8 Apr 2004 slef   » (Master)

Copyright and Hacking

I'm not sure whether it's just that I hadn't spotted it before, but the US-Aus FTA (and the danger of a US Digital Millenium Copyright import) has made Linux Australia campaign. I think many Aussies drank the "technical advantages will be enough" juice of some OSS-hardcores far too deeply. Some time ago, I was told that Australia was an example of FSF's failure to campaign convincingly. When I looked, Australia had no real FSF presence!

I've been worried for some time that the lack of an FSF-sympathetic body meant the Aussies were going to get squished by the proprietary publisher political (P3) lobbyists, but I can't do everything and Aus is a long way from here. Fortunately, as the P3 guys attack, the freedom fighters there have got organised. I wish them success. If you are in Australia, please help their campaign. Freedom to hack may depend on it.

More locally, FFII are holding another on- and off-line protest . I'm not participating online this time because the last one took a site I used offline for weeks. I had to hunt for mirrors and backups. It is not good to waste free software supporter time like that. When FFII stop talking about "close" and "block access", I will support their protests again.

Nearly had a bad thing happen to mabloss, as I confused > with | when moving blog entries around. Fortunately, I had the newly-clobbered script open in an editor, so no harm done. I uploaded a new tarball of mabloss to stop that happening again. I guess a release was needed if I was worried about losing my edit.

Music sales are down. Aren't we surprised? No. I agree with most of richdawe's comment on music - additionally, when vendors start suing their target market, it puts me off buying from them. Living in a crap FM/AM coverage area, I probably bought more recorded music before getting ADSL and satellite and getting access to a decent selection of radio stations.

That reminds me to describe the fun hardware hack. I want to be able to listen to sat radio without the tv on, so I hooked up some PC speakers (into the VCR, because the sat box's audio sockets seem to be an odd size). No power points available, so solder a 99p DC plug onto a 89p 4-AA battery holder and we have music! I am really out of practice at soldering: took 3 goes to get a good joint. Sounds good now, but I wonder how long the batteries will live. Time to read the speaker specs and do some maths.

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