Friday, August 27, 2004

Pot pie update

Yes, the pot pie was still in the freezer at the old apartment (um, read the last entry if that makes no sense!). Actually, it still is. But the storage bin is all cleaned out.

Still working on getting ready for the new semester here, on getting the house under control before the baby shower this weekend, and a few other things, as well.

Probably going to be going light on the blogging for the next bit. I really am house-sized and at the point where I am just darn uncomfortable in my own skin. And tired. And pretty brain-dead. And though this may not mean anything, just about everyone I know has turned psychic and is predicting two things: a big baby, delivered early. Neither thrills me.

So, as you may have been able to discern, I'm kind of preoccupied with baby-related things at the moment, and blogging in general and about academic-IP-newsy stuff in specific is holding less than its usual amount of interest at the moment.

Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things soon, and I will have something more interesting to comment on than pot pies! ;)

- posted by laurie @ 8/27/2004 10:41:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Trials and tribulations of moving

Well, we're into our new place, and completely (minus a few things in the basement storage bin and, Eric thinks, perhaps a lone frozen pot pie in the freezer) out of the old place. And we have internet access again, which is wonderful, but I can't find the driver disk or all of the cables for the router, so as of yet we've got no wireless network.

Even though we got reconnected over a week ago, I've been keeping a low profile here, as we've been cleaning out the old apartment, rearranging furniture here at the new place, trying to unpack, and doing very large-scale reorganization: Eric and I have been living with each other and only each other for the past eight years, and now we're trying to rearrange things so that space is allocated between three adults and the yet-to-arrive baby. The kitchen organization process itself, with two kitchens becoming one, was interesting (and is ongoing). But it's going right along, and it'll all get done, eventually. I'm definitely slowing down, I've gotta say: I can't see my feet anymore, and bending down to pick things up from off of the floor is a definite challenge.

Next challenge: to get all my ducks in a row before baby arrives. Must finish syllabus, finish class site design, and work on WebCT course site, as well. Preregister with admissions at the hospital. Check into pediatricians. Call around about daycare. Get baby announcements ready to go. 40 days until due date - but who's counting? :) Just keep your fingers crossed, please, that the kiddo doesn't decide to arrive weeks early, as I did (my poor parents hadn't even finished the nursery yet).

- posted by laurie @ 8/18/2004 08:37:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, August 06, 2004

*chirp* *chirp*

So, I plan to take apart the computer this evening, and I've been too busy to do any other blogging today - have a good weekend, everyone, see ya sometime next week!

- posted by laurie @ 8/06/2004 03:55:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Internet, eh?

(the above is not an attempt to poke fun at Canadians. Nope, it's a Simpsons reference. Now that that's clear . . .)

I'm checking email, browsing a few blogs, reading up on copyright and IP, the usual stuff, before going off to bed a bit early. As I was doing all of this, I realized, "tomorrow is our last full day of high-speed connection until the installer comes to the new place Tuesday night!"

Oh no! Whatever will we do?

oh, wait, I know the answer to that one: pack, do dishes, do laundry, clean the apartment, load the truck, drive to new residence, unload the truck, unpack, do more laundry, do more dishes. And finish pressure-washing the deck area.

. . . still and all, I'd prefer the high-speed connection. Wouldn't you?

- posted by laurie @ 8/05/2004 07:45:00 PM (0) comments

State Attorney Generals to File-sharing companies: stop child pornography, infingement, invasion of privacy

CNet News reports that State AGs warn file-sharing companies to "take stronger action" with regard to infringing trading, privacy violations, and child pornography on their networks. Supposedly they're worried about "risks posed to the consumers of our states." The article goies on to state: "The state attorneys general have been looking at this issue for much of the year and have been consulting entertainment groups, including the Motion Picture Association of America." Seems like the entertainment industry is fill-in for consumers here? I don't know, but it seems that the P2P companies, too, are somewhat suspect of this maneuver, which just re-presents the same old content industry arguments again.

- posted by laurie @ 8/05/2004 02:21:00 PM (0) comments

deep breaths

Though today really hasn't been all that chock-full of activity, I feel like I've been running around all day. Normal errands have become the equivalent of a marathon lately.

