Mass Proximity Indicator


Years back one of my favorite sci fi authors was A. Bertram Chandler. In his books there was a mythical device called a mass proximity indicator (MPI). As its name implies it can detect mass, and until recently this was not even close to a possibility. Recently the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created a clock so accurate that it will neither gain nor lose one second in some 15 billion years*–roughly the age of the universe.

It occurred to me that creating an array of these in MEMS (Micro-Electronic Mechanical System) format, might make an MPI a possibility, as each one would have a slightly different clock speed depending on the location of various masses near it.

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Spinning Galaxy


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Must Have Open Source Software









Time for another installment of … must have open source programs.

7zip – zipping and unzipping utility. –
Audacity – audio editor –
Blender – 3D CGI and Audio Video editing –
chrome – browser –
Eclipse – programming IDE –
FreeCAD – 3D CAD –
Gimp – image editing –
LibreOffice –  MS Office Clone –
notepad++ – text editor  –
VLC – media player –

ProjectLibre – Microsoft Project –

Am I missing any?

#opensourcesoftware     #opensource    #freesoftware

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Birth Of A Snowflake


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My Personal RSS Feeds For Import Into


Over the past year, people have asked me where I get all the stories and articles I post on Google Plus

The answer is simple, a buko amount of RSS feeds. These are mainly science and technology, with news from both sides of the political spectrum thrown in.

Since Google Reader shut down I have been using as an RSS reader. This is an opml export from feedly of all the RSS feeds I follow (feedly.opml zip file).

To use it …
Unzip the file
Got to feedly
Click My Feedly
Click Organize
Click Import OPML and import the feedly.opml file

Like magic, you now have over 200 RSS feeds from various sci, tech, and news sites.


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Freezing Bubble Animated Gif



Bubble freezing at minus 10 degree Fahrenheit


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C# Tutorial With Over 500 Videos

csharp3C# God Tutoria
l – Over 500 videos, encompassing pretty much everything in C# .NET. If you are a beginner or someone just wanting to brush up on C#, this set of videos has everything.  There is only one issue with the videos. In the C# for beginners videos the volume is a little on the low side.

This link contains a list of all the playlists below – This is the link to save to have it all.

To do the course work in these videos you need Visual Studio …. 
Visual Studio With C# Can Be Downloaded Here, For Free, From Microsoft


C# for beginners – 85 videos –

SQL server for beginners – 68 videos –

Dot Net Basics – 7 videos –

ADO .NET for beginners – 7 videos –

ASP .NET for beginners – 164 videos –

ASP .NET GridView – 60 videos –

ASP .NET MVC – 100 videos –

C# interview questions and answers – 10 videos –

ASP .NET Web services – 7 videos –

WCF – 16 videos


Posted in Programming | 9 Comments

Very Relaxing Train Animated Gif



me on G+

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A Simple Quote That Everyone Should Remember


” Since the power of our technology is doubling every year now with no end in sight (at least over the next 50 years or so), our tools will be over a thousand times more powerful in only ten years.”



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Best Darwin Gif Ever


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Bitcoin And The Failure of International Monetary Policy


Casascius 25 bitcoin

 Germany has recognized bitcoin as “private money”. This is another step toward legitimizing it as a currency. This is not a good thing for world governments, as their power and financing comes from being the middlemen in all financial transactions. They take a percentage of all sales, income, and private transactions in one way or another.

Untraceable digital currency removes them from monetary policy, and sets them up for several scenarios that do not end well. The main issue is one of international inflationary monetary policy, versus an inherently deflationary digital currency.

There are only a limited number of bitcoins that will ever be mined, once that number is reached no more will be produced, there is the first problem. Governments love to print money, as they do the price of all things goes up, this is inflation. With digital currencies the exact opposite occurs. As more people use the currency the higher the price will go, it is basic economics, limited supply -vs- high demand.

A simple thought experiment to show how bad this is for governments. A person walks into a grocery store today and sees  loaf of bread for $2 USD or 0.005 bitcoin, he remembers that last year that same loaf of bread cost $1 USD or 0.01 bitcoin.  The price of that loaf of bread has doubled in US Dollars and has fallen by one half in bitcoins. Which do you think he will use in the future,  the US dollar, which is losing him money over time, or the coinage that continues to rise in value, acting as both an investment and currency, as it is adopted by more people.




