Using wit sharp as an electric razor and a modicum of grammatical skill, Alan Graham's mission is to enlighten...well himself. An author for O'Reilly & Associates, when not working on his columns, you will find him working on the great American novel, which after two years is still stuck at "I was born." You should know that he wrote this bio in the third-person to make it seem that someone, who respects him a great deal, penned it. More about me



 
Digital Killed the Video Star

You too can make movies using the techniques of Emmy-winner Ken Burns.



  posted by Alan @ 8:50 AM


10.19.2002  

 
Like Air

We've had a fantastic run-around-the-blogs lately in regards to what constitutes blogging ethics. I think the one theme that has risen from the deluge is that when it comes to who you trust...it all comes down to you...and when it comes to personal ethics and honesty, you ultimately answer to yourself.

In the short time I've been blogging, it has already become a major portion of my life. And in blogging I've realized some things about myself and my motivations. I've also learned a little about this "community" and I have picked those people who I hold close as examples of what good blogging is all about. My conclusions so far...

What I believe Blogging is
-Blogging is a free, organic collaboration of ideas and information.
-No ideas are entirely original, since we all spark new thoughts based on what others have laid before us.
-Ownership of ideas is impossible. They are a shared collaborative process.
-Credit is given where credit is earned. We link back to each other, quid pro quo, because we recognize the value of individual contribution.
-There are two types of ideas, original and original-to-me. You may not be the first to think it, but that doesn't mean you stole it.
-We share our thoughts and ideas for many reasons, some selfish. However, ultimately we do it because we care about what happens around us.
-We tend to link between "like minds," and there is power in that.

I've decided that my personal ideas, words, thoughts, and images that appear on this blog, will never bear a copyright. I wish to share them freely, like air, with anyone who chooses to take part in them. You have full permission to use them and reprint them in any manner (that doesn't get me arrested or sued).

I was once described in an article as one of the last true egalitarians. I've always believed that human nature gives us one hell of a bi-polar society, but I really want to believe that at our core, we have a desire to do the right thing. Our motives are generally good, even though the execution of our actions is sometimes poor.


  posted by Alan @ 1:29 PM


10.17.2002  

 
RIAA: BS Meter Off the Charts

Okay, we all saw the recent commentary on ZDNet yesterday by Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA. And I'm sure all of us who read it initially thought, "Hmmm, a well thought out argument. These folks aren't our enemy, they want to work with us. They want to help us make music safe for all. And they don't have an agenda to limit our technology."

Jesus...what a load of crap. I want you to read this blog very carefully...because I'm going to take us down memory lane. But first...let's take a peek at a statement made yesterday by Cary Sherman.

"If that sounds like sophistry, it's because it is. Ironically, Shapiro accuses the copyright community of declaring "war on technology." But the only war being waged here is the rhetorical warfare that Shapiro has launched against artists and labels that simply want to protect their ability to continue in the business of creating music.

The last thing we need is more overheated and polarizing rhetoric. Shapiro would do well to drop the destructive diatribes and instead engage in some constructive dialogue. That's the only way we're going to figure out how to better serve consumers, creators and technology companies alike in these challenging times."


These are indeed challenging times. If you listen to the new improved theme from the RIAA, you would begin to believe that they aren't fighting technology, and in fact love and embrace it. Just go visit their web site, peek at their Senate hearings and press releases. Their new message is full of love for technology. Their only agenda is to curb copyright infringement. They want you to believe that they would never consider harming your digital "fair use."

This is where my BS meter starts to go waaay off. I want to take a moment to clear the air. The RIAA has an agenda...always has. They have fought new technology at every turn...and the following is a reminder from their own press releases.

RIAA Develops System to Stop CD Copying on Computers
WASHINGTON, January 13, 1997 --At a meeting of the multi-industry DVD Copyright Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG) in San Jose today, the Recording Industry Association of America unveiled a prototype software module to prevent the unauthorized copying of copyrighted CDs on computers. The RIAA's system is designed to work with a CD-ROM recorder and implementing software to read the copyright flags already present in prerecorded CDs, thus preventing unauthorized copying, but can be easily adapted to work with other types of devices such as a DVD recorder coupled to a computer.

