Saturday, May 08, 2004

The future is not as locked down as was originally planned

Microsoft's extravagant silver-bullet to cure piracy, rid the Internet of worms and viruses, and possibly bring about world peace won't now appear in Longhorn, the next version of Windows.

Originally named Palladium, Microsoft billed this as the solution for viruses. In smaller print they also talked about how it could stop confidential documents from ever being leaked by encrypting them. If you read between the lines, you found that it would also allow for total lock-down of all music and movies. A movie could only be played on a single PC for a limited length of time and there would be no way of ever ripping a CD.

The Washington Post has an article on the Dark Side of the Tune

Apple quietly reduced the number of CDs you can burn a playlist onto.

Sony launched their own music service which (surprise) requires their music player. They use a brand new format called Atrac which is incompatible witht he rest of the world.

Oh, *Those* WMDs!

According to FrontPage Magazine, poison gas from Iraq was about to be used by terrorists to kill tens of thousands in Jordan.

Granted this is a right-leaning source but the basics of the story checks out. The terrorist plot was real.

The Bush administration and even retired weapons inspector David Kay have never backed down from their assertions that WMDs were sent into Syria. Hans Blix admits that Iraq had tons of chemical weapons a decade ago and could never account for what happened to them. None of this is getting any press. The Jordan story lasted a day (long enough for the Daily Show to make fun of it). No one seems to care where the chemicals came from or how al-Qaeda got them.

More on Moore

It seems that Disney announced a year ago that it would not distribute Moore's new film. Eisner denies that Florida tax breaks were involved.

Disney, he said, had simply decided that it "did not want a film in the middle of the political process when we're such a non-partisan company."

In Florida, Jeb Bush asked:
"What tax break?". "We don't give tax breaks, that I'm aware of, to Disney," the governor said.

A slightly different take.

But in the CNN interview he said: "Almost a year ago, after we'd started making the film, the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, told my agent he was upset Miramax had made the film and he will not distribute it."

Nobody in Hollywood doubts Fahrenheit 911 will find a US distributor. His last documentary, Bowling for Columbine , made for $3m (£1.7m), pulled in $22m at the US box office.

So Moore made the movie after being told before hand that Disney would not distribute it and now he blames the Bush family? That is not censorship, that is a crass publicity stunt.

Moore supposedly had trouble getting his last book published and the surrounding publicity made the book a best-seller. The same thing happened with Al Franken's last book. Any connection here?

A lot of people are confused about free speech and freedom of the press. Freedom of the press means that the owners of the press is free to publish anything they want. They are also free to reject anything that someone else gives them to print.

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