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Tech at Night: Google, Daily Kos, Australia, Nuclear Power, Fraud, DRM

Tech at Night

Previously we covered Chris Bowers working over at Daily Kos on a linking scheme to manipulate Google’s search service. Now we come across a new attack on the company, a plan to manipulate click tracking the firm does to figure out what links are most interesting to its users. Of course, the Daily Kos folk want to smear Republicans using Google.

Again, we look to Google to see if they will penalize the firm for attacking it, or just wink, nod, and do nothing. They went after Kay Bailey Hutchison’s campaign for Governor over manipulative tactics. A failure to act against Daily Kos shows bias on Google’s part, no more, no less.

I’m actually mentioned, though not by name, in this Politico piece, and I stand by that position. Google needs to be fair and delist Daily Kos until these tactics are ceased.

Moving on, we see again that “Cybersecurity” will be the new buzzword driving big government intrusion online once the Net Neutrality stuff is done. Not satisfied with plans for an Internet kill switch, the administration looks to Australia for plans to force ISPs to monitor all users and shut them down according to government-directed rules. Gee, no potential for error or abuse there, eh?

Want some energy and globowarmo? Here’s a pair of pieces by Daniel Foty worth a read: First he talks about the culture of censorship around “climate science” and more importantly how it may be starting to end, which is important for the field to begin to regain credibility and respectability after years of abuses.

As for energy, Britain leads by example with plants to get eight new nuclear power plants built. Nuclear power is our best bet to meet our electricity needs. And by our I mean humanity’s both rich and poor, first world or third world. Oil and coal are great, they really are, but nuclear power is a quick and easy path to far greater energy independence than we have now, if you’re into that sort of thing.

And one final point tonight, of personal interest: just because a business does something, it does not make that thing right. And while I think a great many people will rush to defend the use of Digital Rights Management technology to prevent people from copying movies, games, applications, and other data online, at the same time I think we’ve gone too far, to a point where we actively drive disrespect toward copyright and the law. That process works precisely in the same way that the 55 mph speed limit nationwide, and the texting while driving ban in Georgia for a more recent example, brought the law into mockery.

The new game Civilization V I think is a perfect example of this. The DRM has gone so far, to the point where it is now more properly termed a rental, not a purchase. You cannot install and run the game without phoning home to their servers, which of course means should anything happen to Valve, you’re done. Forever. Because guess what? Hacking the DRM is forbidden under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act!

The law now punishes the law-abiding and rewards the law-breaking. Copyright needs real reform, and just as importantly, copyright holders need to treat their customers better than they treat their infringers.

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