"In an environment where access to copyrighted materials is expanding as quickly as the means and opportunity to copy these materials, we intend to be aggressive and creative in seeking solutions to protect the rights of our member companies and their artists," said David Stebbings, RIAA senior vice president, technology. "Today we have shown that prerecorded CDs can be protected from unauthorized copying on a CD-ROM recorder."

In addition to protecting copyrighted sound recordings from duplication on current and future multi-purpose recorders, the RIAA's system can also restrict unauthorized online distribution. According to Stebbings, the system will not be prohibitively expensive or time consuming to implement, and will in no way effect the computer's processing speed or other applications. Nonetheless, its application would require installation in computer systems and therefore the support of the computer and electronic industries.

"Our vision for a healthy future that benefits the public, our recording artists, and other industry groups depends on a spirit of cooperation," said Stebbings. "The CPTWG is an excellent platform for industries to work together to produce viable solutions."

RIAA Obtains Injunction Against Manufacturer Of Copyright Circumvention Device

First Case To Be Enforced Under Audio Home Recording Act

Washington, April 8, 1997 -- In the first case to be enforced under the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), the Recording Industry Association of America today obtained a temporary restraining order against the manufacturer of a device that circumvents the SCMS protections (Serial Copy Management System) embodied in consumer-model digital audio recorders, the most common of which are DAT recorders. The RIAA asserts that the defendant, Daniel Sobotta and his company, Technolab Digital Systems, Inc., have blatantly violated the AHRA by manufacturing and selling a device known as the DigiCon 2. The only purpose for the DigiCon 2 is to circumvent the SCMS protections. The defendants specifically advertise that the DigiCon 2 eliminates the SCMS and makes it easy to copy from one consumer DAT recorder to another.

RIAA Takes Stand to Protect Legitimate Online Marketplace

Legal ActionFiled Against Manufacturer of MP3 Portable Recording Device

WASHINGTON,October 9, 1998 -- In a move to protect the creative content of themusic industry, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), joined by the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, has filed a complaint against San Jose-based Diamond Multimedia. The RIAA charges that Diamond�s portable MP3 recording device, Rio, violates the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), and in doing so, encourages consumers to infringe the rights of artists by trafficking in unlicensed music recordings on the Internet.

RIAA Statement on Decision of Court in Rio Litigation

Washington, June 15, 1999 -- We�re obviously disappointed we lost in the Appeals Court. The court appears to have concluded that, despite Congressional intent, the Audio Home Recording Act has limited application in a world of convergent technologies. We filed this lawsuit because unchecked piracy on the Internet threatens the development of a legitimate marketplace for online music, a marketplace that consumers want. Fortunately, the shared interest in such a marketplace has overtaken the lawsuit; the technology and music industries have already come together, in voluntary initiatives like the Secure Digital Music Initiative, to create a secure environment in which consumers can access the music they love in new ways.

---------

From a Wired article:

"Diamond declined our request to work together ... to adhere to the law," said Hilary Rosen, RIAA's president. "We believe [the Rio PMP300] is destined to damage the market for digitally downloaded music before it has a chance to begin."

The RIAA claims that Rio, combined with what it describes as an online world where "the overwhelming majority of MP3 files ... are not authorized by the artist," could ruin the marketplace for commercially legitimate online distribution of music.

"What we think will really be damaged and perhaps be killed is the nation's market for a digital distribution infrastructure," said Cary Sherman, senior executive vice president and general counsel for the RIAA. "We can't have a digital distribution that's commercially legitimate coincide with an illegal market where the same material is available for free. We're very concerned [Diamond is] going to kill off digital distribution before it's been born."