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Soothing And Scary All At Once


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A Question that may lead to Immortality

This is for the Geneticists, Bio-Geeks, and the synthetic biology crowd. Recently I proposed a method to determine what RNA or mRNA cloned cells use to extend their telomeres. I haven’t gotten a any real response so I thought I would post the question here. 

The thought is simple, every time a cell is cloned its telomeres must be getting longer. Something in the egg cell is causing the extension of the telomeres.That something must be either telomerase or one or more pieces of mRMA. The fact that we have been able to clone 25 successive generations of mice, and make pluripotent stem cells via cloning seems to point to telomere extension. Recently a technique to sequence the RNA in individual cells was developed. 

Now the question – How difficult would it be to determine which mRNA fragments in egg cells are causing the telomere extension?


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Yet Another Great Image


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Creating a Brain Computer Interface Headband Using S.Q.U.I.D.’s … NOT!

SQUID’s (superconducting quantum interference device)  is an electronic system that uses a superconducting ring in which one or two small insulating layers have been inserted. This device based on the Josephson effect in the superconductor-insulator-superconductor sandwich. The flux quantization in the ring makes it extremely sensitive to any magnetic field. Squids are so sensitive they can measure the magnetic activity of the brain in real time. The majority of squids rely on conventional superconductors that operate at liquid helium temperatures, -452.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

SQUIDFairly recently devices using the cuprate high temperature superconductors have come to market. With the creation of cuprate based SQUIDs the cooling requirements have been greatly decreased.


Using a SQUID as the sensors for a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is not a new idea. The first time I saw this concept was in the 1983 movie Brainstorm, with Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. The original unit they were using was a device the size of a refrigerator that you placed your head into. Its large size was due to the superconductors need to be cooled by liquid helium. Then a cinema plot device came into play, a superconducting chip that worked at room temperature, reducing the entire device to a consumer friendly, lightweight headband.

Todays exercise, creating a consumer friendly, light weight, SQUID based Brain computer Interface. Simple really …. if you look at it from an really odd angle. So it’s time to KISS KIM and do an engineering hack job on this puppy.

What do we need most to build a small lightweight BCI?

Small lightweight self refrigerating SQUID’s are the answer. I bet you knew that already.

The SQUIDs themselves are not the problem, they are manufactured using Integrated Circuit Fabrication technology, they a tiny little devices, just a couple micros across. Angels dancing on the head of a pin tiny, there are 25,400 microns in one inch. Lets ignore the SQUID for the time being, and concentrate on how to reduce the size of the refrigeration, associated insulation, and shrink it down so we can pack 20-30 of them in a headband.

To cool the SQUIDS there are four types of heat pumps to choose from, Compressor, Magnetic, Thermoacoustic, and Thermoelectric. Using a compressor is out, the weight, the voltage fluctuations, and the vibration all say poor design choice. Magnetic cooling is out  the SQUID is trying to detect minute magnetic fields and this cooling method will interfere.  Thermoacoustic, yeah right … no, on two counts, who wants a 20 – 40 piezo crystals vibrating on their head at high frequency all day, plus piezo crystals also give off minute EM pulses, making them unsuitable. That leaves only the thermoelectric heat pump.

Thermoelectric cooling uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two different types of materials. Simply put you run DC current through it, and it pumps heat from one place to the other. The lowest temperature thermoelectric heat pumps work at is 100 degrees Kelvin. Which is wonderful because high temperature superconductors will work at temperatures up to 133 degree Kelvin.

<This was embarrassing, so it was removed>


six stage thermoelectric cooling module

After doing all the math I come up with a 10 stage thermoelectric cooling module, made from 4 distinct material types for the thermoelectric heat pumps,  two inches deep and using 20+ watts each to cool down to 115 K, with water cooling for outermost layer of the heat pump.  Which makes this an unworkable solution.

What a waste of half a day. While I have come up with a working concept, it is not a viable headband BCI unless you have a neck the diameter of a telephone pole and wouldn’t mind wearing a 15 or 20 pound hat all day.

