ArchiveApril 13, 2006

About

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plus nine is, well, just a weblog. It doesn’t have a strict agenda, so it’s sort of in flux.

plus nine also is two people:

Hi, I’m Peter Bihr. I live and work in Berlin, Germany. As a freelancer, I do different kinds of stuff – Sometimes I write, sometimes I consult on online communication, sometimes I blog, and quite often it’s random stuff in between. (Only once I had the chance to beta-test computer games, thus fulfilling the early childhood dream of getting paid to play computer games. Alas, it didn’t last.) Occasionally, I can be found sipping Latte Macchiatos in nice cafés around the neighborhood. (Which needs to be said, as it’s such a nice cliché.)

My co-writer, the person behind the pseudonym Plasma, is a software developer & ubergeek. He is still trying to get his Development Abstraction Layer, so far without success. ;-)

“It’s not like I’m just inconvenienced”

&

I couldn’t help but chuckle at Tom Giovanetti’s post today concerning his inability to back up his favorite shows from his PVR, which crashed last night. As he laments:

“The problem is, we have been using the PVR to record 2 years worth of a Spanish language curriculum that is broadcast over an educational channel, and we’ve been using this content to teach our son Spanish. Now the curriculum is gone. It’s not like I’m just inconvenienced in not being able to watch my “24” episodes. An educational curriculum is lost.”

For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Giovanetti’s work, he’s a frequent and pugnacious commentator on intellectual property issues, and an avowed supporter of the DMCA and digital rights management technologies. He’s a frequent critic of “IP skeptics” and “commonists” who argue that copyright law–and the technological measures designed to protect copyright–have gone overboard.

Today he discovered that sometimes, technological measures designed to deter piracy are a pain in the ass for ordinary consumers–like him.

Here’s a radical proposition: Mr. Giovanetti should be permitted to make a backup copy of the television programs on his PVR, as long as his use of that mateiral stays within the bounds of copyright law.* Moreover, someone else should be permitted to sell him a device allowing him to do so. And finally–here’s the truly radical part–it should be legal to manufacture such a device without getting a license from Dish to do so.

Tim Lee about the absurdity of DRM, and how it seems to just get everyone…

DIY mesh networks

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mobile repeater and mesh node

What happens when the grid breaks? Communications need to be restored. After Hurricane Katrina hit, BellSouth announced that it would take 3 months to restore phone lines. Volunteers using WiFi gear were able to connect churches and community centers within the first weeks and within three days of setting up an asterisk call server, routed 10,000 phone calls. Reliable backup infrastructure can be brought up in hours or minutes if you are prepared and have a plan in place.

Instructables does have a plan in place.

[via MAKE Blog]