Month: February 2004


I was reading this interesting article on some journalists testing the state of Florida’s Open Government laws, by having volunteers ask for certain documents under the law. All the documents were perfectly eligable to be viewed by anyone under their state laws. Further, anonymity is guaranteed, you don’t have to identify yourself to view public records. An excellent law.

Anyway, only 57% of the various groups responded appropriately. Cynic that I am, this is WAY higher than I thought it would be. However, the remaining 43% resorted to delaying tactics, lies, and threats as their replies. And then had to justify their actions before the public. Fucking excellent.

My favourite bit of the article, however, is the best, most poker-faced piece of journalism I’ve read so far this year. It’s the last sentence in this excerpt:

In a post-audit interview, Taylor County Superintendent Oscar Howard said his district was hesitant to produce his cell phone bill because the volunteer wouldn’t give his name.

“He could have been a terrorist,” Howard said. “We have to ensure the safety of children.”

Howard couldn’t explain how a terrorist might use his cell phone bill to harm children.

Ahhh-hahhaha! I can almost picture the grins on the faces of Chris Davis and Matthew Doig when they wrote that.

Won’t somebody THINK of the CHILDREN!


“Music Industry Piracy Investigations this morning raided the offices of P2P companies Sharman Networks and Brilliant Digital Entertainment, along with the homes of key executives and several ISPs.”

“MIPI general manager Michael Speck told ZDNet Australia the order was specifically targeted at the operators of the Kazaa network. “This is not about individuals, this is about the big fish,” said Speck. “This is a signal that Internet music piracy is finished in Australia.” The ISPs and Universities were raided to gain evidence about the operators of the Kazaa network.”

Internet Music Piracy is finished in Australia? Of course, in the Emerald City of Australia on Planet Crackhead in the Blue Sky Galaxy.

Kazaa is but one, and an inferior one at that, of around a zillion different ways to obtain shared music, movies, files and other misc stuff. Shutting down businesses means exactly fuck followed by all – there are open-source decentralised systems in place right now that are by all intents and purposes unstoppable. The genie is OUT of the fucking bottle.


Good Grief

I thought I was being hardcore when I bought the complete farside collection, but this offering from Fantagraphics is considerably more impressive:

Yep, it’s EVERY PEANUTS STRIP .. EVER. Starting with Volume 1 (1950 to 1952), and from then on you get two books per year for 12.5 years.