“Different languages are spoken at varying speeds but thanks to correlated differences in data-density, the same amount of information is conveyed within a given time period. For all of the other languages, the researchers discovered, the more data-dense the average syllable is, the fewer of those syllables had to be spoken per second — and the slower the speech thus was. English, with a high information density of .91, is spoken at an average rate of 6.19 syllables per second. Mandarin, which topped the density list at .94, was the spoken slowpoke at 5.18 syllables per second. Spanish, with a low-density .63, rips along at a syllable-per-second velocity of 7.82. The true speed demon of the group, however, was Japanese, which edges past Spanish at 7.84, thanks to its low density of .49. Despite those differences, at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.”—The speed and density of language (via wildcat2030). This might be my favorite paragraph about comparing languages that I have ever read. I love everything that it implies about information and communication and the evolution of language.
Our new record was ‘officially’ released today. This means that you’ll find the digital version on various different Digital music stores like iTunes, AmazonMP3 and eMusic, and you’ll be able to stream the music from services such as Spotify and Deezer.
The physical versions (CD…
A bit of a reality check on how much it costs to make music available for purchase and streaming. Each of these services offers different benefits (from the possible mass exposure on Spotify to the only-diehards exposure of vinyl). All in all, the amounts charged for each type of delivery seem to scale correctly to match just how much a given audience segment wants the music. So that’s interesting.
Ok but remember: something taking skill is not what makes it elligible for copyright protection. It’s that it has creative elements. Photographs have creative elements. Those creative elements are protectable. Pretty much END OF STORY.
That’s the thing: thin copyright protection is mostly a legal fiction, short-hand for “this thing has very little creative elements, so very little of it is protectable.” There exist photos that have more creative elements than others; those have more protection. STILL pretty much END OF STORY.
An interesting case that’s attacking the first sale doctrine from a weird angle. It’s hard to imagine a world in which any books printed overseas cannot ever be resold without the printer’s permission. Bookstores couldn’t really exist in that kind of a system.
“Hotfile claims that Warner removed hundreds of files wrongfully. For example, when the studio removed pirated copies of the its movie “The Box,” it also deleted a BBC production titled “The Box that Saved Britain” and several files related to an alternative health book, “Cancer: Out Of The Box,” by Ty M. Bollinger. Hotfile alleges that this demonstrates a pattern of abuse of the copyright enforcement tool and a violation of its terms with the studio.”—
Maybe this will establish a mechanism for fighting back against companies that use the DMCA to have fair use works pulled from the internet. There needs to be a re-balance between the rights associated with fair use and the rights protected by copyright law. This might be a step in that direction!
A MAJOR solar storm would not only damage Earth’s infrastructure, it could also leave a legacy of radiation that keeps killing satellites for years.
When the sun belches a massive cloud of charged particles at Earth, it can damage￼ our power grids and fry satellites’ electronics. But that’s not all. New calculations suggest that a solar megastorm could create a persistent radiation problem in low-Earth orbit, disabling satellites for up to a decade after the storm first hit.
It would do this by destroying a natural buffer against radiation - a cloud of charged particles, or plasma, that normally surrounds Earth out to a distance of four times the planet’s radius.
You know how when the earthquake and hurricane rolled through the east not too long ago, we discovered that our plan for keeping connected using cell phones wasn’t good enough? Well we better get on that, because it’s time to also start preparing for SPACE weather emergencies. Our advanced have severely outpaced are preparedness for their failure.
Just when we thought iTunes had convinced us to pay for our jams, it looks like we’ve come full circle, back to free. Today, streaming music service MOG will join other services like Spotify and Pandora, offering a “gratis” option, reports The New York Times’s Ben Sisario. “MOG, an American music streaming service, has developed a free version to compete with Spotify.” But is the version really free? Just because you don’t pay out of pocket, doesn’t mean the service doesn’t have a catch. As with all neo-music listening options, it elicits subtler payments. No free streaming music service out there comes without a cost.
One of my favorite things about Hulu is this: it’s available for “free” online, which actually isn’t free because it includes ads. But when you pay the additional fee for Hulu plus, these ads don’t go away. Essentially, you’re paying for what you watch TWICE, once with your fee and once with the ads. So sometimes you pay twice for your streaming.
“Interestingly, the amount of data people create by writing email messages, taking photos, and downloading music and movies is miniscule compared to the amount of data being created about them, the EMC-sponsored study found.”—
Our computers and our Google profiles and our internet histories will eventually know more about us than even our close family will be able to piece together from our communication with them.
Imagine that: if a computer wanted to simulate me, maybe create an artificial intelligence version of me, then extensive interviews with my friends and family would be less informative than a simple scan of my laptop and of the websites I frequent.
“Why are books so long? Do the weighty thoughts of authors require it, or is it the economics of the publishing industry? Suppose there was a severe paper shortage, so that all books were restricted to a maximum length of fifty pages; would it not be possible for authors (at least of non-fiction) to say what they had to say in that space? Perhaps not for all of them. But most of them could, at least after some practice. The possibilities of such a situation are pleasant to contemplate—the cost of books would go down, the number of books we could read would go up. The improvement in the general quality of writing would be significant.”—
Neil Postman (via azspot). I think this might be an unpopular opinion, because it’s easy for people to confuse a desire for concise communication with a distaste for reading long books. I LIKE reading long books, but not when the introduction elucidates the argument just fine, and the rest of the book feels like surplussage.
