Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Digital Rights Managment

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately as I've run into some difficulties regarding different DRM (digital rights management) schemes. The latest bit with yahoo shutting down their DRM based system and now talking about refunding customers brings forward the whole who owns what issue.

If I purchase a song, be it, an LP, 8-track, CD, or from an online or other source, what are my rights? Do I have a right to enjoy that music/movie/other for the rest of my life? I think so, but DRM means that if the Company that sold it to me has financial trouble, or just chooses to turn off their DRM systems, I lose that right.

Perhaps (especially with the new ACTA and the move towards extending the lifespan of copyright) its time to endemnify the consumer. Since I don't ever enjoy that "right to listen/view/etc" inherent with any media with attached DRM technology, perhaps the Company selling the media should not enjoy their profit until the end of life of the product.

Here's the suggestion..

Have all revenues for media sold with digital rights management be held until the copyright for the media expires, at which point, the selling company may release the DRM on the media and collect their money. Have the governments hold this money in trust and they can refund the customer from this fund if the selling company ever turns off the DRM prior to the expiration of the copyright.

heh, ok, applying flame retardent and ducking down in my foxhole now for some much needed rest :)


TS's Earwig Bait

TS gave me a smack with the clue bat after I posted a reference to her work clearing up our earwig problem and didn't remember to post the recipe she is using. I consider myself clued :) , and here's the recipe...

1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of honey (we've seen another recipe using molasses but haven't tried it.)
1 teaspoon 0f dry yeast

We are using both the bottoms from a few pots (very similar to a plastic saucer) and traps from Stokes Seeds ( where animals have access.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Planning for All Hallow's Eve

We figured last year when we went and bought pumpkins, that this year we should grow our own. And since we were, we should try and grow enough for the other residents here in our little paradise. Here are a couple of shots of the flowers we see for an hour or so in the mornings before they fade away.


The Magic Beans

And Jack did sow the seeds that grew into the beanstalk, and we have beans for our soup :)

You can see the beanstalk (red runner beans) growing all over the side of the house, and after an initial war with earwigs (TS won this with a secret recipe of kitchen organics she found on the web), which seem to enjoy the baby beans as much they enjoyed our first crop of celery, cucumbers and carrots. Not to worry, we have replanted the plants that were eaten :)

As you can see we are getting beans as big as celery stalks :)


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Garden Today

As you can see, a couple of weeks of real summer weather make a HUGE difference in our garden :)
The white box is a target system for our airguns, in among the pumpkin patch.

The blackberries and tomatoes are going wild. You can tell we rarely use the car :)


Garden in July

This is mid July in our Garden. The garden against the wall has a bird bath that gets daily use from our population of birds since we moved a potted grass plant over to provide them a little cover. The climbing plants are mostly Canary Vine which we enjoyed so much last yaer for its many small yellow flowers. The morning glory we are maintaining (we pull morning glory from the rest oif the bed in a daily battle) in the corner is climbing an old Penguins Paperback book rack we repurposed as a planter. There is also a large pumpkin growth we hope will provide pumpkins for everyone here at Halloween time :)

As you can see, our blackberry vine has grown spectacularly well this year and will be providing "kilotons" of berries for our use this year. We have planted upside down tomatoes again and they are doing very well, and each post has a single pot containing California Poppies, nasturciums and canary vine for color through the season.

Our "vege-table" is working very well for lettuce providing us an ongoing source, but an infestation of earwigs cleared out the cucumbers/celery/carrots. Our onions are still doing well, and we are planting more lettuce on an ongoing basis. The scarlet runner beans are loving our place and though the earwigs are fighting with us for them, we seem to be winning the battle. TS has come up with a concoction she puts out at night that the earwigs, woodbugs, slugs and wasps all seem to like as the little traps are full every morning :) You can see my CD door screen here that is detailed elsewhere on the site. The peas growing up the netting are producing well, just not growing very big.

More as the season progresses.


2008 Gardening.....

I know, I know, been a while since I've put stuff up, so sue me :) Here's some garden pictures from this year so far.

Lets start with a few pics from the end of April, after which we didn't really see any spring/summer weather until the end of June.

The first picture shows the only in-ground space we have (this was a pretty busy paint shop over the previous 1/2 century or so, we're very leary of planting foodstuffs here) where we grow decorative stuff and some herbs for the local wildlife.

The second shows our "Bat Cave" that we have been nursing along for several years now. Last year it allowed us to do a little adventuring into the field of producing blackberry jams. There is also the yellow box we use for our upside down tomato plant grows.

This third picture shows the front of our house, our (new this year) experiment in "vege-table" vegetable growing and a few other plants that weathered the winter.

The fourth picture shows our deck (built from found wood from our good freinds Terry and Lloyd. The compost to the right is now shared with the four apartments upstairs and the bookstore uses ut for both their organics from the store and even some from home :)

Lets look at the end of June now..

I added a 10' workbench to our growing "shop" in pur parking spot. This has been a blessing as making things when you have a square, level bench means they turn out a little more on the square side themselves :)


Saturday, July 19, 2008

What is happening?

So here I am sitting on my deck, enjoying the music from around the area as today is Duncan Day's a summer festival here. I look on my notebook and notice Nascar has the truck series running, and I think, ok, lets stream that from my MCE machine and watch a little. Nope Nope Nope, it fails showing protected content (using webguide to stream) and I think for second, Why? Why has the broadcaster marked it as protected so I can't enjoy the race in all its glory with all the advertising intact? Why did the same happen the other day with a 007 movie?

Do the broadcasters not have anyone with just a fraction of clue working for them, realizing that in order to stream this content I pay for cable in the first place? What did I do in both occasions, and will now set up as a matter of course because if you frustrate me a couple of times I'll find a new solution? I simply set MCE to record, drop it through a little converter that strips out all those nasty ads, converts the file to a more reasonable dvx format saving me gigabytes on my hard drive and making it usable on any machine(1). Instead of enjoying it in real time and viewing the ads paid for by the advertisers the broadcasters are desperatly trying to hold onto I watch it later. Who loses? The advertiser, and eventually the broadcaster......

One of these days I hope someone wakes up and thinks before they frustrate techy's who simply find a way around the frustration usually to the detriment of the person who put that frustration in their way. So once again a technically elegant and useful tool, webguide, becomes a useless piece of software to be removed as the purpose it served no longer works because of digital rights management. Is it simply coincidence that Microsoft acquired webguide recently?


1. Just a note that what I do now will be illegal if bill C-61 is passed and my only option would be add another TV with a splitter. 50 year old technology used because our government thinks it would be bad if we used modern tools to do the same thing :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm a Guinness World Record Holder!

Along with 8,002,528 other people, TS and I are official world record holders :) The power of the Internet in today's world, along with this accomplishment, it has allowed me to put my name on Mars, and send my name to the Moon in the future.



Massive grassroots community effort behind world record for most software downloads in 24 hours

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – July 2, 2008 – Mozilla today announced it set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of software downloads in 24 hours. The record-setting 8,002,530 downloads coincided with the launch of Firefox® 3, Mozilla’s major update to its popular and acclaimed free, open source Web browser.