Eph, See? See!

Crunch Time at the FCC

One of the most important votes of 2003 will be cast not in Congress or in voting booths across the country but at the Federal Communications Commission. At stake is how TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet will look in the next generation and beyond. At stake are core values of localism, competition, diversity and maintaining the vitality of America’s marketplace of ideas. And at stake is the ability of consumers to enjoy creative, diverse and enriching entertainment.

Take a Bite out of Apple

Apple dealers biting back:
Mac sellers say computer maker cuts them out in favor of its outlets — and they’re fighting mad

Apple Computer Co. has been hit by a growing number of lawsuits filed by Mac dealers who are upset by the company’s alleged efforts to lure their customers to outlets that Apple owns. They are also fed up with what they say are long-standing problems in the company’s service and billing systems.

File sharing feels some love

John Snyder (president of Artist House Records, a board member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and a 32-time Grammy nominee) and Ben Snyder: Embrace File Sharing or Die

The reason why the RIAA is screaming bloody murder about little ol’ MP3 is because it means that they are losing control. People are making their own individual choices, and they aren’t going along with the program of manipulation that has always limited those choices. Now that they’re making choices, industry executives and politicians are shocked…

…NARAS should be the “think tank” of the music business, not an enforcer or a PAC. What we have here is the potential to become a leader in the new frontier of intellectual property rights, artists’ rights, consumers’ rights, the future of music, and the power of the art itself. I say let’s seize the day. In my opinion, there is a vacuum of leadership with respect to these pivotal and crucial issues and NARAS should step in and fill that vacuum. It is a golden opportunity.

Also, yesterday’s LA Times included a short, somewhat superficial op-ed in favor of p2p by singer Janis Ian: Don’t Sever a High-Tech Lifeline for Musicians

Columbia

I remember sitting in my second grade class (during a math lesson) when another teacher came in and told us the news that the Challenger had exploded soon after launch.

Dave Winer is linking to lots of coverage of today’s Columbia tragedy over at Scripting News

I hope that this is not a setback for the space program. Instead, Congress should continue to fund the space program, including the development of a new, smaller cheaper manned orbital vehicle. Why? Critics of manned spaceflight argue that it is too expensive, too risky and can be replaced by unmanned space exploration at a fraction of the cost with minimal risk to human life. Space exploration represents the human yearning to find out more– to travel, to journey, to explore. Going to space is something that we should do because we can. Indulging curiosity will never look good on a balance sheet, but many worthwhile endeavors have rewards that are not obvious to bean-counters. Imagine.

Is space travel inherently risky? Yes. But even after today, if given the option, I would go up on even the next shuttle flight without hesitation.

Where can you get dragged into court for doing business on the internet? It depends

Web Activity Gives Plaintiff Chance for Jurisdictional Discovery

Even if an Internet Web site is both commercial and interactive, a court cannot exercise jurisdiction over its operator unless there is also proof that the company has “purposefully availed” itself of doing business in that state, a federal appeals court has ruled.

But in a key victory for plaintiffs, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also held that judges must be willing to consider the defendant’s non-Internet activities “as part of the ‘purposeful availment’ calculus” and that sometimes a plaintiff must be given a chance to build just such a case for jurisdiction.

The State of the Union will be… Intoxicated

Adam Felber: The State of the Union Drinking Game (2003 Edition):

Updating the game for this year was a bit despressing, because there’s so little that truly needs updating. The economy is still slogging through mud, the pervasive stink of corporate collusion and corruption is still being sidestepped by the denizens of the White House and politely ignored by most of the press, and we are still fighting the evil-doers in the Middle East (yes, as a very wise man once crooned, the “names have all changed since you’ve come around/ But those dreams still remain, and they turn around…”).

So the amendations to the Drinking Game are largely cosmetic, relecting rhetorical shifts in Bush’s patter more than any real change or progress. But it’s still a civic duty to watch the Address, and this is still the best way to do so while avoiding fits of rage and despair. So choose your poison, gather round the telly, and play….