It’s April Fool’s Day. Don’t believe everything you read.
Did someone forget to pay Homestarrunner’s domain name bill? Keep watching.
Forget Google News – I’m using Newsmap today for my research.
RIP Marlboro Man. Richard Nixon banned TV cigarette ads on this day in 1970. The last ad aired 12/31/1970. And in one of the best, and longest lasting, April Fools jokes ever, AMC introduced the Gremlin on this day in 1970 calling it “the first American made import.” Hunh?
- We know this is true, because Canada celebrates April Fool’s Day in October. A Canadian judge has ruled that music file swapping is legal in Canada. “Downloading a song for personal use does not amount to infringement,” said Federal Court Justice Konrad von Finckenstein, “I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory.” Patrick Norton was correct: in Canada they do do things right.
- Meanwhile in Ottawa South, the House Judiciary committee’s intellectual property panel has approved a bill that would boost penalties for peer-to-peer music sharing and expand FBI powers to investigate Internet piracy. The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act offers prison terms of up to three years and fines of $250,000 for Internet users who offer songs worth more than $1000 for download. LA-area Representative Howard Berman, chief lapdog for the RIAA, says the FBI has been “as passive as you can be” prosecuting file sharers. I wish this were a joke.
- I can’t figure out if this one is a joke or not. As widely reported by many serious journals, Google is getting into the email business. And here’s the part that sounds fishy, Gmail will offer each user a gigabyte of mail storage and feature Google style searching of all messages, free. In a move guaranteed to make privacy advocates’ noses quiver, Gmail will automatically include Google Adsense messages tailored to the content of outgoing messages. In other words, if you send a message to your buddy telling him how the fishing is in Montana, the mail will be tagged with ads for fishing rods and hip-waders. The service is in testing now but should roll out in the next few weeks.
- Netsky and Bagle dominated March’s virus top 10 from Sophos. Only MyDoom could crack the 10 in 9th place. Can we stop doing these lists, though. Isn’t this kind of publicity exactly what the virus authors want?
- IBM is planning to open source the design of its PowerPC chips. They’ll even encourage partners to customize the chips for special purposes.
- Sony is suing Kodak over key digital photography patents. Kodak started it last month by suing Sony over 10 different digital photography patents. I’m warning you kids, don’t make me pull this blog over.