Older blog entries for jtjm (starting at number 5)

NTL
Customer support is just as bad as everyone has said it is. Cable Modem worketh not, nor will it till tomorrow. Local Debian Mirror will have to wait.
30 Oct 2001 (updated 30 Oct 2001 at 20:31 UTC) »

Busy couple of days, slightly frustrating, as now have three very nearly completed mini-projects of varying sizes, none of which yet quite ready to show to their intended audiences.

Been working on an internal website for a non-profit I'm associated with- initially was just going to be a project document sent via email, but whole thing became so unwieldy that it would have been unmaintainable and a few web pages seemed more sensible. Now have basic structure, just filling it in. Hope to have that finished tonight.

While working on that yesterday, got called up for a quote for the New Scientist on the AiboHack nonsense from Sony. Have exchanged emails with author of AiboHack code. Part way through turning this into a brief opinion piece for the CDR website, but a few loose ends to tie up. Sony have him to rights on the basic distribution of modified software issue, but this still looks like a blatant attempt to prevent the creation of a compatible program, with " circumvention of a copy-protection mechanism" just a convenient excuse.

David Touretzky is on the case, and has mirrored one of the files concerned (copyprot.htm) on his DMCA Gallery page (linked off the bottom of the page). As David implies, a pretty clear case of the DMCA being used to censor free speech.

The author could have published his software as patches to the original Aiboware (instead of redistributing modified versions) - but won't do so since the tool necessary to apply the patches would have to break Sony's copy-protection in order to do its job (still leaving him open to prosecution under the DMCA). His email to me quoted in this post on the CDR mailing list.

And a key member of CDR who's been trying to get hold of me for a couple of days finally did, only to tell me he's going to be sent to Canada until Christmas. C'est la vie!

Sunday v. busy. Someone slashdotted an article from Silicon re. the European Copyright Directive, someone else skimmed the directive itself, and decided that it wasn't a threat at all, got moderated up, and in the meantime, Slashdot's moderation code broke again, so that I found myself unable to post a response. (still no word from the mysterious pater).
Therefore posted my response to the CDR website - see this for more details, including link to original thread.

Idea: page/section of site with links to informed commentary about threat posed by EUCD from prominent Open Source programmers (esp. Europeans) would be helpful to allow people to get up to speed quickly, and so that they don't just have to take our (CDR's) word for it.

Should anyone read this and already have written something I can link to, feel free to drop me an email at jtjm@xenoclast.org. I know alan already has something in draft form...

Rushed off to London later yesterday for FIPR meeting (from around 1700 to gone midnight). V. constructive, for once.

Doh! Massive embarassment. Updated frontpage of www.xenoclast.org yesterday with some cool, but entirely gratuitous DHMTL wizzy comets that a friend sent me (man with too much spare time on his hands), and somehow deleted the link to the actual content. Now corrected, and advogato home page links directly to latter instead of former.

27 Oct 2001 (updated 27 Oct 2001 at 17:27 UTC) »

Cable modem up and firewalled. NTL still confused by the fact that we didn't need to rent or buy a cable-modem from them, managed to print out internal notes to their own staff on the invoice for the connection "[name-deleted]-upsell" ;-) (This after housemate had had to explain no less than 5 times last week "no, we don't want to rent/buy cable-modem. Yes, that /is/ because we've got one already. Yes, we are sure it will work. Yes, we can install it ourselves. Why - the household comprises two Unix consultants/network engineers". Didn't stop NTL sending us a useless USB cable-modem anyway. Took 15 minutes for housemate to persuade them that they might want to take it back. He's still not convinced they'll ever get round to doing so, since script being followed by random phone operative clearly didn't cater for people who wanted to return unnecessary kit

Took opportunity to re-read Rusty's unreliable packet-filtering guides.

Much FIPR/CDR stuff todo tonight. Excellent stir-fry cooked by housemate for lunch.

Oh, for those in the UK reading this - steer well clear of all services related to Lloyds-TSB. Customer service non-existent, no-one I've spoken to or received letters from recently has had any authority to do anything the Lloyds computers don't allow them to. Needless to say, substantial evidence now exists that the computer systems are themselves hideously broken. Just don't go there, and if you're there already, get out soon.

First real day of holiday. Started catching up on two weeks worth of email and washing. Vaguely tidied house, had afternoon beers with Eddy, and got the search feature working on the UK CDR's website. Brain almost back in complete working order after hectic week.

Now need to spend couple of hours trawling mailing lists, the web, etc to get back up to speed on the EUCD, Sklyarov, CD issues, etc

Cable modem arrives tomorrow (NTL permitting) ;-)

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