Normally when I get an idea like this it has a workable solution. The only solution I see is higher temperature superconductors. Maybe I need a hollywood plot device…

I should contact Joe Eck over at and see if he actually has come up with room temperature super conductors running at 35 degree C …..yeah right, I will put that on the list right after, “contact the pyramid power guy and order a hat” ….


Posted in BCI, Brain Computer Interface | 14 Comments

Another great Image

R. I. Fitzhenry

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Infinitely Expandable Computing Using Three Dimensional Configurable NAND Gates

Building With DNA bricks

Recently an article on building with DNA bricks, reminded me of a concept I came up with over ten years ago, configurable 3 dimensional NAND gates.

In the article (slideshow) they discussed using single strand DNA, to self assemble custom designed nano scale structures. Each of the bricks shown to the left is,  25-nanometers on a side, they are composed of ~1,000 voxels (I think it is 500 DNA strand, 2 voxels per strand)  unique single strands of DNA, each with 32 nucleotides. Each strand is like a jigsaw puzzle piece and can only bind in one location. This is due to the fact that nucleotides only bind to their opposites, A to T and G to C. These DNA strands can be designed to self assemble into pretty much any shape, as shown in the image above.

This is where things get very interesting. This process does not just produce a single brick at a time, it creates as many as the available resources allow, all at the same time or over time. If you want a million identical bricks, you give it all the different varieties of single strand DNA it requires to create a million of them. Due to their small size you could create several billion in a shot glass.

A one inch cube could hold 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 of these 25 nm bricks.
n = (1 billion nm per meter / 25 nm / 100 cm per meter * 2.5 cm per inch)^3

Bricks assembled with 2 or 3 by 25 by 25 nm spacers

Using two simple techniques, you can build much larger structures out of smaller ones. The first technique is to create binding sites, on each of the six sides of the brick. The second technique is to create a spacer-binder with matching but opposite nucleotides to bind to. Where A binds to T and G binds to C in the DNA sequences of the binding sites. When mixed these should self assemble into a larger structure.

Truth be told, to create a perfect cube like the one to the left, would take far more than just two different building blocks. It would take approximately 18.

Using just two different building blocks, one brick and one matching spacer-binder, you would end up with no limits as to how far, or in which direction the growth expands. The end result would be an  amorphous blob, with an internally perfect lattice of bricks and spacer-binders. Since this is an article about, Infinitely Expandable Computing Using Three Dimensional Configurable NAND Gates, and not building the perfect cube shaped nano-processor, I will gloss over that point (amorphous blob) and get on with the article.

Three Dimensional Configurable NAND Gate

The NAND logic gate is the universal gate, with it you can build all other logic gates, NOT, AND, OR, NOR, XOR, and XNOR. By extension, using only NAND gates you can build any logic circuit imaginable, processor, memory, and any other logic circuit you can conceive of or need.

NAND logic plus NOT, AND, and OR gates built with NAND gates

The concept for the Three Dimensional Configurable NAND Gate is simple. It is a cube with a NAND gate inside. The cube NAND gate has the following specifications.

  • A cube NAND gate has six sides, each side can be individually turned on for input, output, or set as unused.
  • A used cube NAND gate, must have at least one input and one output.
  • When only one input is used, the gate acts as a NOT gate.
  • All outputs of a single cube NAND gate output the same signal.
  • A cube NAND gate can either be in use and logically connected to other cube NAND gates, or unused and not logically connect to any other NAND gates.

While this seems like a simple set of specifications it is really very powerful. It allows for any logic circuit to be configured, and any software to be run. In essence, by loading the logic for every chip in a computer system, and all the interconnections between those chips, it can become that system. It can become any processor Intel, Arm, Motorola, Zilog, IBM mainframe, Sun Sparc and run the software associated with those machines without any software conversion needed.

This is a wonderful thing, for people who wan to run old IBM reel to reel applications to impress their friends (snicker), but that is not it greatest strength. The true power comes from the fact that this makes software and hardware the same thing. Software becomes nothing more than the configuration of the 3D NAND array. This removes a huge amount of overhead, allows optimization in ways that can not be done on standard computer systems, and speeds up processing immensely for most applications.

