30 March 2011

Unseasoned Boring Midweek Link Sausages

  • So some government officials in both countries are advocating that the US/UK governments should sell arms to those who oppose Qaddafi Duck if he won't leave office. How'd that work in Afghanistan with the Mujaheddin, anyway? That's not to say that everyone must be bound by every possible historical analogy; it's only to say that historical analogies provide guidance, particularly in the absence of real, principled, fact-based rationales for why they don't apply to particular instances — and are not irrelevant to wish-fulfillment exercises like this one.
  • An interesting look at the liquidators' business model at closing Borders locations indirectly discloses, yet again, that nobody is paying attention to the real legal and economic basis of the author-publisher transaction: A license. If they were, they'd be seeking licensor (author) approval first...
  • As a contrast, congratulations to the finalists for the Man Booker International Prize... which actually pays the authors.
  • Yahoo! has been has been held liable as a copyright infringer in Italy for enabling file sharing through its indexing system in a preliminary ruling. That always turns out well for everybody. Of course, one simple solution would be for the major general-purpose indices to simply exclude the known pirate havens from the default results, and require users to click a button that says something like "I want to see results that probably include infringements of copyright, too"... which would, as I understand the reasoning as explained both in that entry and elsewhere, have satisfied the court. (I'm afraid that my Italian is pretty much limited to avoiding crowd trouble at a Lazio-Roma match; it's not up to legal analysis.)
  • Professor Buchanan politely eviscerates the Confidence Fairy — the dubious-sexual-orientation relative of the Confidence Man shunned by members of the Heffalump establishment, except in airport and bus-station bathrooms. And except where Confidence Fairy dust is really necessary to make investor returns fly...