Saturday, January 12, 2008

DRM Is Dead, But Watermarks Rise From Its Ashes

Wired reported With all of the Big Four record labels now jettisoning digital rights management, music fans have every reason to rejoice. But consumer advocates are singing a note of caution, as the music industry experiments with digital-watermarking technology as a DRM substitute. Watermarking offers copyright protection by letting a company track music that finds its way to illegal peer-to-peer networks.
So what.
At its most precise, a watermark could encode a unique serial number that a music company could match to the original purchaser. So far, though, labels say they won't do that: Warner and EMI have not embraced watermarking at all, while Sony's and Universal's DRM-free lineups contain "anonymous" watermarks that won't trace to an individual.
Who cares if they can trace it to an individual. At least if you buy a CD or just one song, you can copy it to any mp3 player you have. I don't mind them shutting down peer to peer exchange of music, although I doubt they could track a song to the particular purchaser.


Another Major Stem Cell Advance

Popular Science Blog reported Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology announced yesterday that they've derived colonies of stem cells from human embryos without doing any damage to those original embryos. The work is significant because it may meet the ethical guidelines of the Bush Administration, which insist that no harm be done to the embryos in pursuing this brand of stem cell research. At the same time, it might not be that clear cut, since the definition of "harm" is a bit tricky in this space, as this Washington Post article points out. The work differs from this past summer's big advance, in which scientists dodged the ethical issue altogether, and derived embyonic stem cells from mature cells.

I am more excited by this past summer's big advance, since the stem cells could be produced from the patient needing treatment, but at least they are not destroying embryos.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad on Israeli Women

American Jewish Congress reported Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women.
As long as they are not Jewish women of power.
Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli. The magazine has turned down an AJCongress advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad included a text that merely said, "This is Israel," under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik. "What other conclusion can we reach," asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, "except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?"


John Edwards Is A Loser

Lawrence O'Donnell wrote on The Huffington Post John Edwards is a loser. He has won exactly two elections in his life and lost 31. Only one of his wins and all of his losses were in presidential primaries and caucuses. He remains perfectly positioned to continue to lose with a Kucinich-like consistency. Nothing but egomania keeps Edwards in the race now. All presidential candidates are egomaniacs but some of them have party status worth preserving that forces them to drop out when they hit the wall. A loser like Edwards has no status or dignity to lose. Campaigning and losing is his life.
I'm just guessing here, but I don't think Lawrence is an Edwards supporter.
So, he will continue his simple-minded, losing campaign and deny Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the one-on-one contest they deserve.
What about a candidate the country deserves? Any one with any experience to ever be a President has already dropped out of the Democratic race, and truthfully there never was anyone in either party really qualified to be President.
If John Edwards stays in the race, he might, in the end, become nothing other than the Southern white man who stood in the way of the black man. And for that, he would deserve a lifetime of liberal condemnation. Maybe Edwards is already not a factor in the campaign because Edwards voters would split evenly between Senators Obama and Clinton if Edwards dropped out. But we'll never know unless Edwards does the right thing and gets out of the way of the only two candidates who have a chance to get the nomination. The white male monopoly on the Democratic nomination has finally come to an end. Someone has to tell John Edwards.
I am pretty sure Lawrence is not an Edwards supporter. But what he needs to understand is Edwards is in it until the Convention. There is always a chance that Obama wil stumble, and fall flat on his face, and someone needs to be the Not Hillary candidate. They certainly don't want leave that job to Dennis Kucinich.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cast off a cliff

Adnkronos international reported Iran's supreme court has confirmed that two youths, found guilty of rape will receive 100 lashes each before being cast off a cliff
How civilized of them.
an ancient Islamic punishment - local media reported. The reports named the youths as Tayeb and Yazdan. "This is a chilling sentence," said Iranian human rights activist and lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah. "Iranian jurisprudence allows alternative punishments to those prescribed by Islamic law, but many judges ignore them, " Dadhkhah said.
The sane ones???
Iranian magistrates in recent weeks sentenced several people to punishments that had been in abeyance, he said. As recently as last week in Iranian Balochistan, five minority Sunnis had their hands and feet amputated, he noted. All five Sunnis were found guilty of the crime of 'moharebeh' or enmity towards Allah.
Why not let Allah deal with them.
The highly vague definition of 'enemy of God' ranges from homosexuals and drug traffickers to supporters or members of armed groups opposed to the regime.


