A little late but here are a few of the things I found interesting on the net this week: Are viruses the ancestors of all life on earth?, Mormon's and DNA, Google releases more widgets, A decentralized internet?

Also I meant to post this last week but here is a quick rundown with links on the big discussion across the blogsphere about the supposed gatekeepers of the blogsphere. Whether it is about the long tail, or the short head, or A-list, B-list, or C-list. It all stems from the same idea, that there are a few blogs which have tremendous traffic and wield considerable power in possibly aiming that traffic at other blogs. What typically happens, as happens with most things social, is these high profile blogs tend to point their links to other high profile blogs. This social schema is better known by the power law. They perpetuate the traffic in the circle of A-list blogs, while the other blogs see significantly less traffic. These blogs with low traffic are in what is considered the long tail, the vast number of blogs which individually have few links into them and thus have low traffic but interestingly comprise more total traffic than the short head. More activity happens under the surface even if the surface seems more turbulent.

posted by dharh 12:12 AM Feb 18th, 2006 via idt

Someone made the point that democracy is not necessarily bad and freedom is not necessarily good. It's not a good thing to allow people the freedom to kill others. This may be true, but the points I was making was that fundamentally freedom is better than democracy. If a people in a democracy vote to allow mistreatment of woman that's not a good thing either and is strictly against the notion of freedom. The point can be made that you need to restrict some freedom to collect taxes and keep a society functioning. But this argument does not carry that things like oppression or religious persecution are necessary. These things are evil. Freedom opposes all these things, democracy doesn't.

posted by dharh 6:45 PM Feb 13th, 2006 via idt

Yes, I've finally bought the domain indeepthought.org. I bought the domain through goDaddy.com and am being hosted by some friends over at henge.org. They've got cold fusion set up for me so stay tuned as I write the code that will replace this site.

posted by dharh 10:42 AM Feb 11th, 2006 via idt

You can do this by going to your
C:Documents and SettingsUser NameApplication DataMozillaFirefoxProfiles directory. From there it might be either xxxxxxx.defaultchrome or default.xxxchrome. Create/edit the userChrome.css file, then add to it the following code:
/* Make menus disapear */
menubar > menu
	display: none !important;
You can also just hide specific menu items which you can do using the following code:
/* Hide menu Name */
menulabel="Name" {
	display: none !important;

posted by dharh 1:03 PM Feb 6th, 2006 via idt

We need to stop talking about fighting for Democracy. We need to stop going around the world talking about forcing people into Democracy and start talking about Freedom. That is a worthy ideal, all people should be free, free to choose whichever government they want. There are many forms of Democracy and Republics yet there is only one form of freedom.

posted by dharh 8:15 PM Feb 5th, 2006 via idt

Though I personally don't download illegal music and movies off the internet it's not necessarily out of deference to the MPAA or RIAA, both organizations I actually abhor. Their tactics are dumb, not helpful to their cause, and antagonistic to even those who understand the idea of stamping out piracy. I mainly don't download music or movies for the same primary reason that I don't buy many CDs and DVDs. I just don't want to watch or listen to most of their crap. I already own most of what I want. If once in a while something good does come around I do buy the DVD.

Music is a different beast. I am very much a fan of the idea that if I buy a CD or a song I am buying the right to hear that song or album anywhere and anyway I want. My license should be able to be temporarily shared out to someone else as either both me and other people can listen to said music when we are both in the same place or someone else can use my license so long as I am not using it. This seems a bit weird to many people but I believe it is a direct extension of how we use CDs and DVDs. We can invite friends over to watch a movie or play music on our stereo, though not for profit. This type of license is what we have come to expect from those medium by the end of the 20th century and should try to maintain it going into the 21st century even though the medium itself may change.

I fully expect in the 21st century to be able to buy music over the internet either piecemeal or in bulk rather cheaply to reflect the cheeper cost of distribution compared to CDs. DRM like that used in iTunes from Apple, though I hardly like to be treated like a potential criminal, is leagues better than the DRM used by the likes of Sony. I would prefer watermarking in conjunction with minimal DRM where any music I download is watermarked with my license information so that bots can monitor the illegal or even legal trade of music. The current DRM being pushed by companies like Sony BMG are another large reason why I don't buy CDs. I shudder to even put a music CD into my CD drive as now I can't know what programs are going to be installed that can not only install programs onto my computer without my knowledge or permission but can wreak havoc on my computer and violate my civil rights. The computer is the primary way I listen to music. I don't have a normal CD player and don't want one.

While I'm on the subject of legal license I would mention that I am in favor of shorter length of patents and copyright. You can see way down at the bottom of this page that I have a Creative Commons non commercial license for all the content on this cite. I believe it is a form of injustice to keep what quite obviously should be in the public domain as it has becomes ingrained into the consciousness of a civilization, far exceeds the limit of time needed to gain profit for the loss of R&D, and in too many cases is not even being sold or used by the parent company anymore (or whomever may currently now own the rights) but is kept for their licensing portfolio. If companies can't turn out a profit unless they keep their one single money maker for even up to 120 years, quite a bit longer than current average American lifespan of 75 years, that is a clear sign of a bad business which needs to be choked off and the way made clear for slimmer less bloated companies to take its place. Why exactly does the surviving estate of a dead creator need to keep a copyright for 75 years after said person has died?

Also what is this scary trend of companies who's sole purpose is to create or collect intellectual property (IP) in bids to essentially hold entire industries ransom after the whatever invention becomes ubiquitous (READ JPEG and SCO)? I think after a certain time if a company or someone invents something yet doesn't tell anyone about it they forfeit their copyright if someone else 'invents' the same thing. They certainly shouldn't be able to wait until the company turns a huge profit to suddenly strike and sue them. I do know part of the problem is a slow as molasses patent office and for that matter a dumb patent office. Why for the love of all that is holy should a company be able to patent parts of the human genome or naturally occurring elements? Handing out patents for any damned thing is detrimental to the health of the economy, stifling innovation rather than promoting it. Also allowing companies to change a small aspect of their patent as a loophole to continue keeping it out of the public domain is criminal.

Oi. For a good rundown on frequent misconceptions about copyright go here.

posted by dharh 2:02 PM Jan 17th, 2006 via idt

If your curious about what del.icio.us links I have you can go here. So far I've got about 200 links. One kinda cool thing is I have a wishlist tag that my friends and family can look at if they are wondering what to buy me for Christmas (hint hint). In related news it seems yahoo bought del.icio.us and you can read about it here. I'll have to wait and see what happens to del.icio.us but since I don't use yahoo except for the IM account it certainly won't make me use yahoo more.

posted by dharh 10:13 AM Dec 11th, 2005 via idt

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