Hillary support’s The INDUCE Act

I was dismayed to learn that Senator Hillary Clinton has come out and in fact co-sponsored Senator Hatch’s Induce Act. What follows is a draft of a letter that I am writing to Sen. Clinton to express my concern. I hope that others will do the same.

Here is some background material:

Like your iPod, read this:

Please comment on the letter as you see fit.

Dear Senator Clinton,

I was dismayed to learn that you have come out in support of Senator Hatch’s Induce Act. I hope that on further consideration of the issues that this bill covers that you change your stance to better reflect the opinions of your constituents and for the betterment of our society.

The Induce act as it currently is written does much to stifle free-speech, artistic and fair uses of media. Imposing legal responsibility on the makers of devices and software for illegal use such device or software will create a burden so great on manufacturers and creators of such programs that they will not develop or offer products that have potential for misuse.

I fear that by trying to curb the theft of copyrighted material you will instead be curbing the ability for individuals and groups with legitimate uses for the technology that enables such to use it. Being thoroughly immersed in an academic and artistic atmosphere, I am witness every day to fair uses of technology that would not exist today were such a law in existence. In fact I feel that the software that I am using to write this letter would not have been developed simply because it includes the ability to cut and paste text from any source into the document.

I believe that should this Bill become law that it will undo much of the progress of free-speech and alternative media creation that has been enabled by the internet, personal electronic devices, computers, tape recorders and so on. Furthermore it will be a giant step backwards and lead to increased power by the media and further relegate citizens to the role of consumer without a voice.

I hope that you will reconsider your position on this matter.

Thank you for your time.

Shawn Van Every

Solar powered batteries, on your back..

Voltaic Backpack, Solar Backpack, Solar Bag
Now when you are out on the street and your laptop (I haven’t verified that this will power a laptop) is running out of juice, you can plug it into your back and keep on going. Looks heavy but I guess we are stuck with this type of thing until some miraculous battery technology breakthrough comes.

From the site:
The Voltaic backpack is a mobile power source, designed to charge your gadgets without tying you to a power outlet.

Thanks to Betsy for the link.

Just what I have been looking for…

MCE QuickStream DV – Portable, FireWire DV Capture Drive

This is a portable hard drive recorder that you plug directly into your camcorder and capture video to. AWESOME.
Over at unmediated.org, kenyatta says that he heard a collective shrug over the first version. I think the collective must be CRAZY. This would cut down on the “time to web” by 10 fold (at least for me). Too bad it is soo expensive. Perhaps I will make some real money again and be able to buy one :-)
From the site:
The revolutionary MCE QuickStream DV, now in its second generation, has re-engineered the entire Digital Video (DV) workflow by completely eliminating the inefficient, time consuming step of transferring (or capturing) DV footage from your DV camcorder tapes into your Mac or PC non-linear editing (NLE) system… The lightweight, portable, self-powered QuickStream DV connects directly to your DV camcorder and captures your DV footage to its miniature high performance hard drive on-the-fly, straight from your camcorder’s FireWire port, in your choice of ready-to-edit file formats (.mov, .avi, .dv, and others) while you are shooting! When done shooting, simply unplug the QuickStream DV from your camcorder’s FireWire (IEEE 1394, i.LINK, etc.) port and plug it into your computer system’s FireWire port and your DV footage is ready for editing and/or viewing… IMMEDIATELY!

Online Machining Service

eMachineShop – Online Machine Shop – with FREE CAD Software
From the site:
eMachineShop is the remarkable new way to get the custom parts you need – the first true online machine shop. Download our free software, draw your part, and click to order – it’s that easy! Your part will be machined and delivered. Even better, the Internet, software, and automated machines help keep our cost low.

Thanks to Ann P. for the link.

mini GNU/Linux distro for the Via EPIA boards

Yea! Now I will have something to do with my M-10000 once my thesis is done ;-)
From the site:
Freepia is a small GNU/Linux distribution designed to run on Via Epia-M Mainboards. It currently runs on the M-9000 and M-10000 (ezra and nehemiah cpu) but with some modifications like kernel and X11 modules it should run on others too. (if someone has get it running on other Epia¥s let me know). The main motivation behind this project is to build a full featured, low noise media box to play movies/mp3s/images etc. For this it uses freevo but in the future there maybe support for others like mythtv or vdr.

Blind users can see with a camera and laptop

Wright State University Communications and Marketing
No not really, but this is an interesting project. From the article:
Tyflos, the Greek word for blind, is the name of the portable, wearable device Bourbakis has developed. The partnering project at ASU is called iLearn. A tiny camera is mounted to glasses and connected by a thin wire to a modified lap-top computer the individual carries on his or her back. The Tyflos system operates by identifying the images “seen” by the camera and converting this to audio information the subject hears from small wires connected from the backpack to the ear. A small microphone is attached for receiving commands or requests from the user.

What else can you do with that iSight?

MacDevCenter.com: More iSight Video Tricks [Sep. 23, 2003]
Good article exploring some nice Quicktime based software which works well with the iSight.
Interesting to note that the iSight is an IIDC camera and therefore it will work with a wide variety of software that supports IIDC. One example that comes to mind is Coriander for Linux.