Copyheart: ♡

December 12th, 2012 — 11:13am

♡ Copying art is an act of love.

People copy stuff they like. They don’t copy stuff they don’t like. The more a work is copied, the more valuable it becomes. Value isn’t taken away by fans, it is added by them, every time they copy.

Although we appreciate and use Free Licenses when appropriate, these aren’t solving the problems of copyright restrictions. Instead of trying to educate everyone on the complexities of copyright law, we’d rather make our intentions clear with this simple statement:

♡ Copying is an act of love. Please copy.

Copyheart doesn't make any promises, but then again Creative Commons Non-Commercial licenses don't either.

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December 10th, 2012 — 12:19pm

"One of the leading Usenet indexing services has shut down voluntarily. The website’s owners explain that it has become increasingly difficult to operate in a business where copyright holders vigorously protect their content.".

While a takedown notice doesn’t have to mean the end of a website, NZBMatrix appears to have trouble automating the process. And with the increasing rate at which the notices come in, NZBMatrix can’t keep up anymore.

“As everyone is aware we are DMCA/Takedown notice compliant, and always have been. Once this notice is completed we are left with an impossible task of policing our indexing bots. Even then it won’t stop there, there will be follow-up notices etc,” they explain.

NZBMatrix adds that the more copyrighted material is removed, the less content is available to index properly, rendering a service such as NZBMatrix useless.

Shutting down a system because it is useless without infringing content shows that copyright holders have been empowered to take care of their business. That's a civil society in good working order, with private parties pursuing happiness for themselves.

On the other hand, this company should have had access to affordable technology to automate the process. There's no reason for a technology problem to be a company killer.

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Last man standing

December 7th, 2012 — 12:51pm

Ants, alligators and sharks are likely to be on earth after the humans are gone. Likewise, YouTube is likely to be there long after Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG, Rdio, Deezer, etc.

Only YouTube has established a scalable and profitable line of business.

(I think iTMS and Amazon download sales are likely to continue but become vestigial businesses that don't matter to anybody).

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How to Un-TL;DR

December 4th, 2012 — 11:37am

Reverse Twitter: only reading the first 140 characters of a TL;DR.

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Fun in dark corners

November 29th, 2012 — 11:41am

I happen to have found a portal for the darker corners of the net: domains in the back pages of the Google transparency report. (Here’s page 357). Here are some of the fascinating goblins I have found there. is Free Serial Numbers, Download Keygen Keys, Free Crack Downloads. I guess what you do here is combine the key they give you with a legal or otherwise copy of commercial software packages like Photoshop. This is one of the least crappy sites I have come across in this region of the net, at least on the home page. is way back on page 78, between and Apparently Google gets about 30 requests a week to block URLs at Facebook.

The absolute biggest prize so far is the visual design on, which relies on Flash because an animated gif cannot get garish enough. An animated gif cannot physically attain this level of Vegas-strip heinousness.

Important note: do not enter this snake pit of sites unless you have your security act together. There is a 100% chance that you will come across trojans and browser-based virii, not to mention warez, crackz, mp3z, pr0n and red-hot illegality of all kinds.

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Wasp Hounds

November 27th, 2012 — 10:57am

In the Wasp Hound odor detector, the mechanical element is a video camera and the biological element is five parasitic wasps who have been conditioned to swarm in response to the presence of a specific chemical.

A new device for detecting suspicious odors has an unusual component. Its brain consists of five tiny trained wasps. Their trainer, agricultural engineer Glen Rains, admits the idea may sound far-fetched at first.

“I initially thought some people would kind of look at it like some kind of a flea circus type thing,” says Rains, associate professor at the University of Georgia. But as he wrote in the journal Biotechnology Progress, the sensor is cheaper to use than trained dogs and more sensitive than some electronic noses.

