"...The Copyright Office followed almost to the letter the RIAA's wish list." The final nail may be about to be driven into the coffin of online music streaming in the US, as the Copyright Office issued its notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue. The proposed rules are extremely favorable to the RIAA, to the point where many streamers are saying they'll simply have to shut down. Even worse, any ruling will be retroactive to 1998, and streamers will have to pay the announced rate on everything they've streamed since that year.
InfoBots are coming. I believe we've touched on this before, but now it seems to be moving from concept to reality: Instant Messenger "buddies" that are actually bots. You send them an IM with a question, such as "Hey pal, what's the weather in Thunder Bay, Ontario?" And it IMs you back with the answer, almost instantaneously. No waiting for messy web sites to load, no funky searches to run. ActiveBuddy has been the most, um, active in developing the technology, but they've been working on it forever without anything to show to the public. Now, it's out there, somewhere. CNET is reporting today that an ActiveBuddy beta bot has been live for a few months; you can play with it right now if you know its name. (And if you do know its name, a tip would be appreciated. I've been jonesing for this for a good while.) A more public version is supposed to be out in a few weeks. Here buddy buddy buddy...
Now they're putting URLs on our license plates. This Internet thing has finally gone too far. (Though the thought of Dale Earnhardt license plates is itself disturbing.)
Another day, another piece of unconstitutional net-censorship legislation in Congress. And this time it's authored by your pal and mine, John "Watch Out for Charlies!" McCain. Perhaps we should start a deadpool for all these bills, giving out some cash to whoever guesses the dates on which the courts throw them out?