Copying and Piracy 
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 11:53
Posted by Administrator
Computing has brought with it the ability to copy and distribute information at a speed much higher than ever seen before in history and this is presenting us with many legal and ethical challenges. We find ourselves in an age where sharing an artist's entire life's work can take merely a single twitch of a finger. This post addresses just a few of the main ethical distinctions on copying and piracy that are not entirely clear prima fasciae.

Piracy vs. Copying:

The media often addresses digital copying and piracy as if they refer to the same concepts but this is clearly not the case. Piracy refers to copyright infringement where an unauthorized copy of a creative work is created. Copying someone else's work can often be authorized. One example of authorized copying is the right people have to make one backup copy of software they bought for their own personal archival purposes. Another example of authorized copying is when the copying falls under fair use as described in 17 U.S.C. § 107. What ultimately determines fair use is often up to the courts to decide upon.

Copying vs. Theft:

People who hold copyrights often incorrectly equate copying with theft but these are distinctly different concepts. The difference lies in the fact that theft takes away a product that could potentially be sold. Copying something leaves the original product intact and does not remove it from any marketplace. Many studies have found that the same people who copy and share the most content are also the biggest financial contributors to this same material that they enjoy.

Constructive Solution:

People will naturally tend toward the best solution available for accessing and enjoying the content that they want to consume. The best way for copyright holders and artists to ensure that their products remain financially viable is for them to embrace new business models that utilize the best content distribution channels that are currently available. Online movie and music streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify have already demonstrated that people are willing to spend money when a legitimate service is providing them with the content that they want more effectively and efficiently than through any other means. Change can be hard, but in the arena of piracy and copying only a drastic and proactive paradigm shift on content delivery models will be able properly address the profitability concerns that copyright holders are currently faced with.

A final thought:

" When public libraries were introduced in Europe 150 years ago, the
book publishers were very much opposed to this. The argument they used
was the same one that is being used today in the file sharing debate:
If people could get access to books for free, authors would not be
able to make a living, and no new books would be written. " - Christian Engstrom
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Simple Binary Bash Clock  
Saturday, October 1, 2011, 12:01
Posted by Administrator
I've been meaning to post this for a while, but recently I made a small binary clock in bash in order to add it to my conky configuration.

The script that follows below basically all it does is get the current hour minute and second fields and then convert it to display in binary.
It then clears the screen and updates once a second to look exactly like I want it to.

while true;
hour=$(date +%H)
minute=$(date +%M)
second=$(date +%S)
hour_binary=$(echo "ibase=10;obase=2;$hour" | bc)
minute_binary=$(echo "ibase=10;obase=2;$minute" | bc)
second_binary=$(echo "ibase=10;obase=2;$second" | bc)
printf "%06d\n" "$hour_binary"
printf "%06d\n" "$minute_binary"
printf "%06d" "$second_binary"
sleep 1

Here is an example of the clock in action with the font blown way up:

The more I work with scripting things the more ways I can think of to apply scripts.

Its an ongoing cycle.
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Pi Memorization Javascript 
Sunday, August 14, 2011, 12:07
Posted by Administrator
I've been memorising digits of pi off and on for years now. Not really sure why other than it is a fun challenge to be able to recite a long string of numbers.

A while back I had found a program that helped me memorise more digits by having a little box to enter the numbers into which would validate each digit as you typed it. The main thing I didn't like about it was that it would erase the entire field of digits if you got one wrong. This was fine up until I got over about 150 digits or so and it just became too painstaking to retype the first hundred or so digits each time to get to the ones I was stuck at.

I decided to use a few days at the end of this summer vacation to put together this web based pi memorisation tool with Javascript. View the source here.

I've added such features as a digit counter to show what place you are at, tips for what the next digits would have been if you make a mistake, and the ability to go back variable amounts when you get one wrong.

I'm totally up for ideas on how to add to this more or make it more useful. I've tested it on multiple browsers but would be very curious to know if its still having bugs with anyone's particular setup.

<brag> And with the added encouragement of making and testing this tool I'm now up over 200 digits. </brag>
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