Take Action: Tuesday May 4th, is the Day Against DRM | DefectiveByDesign.org

Today is about taking time out of your usual routine to speak out in favor of a DRM-free society. We do not have to accept a future where our interactions with computers and published works are monitored and controlled by corporations or governments.

Here’s my suggestion for an action item: free yourself completely from iTunes. I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it is dealing with all my media since I got completely off of iTunes over a year ago.

Refuse to continue to buy DRMed media and it’ll go away. eMusic, the Ubuntu One Music Store, and Amazon’s MP3 store are all great places to get the music you want without putting up with DRM.

Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – Boing Boing

The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a “consumer,” what William Gibson memorably described as “something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth… no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote.”

The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.

These two paragraphs sum up my opinions about the iPad (and Apple in general these days) better than I ever could. I did find it curious that Doctorow left “Or by voting in presidential elections.” off the end of the Gibson quote, but it’s amazingly appropriate despite the omission of what I see as the punchline.

There’s another great reference in the post to the “Maker’s Manifesto,” which states that if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. “Screws not glue.” I used to like Apple, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that over the past 5 years or so they’ve locked down their products well beyond the point of ridiculousness. They want you to buy early and often, and spend spend spend on apps and content. Great business model for people who don’t care or don’t know any better, but definitely not for me.

Guest Column: On TSA Laptop Searches | GamePolitics

Domestic travelers have become familiar with intrusions and searches at Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints. But as the ACLU has recently discovered, international travelers are not only having their laptops seized and searched by Customs and Border Protection, but agents are making copies of files and giving them to third-party agencies. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the government, which turned over hundreds of pages of documents revealing startling information about how much access—and how little oversight—agents have to your gaming laptops when you travel.

I’m not quite sure why this is even remotely acceptable in a free society. Maybe I’m being naive, but from a legal standpoint why can’t people simply say “hell no” if some jackass from the TSA starts copying files from your hard drive to give to a third party? Have we really lost this much freedom?

Princeton Researcher Faces Legal Action if He Tests Voting Machine Security

This is just horrendously disturbing. What the heck do these people have to hide? Makes ya think, don’t it? I hope this guy does it anyway–more attention needs to be brought to this situation.


Really interesting…it certainly does make you think. I think we should just push for open source voting software. Just as the Declaration of Independence is openly readable as well as all the laws, why not how our voting software works. It’s not like it should be proprietary or anything.

Posted by Kyle Hayes @ 3/19/08 8:14 PM

Apparently this particular voting machine can’t even do basic math correctly:


Posted by Matt Woodward @ 3/20/08 7:36 AM

Yeah, that’s pretty scary.

Posted by Chris Vigliotti (hibiscusroto) @ 3/20/08 10:05 AM

I re-read this article recently, and found it disturbing as well–and relevant to this type of article


Posted by Keith Woods @ 3/25/08 3:39 AM