Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Weekly Rounds

A weekly review appears to a good way to generate a regular stream of posts even if the idea is not original. Here is what I unearthed during my rounds on the web this week.

News
A company called Voxonic claims to have developed a service that renders music in different languages while maintaining the voice of its speaker. The description reminded me of Natural Voices, a text-to-speech technology AT&T introduced a while ago.

Apparently AT&T has lost its mind; at least that’s what a writer for Slate magazine claims. The article speculates on the consequences if AT&T were to monitor its traffic for copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement also took on some significance this week when Hasbro and Mattel requested that Facebook remove the Scrabulous application. Apparently they have the right to make such a request under the DMCA, but I was actually more surprised that they still hold the copyright to Scrabble. Apparently, they have it for quite a while longer thanks to what Richard Stallman calls the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, which effectively extended the validity of the Scrabble copyright from 2013 to 2033. Interestingly, the Constitution states that copyright protection may only be provided for a limited time:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

Unfortunately., in Eldred v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court made a 7-2 decision to uphold the law, expressing the opinion that “limited Times” refers to any finite duration.

Blogosphere
The decision to have a regular weekly installment was inspired by one from a friend’s blog, but apparently that has not led to regular updates for him. Another friend introduced Action’s Eleven a while ago, which I still hope becomes a movie once the WGA and the AMPTP reach an agreement.

A relatively newer post this week came from my sister’s blog, who described her first month as a mother.

Videos
I’ve heard opinions from a lot of people about whether water-boarding constitutes torture, and this week was no exception. There was one difference, though. The person claiming it is torture actually taped himself undergoing the procedure.

That video was courtesy of Al Gore’s Current TV. It turns out Vice President Gore recently posted two new videos of his own to the viewpoints section, stating his positions on gay marriage and abortion. Given he added these videos during an election year, I wonder if a discussion will take place about it in the Specularium.

The Daily Show and Weekend Update now have some competition in the fakes video news market. The Onion now features its own videos.

Like a news story that wouldn’t go away, my parents repeatedly told me the story of how I bit a child named Frankie when I was teething. That’s why the following video was perhaps my weekly favorite.

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