Friday, May 13, 2011

Electronic Frontier Foundation holds Happy Hour Speakeasy in Washington DC

The Electronic Frontier Foundation held (or perhaps beheld) a “members only” Speakeasy at the Mad Hatter Grille, just below Dupont Circle in Washington DC early Thursday evening, during happy hour.
Let me add right off that the sports bar had great burgers.

The area was small and crowded, up front.  I got into conversations about Righthaven, but also about the issue of wardriving and the recent cases of people getting “busted” when others used their routers without their knowledge (either by police or by copyright trolls).  There’s a recent court opinion where a judge said “an I.P. address is not a person.”  The conventional wisdom is that home router users should use strong passwords and the best encryption, but then the “plausible deniability” of the home user is undermined should there occur a targeted hack.  ISP’s should take some responsibility to define legally best practices and train home and small business users in these. But that involves business or downstream liability risks for the ISP’s, so one way or another, Obama’s DOJ needs to get a handle on the problem, as well as the FCC, hold discussions with industry, and publish guidelines.

I also heard that the Mac is still “safer” than Windows for now, but not for too much longer. The safest machine may be a Linux, but I still don’t see a lot about applications available for it.  But I thought the $100 laptop for overseas use in poor countries was supposed to be Linux.

On the copyright troll problem, there was discussion that copyright law does provide some penalties for frivolous lawsuits, but the provisions take far too long for courts to enforce. 

I took a circuitous route to get there, mistakenly thinking that McPherson Square was closer than Farragut, but at least I saw a “Dairy Farmer’s Market” near the White House.

As for paying for things – yes, I do occasionally buy a Blu-Ray movie DVD – if it is a movie that I need to study for my own screenwriting of “Do Ask Do Tell”.  So far, the list of films to study in detail includes “Inception”, “The Social Network” (especially the opening scene in the bar), and “Black Swan”.  It’s not practical to “collect” movies the way I collected classical records and CD’s over the records. It’s more about writing my own movie, or my own music. Create thy own content, and pass Copyright School.  

Note: It appears that all of my posts from May 11 and 12 on all blogs have been restored, after the Blogger outage.   Everything seems back to "normal". I'll talk soon on the IT blog about my own experience with recoveries in a mainframe environment.

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