Copyright Law at 300

The world’s first copyright law was passed by the English Parliament on 10 April 1710 as ‘An Act for the Encouragement of Learning’.  The Queen Anne Statute, as it is known, marked the beginning of modern copyright law.  Professor Gillian Davies, author of ‘Copyright and the Public Interest’, describes it as ‘the foundation upon which the modern concept of copyright in the Western world was built’, quoting Halsbury’s ‘Laws of…

Jobs Bans Non C Libraries. Insane Restraint of Trade

Responding to Apple’s most recent legal agreement governing the way apps are developed for the iPhone.  Some popular apps have been written in Adobe Flash and converted to work on the iPhone; this is cumbersome, but at least it lets designers use the Flash skills they already have.  I have no love of no love for Adobe, but I don’t want a bigger, more powerful bully to beat up the…

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"Encounter at Farpoint" | Star Trek: The Next Generation

I was a sophomore in college when Star Trek: The Next Generation aired.  Most of the guys in my suite watched the premiere episode, and then sampled a few after that. Then, the guy who owned the TV wanted to watch basketball instead, and after a few attempts to find a place to watch Trek, I sort of gave up.  Two years later, though, I had an off-campus apartment and…

Video games: the addiction

Today the most consistently pleasurable pursuit in my life is playing video games. Unfortunately, the least useful and financially solvent pursuit in my life is also playing video games. For instance, I woke up this morning at 8am fully intending to write this article. Instead, I played Left 4 Dead until 5pm. The rest of the day went up in a blaze of intermittent catnaps. It is now 10pm and…

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Outsourced Grading, With Supporters and Critics, Comes to College

The graders working for EduMetry, based in a Virginia suburb of Washington, are concentrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia, along with some in the United States and elsewhere. They do their work online and communicate with professors via e-mail. The company advertises that its graders hold advanced degrees and can quickly turn around assignments with sophisticated commentary, because they are not juggling their own course work, too. The company argues…