And to that...Rio's response was:

"It's a playback device, not a recording device," said Ken Wirt, vice president of corporate marketing at Diamond. "They shouldn't be going after the playback device; they should be shutting down the Web sites that are presenting illegal material."

Then the RIAA stated:

"I know that [Diamond] explains it is making a player, but we understand it to be a recorder," said Rosen. "I think it's well established under copyright law, that the reproduction that occurs inside the Rio constitutes a recording."

----------

So you tell me...no agenda to limit our rights? Want to help us be good citizens? Want to work with technology companies? Have a firm grasp on reality? Is this really about protecting the revenues and copyrights of artists, or labels?

These are the guys you have to watch. These are the slimeballs contributing to legislators. Just like they helped labels fuck the artists...now they're gunning for you. What are you gonna do about it?

  posted by Alan @ 2:35 AM



 
Construction...construction...

I'm working out a new look for the blog...so as I become familiar with their code...it may look a little odd...so bear with me.


  posted by Alan @ 5:55 PM


10.16.2002  

 
Sniper Alert

I'm suppose to meet with a client tomorrow in Georgetown (DC). I sent an Email asking if they thought it was safe, due to the sniper. The reply I got was:

"The theory is he won't come into the city because he can't get out. It is
too easy to seal off the bridges and getting around a city that is papered in
traffic is too unpredictable. To be honest, people actually feel very safe
here, and worry about going outside the city. It is an ironic twist. We
also still have heightened security because of the terrorist attacks
(including newly installed automated deployable ram barriers in major
streets; all anyone has to do is push a button and these things that can stop
speeding semis in there tracks just pop up in the middle of the road) - it
would just be too easy to trap him."

Theory-schmeery...I'll bet Linda Franklin and her husband thought they'd be safe in the Home Depot parking garage. They report it was a parking lot...but the photos in the NY Times cleary show a garage. I park in a garage in Georgetown. Last night I told me wife I wasn't worried because I park in a garage and walk down a very crowded street. Then I saw those photos. At this moment I'm still scheduled to appear at the meeting...but to say I'm not concerned would be a lie. I can logically say to myself that my odds are pretty long...but one day everyone's lottery numbers come up.

I'm not prepared to go into this now...but I've lived around the world...and there is some combination of social factors in this country that breeds this type of violence. I have more to say...but I'll save it for another time.

  posted by Alan @ 2:03 PM



 
PAN

The idea of individuals and companies sharing their wireless signal is something whose time has come. The concept of businesses and individuals coming together to build a wireless network is possibly one of the greatest socio-technological experiments in years. I also think it is one of the most misunderstood elements of technology...and this includes Warchalking. I think with the proper education, people will become aware that this is a positive move forward. I can already see people going to their local hardware store to buy, not only their brass house numbers, but their Warchalk symbols as well. We need a company to create these!!! You heard it here first.

I share my bandwidth. I share my wireless signal. I have two repeaters in my house on opposite ends. Their signal strength permeates into my neighbors homes, and they are welcome to use it. I believe that a great experiment in free wireless would be to take a single block of homes in San Francisco, and buy a repeater for every other house. One person on the block serves as the ISP. Everyone contributes a portion of the fees and the hardware costs. Why are we waiting for the telecoms? We have the technology now. And why are companies like AT&T; resisting this? We can build their wireless networks/infrastructures for them, without any costs on their part. I know I'm not the first to think of this, but I am amazed at the rate of adoption. I don't live in SF...I live on the east coast...and I'm the only wireless signal on my street.

One last item...I've got my own Warchalking symbol to propose. Soon we'll all be PANs (Personal Area Networks). We'll be able to share our own spacial bandwidth...and we'll need pins, coats, and t-shirts to represent them. We'll want to tell the folks passing us, "I'm a network...this is my protocol...and this is my speed."

Bandwidth envy anyone?



  posted by Alan @ 1:14 PM



 
Speaking of media whores...

