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Odds and Ends

I’ve been out of town and am way behind on links:

Bob Harris finds German articles about American torture of Iraqi prisoners under 18 in Abu Ghraib prison.

Jeffrey Veen on how to use wget to scrape mp3 files from various sites.

Andy McKay published his book on plone content development. I will be learning a lot about this in the next month.

LawMeme reports that China is cancelling the Viagra patent. Pretty awful news for American businesses.

Lest anyone think that Mozilla’s security vulnerability makes IE not as bad in comparison, a security site reports that IE suffers from the same vulnerability. (here’s another browser war article by Matthew D. Sarrel in PCMagazine).

Here’s a nice postcard/photograph travel site with good descriptions about tourist attractions. I love the ones about Venice and Padua.

Rick Steves publishes an online newsletter about favorite spots to visit. I especially enjoyed the one about Kracow, which I visited in 2001. A lovely city.

A USA article about the most scenic attractions in USA.

From an article by ALESSANDRA STANLEY
on gameshows:

Even more-old-fashioned games like “Family Feud” expect little more of contestants than that they match the lowest common denominator. When a young man on a recent episode of “Feud” was asked to name something that women love to do and men hate, he replied, “Read.” He was deemed correct: at least three people in the audience survey gave the same answer.

Teleread by David Rothman is one of my alltime favorite weblogs about ebooks and publishing. He proposes a compromise to the Sonny Bono copyright Act.

In specifying copyright terms, why not think about treating text differently from, say, films or TV shows or any other medium? Why not roll copyright terms for individual works back from the current life+70 to life+50 while leaving intact the extensions for corporate works such as movies? (And further limit the just-mentioned rollback to texts such as novels, nonfiction and short stories, with the possibility of individually copyrighted paintings, photographs and songwriters’ lyrics also being included later on.) Remember, compared to, say, motion pictures, text is far cheaper to produce. The economics are entirely different. Individuals, not just studios, can come up with masterpieces without major investments ahead of time, and the Net will only reduce costs.

This is a complicated idea, and I’ve discussed it before, but I think that essentially copyright is dead as an entity for protecting rights of content creators. (The implications on writers is enormous).

From BoingBoing, a nostalgic site about Wacky Packs. I used to collect these as a kid. Interesting fact: Art Spiegelmann designed some of these cards.

William Boyd compiles an alphabetic synopsis of Chekhov’s works :

about a month before he died, the desperately ill Chekhov visited Moscow zoo. Chekhov loved animals. Apart from his dachshunds and the livestock on his estate he also had as pets two mongooses and, in Yalta, a tame crane. Conceivably, during that visit to Moscow zoo, Chekhov might have seen a cheetah in its cage. Donald Rayfield, Chekhov’s best and definitive biographer, speculates that Chekhov’s sexuality was like that of the cheetah. The male cheetah can only mate with a stranger. When the male cheetah mates with a female cheetah familiar to him he is – bizarrely – impotent. It’s a fanciful image but one worth contemplating: the dying Chekhov staring at a cheetah in its cage.

Burning Bird describes her customizations to WordPress Weblog software. She’s a bright writer/programmer with lovely insights into programming.

Linux/Windows backup solution.

Moveon is organizing house parties for showing the film Outfoxed this Sunday. You can even check to see if there’s one in your neighborhood.

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