Protect your right to record radio

One of the early tasks of the new congressional session is work to prevent consumers from recording radio broadcasts. Work with the EFF and help prevent this bad law.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has re-introduced the PERFORM Act, a backdoor assault on your right to record off the radio. Satellite and digital radio stations as well as Internet webcasters would have to adopt digital rights management (DRM) restrictions or lose the statutory license for broadcasting music.

. . .

This bill aims to hobble TiVo-like devices for satellite and digital radio. Such devices would be able to include “reasonable recording” features, but that excludes choosing and playing back selections based on song title, artist, or genre. Want to freely move recordings around your home network or copy them to the portable player of your choice? You’ll be out of luck if PERFORM passes.

This would also mess up streaming radio, as well as breaking any tools for recording streamed mp3 broadcasts.

[tags]Congress working to screw up fair-use again[tags/]

On Spocko, KSFO, and a different look

If you’ve been keeping up with some of the geek/tech/random sites that I often link to (in particular, boingboing) you might have been reading some of the up roar caused by postings at Spocko’s Brain (also covered in much more detail at Daily Kos). Spocko has spent some time sending transcript information to conservative radio station KSFO sponsers concerning some potentially undesireable product and spokesperson assocations. For example, Spocko asks of one sponsor:

“Would your marketing people be happy to hear your commercial ran after Lee Rogers said this about a black man in Lincoln, Nebraska?”

“Now you start with the Sear’s Diehard the battery cables connected to his testi*les and you entertain him with that for awhile and then you blow his bleeping head off. “

Unforunately, I haven’t had time to listen to all the available audio for this, but I’m going to briefly point out some other sites discussing this event and speak only on the available information from the web. I do recommend you listen to the audio to understand just how information is presented or distorted by Spocko, his supporters, and his detractors. I will be listening to the clips as I have time.

Continue reading On Spocko, KSFO, and a different look

Why does the “Scooter” Libby trial matter?

Since I recently posted about the Libby trial and the difficulty for the defense finding a decent jury, I thought it might be worth going back and looking at why this case is even worth watching. One of the better write-ups I found on the ordeal, done by a British rag, is this Q&A article from The Guardian.

Who is Mr Libby?

He is the former chief of staff to the US vice-president, Dick Cheney.

How did Mr Libby land in court?

. . . Mr Libby – the only one on trial for the episode – was indicted in October 2005 on charges of lying to investigators and a grand jury inquiring into whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Ms Plame’s name to reporters. Mr Libby, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, has pleaded not guilty. . .

There are enough questions to make clear the significance of this case. Also mentioned is the fact that even if found guilty, Libby would most likely get a Presidential pardon. And from what I’ve read of the case, I think that’s probably a reasonably likely (and likely reasonable) outcome.

[tags]Why the “Scooter Libby trial matters, A brief Q&A on the Libby trial[/tags]