Where is the humor?

Is it funny to suggest lynching a black man in a back alley?


Registered to vote in two states.

Bryan wrote on Hot Air The litigant who is trying to kill off Indiana’s voter ID law is a walking, talking case of potential voter fraud. She certainly appears to have broken the law by registering to vote in both Indiana and Florida, and by claiming homestead tax exemption in both states.
This is exactly why we need to require valid photo ids to vote


The iTaser

What do you get when you combine a Taser stun gun with an mp3 player? Go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and take a look at iTaser.

Ananova reported The company says the new device is particularly aimed at women - with red, pink and even leopard print designs intended to make carrying a stun gun fashionable. A spokesman in Las Vegas said the inclusion of a music player would encourage purchases by women who want a form of self defence while out jogging, but who would otherwise take an iPod instead of a weapon. "A lot of women aren't going to go into a gun store and feel comfortable enough buying a Taser, so now we have some outdoor companies and dealers - some cellphone places are starting to carry them and hang them next to phones," he said.
Do they rate the battery life on how loud you play the songs, or how many people you zap?

In development: an Uzi with a satellite radio.


Richardson Ends Bid

AP reported New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power.
Initially Richardson was the only Democrat I thought I could support. He was a governor, and thus had experience dealing with a legislature, something none of the other candidates had (just because you are a senator does not mean you are qualified to be President, no matter what all 100 senators think), and he also had some very extensive foreign policy experience. But he screwed up by thinking the way to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack was to be even more AntiWar than the rest of them were. So good bye Bill. The only two senators with any real experience, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, have already left, so the Democratic Party is left with three senators who have not held that office long enough to have gotten any real experience, and a nut case (Kucinich).
Richardson planned to announce the decision Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Obama's Other Life

Joe Klein wrote on Time On January 3, the day of the caucuses, he had a conversation with Bishop Desmond Tutu, who had flown to Nairobi to see if he could begin negotiations with the factions. In the days since his Iowa victory, Obama has had near-daily conversations with the U.S. Ambassador in Kenya or with opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Odinga is the man who promised to institute Sharia law in Kenya if he was elected, and who is leading the Luo tribe in killing innocent Kikuyus (the tribe of President Kibaki)
As of late this afternoon, before his rally in Rochester, N.H., Obama was trying to reach Kenyan President Kibaki.
He spoke to the man doing the killing, a fellow tribe member, multiple times before calling the President of Kenya. If Obama is elected President of the US, will he sent American troops to Kenya to install Sharia law?
Pamela Geller blogged It appears that Obama and Morris were helping Odinga shape the whole political process and formulate the public relations/diplomatic issues , for domestic political consumption and favor in the US to best position acceptance of what appears at best to be an entirely cynical attempt to subvert the elections and at worst, and quite likely, a coup attempt by Odinga.


Don't count Romney out

Shamanic wrote on The Newshoggers I expect McCain to do well in Michigan, which will be Romney's last stand. A down-ballot finish should end Romney's campaign, leaving McCain and Huckabee to duke it out

McCain may have gotten 7 delegates from New Hampshire to Romney's 4, but Romney with 17 currently leads the field in delegate count (Huckabee is in second place with 12, Thompson has 8, and McCain 5), and Romney was born in Michigan, and his father was Governor there.

At this point in time, Romney, who has not won any state, has more delegates (17) than Obama (16), Clinton (15), or Edwards (14).


Clinton Escapes to Fight Another Day

NYT reported With solid support from registered Democrats and the backing of women, who deserted her in Iowa, Senator Clinton beat Senator Barack Obama of Illinois with a margin that — if not particularly wide — was enough for her campaign to claim a resounding victory.
She and Obama each got 9 delegates. Seems like a tie to me. Edwards got 4, and five are superdelegates, not committed to a candidate. Total vote count does not matter.
The political intensity of her victory was magnified by a weekend of polls and rapturous packed rallies for Mr. Obama that suggested Mrs. Clinton was in dire shape, particularly after Mr. Obama’s drubbing of her in Iowa.
That just shows how meaningless polls are. Particularly when the voters pride themselves on not deciding how to vote, or even which party to vote in, until they get to the polling place.
Mrs. Clinton won in a state that has always had a warm spot for the Clinton family.
Wait until she sees what the rest of the country thinks of her.


