Der Spiegel on privacy

Tagging two articles from Der Spiegel until I can get round to commenting on them. First on how the growing use of technology has given companies and governments the ability to spy on and even remotely erase private documents stored on individuals’ electronic devices. Second on the US government’s demands to be given the right to spy on Europeans’ financial transactions.,1518,637640,00.html,1518,638509,00.html

The Public Domain

Filing for future reference till I have time to comment on this.

Were we smarter 100 years ago..?

I have been rereading the legislative history of the 1909 Copyright Act. I have come to the conclusion that 100 years ago we were smarter about copyright, about disruptive technologies, about intellectual property, monopolies and network effects than we are today. At least, the legislative hearings were much smarter. The hearings I am looking at took place in 1906 — thanks to the wonder of Google books you can read them yourself, if you are really nerdy.

Restaurants that serve bad attitude

The Sunday Times ran an article on this list of restaurants that don’t serve free water

The most interesting part of this article was this quote from Tapas Tree,

The marketing and sales manager for The Tapas Tree Group, Ms Lyn Yip, said: ‘We find this list to be libellous, and will not hesitate to engage our lawyer if we are not removed from the list and the situation is not rectified immediately.

‘We live in a time when the influence of Web opinion cannot be ignored, so bloggers have to approach their entries with responsibility, especially when composing defamatory lists.’

I have never been to Tapas Tree and given this response from them, I don’t think I ever will. If they have a problem with a blog, the appropriate response is to contact the author and ask to have it corrected. The fact that they threaten legal action as a first response gives me a good idea of what kind of service I can expect when I go there. In fairness, it is possible that the Straits Times distorted their words in search of a good story, but unless they retract that threat, I think I will drop Tapas Tree from my list of restaurants to check out.