So, I got up at 6:30 this morning (or a little before - I actually woke just before the alarm went off) and made myself ready to go to yet another doctor's appointment. I just had the last of my "monthly" visits: one visit two weeks from now, and then I go to weekly visits with the midwives until delivery. The scary thing was scheduling all of my remaining OB appointments this morning after today's visit ended. I'm now all booked up, through the end of September, about four days from my due date. It really hit home: this kid is coming, and soon.

After the doctor's, I drove six blocks down the road, reparked, and went to settle up some library business with the borrowing privileges and fines people. They thought I had stolen some books. I gave the books back, and they significantly reduced the amount of cash dollars I have to fork over to them. *whew* I was beginng to sweat a little about how I was going to pay off the Library - and one has to do these things to reamin a registered student in good standing with the university.

Then, on to errnand-running: cleaning supplies and assorted other things related to moving and/or new baby care at Target, where they were shockingly out of new address cards. A few photocopies at Office Depot (since I forgot to make copies while at the library), a trip to the post office, and then, finally, home, where I put my feet up and decided to kick back and relax a bit. I took this opportunity to make a few long-overdue phonecalls: one to my sister, and one to my mom.

My sister informed me that she's thinking of spending seven days at the end of August horseback riding and learning about Irish history in and around Galway. I'm very happy for her - it should be a wonderful trip, and she deserves a little time to spend just on herself. I'm jealous, though, and all I can say is, she had better take pictures, and lots of them!

Mom's doing well, though she apparently thinks I am the hardest person in the world to get on the phone (she never calls my cell). We chatted for a while, did some general catching up, and then she listened while I yakked on and on about the baby and being pregnant and the nursery theme and . . . Then she hinted at a baby gift, a nursery furniture set we want from Target. Yay! The crib was the one big-ticket item we haven't gotten yet.

And now that I have spent too long on the phone, and my feet are starting to regain normal proportions, I'm off t0 pack and clean some more. Gotta put some of those harsh chemicals purchased at Target today to some good use!

and this evening, I definitely need to do my yoga - but in the meantime, I'll settle for some deep, cleansing breaths.

- posted by laurie @ 8/05/2004 01:25:00 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

HP Linux Laptops

Computerworld reports todaythat HP unveils its first Linux laptop. It ships with Open Office and uses SUSE Linux 9.1. Very cool. It's about time this happened - although the article does point out that IBM shipped Linux-loaded laptops for a while beginning in 2000, but later yanked them.

- posted by laurie @ 8/04/2004 02:36:00 PM (0) comments

But wait, we don't have a . . .

Since I graduated with my B.A. in 2000, we have moved three times, the upcoming move on Sunday being move #4. Many of the boxes we are packing up right now have been used in at least two of the previous three moves, and so they are scrawled with previous contents. When we moved in 2000, from Maryland to Pennsylvania, nearly all boxes got scrawled with "FRAGILE" - the collected moving team at the time was highly amused by one or another of the group saying, "fra-gi-lay: must be Italian." Corny, but that was a really exhausting move, most of us were exhausted the entire time we were packing, cleaning, and hauling stuff, and about anything would have been funny. The other long-distance move, from Pennsylvania to Minnesota, was just as stressful, but much, much more organized. Book boxes used for this move are labeled with things such as "BOOKS: large shelf, den. Nineteenth-century novels, women's history," or "Books: LT. entertainment center shelves. Literary theory, Spanish literature and dictionaries, nature writing." I kid you not. The miscellaneous books box was even labeled with the kind of miscellany inside.

I just pulled a flattened box from the pile of deflated cardboard cubes laying on the living room floor. This box was labeled in Eric's handwriting, and with purple Sharpie, "Dishes, glasses, ferrett." We must have been running out of boxes at that point in the move. :)

- posted by laurie @ 8/04/2004 11:00:00 AM (0) comments


So, having done my IP/Copyright news search for the day while waking up, I am now off to make even more progress on the packing front. One small gripe, though, before I sign off for a day full of packing and cleaning: where did my archives go? You know, I've been using Blogger since November 2001 - coming up on three years here pretty quickly - and for all of the various problems, migrations, reconfigurations, and other stuff, the biggest and most recurring problem I have with Blogger is archive problems. I could probably find a dozen or so old posts griping about templates that wouldn't update, archives that disappeared, archive links that got screwed up through no fault of my own, and so on (and I could link to them if my archives were working properly right now!). And guess what? Yesterday, in addition to updating my blogroll, I also figured out how to fix a long-standing problem with my archive template. Everything was working beautifully until late last night. And then, *poof*, my archived posts disappeared. Now, monthly archive pages seem to still exist, but permalinks to individual posts will throw a blogger "page not found" error. What's going on?

