The Null Device


A few pieces of good news: Microsoft's claimed patents on the FAT filesystem have been shot down, thanks to a challenge from the Public Patent Foundation.. As such, that ugly, inefficient throwback to the days of CP/M and 100Kb floppies that, nonetheless, has become the universal standard for storing files on everything from digital camera memory cards to MP3 players is free for anyone to use without having to pay a cent. With any luck, it's not the last overbroad software patent to go down in flames. Meanwhile, in Europe (where US multinationals are doing their all to push software-patent legislation through Parliament), Munich is pressing ahead with dumping Windows for Linux, despite claims that Linux violates loads of software patents and is a massive legal liability. Finally, in the US, part of the Patriot Act has been struck down as unconstitutional.

linux microsoft patents tech the long siege 0

  • Counterspin is a blog giving good coverage of the Australian federal election.
  • MediaLens is a site said to expose the biases of the mainstream media, consisting mostly of variously paranoid pieces by the various Chomskys and Pilgers of this world; still, it has some interesting pieces there, such as its excoriation of the Guardian's rehabilitation of Blair, and an interesting piece alleging that a renowned biotechnologist was sacked and harrassed on orders from Blair, ultimately originating at Monsanto.
  • Limited News has PDF files giving Murdoch's electorate-by-electorate news-management strategy for handing the election over to Howard. Or something like that.

australia murdoch politics tony blair uk 0

A look at John Howard-approved potential balance-of-power-holders Family First's internet policy:

Conservative political newcomer Family First wants an annual levy of $7 to $10 on all internet users to fund a $45 million mandatory national internet filtering scheme aimed at blocking pornographic and offensive content at server level.

via Road to Surfdom/Counterspin

australia censorship culture war internet politics wowsers 0

Former Young Republican turned maker of really cool web comics Patrick Farley has posted in his LiveJournal a Garrison Keillor essay on what's wrong with the Republican Party:

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb and dangerous.
The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

patrick farley politics rants republican party usa 2