I'll tell you what really pisses me off. I can't stand when a magazine includes a "Special Advertising Section" that mimics the design of the magazine itself. You know what I mean...you start reading it and you then notice the "Special Advertising Section" text in a really subtle font. The thing that is so unbelievably wretched about this tactic is that the magazine and the advertiser are complicit in the same lie. They both know the intent is to deflect your attention just long enough...and they know the affect it has. If they weren't savvy to it, they'd ask the advertiser to alter the design. Now one of the worst examples of this I saw today. I got my new Wired Magazine and there are at least 30 pages of specialized advertising...24 of which are in a row. And mixed within this section...every three to four pages, is what actually looks like an "real" non-camouflaged ad. Every page I flip takes about 15 seconds for me to decifer if what I am viewing is news or not.

I'm not saying a magazine can't advertise products, but at least try and keep the line from being blurred. I use to love when Wired was more counter-culture...and less over-the-counter culture. My last bastions seem to be 2600 and Ad Busters .

Remember, November 29th is Buy Nothing Day

  posted by Alan @ 8:43 PM


10.15.2002  

 
Should I Be Concerned?

Someone was referred to my site by doing the following Google search:

"zen blog whatever masturbation"

I'm not sure what to say...other than:

"cooties blog whatever vibrator"

Apparently Pink Haired Girl has a new vibrator.

  posted by Alan @ 4:38 PM



 
Home Sweet Home

More and more of us are leaving the office and moving our workspaces home. Since I left the corporate world, I've evolved my method of working in the past two years. I found what works for me and what helps me be productive.

I use to work upstairs, but I felt so disconnected from the rest of the house, and wireless allowed me freedom to be anywhere. I finally moved to the living room. I have a distinctive "retro" vibe going on...and I find it mixes well with my high-tech lifestyle.

I hate clutter...with the exception of my desk drawers. I don't like cables on my desk, and I hate complex looking electronic gear. I wanted a more natural working atmosphere. We removed the fireplace gear and installed a fountain...I brought in 12 or so plants...added some soothing colors that matched the natural tones fo the wood floor...got a fish tank...and moved all the "ugly" technology into my wife's studio. I don't want to look at flashing lights or hear my color laser cranking away.

How has your workspace changed?

Discuss?



  posted by Alan @ 4:14 PM



 
89%

According to a little snippet in last months Wired Magazine (I got it late for not paying my subscription on time), that is the percentage of the US House of Representatives who voted for the Cyber Security Enhancement Act. Wired states that this would allow life sentences for malicious computer hackers. In addition, the Anti-Terrorism Act would link the act of terrorism to the act of hacking. Hacking...I must admit some guilt to...but does this make me a terrorist?

Many months ago I was working on a FileMaker database when I spotted a foreign database listed on what appeared to be my network. Turns out that this person was on the same DSL provider and he was broadcasting his business database to the world without ANY password protection or a firewall. I opened up his database and searched for some clue as to how I could contact him before someone damaged his work. Not a clue. So I went behind the scenes and programmed a little note into his UI that told him he was exposed, I gave him my Email address, and then I shut down his database. I willfully trespassed into his database, altered his program, and shut it down. Does this make me a criminal? How about a terrorist? Do I deserve a life sentence without parole?

I later received a letter of thanks from the person, who also asked me advice as to how he could protect himself.

What concerns me is the precise wording of such a bill. Since most legislators don't know squat about computers, I think this law could severely damage our society. Between mandatory minimums and poorly written laws, we've hog tied out judges and filled our jails with millions of non-violent criminals...who are brutalized and come out of the system worse than when they went in. We're not incarcerating criminals, we're creating them.

"Hacking" is complicated to define, since it has become one of those nebulous words, like multimedia, that means everything and nothing.

Here is another statistic (this one I made up), 99% of the population doesn't know the difference between hacking and cracking. So until we get that straightened out, I don't think Congress should be passing any laws about it.

A few questions...

