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Michael De La Rue
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Iain Banks;  What can I say other than congratulations to him and his future widow?  

Well actually, plenty.  I hope Adele gets some consolation.  My small, amateur, always Non http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chill_filtering Whisky collecting habit came  from following advice from a character in one of his novels.  If you don't find that disturbing then you haven't read the Wasp Factory yet.

I sometimes think of being Scottish as a bit of an unfortunate insight into life.  A bit like finding yourself Atheist.  Something you wouldn't wish on someone else, but wouldn't want to change.  Iain, together with James Kelman have helped give that insight literary form.

Read all his books whilst he's still your contemporary.  There's also another unrelated Scottish author with a coincidentally similar name (compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Banks with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_M_Banks) you might like to read some of those soon too.  

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Commercial exploiters of new technologies should be required
to convince Congress to sanction a new delivery system and/or
exempt it from copyright liability. That is what Congress intended.

A crazy idea; an essential declaration of war on human progress;  a fundamental attempt to destroy the fundamental freedom enclosed in the principle that "Everything which is not forbidden is allowed".

Who would write such a thing?  A tinpot dictator?  A crazed KGB agent from the 1950s?  No;  these are the words of the guy who was responsible for copyright policy in the USA.

For every successful technology (GPRS / LTE) many other unsuccessful technologies (Rabbit Phones / WAP / WIMAX / ) have to be tried.  These technologies lead the way to success for others whilst their investors lose their shirts.  If each new technology had to wait for Congressional approval and proof that it didn't disrupt existing business models to reach the US market then Americans would still be driving steam driven cars.  

This isn't even funny as this guy is one of the guys who founded the World Intellectual Property Organization.  It sheds a bit of a different light on their work.  

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Please note a couple of updates I added at the end;

A funny post from +Andy Rubin;  Google is complaining about other companies using Android whilst not contributing back.  However Google specifically chose the license they did, - the Apache license - exactly because it lets this happen.  More or less the license states:

 "Please take my software for anything you want;  for this particular software I really want it.  I will not complain"

Now Google is complaining.  The standard signs in this case are copyleft licenses such as the CC-BY-SA, GPL and AGPL.  By choosing not to use those licenses Google was trying to set up to allow Google to take other people's work without. Google should not complain when people do the same thing back.  They could even have put out public warnings that they won't work with people who take from their ecosystem without contributing back.  They did not.   Using the power of being a large company to block this after other companies have invested years of work into development is wrong.  

Don't get me wrong.  Sometimes a license that lets people lock away your software is the right thing.  For zlib, the library which drives gzip, Jean-Loup Gailly chose a special license (see http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html) without any protections even when working with the Free Software Foundation which almost always uses copyleft.  His aim was to get everybody to use his code with a specific aim of driving patent using competition out of the market and to make sure all gzip implementations were compatible.

Jean-Loup Gailly is an individual person.  If he sets out to destroy competing solutions (which he more or less succeeded in) that is his personal choice.  The only weight he has is the set of users that chooe to follow him.  Large companies which can block other people's work with a few words in an ear have different ethical boundaries.  If they want to protect their stuff then they have to put up signs saying so.  They should not call in the attack dogs after the fact and having failed to give clear warning.

Update1: Having written this I find I'm partly agreeing with a Florian Mueller post; from a guy well known for almost always twisting every issue.  This doesn't 100% mean I must be wrong, but there's probably something I have missed and this issue is being blown up for publicity reasons.  

Update2: This post seems to make it pretty clear that Aliyun is providing a proprietary O/S whilst distributing other's developers software without a license https://plus.google.com/u/0/103363032720099694411/posts/dbLKa87x4zz   that clearly gives Google the legal right to go after Aliyun but should not be confused with Google's attempts to limit the use of components they have already promised can be used freely.  

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How do you like this one?  I happen to be posting on tuesday so I guess I should jump on the #portraittuesday   bandwagon...

#baby     #btlcritique   #critiquepls   #airbrush    #lumix  
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hmm...   #btlcritique   #photo   #baby   #portrait  
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Want to know when to avoid Warsaw for Euro 2012?   Here's the crucial page.  I tried to use some sharing function to put this into Google+  

Summary;  8, 12, 16, 21, 28 June   ; the first one starts at 18:00; all others 20:45.    Avoid the centre of Warsaw, especially on the 12th.   

The main place to avoid is the centre;  mostly around the "Fan Zone" http://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?c=540&l=2   the Russians were to have have a separate (invite only?) party place but that plan seems to have failed http://www.emetro.pl/emetro/1,85651,11840107,Rosjanie_chcieli_miec_swoja_strefe__politycy_im_nie.html

Interestingly enough, even though every single other sharing function I have ever heard of, and Google services are there on the Warsaw UEFA page  and despite the fact that the underlying service supports it, google+ sharing is not visible on the page.  I guess someone must be scared of Google+ ??

#euro2012   #googleplus   #warsaw  

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These press stud electronics kits are sold as "BrainBox" though possibly rebranded elsewhere under very different names. A really great toy. Here's a rectifier bridge demo I built with my son with him working it out as we went along (though afterwards I changed the layout a bit myself to make it more presentable / understandable. :-) careful you don't let the crossover contacts touch..

Wikipedia article about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode_bridge

#electronics   #kids  
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hmm.. #BTLcritique, but I'm really putting this up because I like it...
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Does anyone have any hints to stop Google search (especially news) from second guessing me all the time? E.g. it keeps forcing me to the mobile search when I use it from my phone even when I want plain news search. Also the fact that it doesn't search for the keyword you type but the one it thinks you type unless you put everything individually in quotes??

Basically a "do what I said, not what you think I wanted to say" button..??

I'm beginning to get really frustrated with this.. (and Google searching just turns up more frustration: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=33461dc1da20b5b1&hl=en)

Update: it's so non-deterministic it reminds me why we switched off Alta-Vista in the first place;
- try from the phone browser - can't access non mobile news / get no content
- try from Fennec - get news but get redirected to Polish
- change language - get redirected to mobile
- change to classic - get redirected to Polish
- change language again - okay;; but now the RSS feed (which is what we really want to reach) keeps disappearing

I do not want user friendly software. I want user obediant software. Like a big Alsatian police dog. Maybe it growls, but when you say "attack" it does exactly what you said, not attempt to deliver your newspaper.
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