SuSE 11.1 with Amarok, that actually plays mp3’s out of the box…

SuSE finally provides the plugin for mp3’s, via a package that automatically pulls in the mp3 decoder.  Amarok beats itunes too, IMHO:


And notice how Amarok works with wikipedia.  I’ve selected as my wikipedia language Bahasa Indonesia, just to prove a point:

Continue reading “SuSE 11.1 with Amarok, that actually plays mp3’s out of the box…”

SuSE 11.1 with Amarok, that actually plays mp3’s out of the box…

Wikipedia, gaining

An interesting development which marks the beginninng of the institutionalization of wikipedia’s success.  RNA Biology now requires authors who submit works to post them also on wikipedia.

Wikipedia and RNA Biology

by Nat Torkington 

I love the RNA Biology journal’s new guidelines for submissions, which state that you must submit a Wikipedia article on your research on RNA families before the journal will publish your scholarly article on it:

“This track will primarily publish articles describing either: (1) substantial updates and reviews of existing RNA families or (2) novel RNA families based on computational and/or experimental results for which little evolutionary analysis has been published. These articles must be accompanied by STOCKHOLM formatted alignments, including a consensus secondary structure or structures and a corresponding Wikipedia article…”

Too bad I can’t track down any of those former IPCentral posters who had constantly criticized wikipedia, even when they contributed to it.

Wikipedia, gaining

Everybody knows

Or I should say, everybody will know, a whole lot more about corporate sponsored disinformation campaigns. (But the chance to use a great Leonard Cohen song as a title of my post, I could not pass up.) In any case, the site I’d mentioned earlier, FRONT GROUPS, has a wiki. I think this will take off, especially after hearing about the rule of five: over at the blog Hyperpeople:

Earlier this year, I was privileged to go “on tour” with Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, the founder and public face of Wikipedia, as we crisscrossed the nation, talking to educators in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Everywhere we went, people asked the same question: why is Wikipedia such a success, while my wiki languishes? What do you need to achieve critical mass? The answer, Jimmy said, is five people. Five individuals dedicated to an altruistic sharing of collective intelligence should be enough to produce a flowering similar to Wikipedia. Jimbo has learned, through experience, that the “minor” language versions of Wikipedia (languages with less than 10 million native speakers), need at least five steady contributors to become self-sustaining. In the many wikis Jimbo oversees through his commercial arm, Wikia, he’s noted the same phenomenon time and again. Five people mark the tipping point between a hobby and a nascent hyperintelligence.

From: Hyperpeople Hat Tip: Global Guerillas

Let’s not forget that web 2.0 places new challenges for those who would repress organizations promoting progressive social change. So when we add together: (1) a very motivated user group, much greater than five in number; (2) the possibilities of Web 2.0, to uncover and distribute secrets that many would like to remain secret and (3) an understanding of any conflict as being primarily about connectivity, a la Col Boyd, it’s my conclusion that those progressive social forces have every likelihood of unleashing the full revolutionary potential of democracy. So this process will grow.

Some interesting stories from the “Did you know?” section of’s wiki:

Continue reading “Everybody knows”

Everybody knows

In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.

Other titles that I considered for this post were: The RIAA loses, but doesn’t realize it or Boycotting the RIAA has never made more sense, or been easier… because this post touches on all these issues. But in the end, I decided on a snippet from the excellent blog Recording Industry vs The People.

The RIAA ‘wins’ the first case that has gone to trial for illegal peer to peer file sharing. They seem to think that they’ve won a major victory. My grandmother had a saying that went ‘don’t cut off your nose to spite your face…’ As reported on ABC news:

Woman Ordered to Pay $222,000 in File-Sharing Case
Experts Say Verdict is Clear Win for RIAA, Record Labels
Oct. 4, 2007

In the first lawsuit over file sharing to make it to court, a jury ordered a woman who record labels claimed illegally shared songs to pay the labels $222,000.

The lawsuit, filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the record label lobbying organization, accused Jammie Thomas of sharing more than 1,700 songs on the now defunct peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa. The suit contended that Thomas violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by distributing songs for free that belonged to the record labels.

“We welcome the jury’s decision,” the RIAA said in an e-mailed statement following the decision. “The law here is clear, as are the consequences for breaking it. As with all our cases, we seek to resolve them quickly in a fair and reasonable manner.

Hey RIAA, get a clue!  Do you really think Joe Sixpack believes that a $222,000 fine is “fair and reasonable”?

By the way, you have just:

1. Sued your own customer,
2. Made yourself look like a bully,
3. Made the DMCA enormously less popular,
4. Strengthened the case for copyright reform

So just like Dirty Harry said: Go ahead, make my day. The RIAA has engaged in plenty of obfuscation and smoke and mirrors of their own. That is about to end, thanks to the RIAA’s attitude towards their own customers. Thankfully, there are a great many places where you can get great music without supporting the RIAA.

Just who is the RIAA anyway? They really don’t want you to know, as they are engaging in a highly unpopular and undemocratic activity, so they obfuscate. Look at their website for the answer? Do you think you will find that information on their website? surprise surprise–you will not! But have no fear-wikipedia has unearthed the truth (again!)

Continue reading “In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.”

In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children.

But what will the RIAA do with all the nukes…?

The case of the man who sued his drycleaners for 67 million dollars has nothing on the RIAA, who is suing the Russian web site for 1.65 trillon dollars. This exceeds the entire GDP of Russia. If they succeeded in this lawsuit and were somehow able to collect, the income from this lawsuit alone would be greater the the income of the recording industry from all other sources since the recording industry came into existence.

As reported by wikipedia:

On December 18, 2006,[11] the RIAA, on behalf of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group filed a US$1.65 trillion lawsuit against the site. That equates to US$150,000 for each of 11 million songs downloaded between June to October 2006, and exceeds Russia’s entire GDP.[12][13] $150,000 is the statutory limit for copyright infringement awards in the United States.[14] Allofmp3 responded to the lawsuit saying “AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.”.[15]

Continue reading “But what will the RIAA do with all the nukes…?”

But what will the RIAA do with all the nukes…?

Patrick Ross, wikipedia contributor

Noticed a post at TLF by Tim Lee about James de Long leaving the PFF, and in that post it was mentioned that Patrick Ross had also departed PFF. James, like Patrick, had a habit of putting up straw man arguments, usually about free and open source software, and taking them apart. Tim Lee did an excellent job of taking apart both Patrick’s and James’s rants, in his posts both over at IP Central and at TLF.

But I posted from time to time at IP Central anyway. The reason for that is inspiration from a variety of sources, chiefly from the excellent book Steal this Idea: the Corporate Confiscation of Creativity by Michael Perelman as well as an idea from Col. Boyd, whose advice was always to maintain connectivity, including with those you disagree with. I wanted to see what counter-arguments the strong IP crowd could muster against the whithering and total annihilation of the present system by Michael Perelman. I found out that they really did not have any substantive arguments, but did put out a lot of smoke, from burning all those straw horses. From time to time, though they made accusations that were just so outlandish, that a response was called for. Here is one such case.
Continue reading “Patrick Ross, wikipedia contributor”

Patrick Ross, wikipedia contributor