Tying it all together, combing DNA bricks with configurable 3D NAND

Various Molecular Transistor Designs

Over the past several years, transistors using small molecules (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) have been theorized, designed, and or built. There are currently under ten  groups that have actually built and tested molecular transistors in the lab. Combining these molecular scale transistors, the ability to recognize and bind to molecules (Host Guest) precisely, and using DNA bricks and-or a technology like DNA Origami to transport the and place individual components, is what will allow us to create configurable 3D NAND gates. Adding spacer-binders to the mix, allows for the self assembly of individual 3D NAND gates into a large scale, infinitely configurable, nano-processor. The size of which should  only be limited by the raw materials available.

Go large, or go home. Lets see what a 6 inch cube of configurable 3D NAND gates can do. First we need to know how many NAND gates fit into a 6 inch brick.

n = (1 billion nm per meter / 25 nm / 100 cm per meter * 2.5 cm per inch)^3  * 6 inches^3

n = 216,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual NAND gates.  This does not take into account the spacer binders, the need for cooling, long range (> 1,000 nm) communications, and power, and I am going to ignore them because this is a speculative piece.

Note: adding all the missing pieces listed above takes about half the volume and ~halves the number of NAND gates, again we are ignoring that. Speculation, and just wanting to see roughly what can be done and all. 

Totally Kludged Numbers Follow To Show What is Possible

With 216 x 10^18 gates, how many maxed out 8-Core Itanium Poulson, with max memory, and 1 Tb storage, can this emulate at once using a 6 inch 3D NAND brick. For this we are going to use worst case numbers for the gates. Each transistor on the Intel processor is going to be 3 NAND gates, all memory and storage will be 5 gates per bit. That is way overkill on both of them (see below).

To make the numbers even worse I am going to use transistor count on an Intel 8 core Itanium processor, instead of gate count, due to the fact that after an hour of looking, gate count was no where to be found. An Intel 8-Core Itanium Poulson has 3,100,000,000 transistors, a memory address space of 2^50  ( 1 petabyte ). Since an address space of 2^50, would require 125,000,000 of 8 gigabyte RAM modules, we will reduce that to something more reasonable, like 2 terabytes, or 250 8 gigabyte RAM modules. I am certain we can somehow shoe horn them into a actual rack mounted server, right next to the 1 terabyte hard drive.

The system consist of

  • An Intel 8-Core Itanium Poulson
  • 2 Terabytes of RAM
  • 1 Terabyte hard drive

Now lets count the NAND gates needed.

NameTransistors-bitsNAND gates per ItemTotal NAND gates
Hard Drive8,000,000,000,000540,000,000,000,000
Total NAND gates120,009,300,000,000

We now know we need 128 quadrillion NAND gates to build the system specified above, and a 6 inch cube has  216,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual NAND gates. So lets see how many of these systems fit in or 6 inch box.

n = 216,000,000,000,000,000,000 / 120,009,300,000,000

n = 1,799,860.51

So in a six inch cube of 3D NAND we can fit ~1.8 million maxed out Intel 8 core systems.

Please take these numbers with a grain of salt, they are back of the envelope calculations just meant to show how much further we can go once this technology is available.


While this is not currently possible to do. In very short order, the knowledge and techniques  required to create these configurable 3D NAND gates will exist. The ability to selectively attach or bind to specific nano-scale structures or specific chemicals and move them into position, with atomic precision, will more than likely occur within the next 3 to 6 years. By combing the technology of DNA bricks and selective manipulation of nano-scale objects, devices such as the configurable 3D NAND gate can be constructed. This is just one small step away from full blown nanotechnology (Drexlerian or other).

The repercussions of this are profound.


Posted in Disruptive, Nanotechnology, Technology, Thing That Make You Go hmmm.... | 19 Comments

Just An Image To Take Your Breath Away





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3D Printing Of Houses And The Collapse Of Housing Prices

It occurred to me recently that within the next three to seven years there is going to be another crash in the housing market. This time it will not be caused by banks being over leveraged, real estate speculation, or the ineptitude of government. The cause will be new technology, and new manufacturing techniques.  Use of technologies similar to Contour Crafting will reduce the cost of constructing a new home substantially. In many cases there will be a 60 to 85 percent decrease in the cost of a new home.


