Taodyne’s best wishes – Source code version

I have release the source code for the “Season’s Greetings” from Taodyne. This can give you an idea of what XL can do today. In that video, which is rendered in real-time and in 3D, the XL program executes 60 times per second to synchronize the animations on the screen with the background movie.

In other XL-related news, I’ve been working on an updated language reference document. This describes where I want to bring XL, notably the type system and library. A lot of what is in this document is not implemented yet, but it will give the directions that I intend to follow in the coming months.

The Good and Bad of DRM defense

Here is the right way to tell people about DRM and freedom. I’m sorry I can’t embed it here, YouTube says “Embedding disabled by request” (who talks about DRM…) You should also read the EFF original story.

Unfortunately, the freedom fighters are not always that good. Here is an entirely wrong way to attack the problem. Hint: don’t watch that movie, it’s boring. Instead of making simple points in a humorous way, we get a lot of talking heads, all on the same side of the story except for a few “bad guys”. Only the analogy with music remotely hits a chord in that whole movie. Yawn…

Don’t get fooled, though. There is a war going on, a war to grab land and power, a war to get more control. That war is currently being played on your iPhone by Apple, on your PS3 by Sony. But it’s all about denying you rights that you have and that you should fight to keep. Gizmodo says it quite well:

HP DE200C Digital Entertainment Center

I finally took some time to put back together my good old trusted HP DE200C Digital Entertainment Center, and I thought I would share the result:

In my opinion, this is a good illustration of the kind of innovation open-source brings. The software stack is pure free and open-source software. That allowed me to add my two cents contribution (driver for the Vacuum Fluorescent Display, support for the remote-control and front-panel keys).

But equally important, it shows the kind of innovative hardware that Hewlett-Packard was putting together back in 2001, seven years ago now… Kudos to Lee Devlin and other people who gave us this great toy.

The source code for my little contributions can be found at http://repo.or.cz: the Noritake VFD driver, the LCDproc changes and the Linux kernel changes. I had some trouble pushing the git repository for the last one, so here is a patch against 2.6.26, which may be easier for most.

Ars Technica analysis of piracy causes

Ars Technica discusses the 10 “inconvenient truths” posted by IFPI. I find their analysis pretty to the point:

When it comes to disparaging those who favor a softer copyright policy, Ars has an inconvenient truth of our own to share with the music industry: these are the sort of tactics that only entrench consumer opposition.

‘nuf said.

Stupidest reasoning of the year

According to this article, companies called MRT and BlueBeat are threatening various corporations (Apple, Microsoft, Adobe) for not using their Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology. Their reasoning, according to the article?

MRT and Bluebeat said the failure to use an available copyright protection solution contravenes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology designed to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or protects the rights of copyright owners.

Huh? If this is true (and Forbes is reputable enough to give some credit to the story), this has to be the stupidest bogus reasoning of the year. How is not using a technology the same thing as circumventing it? By this reasoning, if you see a building with a security checkpoint and surrounded by fences (a clear indication that trying to circumvent the security checkpoint will get you in trouble), be warned that you have to enter it, because not entering can be assimilated to circumvention.

Yeah, right.