- posted by laurie @ 8/04/2004 08:14:00 AM (0) comments

Intellectual Property Theft in India Exposes Risks of Outsourcing

Outsourcing has been a hot topic of late, especially with the Democrativc ticket emphasizing it before and during the convention. Common wisdom is that lower foreign labor costs makes outsourcing an attractive alternative for businesses, whether they be manufacturing jobs or, more recently, tech jobs such as programming. This press release from PRWeb points out that a potential problem with outsourcing tech jobs lies in the area of IP protection, and details the story of an Indian woman who used her Yahoo email account to send copied files out of her workplace.

Intellectual Property Theft in India Exposes Risks of Outsourcing: "SAN CARLOS, CA (PRWEB) August 4, 2004 -- Jolly Technologies, a California based software manufacturer, today reported the recent theft of portions of its source code and confidential design documents of one of their key products at their recently opened research and development center in Mumbai, India. According to the report obtained from the Indian branch, Sudha Iyer, a recently hired 25-year-old female software engineer and resident of Jogeshwari, Mumbai, carried out the theft. Iyer used her Yahoo email account, which now allows 100 MB of free storage space, to upload and ship the copied files out of the research facility. Fortunately, Jolly Technologies detected the theft and is trying to prevent Sudha Iyer from further distributing it."

- posted by laurie @ 8/04/2004 08:13:00 AM (0) comments

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


So, today I packed up almost all of our remaining books, some clothes, and some other stuff. I took a long, hot shower and then watched that horrible Fox switching-moms show (curiosity - and this was a one-time thing, believe me) while eating some dinner (spaghettios and a whole cucumber: I am pregnant, you know. And yes, there was ice cream afterward, how very silly of you to ask). Then I read a little bit of The Big U, which I thought would be fluffy enough to be a light-reading-while-packing book. Added the previous entry, about the meme propagation, which I found out about from Dr. B's blog, which I got to from a comment on arete. Then I did it: I did what I said I would earlier in the day. I sat down and went through my blogroll. I added several blogs, including the ones mentioned above, deleted some dead ones, and changed names/urls for those that have moved or morphed since I last bothered with blogrolling. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good day.

- posted by laurie @ 8/03/2004 07:28:00 PM (0) comments

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: --- results and comments about the experiment appear at that location.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e (Note: this replaces the longer, original GUID -- listed below -- which didn't format nicely in narrow column layouts. Those sites still using the longer GUID will still be found in the data set).

The above GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate, which may take several days or weeks. To locate the full data set, just search for the any sites that contain either the short GUID (above) or the long GUID (for your reference, the long GUID is a single 72 character string comprised of the following segments put together with the white-spaces removed: as098398298250swg9e 98929872525389t9987 898tq98wteqtgaq6201 0920352598gawst -- they are listed here as different segments so that they will format better in narrow column layouts.)

Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)


To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL:

(2) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": Browsing the Web

(3) I posted this experiment at URL:

(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 03/08/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 20:56

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): St. Paul, MN, USA

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by: Blogger

(8) My age is: 28

(9) My gender is: female

(10) My occupation is: graduate student, instructor

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: none regularly

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 11/11/2001

(14) My web browser is: Mozilla, Opera, Safari

(15) My operating system is: Windows XP, ME; Mac OS X, 9

- posted by laurie @ 8/03/2004 06:54:00 PM (0) comments

Books, oh how I love (most of) you!

I've spent the afternoon packing - mostly books. Packing books is always both my most and least favorite part of packing and moving. It's a chance to encounter books I had forgotten I owned, books I'd forgotten that I had read or, and too many of my books fall into this category, books I have yet to read.

Packing books makes me wish I had more time to read for non-academic purposes. I just pulled my Norton Critical Edition of Don Quixote off the shelf in the den: I think I already packed the other (English) edition I own (Oxford UP, I think). I wish I had time to reread the Quixote, and I wish I actually had time to read it in Spanish, as I have been meaning to for years. I'd already packed away the two dozen or so Spanish-language novels and volumes of poetry I own, and recalled that I have yet to read my annual novel in Spanish.