Indiana's voter-ID law

Walter Dellinger and Sri Srinivasan whined in Slate Magazine There is no dispute that Indiana's photo-ID
Something you need to cash a check, boar a plane, enter some public buildings, rent a video at Blockbuster, etc.
requirement addresses one, and only one, species of fraud—so-called "in-person impersonation fraud,"
And democrats are desperate to avoid blocking that form of voter fraud. Can they not win elections without it?
which would occur if an ineligible voter were to come to the polls and attempt to cast a ballot by falsely claiming the identity of an eligible voter. In the entire history of Indiana, the total number of reported instances of this kind of fraud is zero.
No one has been caught because they have not been checking ids.
Nor is there reliable evidence that in-person impersonation fraud has occurred anywhere else in the country.
That is not surprising, as this kind of fraud would be an exceedingly irrational way to attempt to affect the outcome of an election.
And it would create problems for Democratic efforts like ACORN that register fake voters.
For starters, the impersonator would need to know that the actual registered voter would not herself be showing up to vote.
Like maybe they registered under a fake name, or the registered voter is dead, or traveling, or in the hospital, or .....
If the real voter had already voted, the impersonator would be exposed at once. And in any event, why would any sane person risk going to prison to influence an election by one vote? It is all the more implausible to imagine an army of impersonators coordinating their efforts on a scale that could affect an election, let alone doing so without being detected.
And without checking ids, they won't be detected.
That is why the election fraud that's actually been tried involves ballot-box stuffing or bulk submitting of absentee ballots—schemes that allow a few people to roll up a lot of fraudulent votes.
And they should be stopped as well.
A photo-ID requirement does nothing to prevent those real shenanigans.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Glen Beck

Glen Beck made this video about his hospitalization

Here is the rest of the story.


Hillary dropping out???

Drudge flashed Facing a double-digit defeat in New Hampshire, a sudden collapse in national polls and an expected fund-raising drought, Senator Hillary Clinton is preparing for a tough decision: Does she get out of the race? And when?!

When Hell freezes over AND when pigs fly.
"She can't take multiple double-digit losses in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada," laments one top campaign insider to the DRUDGE REPORT. "If she gets too badly embarrassed, it will really harm her. She doesn't want the Clinton brand to be damaged with back-to-back-to-back defeats."

AllahPundit blogged with $100 million raised in funds and New York among the states in play on February 5, it’s not bloody likely. So take your pick. This story is a ploy planted by…

(a) …the Clinton campaign, to give Edwards false hope of her exiting early and thereby encourage him to stay in the race until Super Tuesday so that he can continue to draw votes from Obama.

(b) …the Clinton campaign, to boost turnout among her supporters in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada by raising the stakes of defeat.

(c) …one of the other campaigns, to depress turnout in those states by suggesting that her campaign’s already terminal and they know it.

DrW commented feeling sorry for Mrs. Clinton is akin to feeling sorry for the Alien when she was sucked out of the cargo hold and into space.

WildWeasel commented I feel only slightly more sorry for Cankles than I felt for KSM when they water-boarded him.

Dan Riehl blogged One cannot be re-born until you die. What better way to do it than to plant the story of your demise, eventually pinning it on the underhanded dealings of a presumably noble competitor's campaign? Nothing like sucking the wind out of your competitions headline grabbing success with a staged funeral that doesn't take place. I don't buy it at all.

James Joyner blogged This strikes me as wildly implausible. Unlike earlier reports that Fred Thompson would drop out after poor finishes in the early states, there’s just no reason for Clinton to quit. As noted in the previous post, she’s got more cash on hand than Obama and Edwards combined. And she’s got huge leads in several big states.

CQ blogged Utter Nonsense It didn't work with Fred Thompson, and it won't work with Hillary Clinton. Matt Drudge says that Hillary's considering withdrawing from the race if she loses big to Barack Obama in tomorrow's New Hampshire primaries -- a notion that makes even less sense for Hillary than Fred


My Choice

I have seen all of the candidates for both the Republican and Democratic parties. I agree with Silke, I think Ralph may be better than any of them.


Are you really that stupid?

Do you really think people don't know what you are doing?