Archive for January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 [Tweets] [Favorites]

SOPA and PIPA

Andy Baio:

Every cease-and-desist and DMCA request I’ve received wasn’t fun to get in my inbox, but it allowed me to deal with the issues directly with the copyright holder or using the due process of the court system.

Imagine, instead, a world where a bill like SOPA or PIPA passes. A copyright holder could bypass due process entirely, demanding that search engines stop linking to my sites, ad providers drop me, and force DNS providers not to resolve my domain name. All in the name of stopping piracy.

Michel Fortin:

When drafting a law, just like when writing a computer program, we should always keep in mind how it can be abused and what are the consequences of those abuses. Because sooner or later, it will. Usually sooner than later.

Update (2012-01-21): Joel Spolsky (via John Siracusa):

The Internet seems to ignore legislation until somebody tries to take something away from us… then we carefully defend that one thing and never counter-attack. Then the other side says, “OK, compromise,” and gets half of what they want. That’s not the way to win…that’s the way to see a steady and continuous erosion of rights online.

Advanced Programming Languages

Matthew Might (via Jonathan Rentzsch):

Here you’ll find descriptions of four good languages to learn—Haskell, Scala, ML and Scheme—with a list of my favorite features for each, and pointers on where to learn more.

Siri’s Reliability

Steve Wozniak:

I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me. I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done.

Most of the time I want to use Siri to jot down a note when I’m in the car. When it works, it’s reasonably accurate. But I would guess that 80% of the time it doesn’t even attempt to process my command: there’s a problem with Apple’s servers or I have a (strong) EDGE connection but no 3G. In both cases, it seems like it should be able to figure this out before I waste time (and feel like a fool) dictating sentences that it’s just going to throw away. Or, better yet, it should store the audio and let me replay it later when Siri is working again.

Update (2012-01-27): Marco Arment:

Siri’s service reliability seems to be getting worse over time — not just misinterpreting what was said, but responding with an error indicating that the service can’t handle commands right now. Anecdotally, I’ve had about a 50% failure rate recently.