Microsoft’s New Browser Adds Links To Pages

New Windows XP Feature Can Re-Edit Others’ Sites: “In effect, Microsoft will be able, through the browser, to re-edit anybody’s site, without the owner’s knowledge or permission, in a way that tempts users to leave and go to a Microsoft-chosen site — whether or not that site offers better information.” This does seem like a scary abuse of the browser.
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Genetically Created Analog Circuits

New Scientist Planet Science: CREATURES FROM PRIMORDIAL: “Even though the circuit consists of only a small number of basic components, the researcher, Adrian Thompson, does not know how it works. He can’t ask the designer because there wasn’t one. Instead, the circuit evolved from a “primordial soup” of silicon components guided by the principles of genetic variation and survival of the fittest.” Wow! This kind of technology could completely alter the landscape of computing.

Open Platform for Music and Culture Recommendations

Slashdot | Beyond Napster, a Free Culture: “But what’s needed to leverage cool-tracking into a free (speech and beer) culture is an open system that will integrate with existing communities on the internet.” This article presents a cool concept in collaborative filtering. I’d love to see this made into software… and quick before the media behemoths can do something about it.

Why Indepedent Music Is Never Mainstream

Great articles on Slashdot and Salon regarding the major labels paying radio stations to play their music.

Napster users have often questioned why a CD costs $16. Courtney Love told the story of how that $16 is certainly not going to the artists. The profits of the major labels, while significant, are not so high as to imply that they are getting all of that $16. Here are the parts of the cost that seem to exist, though I’m not sure how much each one makes up:
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Useless Patents That Impede Progress

Brent Ashley has posted some thoughts about patents and The Software Commons on his blog, following the news that NetObjects has a patent on WYSIWYG HTML editing. A few thoughts follow…

NetObjects is likely to go after large companies with large bank accounts and vast hordes of lawyers (eg, Microsoft) to try and collect on their new patents. Microsoft won’t just settle such a suit, because they have too much invested in WYSIWYG HTML (MS Word and FrontPage come to mind). They’d be a lot more likely to just buy NetObjects. The least costly solution, however, would be to dig up some prior art… and odds are that it exists.
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