Since the wasps don’t sit up or bark, Rains invented the “Wasp Hound,” a handheld device to contain and watch them. It’s a plastic pipe into which Rains inserts a cartridge containing trained wasps. The cartridge has a small hole in the center though which air is pumped by a small fan. A simple camera that takes black and white images four times per second is focused on the hole, and is attached to a laptop that displays the images in real time. A light sensor controls the lighting. “The idea is, we control the environment the wasps are in by keeping them enclosed in the Wasp Hound and we observe what they’re doing with a camera and read it with a computer to tell us when they’ve detected an odor,” Rains explains. If the target odor is not present, the wasps just wander around the cartridge. But when they sense the scent they’ve been trained to respond to, “then they all start crowding around the hole to try to get at what they think is food coming in,” Rains says.

Rains thinks the Wasp Hound would be a better detector of the natural poison aflatoxin in stored food crops like corn, peanuts and cotton seed. The toxin, which recently contaminated pet food in 23 states, can also cause liver cancer in people.

I'm thinking about the wasp hounds from the perspective of augmented reality. You could put the cartridge in your backpack, then link the camera on the wasps to your Google Glass display.

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IR ink

November 27th, 2012 — 10:54am

You can buy an infrared ink pen for $18.43. To see the writing use your smartphone as an IR camera, which will reveal IR signals. On an iPhone 4 you can do that by using the front-facing camera.

Proposed uses, from the vendor of this pen, for IR ink:

  • Marking items or bags that can be seen by security personnel without the target knowing. The target will not see the ink and will not see any special light such as a blacklight used in the more typical UV invisible inks. A security monitor can view marked items on a separate monitor discretely and securely.
  • Writing and marking papers, maps, special correspondence and letters in a very secure method. It is highly unlikely that a third party will discover any writing of IR1 invisible ink.
  • Marking items which need to be preserved in normal visual appearance but also need to marked for some other security concern.

The basic deal seems an improvement to the classic dumb kid's toy "invisible ink". It's not secret writing, though, because anybody with a detector can read it.

You could use an augmented reality app on a smartphone or something like Google Glass app to show you an IR view of the world, and it would reveal things written in IR ink.

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DMCA flow chart

November 26th, 2012 — 4:57pm

DMCA process flowchart from Nexcess:

The average person possesses an incomplete or even total lack of understanding in what typically happens when claims of online copyright infringement are made in the United States. As a web hosting provider, we see no shortage of DMCA notices for content appearing on our clients’ sites. With this in mind, we felt it only fitting to be the ones to create the following flowchart that shows, in no uncertain terms, exactly what happens when a copyright claim is made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

DMCA Process Infographic
Infographic created by Nexcess.

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Senses as apps

November 26th, 2012 — 4:13pm
View using bike helmet rear view mirror

I got a rear view mirror for my bike helmet. Now I can't believe how long I have gone without eyes in the back of my head. I wish I could wear it all the time - walking around, at my desk, on the sofa at home.

The benefit is only partly about seeing dangerous traffic, though obviously that is upside. But that's like saying that the benefit of ordinary vision is being able to run away from predators. I mean, yes. Running away from predators and not being hit by a car are good things. But that's not saying much for the value of vision. The value is in the joy and pleasure you get from the entire visible world, including things like sunsets.

My rear view helmet mirror is like gaining a new sense. I am like a person born in 2D, on a flat piece of paper, suddenly perceiving depth.

I wonder about use cases for things like Google Glass. Could it be running metrics on the world around you? You'd be seeing graphs of things that you don't currently have senses for. Sub-scent chemicals in the breeze, like bionic smell. The temperature and humidity over the course of the day. Stray electromagnetic energy when a train goes by underground. A geiger counter. Ultraviolet and infrared vision.

Don't build a TV app for your omnipresent head mounted display. Create sensory apps and let their uses speak for themselves.

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futurism of music

November 18th, 2012 — 3:57pm

Looking back at our time 200 years from now, they won’t think how primitive the guitars were, they’ll think how primitive the guitarists were. The players will all be monsters who routinely do what only our virtuosos can.

Not that virtuosity is worth all that much. Just that it's a practical problem.

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