Each summer I pull a different novel off the shelf, grab my Spanish dictionaries, and curl up to read. It's my lame attempt to not completely let my Spanish degree go to waste (I already can't speak worth a darn, but reading's a lot easier). So, in some kind of recognition of this fact, I kept out the last Spanish novel left on the shelf: Las novelas de Torquemada. Anyone who's read this very long, dry book will recognize this as a somewhat masochistic move, some sort of penance, perhaps. I probably won't read it all the way through - there will come a point where I would rather pack/unpack, do dishes, or scrub the toilet than read Torquemada.

Packing books also reminds me of some of the sillier features of our book collection. For example, Eric and I own no less than three copies of Oedipus, two of which we got when we took Theater 101 together at Maryland (we also have duplicate copies of Fefu and her Friends and a few other assigned texts). There are several Shakespeare texts that we own multiple copies of, usually because one was his and one was mine, and then all of the books became ours.

I've also been reminded of all kinds of classes I've taken, the Theater 101 example being just a small fragment. Women's history courses are dredged from cold storage in my memory by a handful of novels, primary-document sourcebooks, and histories. I recall with some discomfort the Eighteent-century Anglo-Irish class I took, mostly because the tedious histories, jammed into a back corner of the bookshelf, have only recently come to light. That, and I found the poetry anthology we used for the class, which includes some of the worst verse I have ever read in my entire life. I've also uncovered environmental science, sociology, chemistry, and biology texts, some mine and some Eric's, that we just haven't been able to part with, though there really is no good reason for me to retain Our Changing Earth, nor is there really any call for Eric to keep Organic Chemistry (he suffered through the class, which should be enough).

I suppose I've waxed nostalgic about our books for long enough. I should go read Torquemada go do more packing, and perhaps a few dishes.

- posted by laurie @ 8/03/2004 01:58:00 PM (0) comments

Trade deal exports DMCA down under | CNET

Oh how sad.

The DMCA is bad news for those outside of the content industry - you know, average citizens and consumers - especially that nasty bit about anticircumvention. Many would like to see these types of restrictions go away - not get exported to other conuntries. Declan McCullagh reports that a new trade agreement with Australia, however, does just that: requires Australia to implement U.S.-style copyright laws, including the worst of the DMCA.

International harmonization of IP law and policy could do so much for the exchange of information. Instead what it does is lock us all into some of the most restrictive, counterproductive, anti-creative, protectionist B.S. ever. Oh, and even better, both countries agree to take things further:

"One section goes further than existing U.S. law and commits both nations to enacting bans on tinkering with 'rights management information.' A related bill is pending, but has not been approved, in the U.S. Senate."

Goody. Doesn't everyone feel better, more protected now? I'm sure the RIAA and the MPAA, along with their international counterparts, do.

- posted by laurie @ 8/03/2004 10:31:00 AM (0) comments

My Poor Blog

I'm feeling guilty. I was checking out the referrer files this morning, kind of a daily ritual when I'm not avoiding the unairconditioned den, and based on some of the hits in the last 24 hours, I decided to hop over to Technorati and see if I'd picked up any new links. Once there, I discovered that I had indeed received a new link, from Jeneane Sessum of allied and Blogsisters no less. Which is very cool - but when I surfed on over to her site, I noticed a few recent posts: one about adding three people to your blogroll today (which is a great idea), and a few others about template updating and redesign. These things - updating the blogroll and redoing my template - have been on my to-do list for months, and between school and pregnancy and moving and, you know, life in general, they just haven't happened. And I have several people I want to add to my blogroll, some dead blogs to prune out of my blogroll, and a lot of changes I want to make to my template (beginning with figuring out why my March 2003 archive page is different than ALL of my other archive pages).

I'm making this deal with myself right now - and publicly, so you all can chastize me if I don't follow through: I am going to go pack, I'm going to go be good about preparing for the move, but when I run out of steam later this afternoon, I am going to come in here to the den, sit down in front of the computer, and spend a little bit of timeon my poor, neglected blog.

