November 16th, 2011

American Censorship Day: Nov 16, 2011

Today, Congress holds hearings on the first American Internet censorship system. […] The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users. It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook. Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn’t be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

The improbability of persecuting trivial crimes is not the point. The opportunity to provide any mechanism for third parties to summarily censor and sentence others is the definition of vigilante law, and it is bad.

February 9th, 2011

How did WordPress win?

An extended post by a former product manager for Movable Type, comparing the fortunes of Six Apart and WordPress. Some interesting business insights, for example, in how WP made gains in the corporate blogging world, a realm that usually doesn’t seem relevant to the livelihood of  blogging software companies. Turns out it is.

Bonus: In a footnote, there’s an interesting bit of gossip about the Huffington Post and Movable Type.

December 7th, 2010

U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

Except when inconvenient to oneself.

September 3rd, 2010

Get Automator working again in iTunes 10

Macs have a wonderful system-wide scripting tool with a GUI interface called Automator. Many people use Automator to take care of repetitive tasks involving iTunes.

iTunes 10, the latest version, breaks Automator for a trivial reason: Automator checks to make sure that iTunes is new enough to be compatible. So it looks for version 4.6 or later. iTunes is at version 10. Even though the number 10 is larger than the number 4.6, some part of Automator is treating “10” and “4.6” as text. Since when treated as text, “10” comes before “4.6” for the same reason “ant” is before “bee”; the leftmost characters are compared; if they are equivalent, then the second-leftmost are compared, and so on; “1” is before “4”, so the comparison algorithm halts there. Automator considers the latest version of iTunes too old.

Anyway, the title links to an article about how to fix the problem. It involves hacking some XML files. If you’re not comfortable with that, you should probably wait for Apple to issue a system update. And you should probably notice that this indicates how few people within Apple can be arsed to use Automator unless required to.

September 3rd, 2010

There is a Horse in the Apple Store

Around these parts, there are always ponies in Apple Stores. I don’t know about where you live. Sure, I’m jaded but every so often I snap out of it and, hey, yeah. Wow.

August 7th, 2010

Jailbreak Responsibly

A neatly concise, even-handed summary about jailbreaking an iPhone, covering both the advantages and disadvantages, free of axegrinding. This would be the tl;dr version of anything I could say on the matter, if I were to jailbreak my iPhone, which I probably won’t. [via Tom Boutell]