The resulting lower new home prices will devastate the existing homes market. Given the option people will more than likely purchase a home, custom printed to order, with 3 to 5 times the floor space, or opt for new home of the same size at greatly reduced cost. This great disparity in price will carry over to the banking sector, as existing homes become less desirable and difficult or impossible to sell. In the end, the likely results will be existing houses being sold for square foot price equivalent or below that of the newer 3 D printed houses. Over time 3D home printing technology will mature and becomes less expensive. Competition, optimization, and newer technologies will drive prices down even further. Leading to a reduction in new home prices over a period of several years. Towards the end of this downward spiral, many of the old  existing homes, will more than likely be sold for their raw land value as people begin consider them boxy, ugly, inefficient energy guzzlers, and undesirable.

With 3 D printing, complex custom houses can be built for the same price, and in the same time, as simple houses with the same floor space. This will end the era of all houses in a development looking identical.

The banks carrying loans on existing homes, that were built by hand, will be dragged down as people opt to purchase new homes that cost substantially less, or have many times the floor space. No amount of government intervention will be able to repair the damage, or save the banks owning these mortgages. This will be a multi-year housing price depreciation, which will also place downward pressure on the prices of the first several generations of houses built using 3 D printing. This fall in housing prices will continue until the automated creation of houses has been fully optimized, and profit margins become extremely slim.

The banks can’t win this one, and neither can landlords. With the continued downward pressure on home prices, will also come a downward price pressure on rents. Landlords with existing rental properties, will find it extremely difficult to rent their properties at a profit, or sell the properties, bankrupting many of them as people move into newer, more efficient, prettier, and less expensive accommodations.

All in all, this one technology is going to cause a serious reallocation of wealth across the entire planet, destroying many current industries and creating many new ones.


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Great Image


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment – Transparent Cost Database has this wonderful resource for showing the costs of various energy technologies. The Transparent Cost Database covers Wind, Solar, Coal, Natural Gas, Geothermal, Hydro, Fuel Cell, Nuclear and shows cost projections out to the year 2050.

All of the long established technologies, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and geothermal have had their designs optimized as such the predictions of future costs are relatively accurate. For the newer technologies PV solar, thermal solar, fuel cell, wind, the numbers are already on the high side due to newer technologies and continuing research.


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The Large Scale Renewable Energy Industry Is Living On Borrowed Time


Governments and corporations around the world are adding large scale renewable energy to the power grid. The installations of  huge solar and wind farms is growing, taking up large swaths of land. These farms cost hundreds of millions of dollars to install and maintain. They are engineering marvels, promoting a bright future without the pollution of coal, oil, or gas. They are slowly putting an end to the destructive trend of pumping carbon dioxide and other toxins into the atmosphere.

These projects are doomed to abject and total failure with in ten years. Have I got your attention yet?

Currently the economies of scale are on the side of large scale renewable energy producers. Bulk purchasing and installation, reduce the initial installation cost of Photo-voltaic, thermal solar, and wind farms. No current home windmill system can match commercial. The cost per watt goes down as the rotor size increases. The commercial cost per watt is well below what the average home owner would pay to have a system installed. The cost for a typical home PV installation is  two to five times that of a commercial install.  In the future the cost ration between utility scale and home installations is not predicted to change in any significant way.

Module - cost per watt Over the past ten years the cost of PV solar modules has fallen from $18 to under $1 per watt.  With the technologies currently being developed, in labs around the world, there is reason to believe this downward trend will  continue. The price should reach 25 cents per watt by 2017. The forecast assumes the continued use of the same static flat panel design, that has been used for the past 30 years. If a design like MIT’s  vertically zig zagged solar panel is combined extremely cheap, low efficiency (3%-5%)  roll-to-roll process photo-voltaic cells. The cost per watt could be substantially lower. Bulk produced, on an automated assembly line, using extruded and injection molded plastic, the costs could be as low as 5 cent per watt by 2017, depending on design and complexity.

The cost of energy storage is holding back PV solar based energy solutions. There have been several technologies developed in the past few months that may change that.