- posted by laurie @ 8/03/2004 09:40:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, August 02, 2004

Boston Globe Editorial on P2P, Copyright,

This Boston Globe Editorial: "Copyright overreach" from yesterday takes on the Kazaa/Grokster appeal and the Hatch-Lehy-sponsored Induce Act as its topic. As the title suggests, the editorial is concerned that proposed legislation, which would be needed should the appellate case be decided in favor of Kazaa and Grokster, would stifle innovation . We've heard this argument from Lessig and others countless times: with regard to the Copyright Term Extension Act, with regard to the DMCA, and certainly with regard to the P2P debates. What I find interesting in this editorial is in the following paragraphs - I'm throwing them out here because maybe I'm misinterpreting, but the argument just doesn't deem to make a whole lot of sense to me.

"The impetus for this bill is a decision by US District Judge Stephen Wilson in California last year. Relying on the Betamax case, he ruled that the file-sharing services Kazaa and Grokster could not be held liable for copyright violations because their services could be used for legal purposes as well. Movie and record companies have appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which has upheld another judge's decision against Napster, the first successful file-sharing service. Consideration of the Hatch bill would be premature until the court acts on the Grokster-Kazaa case.

Wilson also ruled in favor of Kazaa because the technology is looser than Napster's, which relied on centralized computers to shift a user's request for a particular song, almost always under copyright. The intent of Kazaa and Grokster is the same as Napster: to make money through the facilitation of illegal file-sharing. The appeals court ought to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

If the court does not, legislation will be in order to target companies like Kazaa, whose chief reason for existence is to facilitate copyright violations. It should explicitly uphold the Betamax decision. "

Ok, so - the court ought to explicitly uphold the Betamax decision, which means that the technoloigy itself can't be condemned because there are legit noninfringing uses, BUT the court should also find for the plaintiffs because of the "intent" of making money off of infringing behavior. Huh? So, the companies are ok in that their technologies do have legitimate uses, but totally guilty because it is not their intent to use said technologies for legitimate purposes? I see a contradiction here, don't you all? And I think the opinion that the appeals court ought to decide this case based not upon legal precedent (Betamax), but upon the supposed results and outcomes (consideration of the Induce Act) of the decision to be, well, scary.

- posted by laurie @ 8/02/2004 11:14:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Kerry Worse Than Ashcroft on Civil Liberties?

This interesting article questions Kerry's record and views on crypto, the Patriot Act, and asset forfeiture. To get right to the point, Kerry doesn't do so well in these areas. In fact, Ashcroft and the ACLU were on the same side of the crypto argument (in favor of allowing individuals to encrypt messages, for example), while Kerry was a part of the opposing camp, a very weird scenario given what we know about the respective players in such a scenario - in general.

"It goes without saying," the author writes, "that John Ashcroft and the Bush administration have lousy records on Civil Liberties, but it is important to analyze John Kerry's record as well."


- posted by laurie @ 8/01/2004 03:14:00 PM (0) comments

Vatican Weighs in on Feminism, Women's Roles

This Reuters article discusses a Vatican document issued yesterday which focuses on feminism, and "said modern feminism's fight for power and gender equality was undermining the traditional concept of family and creating a climate where gay marriages are seen as acceptable."

Not surprisingly, feminists are reacting strongly to this document, saying that reading it was like walking through a time warp, reading something written by Archie Bunker, etc. The document apparently points out how out of touch the all-male upper eschelon of the church is with society. While the document does say that women's value is not solely procreative, and does also say that women should have workplace equality (wow, those are two biggies - you go figure if I'm being sarcastic or not), it also said "differences between the sexes must be recognized and exalted."

I haven't had the time to read the letter, but the text is available online. Believe me, I plan to take a look at it later on today.

. . . and by the way, any theories on what, precisely, prompted this attack on feminism? What's going on nationally or internationally that would have prompted a Vatican staement on gender roles? Or is this the culmination of the reaction to the gay marriage issue, I wonder? And if that's the case, then how come women everywhere get to be responsible for that, too? Last time I checked, gay marriage was an issue that affects both biological sexes, but apparently, mommies who don't perform their gender roles appropriately just undermine the whole family structure and confuse their kiddos and society, which results in a whole bunch of people entering into terrible same-sex relationships. Sorry for the sarcasm and ranting, but come on now. A bunch of men with their own unique issues with sexuality get to hand down this kind of judgement regarding the women of the world? Hmph.

- posted by laurie @ 8/01/2004 09:41:00 AM (0) comments