Bitbucket - Data In Hopeless Turmoil
e-Nobel Peace Prize Nomination - Pay-as-you-serf - Warez warz - PC Coverage 2000 = Mac Coverage 1998 - Exclusive! Google-WIPO Strategic Partnership Not Announced - You Can Lead an Arbitrator to Money... ...But You Can't Make Him Think
e-Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
Kudos to "Bobig" and his or her compadre Thierry Théolier for their brilliant staging of a peaceful sit-in in a networked Unreal "death match." In a brief announcement to the nettime list, Bobig said in touching Franco-English, "Like the many pacifist ones before them, they were killed...the culprit always runs but the action was beautiful and will have surely an impact for the future generations players in network." S/he tells us that during the 10 April intervention, the two "talked about art and peace to the others players, who "didn't really understand our actions." The two are planning "a great manifestation for peace in the game Age of Empires."
And hats off to the intrepid anti-fascist denizens of Slobodan Markovic's Serbian-language Internodium list: on a lark, one of them checked whether the people who run pay-as-you-surf services bent on hoovering up data on users' habits were too busy swilling cybersuds to notice that their users live in pariah countries with zero disposable income--and indeed they are. The rates these services pay may be trifling by G7 standards, but in an economy caught between the Scylla of a criminal regime and the Charybdis of Western sanctions, you can live pretty large on that kind of money. The quick-witted entrepreneur who spotted this has kindly compiled a useful list of paying services. If your Serb's gotten a bit rusty, look for links labeled "cek" ("check") for proof that the services really are forking over -- as well as recommendations about which foreign-currency-starved banks will cash your cek fastest and cheapest.
According to EFE via COMTEX, Brazilian police claim that "guerrilla war" has broken out between factions engaged in what irresponsible journalistic sources like to think of as liberating software. Evidently, f3Udz among the d00dz have enable the police to nick what the same sources like to think of as web graffiti artists.
PC Coverage 2000 = Mac Coverage 1998
PCWeek, the sleepy trade rag that shows up regularly in our mailbox despite our persistent refusal to doodle rubbish into their "subscription applications," has announced that after a "year-long...'stealthlike process" of--whatever this means--"turning our cirulation to match the Internet-oriented content," it will soon be known as eWeek. Lest We Forget: in August '98, when Apple looked like it was down for the count, MacWeek announced that it would mutate into Emedia Weekly to better serve its readers' interests--and falcoed six months later. The cover story on the PCWeek in which they announce their new name? "ON THE ROPES! Guilty verdict sends Microsoft reeling."
Exclusive! Google-WIPO Strategic Partnership Not Announced
Google's scoring system is a popularity contest: returns are rated by the number of external links pointing at a page (adjusted for the linking pages' ratings), on the theory that external links to a page measure its usefulness. But there are exceptions, it seems. Searching Google for the phrase "intellectual property" return as the top choice the masterpiece of uselessness that is the front page of WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. Now, maybe we're too cynical, but we don't really buy the idea that WIPO rates all that high in the net's collective assessment of utility. And neither, it seems, does Google believe it. Searching Google using "link:[(host.)domain.tld]" syntax, to see how many sites actually link to WIPO, we get the following numbers, which only make us more suspicious: wipo.org (7), www.wipo.org ("Your search...did not match any documents in this database"), wipo.int (5), www.wipo.int (no links). (For perspective: www.slashdot.org [80,100], www.microsoft.com [333,000], and www.yahoo.com [1,040,000].) Compare WIPO's paltry showing to, say, IBM's immensely popular Intellectual Property Network patents server (www.patents.icm.com: 6,638) or to Cornell University's Legal Information Institute (on www.law.cornell.edu: 75,900). Or www.napster.com (2,860). Even the venerable www.warez.org beats out WIPO with all of 8 links.
If anyone at Google can provide us with a technical explanation for why a site as marginal as WIPO's would rate so high despite not being linked to, we're all ears. Failing that, we can only assume that The Man From W.I.P.O. popped by for a Little Chat. It wouldn't be the first time this kind of thing happened: an Official Friend of Bitbucket reminds us that after Lycos bought the FAST FTPsearch engine, the search engine very suddenly stopped finding liberated software -- except for demos.
You Can Lead an Arbitrator to Money...
ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy has swung into action with predictably inane results. The UDRP dictates that a complainant in a domain dispute chooses which ICANN-accredited arbitrator will preside over the case -- thereby transforming complainants (paying) clients of the arbitrator. Small wonder, then, that we should begin seeing the arbs trolling for business with less-than-judiciously titled press releases like "A World First and "Cybersquatter Evicted From AOL Domain Name in World's Second Test of New ICANN Domain Dispute Policy".
...But You Can't Make Him Think
However, the decidedly not-naf senile Naked Lunch-esque County Clerks at NAF, the ICANN-accredited National Arbitration Forum, have come up with a remarkably creative solution to resolving UDRP disputes, which one wag whose name we can't reveal has dubbed "random transfer." One would expect NAF's list of dispute resolutions to be limited one of two possibilities: complainant wins ("Name Transfer") or defendant wins ("Name Not Transferred"), and maybe the occasional administrative twaddle (e.g., "Withdrawn W/O Prejudice"). But cursory examination reveals several instances of a peculiar third alternative: "Name Cancelled." And a closer examination reveals that this solution is indeed as imbecilic as it sounds. In one such case, retired (no mystery why) Judge James A. Carmody directed that "THE DOMAIN NAME "fibershield.net" REGISTERED BY RESPONDENT FIBER-SHIELD (TORONTO) LTD. BE CANCELED" -- i.e., tossed back into the mix to be registered by some nimble third party. We'd like to think that this is a diabolically clever scheme through which arbitrators can manufacture future UDRP business, but, sadly, the staggering incoherence evident in many UDRP suggests they're simply klewless.
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