Breaking the law in Illinois?

Super-DMCA Already Law in Several States. Louis Trager at the Washington Internet Daily reports that Super-DMCA bills have already passed in several states: The low-profile lobbying effort was under way about 2 years before it burst into the open in recent days. Legislation supported by MPAA… [Freedom to Tinker]

Apparently Illinois is among the states that have passed some form of this legislation. Which means that I may be breaking the law as I write this since I sit behind a firewall, use NAT on my home network, and use VPN to reach the office network. I'm going to see what I can learn about the Illinois legislation. Meanwhile, I'll continue my civil disobedience. Maybe this is actually a clever strategy to jumpstart the ailing technology industry by forcing all of us to redesign our net access? Somehow I doubt it.

Use your computer, break the law

Ignorant Legislators in Michigan. When lawmakers create stupid laws, they reduce respect for the what they do and injure civil society. With hardly any… [Dan Gillmor's eJournal]

Ed Felten picked up on this the other day. If you use a VPN to connect to your office and you're in Michigan, then it would appear that you are breaking the law. There are other, equally stupid aspects of this new legislation. Why is it so hard to learn the most fundamental things about technology before acting?

Weblogs as filtering tools

Why blogging isn’t a fad. Arnold Kling offers one of the best explanations I’ve seen of the value of blogging as a distributed information filtering mechanism.

“This filtering process makes all of us more efficient. Information with low value does not travel far. Information with high general value tends to travel the farthest. Information with low general value but high local value tends to reach interested people but then die out because as it gets passed along its value decays below the threshold. Everyone tends to receive information with a high value to them, and they avoid having to read information that has low value to them.”


Gradually working off the backlog of items lurking in my news aggregator. This is, indeed, an excellent explanation of the value of weblogs in organizational settings and in communities of practice. I might have gotten to it earlier, but it’s from another of those Corante blogs that continue to refuse to offer RSS feeds. I have yet to hear the argument about why RSS feeds are a bad thing from Corante’s point of view. But until I have time to scrape these blogs into my aggregator I just don’t have time to track them, no matter how excellent the content may be.

Interview with Robert Kahn on ARPAnet history

Putting It All Together With Robert Kahn. Robert Kahn is one of the original architects of the internet, along with Vinton Cerf. This wide ranging interview traces the history of the original ARPANet and NSFNet as they became the internet we know today. Some interesting tidbits near the end of the article about his original plans for The Digital Library Project, digital objects and identifiers for digital objects. By Unknown, Ubiquity, March 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect] [OLDaily]

Mindstorms resources

Learning by doing and sharing… at age nine.

I have reflected a couple times on building communities of inventive kids. This post by Mark Szpakowski describes the kind of thing I believe could get kids hooked on learning and sharing:

I've been watching how my 9-year-old son is making use of the Lego Mindstorms community and associated sites: he's self-educating himself, making use of both books and online resources. The lego robotics forums let him see what builders all over the world are constructing, complete with digital photos of construction details. He refers to these in his own building projects, always with variations due to different parts, etc.

In the Mindstorms forums you can find dozens of kids exchanging tips and undertaking all kinds of cool projects. Makes me wish I'd had something like that when I was their age.

[Seb's Open Research]

Morons in the news

Morons in the News: Zero-Tolerance: The 'Tolerance' Stands for 'Intelligence'. If there's one thing I love as much as I hate zero-tolerance policies, it's clever use of a system… [Morons Dot Org]

Oh. What a wonderful Catch-22. A 6 year old is facing expulsion for having a plastic butter spoon in his backback. A spoon he got in the cafeteria and wanted to take home. So if they press for expulsion, the parents will sue the school for provding a dabgerous weapon to their 6 year old. Zero-tolerance is for morons. I hope the parents get a ton of money. [A Man with a Ph.D. – Richard Gayle's Weblog]

Something to brighten your day

Email and revealing communities of practice

Hewlett-Packard discovers communities of practice by analysing intenal e-mail exchange.

E-mail reveals real leaders [via Column Two]: how Hewlett-Packard discovers communities of practice by analysing intenal e-mail exchange. Contains reference to the paper, which describes the algorithm in more details:

Tyler, J. R., Wilkinson, D. M. & Huberman, B. A. Email as spectroscopy: automated discovery of community structure within organizations. Preprint, (2003).


Looks like an interesting idea. Something to get back to and read in detail