Archive for November, 2005

Live action Aslan is “blasphemy”

OK, OK, sure it is against the express wishes of the author, but we are talking some serious Hollywood coin here.

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Education and Copyright – Some Canadian Confusion

Compare as we dare, milk with aero. The Canadian Heritage Report of 2004 is still doing damage. From the WIPO report:

Many options are available to us at this time. Some content is online and there is no expectation for payment for its use. How can we take this into account? The following was suggested: If a technical protection measure is not imposed to lock users out of the content, then the education sector should be able to use such content. We would like for the education sector to assume that things on the Internet can be used freely unless it explicitly states that they are not. There are two schools of thought on this.

Emphasis added. The two schools of thought seem to be:

  • Education is important.
  • I am a corporate whore and think that unless a teacher has a copy of an explicit license for them to use some internet content with a specific group of students at a specific place on a specific date then they should assume that the content is protected and unusable even if the front page of the website says “Welcome all students and teachers to our free awesome learning tool. The. Best. Evar.”

To which I, of course respond

  • Yay.
  • Where is my gun?

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Bill C-74, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act,

[Update – I don’t know why they are bothering with all of the hoopla and law-making when your privacy is for sale on teh interweb]

Otherwise known as the surveillance bill.

As you may have suspected, Michael Geist has a thing or two to say. As you may imagine my feelings on this are:

  • They cannot provide me with a rigourous analysis proving the need because they do not have one, instead they have a police and RCMP shopping list.
  • Our neighbours to the south are suffering from this and it has gained them nothing except an ongoing epidemic of invasion of privacy and expenses

The CBC report does nothing to address concerns and merely parrots the government line: “waah, the Americans, British, and Australians are doing it, why can’t we?” The AP report uses the term “eavesdropping bill” which is less than flattering.

I expect to hear more about this in the days and weeks to come, right up to the point where an election is called and the bill dies a quiet death.

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Boing Boing: Microsoft: Trusted Computing sucks!

In which Microsoft are full of it, part the 8,003rd

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Light Field Photography with a Hand-Held Plenoptic Camera

So I am browsing /. and I come across a post linking to a Wired article about a Stanford research project – and I check out the research paper website and download some of the example movies and think to myself holy shit, that’s really fucking cool! Honestly, the exclamation mark was there and all.
Here is what is happening:

Traditionally, light rays filter through a camera’s lens and converge at one point on film or a digital sensor, then the camera summarizes incoming light without capturing much information about where it came from. Ng’s camera pits about 90,000 micro lenses between the main lens and sensor. The mini lenses measure all the rays of incoming light and their directions of origin. The software later adds up the rays, according to how the picture is being refocused.

The result is that you can, after the fact, alter the plane of focus throughout the entire possible range using software.

For any Shadowrun GMs who may happen to be reading this – it was this kind of thing that I had in mind with my surveillance field in the forest outside the Proteus AG base – many small lenses > one big one.

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New Scientist Breaking News – GM pea causes allergic damage in mice

Finally! Some actual hard proof that we need to be cautious about GM crops. In this case, a protein that has been transplanted from a been into a GM pea causes allergic damage in mice. I have no particular sympathy for luddite-all-GM-is-bad-m’kay types but at the same time the cavalier-trust-us-we-are-scientists-working-for-international-agri-business attitude on the other side is just as irritating.

One of the interesting things about this particular experiment is that the source species and the target are both legumes – probably as similar to each other as we are to other primates.

< ducks head as botanists throw bricks in response to wild stabbing guess />

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Boing Boing: Barenaked Ladies release album on USB stick

Take that! Mr. Sony.

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