Archive for August, 2010

Media campaigning gone weird. MSNBC reports on a BP sponsored study that the oil cleanup is like pacman and the bacteria solve the oil spill problem. Reality distortion can be so easy.

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Standards aren’t as boring as they seem. Actually standards are mostly fun, humorous, at times idiosyncratic. For instance, that image made me laugh out loud. When you attend a mediocre standard policy conference where the speaker has nothing to say, he will start to talk about the electric plugs. Here we find George Willingmyre in that pose, an article where the lobbyist muses about the alleged advantages of RAND models. The plug smells tobacco. When a problem is denied, there is:

What is the problem? Is this actually a “problem” or a matter of differing goals? What is the lesson? Is it possible that the real problem is the market distortion that could occur when advocates from one side promote government intervention to their advantage…?

Oh, my… Apparently the lobbyist is paid per word count:

…we speak of “RAND standards development patent policies” that provide for “Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory” (RAND)… licensing terms and conditions (including possible royalties) that might comprise a license covered by an assurance of a license from the holder of an essential patent to a particular standard.

So what’s the problem that isn’t?

Some.. contend they are disadvantaged by RAND standards development patent polices where patent owners are allowed to seek reasonable royalties (and/or other reasonable terms and conditions) in licensing patents that are essential to practice the standard.

If you want to listen to plain beautiful RAND snake talk from a real professional take this mp3 recording (Allen Dixon @ Talkstandards).

It must be an interesting challenge to convince an audience that a private levy on a public standard was beneficial.


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EP Question on ACTA

17 August 2010
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE)
Subject: ACTA
The views expressed on the negotiations being conducted by the Commission regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) often stress the high degree of secrecy surrounding the talks. Bearing in mind the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requiring the European Parliament to be kept informed of any discussions conducted by the Commission in the context of its powers under Title V of that Treaty, and in the light of the written questions previously tabled:

1. Will the Commission initiate a dialogue with the European Parliament on the question of ACTA and, if so, when?
2. Does it consider that the conclusion of an agreement between the EU and ACTA should replace the agreement concluded between the European Union and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under the WIPO Copyright Treaty adopted in Geneva in 1996?
3. On the basis of the negotiations so far conducted, can it be assumed that under the terms of the agreement with ACTA, Internet access and similar service providers will be required to disclose the identity of users to copyright holders?
4. How will the substance and legal effects of any agreement fit in with European information society policy?

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On my Samsung DVD remote control you find an “any key”.

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Die 12. ISSE-Konferenz (Information Systems Solutions Europe) findet vom 5. bis 7.10.2010 in Berlin 


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Op-Ed NYTimes of Mitchell LaFortune advocates a brute force solution to win a media war against the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan:

To counter the spin, we need to add the Taliban’s top propagandists to the high-value-target list and direct military operations at the insurgents’ media nerve centers.

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Bundesministerium des Innern startet Projekt zur Entwicklung neuer Formen der elektronischen Zusammenarbeit

Das BMI fördert die Entwicklung von Methoden und offenen Standards für eine vernetzte und übergreifende Architektur für den vereinfachten Datenaustausch zwischen Wirtschaft und Verwaltung.

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The message from the Defense department to Wikileaks is quite interesting.

Geoff Morell repeats their talking points ad nauseam at the press conference, “do the right thing”. “return stolen property”, very professionell.

“Do you know what they have?”, he is asked. He answers: “We know what’s on the website…” and when he has to admit that they don’t know, he makes an unusable statement, very complicated sentence.

All this may appear stupid or even funny (“returning electronic documents”) but the communication is a very professional way to deal with classic news agencies, given how they operate. Also the concept of “stolen property” looks pretty compelling from a media communication perspective, though US government documents are generally in the public domain (irrespective of disclosure).

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