Rice researchers develop paintable batteryRice University developed a spray painted lithium ion battery that is simple to produce and can be manufactured in any shape. If you wish to create a cylindrical battery paint it on the outside of a tube. If you want a battery in the shape of an apple print out the layers and stack them. Figuring out how to connect the layers is your issue.

Batteries with 10x more capacity and 10x faster charge

Another interesting development is the development of a silicon spaced graphene battery electrode that can 10x the storage capacity of a lithium ion battery, and increase the lifespan of the battery by a factor of 10. According to the researcher, the technology could be seen in the marketplace in the next three to five years.

If combined these two technologies could potentially reduce the cost of batteries by a factor of 10, with a comparable reduction in battery size and weight. Combined with PV solar cells this technology changes the energy landscape of the planet. Low cost modular PV solar cells with energy storage become become possible. This should happen between 2017 and 2019.

Eventually we will reach a point where the cost to produce and store energy on the large scale and small scale meet. This is very counter-intuitive, until you realize that it takes years and tremendous capital outlay to build a large scale multi-megawatt solar farm, and a few thousand dollars and a couple hours or days to install a home system.

While the large scale producer is spending time and capital on a complex build out, the consumer already has a system installed. Even with continuously decreasing PV solar prices the large scale provider will still be running at a loss.

This is where the large energy producers strength, becomes their greatest weakness. The infrastructure they need to deliver energy to consumers. The cost of customer billing, meter reading, infrastructure construction, and maintenance, all become a severe drain on their once profitable business model. When the cost to create and deliver energy, is higher than the cost for a consumer to produce the energy themselves, the business of large scale energy production fails.

We are already at the beginning of this disruptive trend in Europe. Germany today has 25 gigawatts of consumer installed PV solar pumping energy into the grid. This has reduced the German daytime energy prices significantly. <click – (You really have to look at the before and after charts) Once prices drop on PV solar and energy storage, wide scale adoption is likely to occur.  The bankruptcies of the least efficient and most leveraged  energy producers will occur first, followed by the rest. My numbers say, this should start in the US around 2017 and end around 2025.

This trend will remove energy as a commodity and replace it with energy generation as the commodity. Between advancements in engineering and competition the cost per watt should fall until the underlying commodities prevent any further decline.

In the end it becomes buy once, remove the middle man, don’t pay for energy, use the system for 30 years, then replace it with a system with an even lower total cost of ownership and longer lifespan.

It is only a matter of time before it is more cost effective to generate you own energy, rather than buy it off the grid.

Perhaps I should have titled this article, “how the worlds energy companies will perish”.

Posted in Power Generation, Solar | 8 Comments

Chinese Tier-2 Photo Voltaic Modules Below $1/W

Just a quick note.  Prices for crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules fell below the $1/W mark in January 2012

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The MPAA Is Again Trying To Exclude The Public From The Discussion On Copyright

After the protests and public outcry over SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA you would expect the MPAA to understand, it wasn’t just a few companies that were complaining, it was the biggest stake holder, the public. Now they are trying to exclude the people most affected by laws concerning open and free communications and make deals with a few corporations.


Posted in ACTA, IP, PIPA, SOPA | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Content Industry And The Five Stages Of Grieving

For many people in the content industry its a way of life. The wheeling and dealing, the insider club, the exclusivity, once you get there you have a small group surrounding you. A group that you tend to stick with. That shares the same values, have their own dialect, and has the same faith in the way things have always been done.

Groups like this tend to strike out at anything that threatens their way of life. Religious,  Political, and Social groups all do this. They rationalize their actions and believe anything, no matter how logically incorrect, to support their point of view. In order to maintain the coherence of the group they always find another group or a concept to demonize. For the longest time it was any sort of change, now their demon is the internet and they are using Google as its face.

If large enough these groups become stuck in a perpetual denial, anger, bargaining loop. The loop is driven by a meme gaining strength and giving hope, running its course through the group. Each time through the loop they push further, each time thinking this will fix the problem. The content industry has been doing this for 30 years now. The end result is the copyright in its modern form.

Posted in Copyright, Copyright Clause, IP | Tagged | 2 Comments