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Month: May 2009

Something Really Important

The more I think about it, the more I realize that Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics really need to be adhered to.

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with either the First or Second Law.

Practical Security: Resources from the US Government

If you live in the USA, did you know that your tax dollars are being used for some really good purposes?

You better believe it.  For example, the NSA provides some great guides and tools for securing your operating system, whether your are on a Mac, or running Windows, Linux, or Solaris.

Some of the guides can get a little complex (especially the Linux and Solaris ones), but even if you do some of what they suggest, you are increasing the security of your OS and are likely to learn a few things at the same time.

There are more resources from other parts of the government as well.

How To Hire a Web Designer

So you have decided you need a web site. You are presented with two possible paths:

1. Build it yourself
2. Hire someone to build it for you

Both paths can present challenges, but unless you are technically inclined, have a lot of time and determination, desire to learn some coding, and are pretty handy with graphics, you are likely to be doing yourself (and your business) a disservice by trying to do it accomplish this on your own.  There are many places online and application syou can buy which promise the allure of “building your own web site”, but in this business, you tend to get what you pay for.

More YouTube/Warner Fallout

I got another mention in the Media Post News regarding my Star Wars On a Banjo video being taken down by YouTube due to a complain filed by the Warner Music Group.

“Larry Lessig is not alone,” said Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is one of many, many, many examples where obvious fair uses get taken down.”

In case you were wondering, I never did file the complaint to get my video back online.  I first contacted the EFF because I had seen an article that they were willing to help people whose content had been taken down.

They didn’t take my case, but referred me to a page of information about what the ramifications might be should I choose to make the claim to YouTube.  In short, I would be opening myself up to getting sued directly by Warner Music Group.  Since they have many more lawyers and much more money than I do, I opted out of that plan.

It’s a shame, really, that something that fell squarely under the “parody” and “fair use” clauses got yanked off the Internet forever, and that there is no recourse for the little guys such as myself.  All I ever did was play the Star Wars them on a banjo, which you would think WMG would like because of the millions of views and propogation of the Star Wars legend.  It was free publicity in a very postivie way for WMG.