The RIAA Sucks (so what else is new?)

In a new low, the RIAA has announced that it will begin gathering evidence for a series of lawsuits against “users who upload/share ‘substantial’ amounts of copyrighted music.” No details were given as to what is considered “substantial,” but RIAA asshole president Cary Sharman said that “RIAA is not targeting people who use P2P networks only for downloading,” which agrees with the EFF’s assessment of the situation. Basically, the RIAA is not necessarily trying to stop people from downloading copyrighted material but is instead scaring people into not sharing material so that others can download it; pretty dastardly, actually.

The EFF has some good suggestions for action against this development:

Don’t like the idea of turning off file-sharing or changing your file names to prevent stupid robots or RIAA employees from mistaking your files for infringements?

Neither do we!

Join EFF’s campaign to make file-sharing legal while getting artists paid:

  1. Contact your Congressional Representative and demand that Congress hold immediate hearings on ways to save P2P technology and file-sharing while ensuring that artists get paid.
  2. Learn more about alternatives. EFF’s peer-to-peer web pages gather together some of the best ideas and describe how similar sorts of technology changes have been handled in the past.
  3. Tell a friend, family member, colleague or even stranger on the street about the damage that the RIAA is doing to the Internet, innovation, and consumer choice. There are over 57 million Americans who use P2P file-sharing – more than voted for President Bush – and millions more worldwide – so chances are good that the person sitting next to you on the bus, walking beside you on the sidewalk or driving in the car in front of you is using file-sharing, too. Start the conversation.
  4. Join EFF and support our efforts to protect file-sharing.

As much as I hate to admit it, this is only going to get worse, as the RIAA seems determined to stifle the use of technology, alienating its entire user base instead of working towards equitable alternatives for the artist and consumer alike.

What Time Is It?

I knew that there were different methods for maintaining the standards of time, but until I read this Guardian Unlimited article, I didn’t realize just how many divergent systems there were and by how much they differed. I also hadn’t realized that the Moon is slightly, steadily slowing the Earth’s rotation, necessitating the addition of “leap seconds” at irregular intervals. Between this phenomenon and the differing time scales, “the scales can be as much as 30 seconds apart and the gap between them is growing steadily.” This could eventually lead to not only confusion among different systems but also to misreported GPS positions causing an accident, for example. The ITU is working on settling on a universal standard, but they have a lot of different considerations to take into account; the article goes into in a little more detail on some of these.

Read My Lips

Read My Lips is simply hilarious:

Are you tired of hearing politicians talk? Well, hear them sing instead. Listen to Saddam Hussein singing “Imagine.” Or to the love duet featuring Bush and Blair. Johan Söderberg has lip-synced some of the most hated and loved people in history to some of the most hated and loved songs of all times.

I need to take a look at some of the other video clips, but if the Bush-Blair duet of “Endless Love” is any indication, this should be pretty fun…