Miscellania missive

May 11, 2008

First things first: Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, including my own as well as my wife, who is the mom of our daughter. Here’s a white carnation . . . .

Thanks, Congress: Most people, including me, thought Democrats were swept into both houses of Congress in 2006 on the wave of correcting the misdirection in which the nation found itself up to then and promote reform measures aimed at helping the people over corporations. Silly me. Unfortunately, this course remains unchanged, and Democrats instead have come up with starting-block totalitarian measures like H.R. 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act (Note: Is there a Federal Bureau of Acronyms which has the responsibility to name legislation? Sheesh). This bill, passed by the House last week, creates a “top copyright cop” at the federal level and does the following, according to the bill’s author, Rep. John Conyers (who should know better): prioritize intellectual property protection to the highest level of our government; make changes to IP law to enhance the ability of IP owners to effectively enforce their rights; make it easier to criminally prosecute repeat offenders; and increase penalties for IP violations that endanger public health and safety. IP violations that endanger public health and safety? The only thing the House didn’t do is gift-wrap this for the RIAA and MPAA. Hats off to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who said ” The recording industry has made a business out of extorting money from students” whose computers are used by others for illegal downloading. “This could be the same type of situation.” More on the story here; and don’t forget to write or call your Senator, if you’re so inclined, since the legislation is bound for the Senate.

An aside: This has nothing to do with the digital realm, but it’s pretty awe-inspiring nonetheless. In fact, if this feat does not make your jaw drop, you’re either dead or you don’t follow baseball (which begs the question, “Why live?”). Yesterday, starting pitcher Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants struck out the first three Philadelphia Phillies batters on 11 pitches — three pitches to the first batter, four to the second and four to the third — in the top of the first inning. Wow. That’s what I call “dealing.”

Oh, and don’t forget: I’ve separated out the Felton stuff into its own blog here.

Sunny and clear, 58 degrees and rising — time to go to Mother’s Day brunch.

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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