You say Ketchup, I say catch-up...


Ahh, the grab-bag. The ancient style of column/blog writing that notoriously fills in whenever someone has nothing of pressing importance to talk about. Or, for that matter, nothing that truly warrants its own individual post. Yep, it's lazy Tuesday; we're in fourth week right now, the publication time when other editors' heads spin . As but a lowly Associate Editor, my workload slightly decreases during this time period, which leaves me free to do awesome things like: clean the labs, get burritos with Tom, and respond to reader inquiries in a blog-style format! That said...


Submitted by D Waterhouse on Sat, 2007-04-28 02:47.
what ever happened to your keyboard?

Well, D Waterhouse, I'm glad you asked that. I had been meaning to blog about the results, but was trying to find a good way to do so in the middle of another post. Long story short, the keyboard totally works fine *. No problems to report whatsoever*. All the keys work*, all the LEDs light up, and it's as if I didn't spill an entire glass of fruit punch all over everything important on my desk.

*actually, the "x" key is a little unresponsive, but not as badly as the row of F1-F4 keys. The "x" button isn't sticky, whereas I literally have to jam F1, F2, and F3 as hard as I can just to elicit some kind of response. F4 isn't that bad, but come on. Who really uses F4 . Feh.

But hey, losing four keys instead of a $100+ keyboard is a fine-enough trade off for me. I suppose I could douse the keyboard once more, and see if that alleviates the issue at all. But... I think... I'm not going to do that anymore, and just count my blessings a little bit. Yes sir.

HD-DVD Key Fiasco

As tempted as I am to post a certain 16-digit hexidecimal key , because I absolutely hate all things DRM, MPAA, and acronym'd, I'd much prefer to keep the following: my job. Or, rather, I'm not always the best responder to complaint letters, in that I'm a wee blunt. And I can't see an interaction between MPAA lawyers and myself going anywhere good, anytime fast. But I digress; if you're the least bit net-savvy (sorry, Gordon), you've surely noticed said 16-digit key bouncing around some of the 'net geek hangouts lately.

I, for one, think this is great. Not only because it absolutely ensures that anyone who ever needs to use such a key (to make a backup, obviously) will surely be able to find it , but also because it's the best "French Connection UK"-You to the MPAA that geeks can possibly give. Reminds me of that epic Star Wars quote: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

To be honest, I don't see what the big deal is anyway. Let's not kid ourselves here; HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, whatever. The format is irrelevant. High-quality movies will still float around the warez circles, the Usenet, The Pirate Bay, et cetera. The cracking and distribution methods have worked successfully for years, and thanks to Bittorrent, this quasi-hidden society has practically opened up to everyone.

There are simply too many leaks in the system -- and too many industrious scenesters -- to ever stop the release of free copyrighted content. It's as if the MPAA thinks that people are going to use said 16-digit code to start cracking their own movies at home. Screw that; in the time it would take me to bother with that, I could have just downloaded the movie.

Child porn case shows that an open WiFi network is no defense

This article made me sad. Not because of the child pornography implications, but because it's the first step in destroying my favorite theory as to how one can evade a copyright lawsuit -- leaving the ol' router open. At least, were I to be of the illegal downloading type, that's the first thing I would do; pop on the WiFi, "forget" the password, and grab all the Battlestar Galactica I can.

Granted, this was a bit of a different case, in that the cops ended up finding CDs child pornography in the guy's room. The open WiFi defense really doesn't work when you have all the evidence for a conviction sitting in your room . But still, I would venture that said defense is still a little risky to use. I assume you'd have to offer some kind of concrete proof that another computer accessed your WiFi, as opposed to just saying, "well, it could have happened." And still, how many of us actually have some kind of real defense (aka: hard drive nuke) in place, just in case the ol' C&D comes a-heading our way? Shrug. As always, download at your own risk! ; )

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