to fix that, but I doubt that enough people read the old posts to make it worthwhile. I’ve had a chance to brush up on my SQL and php, so there’s a bit of the “glass 7/8 empty” vs “glass 1/8 full” thing.
Live and learn…