Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dugg: Drunk Guy Kills Internet

At least, that's what Digg says about this post on a blog called Valleywag, which tells us that, quite recently, a drunk employee at 365 Main, a datacenter in San Francisco, has knocked out a whole bunch of web sites, including Craigslist, Technorati, anything that ever came out of Six Apart, and a site called Yelp that I've never heard of. What's more, the whole city seems to be having power problems in general, which is probably why Second Life is down as well.

The data center in question is, apparently, also being mobbed by angry customers.

It's amazing what happens to the Internet when there isn't any power to run it on.

I think the datacenter may be back online now, but Six Apart's stuff is still down, so the issues may not be completely resolved.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Monk: The Randy Disher Project

In the latest episode of Monk, one of the characters dropped a URL--therandydisherproject.com--which is supposed to be the web site for his (fictional) self-promoting rock band. Lo and behold, therandydisherproject.com actually exists. Currently, it serves up a web page that looks quickly smacked together using some sort of site builder, promising the following:

This site will be dedicated to the greatest rock band in the world. THE RANDY DISHER PROJECT. News, photos, gossip, tour dates and much, much more. so stay tuned everyone!

Favorite Band Member: randy disher
Favorite song: don't need a badge

The domain was registered on June 27 to a company called Weeny Entertainment Ltd. (which, according to Google, doesn't exist), and (here's the interesting part) to one "Jason Gray-Stanford," the actor playing the fictional Randy Disher who dropped the name of the site. The admin contact looks to be an ISP standard mailbox from Adelphia.

Could there be a Monk ARG in the works? Someone should try the e-mail addresses and phone numbers in the whois info.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Media Rights Technologies Needs to Get a Business Model

Media Rights Technologies needs a new business model. Their current model, which appears to consist of threatening legal action against people who don't pay them money, probably isn't working all that well. A while ago, MRT threatened to sue media player manufacturers for not including their streaming media DRM technology, which supposedly amounted to condoning "stream-ripping"--recording a digital media stream for later playback. Now, they're going after the other end of the stream, asking the Library of Congress to revoke the statutory licenses of major Internet Radio broadcasters for streaming non-DRM'ed music, despite the fact that they are perfectly allowed to stream said music without DRM, and that the broadcasters pay royalties to boot.

From their letter to the LoC:
MRT developed and disclosed to the Subject Webcasters a technical measure that protects copyrighted material from being downloaded and copied. That technical measure is known as the X1 SeCure Sound Controller. MRT's X1 was investigated and found by the R.I.A.A. to be 100% effective in preventing stream ripping and protecting the rights of copyright owners without the slightest degradation of sound integrity. The Subject Webcasters have refused to accommodate the X1, and some of them have affirmatively interfered with the X1 by designing their new systems in such a way as to disable it, all of which constitutes a violation of a statutory licensee's duty under the Act.
So, because webcasters don't use their "100% effective" solution, they shouldn't be allowed to broadcast. Like I said, I don't think that that business model will get them very far. And, what's more, stream riping, like recording radio to cassette tape, is perfectly fine. It's not immoral, and, if it's illegal, the law needs changing.

Given that today is Fair Use Day, I say that we should all go out and, in spite of Media Rights Technologies' protests to the contrary, rip some streams. No amount of angry letters can change what is right and wrong, and people are certainly less--rather than more--inclined to pay you money when you try to bring the force of law to bear against them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Ok. I'm a little late with this one. ;)
Katharine Berry's AjaxLife is, quite possibly, the coolest thing ever from anyone on the TG. It serves as a web-based interface to Second Life, and although functionality is limited right now (as Katharine is trying to stop her server from imploding), a more complete interface is coming soon. It's already been written about over at Second Life Insider, New World Notes, and, most recently, 3pointD. I advise you to head on over and check it out--it's quite cool, although it's been under heavy load lately.