Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The EFF vs. DMCA Section 1201

As the EFF's Parker Higgins wrote:
Simply put, Section 1201 means that you can be sued or even jailed if you bypass digital locks on copyrighted works—from DVDs to software in your car—even if you are doing so for an otherwise lawful reason, like security testing.;
Section 1201 is obviously a big problem for software preservation, especially when it comes to games.

Last December in Software Preservation Network I discussed both the SPN's important documents relating to the DMCA:
Below the fold, some important news about Section 1201.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Finn Brunton's "Digital Cash"

I attended the book launch event for Finn Brunton's Digital Cash at the Internet Archive, and purchased a copy. It is a historian's review of the backstory leading up to Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin. To motivate you to read it, below the fold I summarize its impressive breadth.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Web Is A Low-Trust Society

Back in 1992 Robert Putnam et al published Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy, contrasting the social structures of Northern and Southern Italy. For historical reasons, the North has a high-trust structure whereas the South has a low-trust structure. The low-trust environment in the South had led to the rise of the Mafia and persistent poor economic performance. Subsequent effects include the rise of Silvio Berlusconi.

Now, in The Internet Has Made Dupes-And Cynics-Of Us All, Zynep Tufecki applies the same analysis to the Web:
ONLINE FAKERY RUNS wide and deep, but you don’t need me to tell you that. New species of digital fraud and deception come to light almost every week, if not every day: Russian bots that pretend to be American humans. American bots that pretend to be human trolls. Even humans that pretend to be bots. Yep, some “intelligent assistants,” promoted as advanced conversational AIs, have turned out to be little more than digital puppets operated by poorly paid people.

The internet was supposed to not only democratize information but also rationalize it—to create markets where impartial metrics would automatically surface the truest ideas and best products, at a vast and incorruptible scale. But deception and corruption, as we’ve all seen by now, scale pretty fantastically too.
Below the fold, some commentary.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Risks Of Outsourcing

My Cloud for Preservation post was in some sense all about the risks of outsourcing IT infrastructure to the cloud. Below the fold I comment on two recent articles illustrating different aspects of these risks.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Lina M. Khan On Structural Separation

In It's The Enforcement, Stupid! I argued that anti-trust enforcement was viable only if there were "bright lines". I even went further and, following Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge, suggested a hard cap on corporate revenue, as a way of making anti-trust self-executing.

Much of the recent wave of attention to anti-trust was sparked by Lina Khan's masterful January 2017 Yale Law Journal article Amazon's Antitrust Paradox (a must-read, even at 24,000 words). Now Cory Doctorow writes:
Khan (who is now a Columbia Law fellow) is back with The Separation of Platforms and Commerce -- clocking in at 61,000 words with footnotes! -- that describes the one-two punch of contemporary monopolism, in which Reagan-era deregulation enthusiasts took the brakes off of corporate conduct but said it would be OK because antitrust law would keep things from getting out of control, while Reagan-era antitrust "reformers" (led by Robert Bork and the Chicago School) dismantled antitrust). 
You should definitely read Khan's latest magnum opus. OK, maybe you can skip the footnotes, I admit I did. Below the fold I examine two threads among many in the article.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Michael Nelson's CNI Keynote: Part 3

Here is the conclusion of my three-part "lengthy disquisition" on Michael Nelson's Spring CNI keynote Web Archives at the Nexus of Good Fakes and Flawed Originals (Nelson starts at 05:53 in the video, slides).

Part 1 and Part 2 addressed Nelson's description of the problems of the current state of the art. Below the fold I address the way forward.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

HAMR-ing Home My Point

In Double-headed Seagate disk drives? Yes, on their way, Chris Mellor mentions that Seagate:
expects to intro 20TB+ HAMR-based nearline HDDs in calendar 2020.
Volume production of HAMR drives is still 1 year away. In 2009 Dave Anderson of Seagate presented this roadmap. It shows HAMR drives a year away in 2010. They have been a year away ever since. A decade of real-time slip.

Only the good Dr. Pangloss believes industry roadmaps.