Common Sense Copyright

Lawrence Lessig, my favorite lawyer (with Mike Godwin and Mike Wallace), has just launched a new project called Creative Commons that aims to facilitate the creation of legally sound legal that can be attached to creative works, enabling them to be released into the open, so to speak, without the creative author losing all rights to the work. For example from the article:

An artist might, for example, agree to give away a work as long as no one is making money on it but include a provision requiring payments on a sliding scale if it’s sold

It’ll be very exciting to see how this technology is embraced.

Cloning bill enters senate

Got this in the mail, think it merits reprinting:

Therapeutic cloning research could lead to cures for heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other lethal conditions. It could also lead to therapies to reverse the infirmities and ravages of aging.
The U.S. Senate is now debating The Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.790), which has already passed the House. This bill could put scientists who conduct therapeutic cloning research in prison for 10 years.
The Life Extension Foundation urges you to contact U.S. Senators to urge them to vote against this bill. Information about how to do so can be found on The Foundation’s web site
( Also on the site is an interview with Mike West, Ph.D., the President and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, and an article entitled “Don’t Let The U.S. Government Ban Therapeutic Cloning”.
Please send this message to everyone you know who is interested in staying alive and healthy.
Saul Kent, Founder and Director
Life Extension Foundation

Obviously a bit of hype there, but the message itself is fundamental.

Funniest thing I’ve read all week

Entire Microsoft DOJ filing

[excerpt]The 60-day public comment period began on November 28, 2001, and ended on January 28, 2002.1 During that period, the United States received over 30,000 public comments.2 Based on those comments, the United States provides the following summary and categorization:

  • Approximately 1,250 comments are unrelated in substance to United States v. Microsoft or the RPFJ (though they were sent to the address for public comments and may or may not mention the RPFJ in their “subject” line).
    • A small number of these submissions are simply advertisements or, in at least one case, pornography. The United States proposes not to publish such submissions or to provide them as part of its filing to the Court.
    • The remainder of these unrelated comments address only the proposed settlement of the private, class-action litigation against Microsoft, and
      not the RPFJ.
  • Roughly 2,800 comments are “form” letters or emails – essentially identical text submitted by different persons.
  • Approximately 19,500 comments express an overall view of the RPFJ but do not contain any further discussion of it. These comments do not, for example, attempt to analyze the substance of the RPFJ, do not address any of its specific provisions, and do not describe any particular strengths or shortcomings of it.
  • Approximately 2,900 of the comments can be characterized as containing a
    degree of detailed substance concerning the RPFJ. These substantive comments range from brief, one- or two-page discussions of some aspect of the RPFJ to 100- or more-page, detailed discussions of numerous of its provisions or alternatives. The essence of many of these substantive comments overlaps with other comments; that is, numerous comments address at least some of the same issues or raise similar arguments.
  • Of the above substantive comments, approximately 45 can be characterized as “major” comments based on their length and the detail with which they analyze significant issues relating to the RPFJ. Once again, there is considerable duplication of issues and arguments among these major comments.
  • Of the total comments received, roughly 7,500 are in favor or urge entry of the RPFJ, roughly 15,000 are opposed, and roughly 7,000 do not directly express a view in favor or against entry. For example, a significant number of comments contain opinions concerning Microsoft generally, e.g., “I hate Microsoft,” or concerning this antitrust case generally, e.g., “This case should never have been brought,” but do not state whether they support or oppose entry of the RPFJ

Emphasis mine

New Site:

I just finished putting the finishing touches on what I consider to be an acceptable version of the new Mullenweg Home Page. I bought the domain a while ago (because you know it would have gotten snatched up otherwise) but haven’t done much with it except put my senior pictures in a subdomain. However towards the beginning I built a database schema for all the genealogy information my sister seems to be obsessed with now :). Anyway once all the data was in the database it was a nice project to create a frontend for it, complete with tons of useless trivia about each entry.
I’m also quite proud of the entirey CSS based layout that it’s done in. I’ve dabbled quite a bit in CSS in the past, but this is my first abandonment of tables in a production design. You can also do some cool things on the Site Prefs page using some fancy javascript and alternate stylesheets. Try it out!

Continue reading New Site:

Bush’s budget boosts electronic surveillance, wiretapping

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2003
Bush Eyeballs Heavy Tech Spending (Wired)
The FBI would receive $61.8 million and 201 more employees or contractors to support the agency’s “surveillance capabilities to collect evidence and intelligence,” the DOJ said in a statement on Monday afternoon. That would allow the FBI to devote more resources than ever to controversial spy technologies like Carnivore, keyboard logging devices, and Magic Lantern.

Continue reading Bush’s budget boosts electronic surveillance, wiretapping

testing new system

Yes, I suppose it was just a matter of time before my egotist tendencies combined with my inherit geekiness to create some sort of blog. I’ve had an unhealthy amount of fun setting this up :). This will be a nexus where I talk about and comment on things that interest me, like music, technology, politics, etc. etc. Has anyone noticed that when I’m sick I get a ton of work done?

Editor’s note, Sept 2012: This was the first blog entry I made on a Movable Type-powered blog that used to live on From what I can tell from the archives, I switched to B2 (a predecessor to WordPress) about four months later.