MPAA wants to control your TV


Posted On: Mon, 2009-11-16 16:22 by holmesworcester to DefectiveByDesign.org

The MPAA is pressuring the FCC for the authority to cripple recording devices using so-called “Selectable Output Control” (SOC).

Basically, SOC would enable Hollywood to actually shut off the video outputs on your cable box, DVR, or other recording device when particular movies or shows come on. When the movie’s over, the outputs might turn back on. Your devices would dance to Hollywood’s tune.

Most cable boxes and DVRs already include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and operate using proprietary software — both of which we need to work to eliminate. But just because many of these devices already use DRM, that doesn’t mean we should let Hollywood and the FCC keep adding more. This new form of control would take even more freedom away from people using those devices, would restrict people using free software like MythTV to watch broadcasts and record them, and would set a dangerous precedent elevating Hollywood’s desires over the public’s freedom.

We’re not talking about an imaginary threat here. Hollywood has already tried this sort of nonsense with the Broadcast Flag — which the FCC rejected.

Who gets to decide which outputs you can use on your home entertainment gear — the movie studios or you? File a comment with the FCC and tell them to keep Hollywood’s restrictions out of your living room.

Please file a comment with the FCC. Before you follow the link, you may want to select and copy this sample text:

Dear Chairman Genachowski,

I urge you to deny the MPAA’s request seeking waiver of Section 76.1903 of the Commission’s rules. This waiver would allow studios to engage in “selectable output control,” or “SOC.” SOC would let Hollywood decide remotely which outputs I could use on the cable box and recording devices in my home. The waiver would take freedom away from people using these devices, would restrict people using free (as in freedom) software like MythTV to make and watch recordings, and would set a dangerous precedent against the public’s interest.

People have a basic right to not be controlled by the technology they use. Hollywood and set-top box manufacturers already violate this right by imposing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary software on the public. If you granted the waiver, you would be giving them even more power to trample on our rights.

Now that audio and video are a natural part of how people communicate, the ability to record, archive, share, and remix audio and video is essential to free speech, political debate and cultural participation. Hollywood and the MPAA are pushing these restrictions because they want a world where they are free to communicate with us, but where we cannot freely communicate with each other. The FCC represents the public, not Hollywood. Don’t give them more power to restrict our freedom to use media or to participate in politics and culture.

As I understand it, the FCC also considers things like convenience, affordability, and economic impact in making its decisions. Other people have presented you with persuasive evidence that SOC will needlessly inconvenience viewers, will unfairly require the purchase of new equipment in order to watch certain movies, and will raise the price of basic equipment. But these questions should not even be considered when the cost is the public’s freedom. Even if Hollywood does find a cost-effective and convenient way to enforce these restrictions, they should still be rejected.

I urge you to deny Hollywood’s waiver request.

Sincerely,

Thoughts on RMS’ “How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software”


I have just read RMS’ “How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software” http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pirate-party.html and I’m still formulating my opinion on this but in general I am ABSOLUTELY  against the way copyright is done currently.  When Copyright was introduced to America it was a “Creators Monopoly” and only lasted 14 years.  The originators thought that was more than ample time for you to create something,  make back the money that it cost you in creation, and fund you next idea.  I also think that is more than enough time.

No matter what DRM is evil and douchbaggary

More thoughts to come [as soon as I have them :)]

I really want to see @doctorow and @lessig weigh in on this 🙂

HTML5 video tags have a power level over 9000


My brother showed me this post at hacks.mozilla.org on how to do the much bitched about html5 video tags. So I totally had to do it, and I did.

Here is my page http://numberedhumanindustries.com/video

The cool thing is that you can have it degrade codecs and and even all the way to flash. The first (intro) video is this way, but the rest are theora/vorbis file (yeay freedom!) So here is a little howto.

First You need a place to store the vids that you can link to. If you have dropbox you could put the vids in your public folder and link there.

To have a just theora/vorbis vid (because you love freedom) the code looks like this:

</video

To have a theora/vorbis vid that degrades to mpeg4 the code looks like this:

Now if you need it to degrade all the way to flash (puke) then it would look like this:

ok that is the long and short of it. Not bad at all but you need to have Firefox 3.5 and some versions of Opera/Chrome/and possibly Safari with some extra codecs that screws the whole idea.

**EDIT: ok so I’m not smart enough to get the code to show up so just check out the mozilla hack page I was just copying from them anyway 🙂

Conky and Ubuntu One (or dropbox) To Do How To


Do you have a todo.txt file? Wanna have it show up on the desktop? Wanna have it on multiple computers? Then read on:

[edit: since this was first written I have switched from *buntu to Fedora (and am much happier because of it) so I have added Fedora specific stuff for a bit of equal time)

Step One: Install Conky.

Conky is a system monitor for X originally based on torsmo. Since its inception, Conky has changed significantly from its predecessor, while maintaining simplicity and configurability. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in its own window. Not only does Conky have many built-in objects, it can also display just about any piece of information by using scripts and other external programs.

On Debian/Ubuntu either:

apt-get conky
or
aptitude conky

On Fedora

yum install conky

Step Two: Sign Up for and Install Ubuntu One (still in beta if you want an invite stick your identica username or email address in the comments) or Dropbox:

On Ubuntu:
You can find Ubuntu One at https://ubuntuone.com/ and you can find Dropbox at https://www.getdropbox.com, both of these services have free 2GB storage, and have a GPL plugin for Nautilus. If you aren’t using GNOME @ me on Identi.ca and if I get more than a couple of messages i’ll write a how-to on setting them up in other desktop environments/window managers.

On Fedora: To date there isnt a working UbuntuOne build. there was a try http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/lkundrak/ubuntuone/ but I couldn’t get it to work. But Dropbox totally works!

Step 3: Make a todo.txt file:

Assuming you are doing this by the defualts you will have a ~/Ubuntu One/ (or ~/Dropbox) folder. Just stick your todo.txt file there.

PROTIP: I put [ ] infront of each thing that needs to be done so that I can ad an “x” to it (and thus having [x] so that I can tell what I have accomplished.

PROTIP: Create a shell script called todo that has “gedit ~/Ubuntu One/todo.txt” without quotes to /usr/bin/ and then you can use your Alt+F2 launcher to quickly edit your todo list. You can substitute gedit with whatever grapical editor you want, and if you are playing the Dropbox version of our game it would be “gedit ~/Dropbox/todo.txt” again without the quotes.

Step 4: add your todo list to conky:

add:

Todo: Today, ${color slate grey}${time %a, } ${color }${time %e %B %G}
$hr
${execi 30 cat /home/three/Dropbox/todo.txt | fold -w50 }

to your conky config file (it’s often in your home folder under .conkyrc but sometimes it’s in /etc/conky/conky.conf)

Step 5: enjoy your productivity:

any computer you put Ubuntu One or Dropbox on will be able to do this so a desktop, laptop, and netbook can all have the same info (as long as you get them online long enough for it to sync)

Extra:

Here is my conky config if anyone is interested:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/194299/conkyrc

and a screenshot :

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

W00ts im a Computer Nerd because the internet said so



My computer geek score is greater than 100% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Overall, you scored as follows:

0% scored higher (more computer geeky),
0% scored the same, and
100% scored lower (less geeky).

Compared to those in the same age group as you:

0% scored higher (more computer geeky),
0% scored the same, and
100% scored lower (less geeky).

What does this mean? Your computer geekiness is:

Step aside Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, and Steve Jobs… You are by far the SUPREME COMPUTER GOD!!!