Or how about this: release two books: one with your argument explained and constructed, and another for those that doubt any of the premises or assertions within the argument. Do a large run of the former and a limited run of the latter. You will make more money, your book will have more chance to cross over into mainstream audiences, and academics and specialists will have plenty to read if they desire.
“Sixty per cent of the data still resides on unprotected laptops and desktops. One out of every 12 laptops is lost or stolen within the first 12 months of purchase. Those USB keys that we find so convenient to use – 66 per cent of us admit to losing them with 60 per cent of those having corporate private data on them”—
This little set of numbers highlights the real threat to privacy and security. Our sensitive information is in danger of being taken from us not because our technology is weak, but because we have the wrong attitudes. See the LulzSec post on the main Stars Blink Out blog for more!
Saying that he’s been thinking about identity for 20 years, Schmidt calls it a “hard problem”: “The Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person”, he says.
A real person, Schmidt says, can be held accountable: “we could check them, we could give them things …bill them, you know, we could have credit cards and so forth … there are all sorts of reasons.”
“My general rule,” Schmidt said, “is that people have a lot of free time and … there are people who do really evil and wrong things on the Internet, and it would be useful if we had strong identity so we could weed them out.”
This doesn’t mean “eliminating them”, he says: “if we knew their identity was accurate, we could rank them. Think of them like an identity rank.”
This problem of authenticating yourself online is a really serious one. Identities are clearly established off-line, but there isn’t a solid proxy for establishing identity online. Historically, this has been accomplished by tying an offline thing (a credit card, most often) to your online identity. But using Google’s “identity service” to shore this up and provide a verifiable identity clearinghouse is an interesting idea.
“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.”—
“It’s been a week since Fox stopped offering free access to its TV-shows the day after they air on television. The TV-studio took this drastic step in the hope of getting more people to watch their shows live and thus make more revenue. TV-viewers, however, are outraged by the decision and have massively turned to pirated sources to watch their favorite shows.”—
This is all still pretty obvious. The article oversells it a bit, but it’s always been true that limiting the availability of legal sources for content boosts the illegal access. Remember that the traditional TV companies (Fox, NBC, etc.) own a significant piece of Hulu, so they get direct revenue from Hulu’s success. It seems weird to mess with that success. Hopefully they’ve learned something here.
“SB 914 was intended to reverse the California Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Diaz, which permitted police officers to search the content of a person’s cell phone under a narrow Fourth Amendment exception permitting warrantless searches of the area immediately around a recent arrestee as “incident to arrest.”—
You know what? I went to high school in the ’80s. I had a computer. I read sci-fi. I was super fucking smart. And I was what one would call a huge fucking nerd. The day “nerd” became sexy was also the day I realized everything that had caused me pain from age 0-19 had been coopted by jocks and diluted past the point of fucking no return.
Everyone’s adolescence is painful, but the “nerds” of today have ZERO to fucking complain about. Try actually growing up in the days when everything you now find cool was absolutely the most uncool thing in the world.
People’s kids are going to be so unimpressed by these new versions of “I walked ten miles to school, uphill, both ways.” They will shed more tears when we tell them we had to go home to use the telephone.
We are dangerously close to telling “it was so hard back then” stories where we describe how hard it was back then to tell “it was so hard back then” stories. “You kids will have it so easy… you’ll be able to tell your grandkids how hard it was to fight off the nuclear winter and the mutated slavering hordes. In my day, we never had it so rough, so I never had any stories like that. You kids are so lucky and you don’t even know it!”
We keep our pictures on our computers, or our phones; we display them on Facebook or some other networking site. But we rarely print them out, trusting instead in the permanence of technology that changes hourly.
In 2006, Fujifilm looked at the photography landscape and came to a startling conclusion. That year some 25 billion images were captured, and most of them were printed. Analyzing trends, the company estimated that by 2009, 135 billion images would be captured, but only a fraction would be printed.
It’s a problem that has historians and archivists worried that the late 20th and early 21st century — arguably the most photographed period in history — could be the least permanently documented since George Eastman first introduced his “box camera” to the world.
Yeah, this problem actually is a little bigger than just photographs. There are whole books that exist in only digital forms. Not only are our everyday experiences going undocumented by history, so might our art and our culture and our knowledge.
The sort of counterargument is that hard drives can be permanent recordings of something, and they presumably could last longer than even books. So: if this IS a problem, it is a very big one. Though it’s totally possible this is NOT a problem.
The FCC gave the coup de grace to the fairness doctrine Monday as the commission axed more than 80 media industry rules.
Earlier this summer FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski agreed to erase the post WWII-era rule, but the action Monday puts the last nail into the coffin for the regulation that sought to ensure discussion over the airwaves of controversial issues did not exclude any particular point of view. A broadcaster that violated the rule risked losing its license.