Will there be distinctions between malicious hacking and non?
Will a jury of our peers consist of computer experts?
Will hackers be shipped off to camp X-ray?


I live just a few hours from DC...and I'm ready to stop eating this delicious Pirate Booty, get off my ass, and get in front of some legislators...whose with me?!?!?! Of course that's AFTER they catch this sniper.

  posted by Alan @ 2:49 PM



 
Construction Ahead

Now that I have the hang of this blogging thing...time to replace this awful template with something better. Nothing like making a statement that puts me under the gun. Anyway, I hope to have a better looking blog and start linking to some other sites soon...so be patient if you pop in and things look a little off.

  posted by Alan @ 12:23 PM



 
Culpa Schmulpa

I want to take a moment to remark about the hubbub going on over at Searls blog. If you aren't up to speed, jot on over, but in essence it is a discussion over the ethical dilemma in taking monetary compensation in some form, to attend a company sponsored event...and if you do...revealing it to your readers. I'm not really interested in getting in the middle of something...but I want to expand on the topic a bit...by bringing the whole fucking topic (and dirty little secrets) out into the open.

As an aside...I think it takes balls to apoligize and publish the letters he received about the topic.

------------------

I make my living 50% consulting and 50% writing. I can honestly say that I have never had any organization or company directly pay me or my expenses for any trip that I have taken (never had the offer). However, I would be so bold as to say that I doubt any tech writer has EVER flipped the bill entirely on his own. I pose these questions to every tech writer/journalist:

-How many have accepted free software offered to them for evaluation?

-How many have asked to evaluate a product and did?
How many did you actually write about?

-How many products have you evaluated that you were allowed to keep?
How many did you keep?
How many did you throw/give away?

-How many attended a paid event where their press credentials got them in for free?

-How many have gone to a Press event (dinner, lunch, breakfast, etc) where only the press was allowed and food was provided? How many ate?

-How many attended press events where product was distributed?
How many kept the product?
How many returned it?

-When attending the Press Room at a conference, how many have eaten the free food provided, taken a soda, or bottle of water?

-Did you disclose any of the above in every article you've ever written or did you take it for granted?
Is it practical to divulge every bit of compensation?

Now...who do you think pays for all that? As someone who worked on the other side of the fence (business development) I am very familiar with the process. We pay a lot of money to garner attention from the press. The deluge of products and services make it difficult to get a fair shake in the industry. So, you pay for your press, one way or another. I have yet to meet a member of the press who actually paid to get into MacWorld, Comdex, or PC Expo instead of using their press pass. What is the monetary value of that...$100? I think bitching about someone taking compensation for a trip is splitting hairs. I don't know one tech writer today that hasn't eaten one free shrimp, drank one free cocktail, etc. None of us are completely innocent...NONE of us. And we don't disclose every fucking detail, because the public is not so stupid as to believe we pay for everything. I'm not going to disclose that I got OS X Jaguar from Apple for free, every time I write an article about it...it just isn't practical (I did pay for the first two versions).

I'll tell you a short story. My first event, as a member of the press, was PC Expo in NYC. I had never been inside a "Press Box" before, and let me tell you something, I was fucking shocked. What the public and the vendors don't see are the lovely accommodations, the constant free food and beverages, and the excellent computer facilities. When the food arrived, the herd got in line to stuff their faces. Later on we were taken via limo to an event where I saw John Dvorak (who hates everyone) stuffing his face with free food...making his 5 minute appearance before he decided to take off. There were shrimp as big as a cigar, fresh crab legs, dim sum, sushi, ribs, etc. The next day I went to a press event for Nexian at the Plaza Hotel. They had Scott Carpenter giving a speech very very loosely related to the Nexian GPS product. They served us a phenomenal breakfast, gave us free T-Shirts, and I stole my silverware. Low-class I know, but how many times will you eat at the Plaza? A week or two later I received a free Handspring Visor and Nexian GPS module in the mail. Shit, my head was spinning.

