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June 24, 2005
Friday Fun Stories
It's Friday so I get to blog a couple of things just because they amuse me:
First off, there's an amusing piece by Thomas Claburn for InformationWeek covering an FTC report on P2P technology. The report is, essentially, a no-op. It says that the technology offers both risks and benefits. Yawn. Tell me something I didn't know. What makes this worth a few minutes of your time is Claburn's way of putting things. He refers to "the entertainment industry's frothy contempt for P2P" - one of the best turns of phrase I've read in mainstream media this week.
Second, there's the current Phillipines fracas. This hit boingboing! Monday of this week but I managed to miss it until I lucked into a PRI piece broadcast on my local NPR station.
The gist is that there is an audio purporting to be a recording of a phone call between Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and an election official. The audio is not of good quality, but it appears the woman (who might be Arroyo) is asking a senior election official to rig the voting. Arroyo claims the recording is illegal and has been doctored. So, this is a political scandal, right? Why care about it, Copyfight style?
Well, it turns out someone digitized the recording into an MP3. Then corruption watchdog group TXTpower put the MP3 up on its site. As a ringtone. And encouraged remixes. According to the PRI story, this is now the most popular ringtone in Manila. Like, wildly popular. And to add to the hilarity, someone has now adapted it for those programmable car horns. So people are tootling around the country beeping out "Hello Garci!" and asking if they will win by more than one million votes. This is too too funny.
Note to SCOTUS: I'm pretty damned sure that the inventor of the programmable car horn had no idea that his invention would be turned into a tool of mass political protest.
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