Lowe’s just doesn’t get hyperlinks

Lowe’s has a long license to link to its site.

Let it be known that if you want to link to me, you can just do it. Link to any page you want, as many times as you want. You’re doing me a favor if you do. In fact, I find it funny that a commercial site would tangle up something as important as linking in bureaucracy like that. As much as they worry about SEO, there’s still nothing in the world that improves your search results like good, old-fashioned 1994-era links.
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Redigi gets to live another day

Slashdot is reporting that selling used MP3s has been ruled legal. Unfortunately, Slashdot jumped the gun on that–it’s not quite what happened. Capitol Records asked a judge to shut down Redigi, and the judge refused. So Redigi can continue to operate, at least until the case goes to trial.

That in itself is a victory. But this isn’t the Super Bowl, where it’s just one game. More like the World Series.
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Open-source licenses, the CISSP, and the real world

You may have a question about open-source licenses on your CISSP exam. I don’t remember the specifics and wouldn’t be able to repeat them anyway, but I had a question on my exam where knowing the differences was helpful in finding the right answer.

And I had to deal with an issue this past week involving open-source technologies where the licenses made a big difference.

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And it seems that today things worked how they’re supposed to

Today, the Web protested SOPA and PIPA in various ways. And though momentum seemed to start shifting as long as a week ago, the protest went on, and some Washington politicians started changing sides, suggesting that maybe, just maybe, sometimes representative government can’t be bought.

I even saw a quote somewhere–I wish I’d written down where–that attributed one side-changer as saying it’s more important to get this legislation done right than to get it done fast. Read more

If you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are

If you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are, I urge you to visit this site. SOPA and PIPA, among other things, completely undermine the idea of due process, without which we might as well still be constituents of King George III.

If we want a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, SOPA and PIPA have to be stopped. If we want a government of the corporations, for the corporations, by the corporations, SOPA and PIPA are a tremendous jump in that direction.

Write your congressmen. You can do it from the site linked above. If you have certifications, sign off with them. Any little extra bit of weight you can throw behind your argument helps.

Copyrights can be useful things, but SOPA and PIPA have too many unintended consequences. It’s like treating an illness with hemlock. It’ll cure the illness, but there’s this one side effect that’s a doozy.

Maybe it is (or will become) legal to rip your DVDs

My oldest son met me at the door one day as I came home from work, holding two pieces of his favorite Bob the Builder DVD. “Daddy fix it?” he asked.

I can fix a lot of things, and I’ve learned a lot trying to fix his toys before, but when a DVD is snapped in two, there’s nothing I can do about that.

“What, you didn’t have it backed up?” one of my coworkers asked when I told him. “No,” I said. “And I wouldn’t admit it if I did.”
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How to tame e-books

I haven’t exactly been rushing out to buy an e-reader, for at least a couple of reasons. The practical reason is that I’m afraid of being locked in to a single vendor. Amazon is the market leader and the most likely to still be around for the long term, but they’re the worst about locking you in. The other vendors offer slightly better interoperability–supporting the same file format and, optionally, the same DRM–but the non-Amazon market leaders are Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Sony, all of which are scary. Borders is being liquidated; B&N isn’t losing money–yet–but its profit margins have shrunk each of the last two years; and Sony’s recent problems are well known to the security community. I’m not too anxious to climb into bed with any of them. Google is entering the market as well, but the first Google-backed e-reader doesn’t support highlighting or note-taking.

The Luddite reason is that I’m old enough to have an attachment to books. Physical books, printed on paper. Maybe this isn’t true for any generation beyond mine (I’m a GenXer), but for my generation and previous generations, having books on your shelf is a sign of being educated. And there are certain books–or types of books, depending on your field–that you’re expected to have on your shelf.

To a certain extent, the latter reason can be negated by playing the e-reader card. Of course I have the complete works of Shakespeare on my e-reader, so those Shakespeare books from college just became clutter…
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