K`Tetch’s Panels at Dragon Con 2015

Dcon logo 2015Yes, I’ve been kinda quiet about this year’s Dragon Con, at least on here. Truth is, I’d only just finished off processing all the videos from last years convention, which came to 21 videos totally 22 hours. You can find the playlist with them all here.

After the 8 of last year, I’ve cut down to save my voice and my sanity, to a more standard 4.

Of course, throughout it all I’ll still be beavering away in Hilton 201, making sure that the EFForums track runs smoothly (as befits the track’s Assistant Director) Continue reading…


Religious Freedom and First Amendment Ignorance

religious symbolsThis morning, Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis declined once again to issue wedding licenses on account of her ‘religious beliefs’. Her refusal stems from an assertion that issuing permits to those wishing for a same-sex marriage violates her beliefs. Under a Supreme Court ruling back in June, the restrictions on marriage were found to be an unconstitutional infringement on equal rights.

So why is Ms. Davis making her stand, and on what grounds? Well, she’s claiming a 1st amendment stance based on her religious convictions, which leads us to a problem that seems endemic across America, especially when it comes to religious matters – most Americans do not understand what the First Amendment does and does not protect. Continue reading…


NO to 10 Years Imprisonment For Copyright Infringement

The UK Government (via it’s misnamed “Intellectual Property Office”) just held a consultation on copyright infringement. In comparison to previous ones, this one was simple, and had only one question.

Should the maximum custodial sentence available for online and offline copyright infringement of equal seriousness be harmonised at 10 years?

Please justify your answer and support with evidence where possible.

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Why Are People Still Getting Basic Science Wrong?

OK people, is “Science” education just a frivolity, or are there really that many people that slept through science in the 3rd grade and never woke up again? I’m serious, there’s a desperate lack of basic science education that’s being celebrated and lauded as if it was a good thing, even the most basic of things.

Over the past week, two science topics have got my pulse racing on social media. The first was a post by NPR on June 29th that had the headline “Don’t Believe in Evolution? Try Thinking Harder”. My quick comment of

“silly headline. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re not thinking at all”

started a bit of a snowstorm of people who don’t understand simple things. Things like ‘evolution is not abiogenesis’ (abiogenesis is ‘origin of life’) or that evolution has been extremely well tested in both models and the lab, and been observed happening (what do you think antibiotic resistance is?) are somewhat par for the course, but absolutely basic things like ‘theory is not a hypothesis’. Also, side note – first comment on an NPR story means your notifications will go off constantly for days. Continue reading…


Bittorrent’s DHT And Its DRM Problem

torrentsOver this past month, I’ve been researching a few topics based around BitTorrent, and I’ve come up on one point that I remember well, but which was never adequately explained for people. That was the controversy in 2005 around BitComet and the private flag, especially with version 0.60. It may seem an odd time, almost 10 years later, but it’s actually a key part of the history of Bittorrent, and one that’s always been badly reported (if at all).

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iiNet Vows Free Lawyers For Troll Targets

dallas-buyers-club-pl_422_600_80iiNet, the second biggest ISP in Australia, has been a bit of a magnet when it comes to bittorrent lawsuits. In 2008 they were sued by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) for failing to prevent its subscribers from infringing copyright via Bittorrent, a case it won, as the court found it was not iiNet’s responsibility.

In late 2014, Voltage Pictures – the company behind Oscar winning movie ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – started proceedings against Australian users it accused of downloading its movie, just as it has in both the US and Canada. The alleged Australian infringements all occurred between 2 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. Continue reading…