Did I review the product? Personally I did, and compared to my Magellan (which I also got for free) it sucked. Did I write about it? Nope. Can I live with myself? I sleep like a baby. I took their dirty money and I didn't give them any glowing praise. The trip cost me about $1,000 out of pocket even with all the free meals and transportation. The truth is that we evaluate products every day that we cannot afford to buy. Last year I evaluated about $30,000 worth of products (primarily software). I chose each product I evaluated personally. Of those products, I've probably kept $3,000 worth of that software...and I only use about $1,000 of it. Have I written bad reviews...a few. Luckily I have the freedom to pick what I want to write about, and I like to disseminate the creme de la creme to my readers...because I am a consumer too.

I think the real issue here is can you accept compensation and still be true to yourself? I know that I don't have that problem, some writers may. The fact is, even hard-core journalists work for magazines, newspapers, and television shows who get their revenues primarily from advertisers. One way or another you are part of the chain. As readers, we pick and choose who we want to trust. It is a very personal process. I think if you have read Doc's blogs in the past, and know his history, you probably trust his judgment. If you question his motives...I applaud you for not being a sheep.

I think you better question the motivation of any writer (including me) regardless of whether they were paid to attend an event (you can generally assume some type of compensation somewhere). In fact, you should question anyone who publishes anything for public dissemination. Writer's are ego driven. I know some may deny this, but the fact that we believe someone else would care what we think proves we think a lot about our opinions. I try to provide a service...and I have my own internal compass for what my ethical line is. And I believe my readers are intelligent enough to sort out the bullshit from the truth...and THAT...is what keeps me honest to myself and them.

In general I fucking loath Microsoft...the real question is...in the future, when Microsoft pays for me to attend an event, will I still say that?



  posted by Alan @ 11:18 AM



 
This American Life

Doc Searls recently noted that This American Life is possibly the best radio program on the air. I couldn't agree more. The problem is that I often miss it on Friday nights because of other commitments. If this is you, here's a tip:

They post Real Audio streams of their broadcasts quickly, and with my iRock 300, I'm able to stream and broadcast it to all of my Tivoli radios in the house. A little high tech combined with some low tech. It works for me and I think it does a respectable job of wireless audio without a huge investment. How can you go wrong for $30? It also worked well with my iPod in the car...and I was in DC. I suggest you invest in two sets of rechargeable batteries though.

This makes me wonder...can you boost this thing? Wouldn't it be fantastic to broadcast your own iPod radio station while driving down the road?

Yaaarrr! Pirate Radio comin to ya from the car pool lane! Where's me eye-patch?

  posted by Alan @ 3:25 PM


10.14.2002  

 
Maybe this web thing isn't a fad?

On a lark I went in search of my first website. I built it back in 1996 after I returned from my job in Australia. I used a WebTV box since I was short a computer at the time. I can't believe that was six years ago. For posterity's sake I went ahead and archived it before it disappears.

Even though it was a bit of a cringe moment to see how much I've changed in six years...it was an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Here was one of the last things I was reading at the time (I had forgotten) and I can't believe how profound it is.

Essays by Michel Montaigne "It is an absolute perfection and virtually divine to know how to enjoy our being lawfully. We seek other conditions because we do not understand the use of our own, and go outside of ourselves because we do not know what it is like inside. Yet there is no use our mounting on stilts, for on stilts we must still walk on our own legs. And on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting on our own behind."

  posted by Alan @ 12:06 AM



 
Digital McCarthyism

Definition:
1. verbal and legislative assaults characterized by sensational tactics and unsubstantiated accusations towards consumers in regards to digital rights management. 2. the presumption that all consumers are thieves and cannot be trusted with technology.

---------

I've become quite discriminating in my technical purchases in the past two years. I went from severe Alpha-Geek to educated consumer. I just got tired of getting stung by every neat tool that comes down the pike. From the first two Rio players, to the C-Pen, biometric security device, 10 or so visor modules, and so on. I realized that the desire to "have cool things" was far greater than the desire to "have great solutions." I was doing the big caveat that I warn my clients against...I was working for my technology.

