weapons not concealed

The ↑Kroger gun stunt sparks 2nd Amendment debate, NBC reported yesterday: Charlottesville police say the man who showed up at a Kroger grocery store with a loaded gun wanted to make a point. On Sunday, an unidentified 22-year-old man carried a loaded AR-15 into the Kroger store on Emmet Street and Hydraulic Road, sparking not only a scare for customers and employees but also a 2nd Amendment debate.     Charlottesville police drew their guns on the man after witnesses reported he brought a gun into the store. They restrained the man to ask him questions, but released him after … Continue reading

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the coming war on general computation

The copyright war was just the beginning  The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.     The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no … Continue reading

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the patent problem

↑Steven ↑Levy, author of ‘↑Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution‘ (1984), among others, has written a comprehensive article, published at Wired, on the complex of problems comprising patents, the patent wars, and patent trolls. Along a suspenseful storyline, and by using some fine metaphors from the cold war and beyond, he makes the matter perfectly clear and understandable. That’s traditionally been the spirit in which large companies have built their patent stockpiles, as a purely defensive measure. They were dissuaded from suing one another because they knew their target likely had patents that covered similar territory and they could be … Continue reading

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human or mutant?

Radiolab carries a wonderful ↑podcast on mutant rights: Reporter Ike Sriskandarajah tells Jad and Robert a story about two international trade lawyers, Sherry Singer and Indie Singh, who noticed something interesting while looking at a book of tariff classifications. “Dolls,” which represent human beings, are taxed at almost twice the rate of “toys,” which represent something not human—such as robots, monsters, or demons. As soon as they read that, Sherry and Indie saw dollar signs. It just so happened that one of their clients, Marvel Comics, was importing its action figures as dolls. And one set of action figures really … Continue reading

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propaganda war games

In ↵manchurian operations club among other things I mused about the detailled historical naturalism of ↑Kuma Reality Games‘ ‘Kuma\War’ [scroll down a bit]. Now those games seem to have generated a dramatic backlash into empirical reality. The ↑Day 6 Documentary: Propaganda Games by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: You don’t have to be a Middle East expert to recognize the relationship between Iran and its western foes has gotten just a wee bit tense.     There’s been sabre rattling military exercises, threats to slow the flow of oil to a trickle, downed drones and uranium enrichment in a highly protected … Continue reading

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graeber’s debt

↑David Graeber‘s book ‘↑Debt: The First 5,000 years‘ (2011) just arrived on my desk. Unfortunately at the moment I don’t have the time to sit down and read it in peace. Nevertheless I skimmed through it, read a bit here and there, and then couldn’t help but beginning to read it from the front cover on.     It won’t be long and Graeber will owe me hours :-)     There are books with which I do maintain a love-hate relationship. While reading those I constantly do have the impression that there really is something more than worthwhile, original, … Continue reading

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setting minifigs free

Since 2011 the minifigures the LEGO group sells on magnetic bricks (so you can place them on your refrigerator door) are firmly fixed onto their magnetic pedestals. As it seems this has economic and copyright reasons, and the licence holders of franchises like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ demanded the fixation—just if minifigs had no rights. Last year I bought some magnetic sets in Berlin’s LEGO flagship store. The minifigs were simply connected to the magnetic bricks in the usual LEGO way. Some of the sets I bought this year are fixed ones, which is a big annoyance. … Continue reading

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scrolls duel

The patent portfolio battles between Apple on the one side and Samsung, Google, and whomyouhave on the other sides, are all over the news. Within the gaming industry since some months there is a disturbing trademark battle on, too. It has its fun sides, but is a more serious and deep-probing issue than I first thought. At the core is a dispute between the companies ↑Mojang and Zenimax/Bethesda over the use of the word ‘Scrolls.’     Mojang is the company of ↑Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the indie cult title ↑Minecraft. ↑Bethesda Softworks is the developer and publisher … Continue reading

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