Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

The one 18-minute video you have to see this year: Nina Paley’s “Copyright Is Brain Damage”.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

I’ll keep this short, because the very best thing you can do right now is go watch this 18-minute video of Nina Paley giving a talk at TEDxMaastricht about exactly why she is a copyright abolitionist and how copyright abolition starts at home, especially for artists. It is by far the best, most eloquent explanation […]

Grammar As Proxy: The Experian Data Breach

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

I got a treeware letter recently from Experian explaining how one of their servers had been hacked and how my private data (name, address, Social Security number, phone number, birth date, etc) was likely obtained by criminal resellers. The letter was a little more euphemistic than that, but that’s basically what Experian was admitting. To […]

Privacy is an ecological concept, not a transactional one.

Monday, October 5th, 2015

On a private mailing list, a friend recently asked this: Playing devil’s advocate here: what privacy are you trying to protect? Is it very important to you that websites not know what sort of products you’re interested in (and if so, why)? Or is it that you simply find targeted ads annoying? I ask as […]

Twitter “Verified” Account… Not So Much.

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Update Nov 2015: Many thanks to Twitter engineer Eitan Adler for grabbing this one by the horns and steering it skillfully and persistently through the support team. My friend’s problem is now solved. Note: If you’re from Twitter Inc., please contact me. If you work at Twitter and you know how to fix the problem […]

Freedom of conscience applies to Kenyan immigrants too.

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

I’ve run across yet another reference to President Obama’s supposedly Muslim father, this time in a magazine that I subscribe to and like, The Atlantic. It was in this interview of Michael Oren by Jeffrey Goldberg, but the relevant quote is actually from a piece by Oren in Foreign Policy: In addition to its academic […]

Nice web design, but poor logic: Why OccupyGPL is wrong.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Update 2015-02-12, ~12 p.m. CT: Eric Schultz just told me that the OccupyGPL site has suddenly started redirecting to, within the last few hours! So my post here is already obsolete — the problem has solved itself. If anyone knows more about this, please leave a comment here. In the meantime, I’ve put a copy of the […]

Noel Taylor: A Scholar and a Gentleman.

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I gave my friend Noel Taylor (yes, the noted William Howard Taft scholar) a book as a New Year’s gift. This was his response. When you first presented me with “President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath” by Mac Barnett, I delighted over what I assumed would be a scholarly and well researched work that […]

New York State Senate bill offers tax credit for open source development expenses.

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

An interesting bill was just introduced in the New York State Senate: AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a tax credit to individuals for up to two hundred dollars of expenses related to the development and posting of an open source or free license program … It’s good that […]

How hard is open source winning? This hard…

Friday, December 5th, 2014

How hard is open source winning? So hard that apparently it can be taken for granted now in contexts where formerly it would have gotten explicit mention. A moment ago I happened to read this article at TechCrunch: CoreOS Calls Docker “Fundamentally Flawed,” Launches Its Own Container Runtime. Now, I don’t know anything about the […]

Fix for WordPress 4.1 front page “Not Found” error (from Stealth Publish plugin).

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

This is a public service announcement for anyone else who runs WordPress straight from SVN trunk and found their site broken after upgrading recently (probably after svn update took their site across the WordPress 4.1 boundary), such that instead of showing recent posts on the front page, you would see only this message: Not Found. Sorry, […]