This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

Categories

Calendar

April 2009
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Episode 100

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Glowing Animals
  • Vat Meat
  • Swine Flu
  • Torture Again
  • Automakers
  • Bank Stress Tests

1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

View in iTunes

Podcast XML Feed

Note: For those using the “View in iTunes” link, it often takes iTunes quite a few hours to show a new episode after the episode is posted here. So if you are looking for the podcast very soon after I post this, use one of the other methods to find the new episode. For those who are subscribed, your Podcast software should pick up the new episode next time it checks for new episodes on its own, or you can always force a refresh. For those using the XML feed directly, the new episode is now there.

In the Woods

Baby Squirrel

I know posting has been light lately, so here is a heartwarming video of a baby squirrel.

(via Neatorama)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Diplomatic Windows

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Windows Again
  • Real Estate
  • Obama Diplomacy
  • Torture

1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

View in iTunes

Podcast XML Feed

Note: For those using the “View in iTunes” link, it often takes iTunes quite a few hours to show a new episode after the episode is posted here. So if you are looking for the podcast very soon after I post this, use one of the other methods to find the new episode. For those who are subscribed, your Podcast software should pick up the new episode next time it checks for new episodes on its own, or you can always force a refresh. For those using the XML feed directly, the new episode is now there.

DVD: Doctor Who: The Time Meddler

Last weekend was time for another Doctor Who DVD. Specifically, this time it was The Time Meddler, a First Doctor episode from 1965. We had actually been up to the Third Doctor, but in the mean time they released more earlier episodes, so we are back to the First Doctor again.

In general, I’ve felt like watching the First Doctor was basically an exercise in historical curiosity. They were interesting, but not compelling or really all that much fun to watch.

This episode surprised me. It actually kept me interested and engaged for the whole four episodes. (It helped that it was only four.) The Doctor was actually somewhat sympathetic. I didn’t mind the companions much. And I liked the whole premise behind the Monk. (He was another Time Lord, actively trying to change history to make things better, which of course violates various rules against interfering with history.) We got to see another TARDIS, which is always nice. It was fun.

I actually ENJOYED a First Doctor episode. (OK, some of the others were OK, but I definitely enjoyed this one more than any of the others I’ve seen so far.) This may be because this is the LATEST of all the first Doctor episodes I’ve ever watched. From things I’ve read, the First Doctor really grew into the character and became much more of a sympathetic character and in general the series matured a bit as things progressed. This was the very end of the Second Season. So maybe by then things had gotten into a groove and had become something that more closely resembles the later seasons that I am more used to. Dunno.

Anyway, I liked it. So if anybody out there is thinking of sampling a First Doctor story, I’d say this one is a pretty good place to start.

Pirate Bay – Guilty

This is sad.

The Pirate Bay Trial: The Official Verdict – Guilty
(enigmax, Torrent Freak, 17 Apr 2009)

Just minutes ago the verdict in the case of The Pirate Bay Four was announced. All four defendants were accused of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’. Peter Sunde: Guilty. Fredrik Neij: Guilty. Gottfrid Svartholm: Guilty. Carl Lundström: Guilty. All receive 1 year in jail.

The court said that the four defendants worked as a team, were aware that copyrighted material was being shared using The Pirate Bay and that they made it easy and assisted the infringements.

While the court did not agree with the plaintiff’s estimates of losses (around $12m), it still set the damages at 30 million SEK ($3,620,000). This a hugely significant amount and the court has ordered that the four should pay this amount between them.

Peter Sunde has already explained that this decision does not mean the end of the line in this case. There will be an appeal which means we are still far away from the ultimate decision – possibly years away.

As for the fate of the site, Peter has already promised that The Pirate Bay will continue. The site itself was never on trial, only the four individuals listed above.

It certainly seemed from the coverage of the trial itself that the defense had made a better case, but of course I’m not actually fully versed in any law, let alone Swedish law. Therefore I won’t speak at all toward if this was a “correct” decision. But any policy or law that makes what the Pirate Bay does illegal is bad policy or law. If this is upheld after the appeals, and if trends toward strict copyright laws continue, then I predict there will be a significant backlash as soon as the generations currently aged 25 and under who grew up with the internet and with file sharing as a normal part of life start reaching positions of power… perhaps before then.

Using the law as a ham fisted way to maintain and support outdated business and economic models that stifle innovation and the free flow of things with a near zero marginal cost of reproduction (basically any text, images, audio or video at the moment, and probably more things in the future) may be a tactic that works in the short term, but in the long run it is a losing proposition.

Quite simply, in good old fashioned supply and demand curve terms the ease of reproduction makes the supply essentially infinite which of necessity should drop the price to essentially zero. Using the government to make the reproduction illegal and/or difficult is simply artificially constraining supply to try to prop up the price… at a potentially huge overall cost to the efficiency of the system, which ultimately will be unsustainable.

Anyway. Sad day.

Various

I’ve been pretty busy, so haven’t had time to comment on things like the torture memos. I’m sure Ivan and I will talk about them on our next podcast though.

Also, yeah, I also watched the Susan Boyle thing a few times. Good for her.

There were other things too. I’ve got a bunch of starred items in my Google reader to either post about or talk about on the podcast when I get a chance. Some of them by the time I have time will be out of date though. Oh well.

I also have a request from a reader for a specific post about the banks and regulation that I got a couple weeks back. I’ll get to it before too long, but there has been no time lately.

Started

Yesterday Brandy sent all the relevant information to the lawyer she’d found for the purpose, and we sent in the first payment to said lawyer, so Brandy’s divorce process has begun. It will take awhile for anything to actually happen of course, but the process has now been started. Woo.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Ivan Sings

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Data Woes
  • Curmudgeonly Corrections
  • Pirates
  • Photo Copyright
  • Hidden Agenda
  • Executive Decisions
  • Dead Cat Bounce
  • Bernie’s Pants

1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

View in iTunes

Podcast XML Feed

Note: For those using the “View in iTunes” link, it often takes iTunes quite a few hours to show a new episode after the episode is posted here. So if you are looking for the podcast very soon after I post this, use one of the other methods to find the new episode. For those who are subscribed, your Podcast software should pick up the new episode next time it checks for new episodes on its own, or you can always force a refresh. For those using the XML feed directly, the new episode is now there.

Heartbeat

We had another appointment Wednesday with the doctor. Everything is proceeding normally. Back in February we’d seen an ultrasound where you could see the heartbeat. In March there was an another ultrasound where we could clearly see the baby moving around doing stuff. But today was the first doctor visit that Amy came along to as well. And today was the first time we got to HEAR the heartbeat:

Amy burst into tears. Happy tears. Brandy and I had seen the other ultrasounds live (not just a still picture printout). But this was Amy’s first direct “contact” as it were. I think the little brother or sister who’ll be here in a few months just became “real” rather than an abstraction.

And yes, the pictures are something too… the last set in particular where we got to see something clearly baby shaped that was moving around and seemingly reacting to things really got to me, I left with a huge smile on my face that time… but there really is something unique about listening to the heartbeat as well.

And yeah, I got a bit choked up too as we were listening today. :-)