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June 2004 archives

June 24, 2004

europa pictures

I finally got off my lazy ass and posted my euro-pics. Unfortunately the script I used to generate the albums didn't do any thumbnailing, so it isn't exactly the most bandwidth friendly of photo-albums. Hopefully I'll do something about that soon...

The pictures live at jheer.org/photos/Euro2004.

Here was the actual itinerary:

If nothing else, check out the town of Dozza in Emilia-Romagna. This small, scenic city on a hill is a living art gallery and hosts a wonderful wine cellar that treated us quite well.

Posted by jheer at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

doctorow on drm

Interesting anti-DRM talk from Cory Doctorow, given to Microsoft Research. I've just been reading Larry Lessig's latest book Free Culture (available for free under a CC license) and this talk covers similar ground and concepts.

The main claims:
1. That DRM systems don't work: if the recipient of an encrypted message and the attacker are the same person, you're doomed to failure.
2. That DRM systems are bad for society: honest people will remain honest, hence DRM only robs them of fair use.
3. That DRM systems are bad for business: open standards lead to new markets and new innovations.
4. That DRM systems are bad for artists: DRM flies in the face of the advantages of new media: more art with a wider reach.
5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT: DRM will lose. So don't pour your money down the drain.

Cory Doctorow: Microsoft Research DRM talk

Posted by jheer at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

fractal accountability

I think accountability or "transparency" of computer interfaces is a wonderfully important research problem, making this all the more interesting...

Fractals show machine intentions

Researchers from Switzerland and South Africa have designed a visual interface that would give autonomous machines the equivalent of body language. The interface represents a machine's internal state in a way that makes it possible for observers to interpret the machine's behavior.

You can also check out the actual research paper: "Towards genuine machine autonomy". It's scarce on pictures, but enough to get a gist. Didn't strike me as earth-shattering, but if users can effectively use it to better understand and make inferences about machine behavior, I'd call it a win. Let's see more user studies!

Posted by jheer at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)