Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Duke Law celebrates Public Domain Day on January 1 of every year, raising public awareness of old creative works for which the copyright has expired.  This is presumably out of a sense of wry irony (henceforth “wryrony”), as nothing in the United States will enter the public domain until 2019.

Read What Could Have Been Entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2011? on Duke’s web site.  For now, we’ll just have to thank our lucky stars that we got Jane Austen.

Filed on under The News

Krauthammer insists Obama’s a genius for convincing Congressional Republicans to spend a massive amount of money to stimulate the economy via tax cuts:

If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.

This is an interesting article, but it’s premised on the idea that Congressional Republicans actually want to balance the budget, and don’t just pretend they do in order to win votes. If the GOP is actually focused on balancing the budget, then yes, Obama’s a genius for tricking them into accidentally spending $700 billion on tax cuts. Or, more likely, the GOP is capable of doing third-grade arithmetic. What follows from that premise is an exercise in fourth-grade logic left up to the reader.

Filed on under The News

Famed hacker magazine 2600 published a press release condemning the DDoS attacks on Visa.com, Mastercard.com, and other sites that are perceived to have acted unfairly to Wikileaks:

The assault on Wikileaks must not be overshadowed by the recent denial of service attacks and these certainly must not be allowed to be associated with the hacker community. This will play right into the hands of those who wish to paint us all as threats and clamp down on freedom of speech and impose all kinds of new restrictions on the Internet, not to mention the fact that the exact same types of attacks can be used on “us” as well as “them.” (Interestingly, it was only a week ago that “hackers” were blamed for denial of service attacks on Wikileaks itself. That tactic was ineffectual then as well.)

Maybe I see everything that happens on the internet through net neutrality-colored glasses, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Filed on under The News

From the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, Efforts To Ban Sharia Law in Courts Spreading:

According to this story in the USA Today, the movement to keep the Koran out of the courts isn’t limited to the Sooner state.

At least seven states, including Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, have proposed similar laws. Tennessee and Louisiana have enacted versions of the law banning use of foreign law under certain circumstances. Former U.S. speaker Newt Gingrich would like to see Congress adopt a similar [sic] for the federal courts.

Seriously, why don’t we have some sort of Constitutional provision prohibiting the government from respecting an establishment of religion? You’d think one or more of the Founding Fathers would have intended there to be some sort of metaphorical (and I’m just pulling this off the top of my head here) wall between church and state.

Filed on under The News

Jonathan Coulton’s song “Shop Vac” has received the “typographical music video” treatment.  Actually, that doesn’t do the video justice.  Spend the next three minutes watching this.  It’s catchy, I promise.

This Jarrett Heather guy has a history of making awesome things from JoCo’s music, apparently.

(via Shop Vac on Vimeo)

Filed on under Irreverently Irrelevant

According to The New Yorker, the trading aspect of Wall Street is almost completely socially worthless, and only serves to make bankers rich… for a bit:

In September, [The Epicurean Dealmaker] and I met at a diner near my office. … Our conversation started out with some banter about the rivalry between bankers and traders at many Wall Street firms. As the traders came out on top in recent years, TED recalled, “they would say, ‘You guys are the real parasites, going to expensive lunches and doing deals on the back of our trading operations.’ ”He professed to be unaffected by this ribbing, but he said, “In my experience, the proprietary traders are always the clowns who make twenty million dollars a year until they lose a hundred million.”

I hadn’t heard of TED before, but I plan to start reading. On an empty stomach, though, guys. This finance stuff will make your soul hurt.

Filed on under The News