A very loud cat came in to eat cat fud. It turned out to be a big raccoon.
After scampering to the cat door (in the floor) and trying to pass itself off as basement raccoon watching us, it ran out.
I went out to take a picture of it and as I was turning to go in, I noticed the Great Sky Possum was perched on the roof keeping a wary eye on Basement Raccoon.
Time to get an automated feeder.
Fight the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act
I wrote my representatives:
The “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” introduced by Senators Leahy and Hatch to shut down internet sites accused of violating copyright is fundamentally unacceptable and must be blocked. It is predicated on three failed precepts.
The law would provide for expedited prior restraint of free speech based on a claim of infringement. This extends the already over-broad powers granted by the DMCA, which has been used to silence political opposition (e.g. John McCain’s DMCA takedown of a critical video on YouTube) and shut down legitimate criticism of corporate and financial interests. This bill will further erode free speech in America and thus further delegitimize democracy itself.
The bill provides for in rem actions against a web site. In rem actions have become one of the most popular mechanisms which police forces have used to enrich themselves by taking legal action against private property (e.g. USA v. $124,700 (2006)). This has lead to massive corruption and even the murder of innocent people (e.g. Donald P. Scott 1992). In rem cases should be limited to acceptable legal situations where the owner cannot be identified, not as a method of prior restraint or as an extrajudicial shortcut that effectively extorts compliance from the target by creating an excessive cost barrier to seeking real justice.
The bill promotes the fiction that copyright law is a property law. It is not. Limited monopolies on the fruits of inventions are offered to inventors to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. These monopolies are in the form of copyrights and patents. There is no constitutional basis for creating laws to protect the privilege of copyright beyond what can be proven to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. It is an offense to democracy to privilege profits over basic civil rights. American society would not suffer meaningfully without the copyright industry, but American democracy is meaningless without free speech. Unfortunately, the copyright industry leverages profits into campaign contributions and lobbyists while free speech is, by its nature, free and thus profitless. Free speech can only be defended from profiteers by patriots.
This bill must be blocked. Please stand up for democracy.
You Want It
Usually the scam/hack fake networks in public places have confusing names like “Free Public WiFi” which you find at every airport (and which never connects) but having “You Want It” as an SSID is extra special.
AT&T guy visits our house to check our T1
AT&T hates poor neighborhoods. They come up with some wacky excuses not to go if they can. We were waiting for a few months on the install of a T1 line and while the Covad guys were totally cool, the AT&T guys did everything they could not to service the deal.
Running out of excuses for missing calls, they decided to claim there was “toxic waste at the site.” We ended up in a big pissing match between Covad and AT&T with Covad finally offering to chaperon the AT&T guys through the process. They couldn’t really refuse that, so they came in their toxic waste suits. We missed them the first time through, but we had some line errors and they had to come back. Having foolishly called it toxic waste, they had to come in the suit. I wish we had a picture of the Covad guy and maybe Isabella with the AT&T guy all bundled up, but no such luck.
This is basically the technology world’s version of “redlining” where certain neighborhoods are denied access to technology. Pretty funny though, in this case the excuses, once made, ended up being a nice extra measure of discomfort.
Finding fun TLDs
URL shortening services have discovered international TLDs because they aren’t as jammed as .com where every combination of 5 or fewer characters and every word in the English language is registered at a parking site. Some new ones (t.co) have found pretty good short domains.
I found that RWGUSA.net is a great resource for registering domains around the globe – not only do they let you register all the easy ones in the table below, but they also have a way to register more complicated ones that require in-country support (for a fee).
Then all you need is a wildcard dictionary search and some patience to find a cute short domain. Check out the list below:
Films at TFF 37
I saw the following films at the Telluride Film Festival. I’ll try to get around to adding a few notes on each:
- Chico and Rita
- Oka! Amerikee
- The Illusionist
- Moana: A Story of the South Seas
- The First Movie
- Precious Life
- Inside Job
- Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
- The Way Back
- Le Quattro Volte
- Tamara Drewe
- Never Let me Go
- Of Gods and Men
- Black Swan
The film festival was excellent, as always. The films selected are rarely anything less than excellent, so reviews tend to range from good to superlative. It is probably the best film festival to attend for people who really love films. While the environment is low-key and friendly, the festival is attended by luminaries of the film industry and most films are introduced by the directors. Technically the festival is flawless and some of the venues are fitted with top of the line projection and sound equipment.
What happened in March of 1997?
- March 4 – U.S. President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning.
- March 6 – President of Guyana Cheddi Jagan dies in office.
- March 6 – Pablo Picasso‘s Tête de Femme is stolen from a London gallery (recovered a week later).
- March 6 – In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers overrun a military base and kill more than 200.
- March 11 – An explosion at the Tokaimura nuclear waste reprocessing plant in Japan exposes 35 workers to low-level radioactive contamination, in the worst nuclear accident in Japan’s history.
- March 13 – India‘s Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
- March 13 – The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China creates a new Chongqing Municipality, out of part of Sichuan.
- March 13 – The Phoenix Lights are seen over Phoenix, AZ.
- March 16 – Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrest Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.
- March 18 – The tail of a Russian An-24 charter plane breaks off while en-route to Turkey, causing the plane to crash, killing all 50 on board, and resulting in the grounding of all An-24s.
- March 21 – In Zaire, Etienne Tshiksekedi is appointed prime minister; he ejects supporters of Mobutu Sese Seko from his cabinet.
- March 21 – Mercenaries of Sandline International withdraw from Papua New Guinea.
- March 22 – Tara Lipinski, 14, becomes the youngest women’s world figure skating champion.
- March 22 – The Comet Hale-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth.
- March 24 – The 69th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with The English Patient winning Best Picture.
- March 26 – In San Diego, California, 39 Heaven’s Gate cultists commit mass suicide at their compound.
- March 26 – Julius Chan resigns as prime minister of Papua New Guinea, ending the Sandline affair.
Nom Nom Leg
I came home to find that Tortuga, one of the stray cats that’s adopted us, had developed a nice open wound on her forelimb. When I left two weeks ago it was a bit swollen, presumably abscessed, and then drained. I’m sure it was really gross. Anyway, the cat just couldn’t get enough licking that yummy puss and had turned the wound into a nice open sore.
The vet gave me some antibiotics and antiseptic cleaning solution and this lovely and stylish Elizabethan collar that Tortuga clearly just loves to wear. Her thought bubble probably reads something like “once this collar comes off and I can get my teeth around your neck, you better sleep lightly.”