That's why I waited to buy an iPod until I felt that it would fit my lifestyle and I would be comfortable with that type of long term investment. Last week my 10GB iPod arrived in all of it's splendor, and I must say...this is absolutely fantastic. It does EVERYTHING it should do as a music player, and more. Due to the architecture of the device, it has so many possibilities that I can't wait to explore. The only thing missing is video out and the ability to attach a CF card (or whatever) for portable digital photo archiving....but I'm sure that will come in time.

BUT

It occurred to me that in order to keep music industry lawyers at bay, Apple did not include a two-way path for the data. They built the MP3 equivalent of the Roach Motel, files go in, but don't come out. And although they did this, what does get Apple kudo points from me is that the iPod wasn't locked down with some freakish encryption monster that tied the tunes to the device. Because of this there are some third-party freeware applications out there that extract MP3 files from the iPod to your hard drive. And while the RIAA would consider this a big no no...I see it as a MUST have for any device.

Case in point...tonight I suffered a HD failure on my server, which is where my MP3 files reside. And although I do keep an archive of my music, I only do it about once every two weeks...so every file my wife and I ripped in the past 10 days or so was gone...about 30 CDs...a lot of time invested. I wasn't looking forward to ripping each and every CD again...so I used a nice little freeware can opener to extract my MP3's and playlists from the iPod. I was able to restore my entire collection of tunes within 15 minutes or so. FANTASTIC!

Now you tell me...is that theft? Is the assumption that all consumers will use this technology as a way to pirate media a fair one? Each day I become a little more stupefied at the types of legislation that is being railroaded through Congress. It makes me wonder where this will all stop?

One day....

-If I sing a song I hear on the radio and other people happen to hear me singing...do I have to pay a royalty for each individual who listens?

-If I rip a CD and then listen to it...will I not be allowed to remember it? Would that violate the future "space-time shifting" laws? Too many copies?

-If I dream of a Pay Per View event that I watched at a friends house, will I be arrested for theft?

Of course legislators would think these preposterous examples could never happen...

Well to that I say, fire up your Tivo's and set them to C-SPAN...we're about to see history made...the start of Digital McCarthyism.

  posted by Alan @ 10:47 PM


10.13.2002  

 
Predictions:

Just a little fun...

Within two years we'll see individual privacy insurance policies. Your identity will be a tangible commodity, just like any property found in your home.

Within five years the problem of identity theft will become such a scourge of humanity that the gov't will allow you to purchase a new identity so that you may start from scratch. There will be software applications sold in every Staples store that help you hot sync the old identity with the new.

Within the next six years, privacy will be a luxury your children rarely know. The high tech "spy gadgets" used by law enforcement and private investigators will be built into every consumer device. Everyone will be purchasing anti-spy protective devices as though it were like picking up an additional car charger for your cell phone.

Within the next 10 years genetic modification will be our children's cultural tattoo. Bio-mechanical enhancement will be what Botox and other surgical enhancements are today. Cochlear implants will not just be to aid the deaf. They'll be available for anyone. You'll be able to tune your ears using sound cancellation technology so that you can pick up on one individuals speech patterns and tune all other sounds out. At theaters they'll display the frequency you can tune to so that you can hear the movie without other distractions. You're cell phone device will be connected wirelessly to your implant and with voice synthesis, jaw movements will replace actual speech.

Within the next 20 years, we'll see example of the next step in human evolution, the Intro-Extravert. A socially interactive individual who can travel in public, yet is completely removed from the crowd. This person only communicates with others who are connected to their wireless "social chain." This chain of individuals are connected to each other 24/7, regardless of location or time. Space-time becomes irrelevant and the concept of private thought no longer exists. Shared thought and experience are the norm. Copyrights mean nothing.

  posted by Alan @ 10:45 PM


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