The Internet

BitTorrent lands new hardware deals

An article by Greg Sandoval, Staff Writer, CNET includes:

Asus, Planex and QNap will include BitTorrent's peer-to-peer technology in products such as wireless routers, media servers and network storage devices, BitTorrent said in a statement Monday. Two of the devices made by Asus can be configured to download digital files via BitTorrent without the use of a PC.

CLUE policy coordinator at the Alternative Telecommunications Policy Forum

(See copy on CLUE's BLOG , p2pnet)

CLUE supporters might ask what Telecommunications Policy has to do with Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), and why I would be at the Alternative Telecommunications Policy Forum. My interest in FLOSS came out of my interest in community networking where networks and the software that controls them are decentrally controlled. It turns out that many of the recent and most controversial "copyright" related policies that threaten FLOSS, such as anti-circumvention policy (legal protection for DRM, DMCA, 1996 WIPO treaties), is also a derivative of telecommunications policy discussions, but with the opposite vision of these networks.

Alternative Telecommunications Policy Forum

I will be attending the Alternative Telecommunications Policy Forum.

Join a gathering of telecommunications policy experts, community groups, public interest advocates, and academics to discuss and debate the future of telecommunications policy and regulation in Canada, Ottawa, October 19-21, 2006.

Updated as event starts this evening.

Small-c conservative MP blogger kicked out of Conservative party for being too transparent?

I would like to hear feedback from our community on this. The Turner Report is a BLOG from the MP from Halton (Ontario), and this is clearly an MP that we should be talking to as he better understands modern technology. Unfortunately his being transparent to the public got him in hot water. (See: Globe and Mail , CTV. , Toronto Star , CP via Toronto Star)

Many stories suggest that he was kicked out of the caucus for his views. My question is this: While we know the views of someone transparent enough to have a daily BLOG, what do we really know about the other 307 MPs?

Does YouTube Deal Signal a Change for File Sharing?

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column examines the examines the parallels between YouTube and Napster, asking whether the YouTube - Google deal might foreshadow licensed peer-to-peer systems. The column argues that the lure of Internet advertising revenues, which proved enticing in the case of YouTube, might be sufficient to allow someone to succeed where Napster failed. Toronto Star version, Geist's BLOG.

Survey: Citizenship, Standards, and the Government On-Line Initiative

The Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology at Simon Fraser University is conducting this research to ensure that online government services are inclusive of your needs and that they represent a diversity of people and computing environments in Canada.

The confidential online survey will give you an opportunity to tell us about your computing environment and experiences. The online survey is a collection of multiple-choice questions about your computer(s), the software that you use, how you access the Internet, and how you anticipate that your computing environment will change in the future. There are also survey questions that provide you with an opportunity to elaborate your opinions, experiences, or answers in more detail.

ICANN's agreement with the U.S. government will only muddy the Internet further

This article by Shane Schick includes:

Critics have sometimes dreamed of a U.N.-style regulator for the domain name system without apparently taking any look at how the U.N. is regarded by the international community. The U.S.'s size, military strength and economic performance practically guarantees it a stronger-than-usual influence over the U.N., and recent events in the last three years have demonstrated its capacity for unilateral action. Does it really make sense to assume the U.S. would invade Iraq in defiance of its global neighbours but will leave the Internet alone?

Information want to be free—and so does writer Cory Doctorow

This interview with Cory Doctorow in Sci Fi Weekly includes:

The other thing that is really intensely personal about this is the years I spent in standards bodies and at the United Nations and in other diplomatic and policy fora arguing about technology liberty with technologists who are actually conceiving of plans to design a world in which, for example, only one kind of digital television would be allowed and anything that did something out of spec would be unlawful. Right now we see this with PCs with trusted computing, where there is going to be a means for computers to discriminate against each other based on whether or not they adhere to some restriction system designed essentially by Microsoft. So I have had a lot of experience with that stuff.

A proper use of technical measures by authors and publishers

An article in the the UK times talks about an attempt to create a technology called the "Automated Content Access Protocol" which would tag content such that search engines would know what is intended to be done with it. While using such a technology is both appropriate and necessary, I believe it is inappropriate for legacy publishers to create yet another format when there are already standards for this. They should be publishing documentation on "best practises", and participating with existing bodies working on this problem, not coming up with their own incompatible formats.

India At The Forefront Of Knowledge Commons Debate

An article by Frederick Noronha includes:

NEW DELHI - What do seeds have in common with software? Or age-old medicines with copyright lawyers? And, what’s the link between ayurvedic medicines and techies talking free software in Bangalore?

I first read this article on the same weekend that I was visiting a family friend. My in-laws were born in India, and many of our family friends were also born in India with their children born and growing up here.

We were talking about educational systems. I was expressing my view that I worry about North America as we are moving to a knowledge economy and yet our educational system and most knowledge-based businesses are stuck in the industrial era. I spoke about the global economic inefficiencies involved in industrial-era "marginal cost" (royalty/etc) based business models. I also spoke about the competitive environment in classrooms in India and how children there are learning advanced topics much earlier than their Western counterparts.

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