TweetPython, all the geeks are learning Python, most employers are craving employees who have some grasp of the popular language… here’s a couple of resources that could help kick start you with some desirable skills: Python: Learn Python in 24 … Continue reading
Living off the grid is an appealing goal for many in the hacker community, perhaps because it can fulfill the need to create, to establish independence, to prepare for the apocalypse, or some combination of all those things. [Buddhanz1] has been living off the grid for awhile now by harnessing power from a nearby stream with an old washing-machine-turned-generator.
He started with a Fisher & Paykel smart drive, which he stripped down to the middle housing, retaining the plastic tub, the stator, the rotor, the shaft, and the bearings. After a quick spot check to ensure the relative quality of the stator and the rotor, [Buddhanz1] removed the stator and rewired it. Unchanged, the stator would output 0-400V unloaded at 3-4 amps max, which isn’t a particularly useful range for charging batteries. By rewiring the stator (demonstration video here) he lowered the voltage while increasing the current.
The key to this build is the inclusion of a pelton wheel—which we’ve seen before in a similar build. [Buddhanz1] channeled the water flow directly into the pelton wheel to spin the shaft inside the tub. After adding some silicon sealant and an access/repair hatch, [Buddhanz1] painted the outside to protect the assembly from the sun, and fitted a DC rectifier that converts the electricity for the batteries. With the water pressure at about 45psi, the generator is capable of ~29V/21A: just over 600W. With a larger water jet, the rig can reach 900W. Stick around for the video after the break.
Filed under: green hacks, home hacks
As scientists have demonstrated, our solar system seems to be a pretty special place. Namely because of us, but we aren’t the only reason. Our local neighborhood happens to lie within a region in our galaxy that is lacking in many of the things that make certain planets uninhabitable; things high energy radiation from supernovae, rogue stellar-mass black holes and densely packed regions containing hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of stars. The list goes on and on. Simply put, our solar system meets all of the requirements for Earth and everything on it to thrive.
However, that’s not to say that Earth doesn’t have its fair share of obstacles. For starters, scientists know that Earth is encased in huge “belts’ of radiation that seems impossible to safely traverse. We also know that Earth is technically located within the Sun’s atmosphere and that it might even be surrounded by a halo of dark matter so large, it would make our planet look like Jupiter from afar.. that is, if we could actually see it.
Astronomers have now confirmed yet another surprising find to the list of things Earth is surrounded by.
Meet The “Local Bubble:”
Long ago, physicists believed the vacuum of space to be completely empty, devoid of all types of matter. However, later research revealed that it is, in fact, pervaded with all sorts of weird things, like particles that pop in and out of existence. However, when astronomers went looking for these things in our neighborhood, they noted that, contrary to other parts of space, IT is virtually empty inside, harboring only a single atom for every liter of gas in spacetime, which raised the question: where the heck is everything?
Scientists went on to suggest that the reason most of the expected material is missing is because we are positioned inside of an immensely large bubble, composed of nothing but the byproducts of one of nature’s most energetic events; supernova explosions.
Why would they come to such a conclusion, you might ask? Well, the assertion is partially based around the discovery that, from above, Earth is being bombarded by a barrage of x-ray radiation coming at us from all sides. This radiation has since been linked to supernovae that blasted off somewhere remotely close to us in the somewhat-recent past, or about ten million years ago.
Naturally, not all astronomers agreed that the x-ray emissions were coming from dead stars, thus the local bubble was just a pretty hypothesis. In fact, more than a few scientists suggested that the bubble doesn’t exist at all and that the soft X-ray diffuse background is actually the result of charge exchanges. This refers to the way in which electrically charged solar wind affects neutral gas. Through these interactions, the solar wind often robs neutral gas of its electrons. The subsequent x-ray glow looks remarkably similar to the glow left behind after a star vomits its innards up in the throes of death.
Since no consensus was reached on the issue, a team of researchers — including F. Scott Porter (from the Goddard Space Flight Center) and Massimiliano Galeazzi (a physics professor from the University of Miami in Coral Gables) — created and launched a device, called DXL (short for ‘Diffuse X-ray Emission From the Local Galaxy‘),that specializes in measuring charge exchange radiation. Merely minutes after it was launched in 2012 (one of NASA’s rockets assisted in getting it about 160 miles above Earth’s surface), its objective was met, with the team learning that just 40% of this all-encompassing radiation originated from within our solar system, once again putting the bubble hypothesis back into play.
This bubble would be 300 light-years across and shaped like a peanut (it’s extremely hot as well, with temperatures hanging around a million degrees). Under this scenario, nearby supernovae would essentially expel most of the missing ingredients generally found within “empty” space, leaving leftover radiating gas in its place (its hot diffuse gas would be the primary source of the x-ray emissions).
“This is a significant discovery,” said Galeazzi. “It affects our understanding of the area of the galaxy close to the sun, and can, therefore, be used as a foundation for future models of the galaxy structure.”
Supernovae: They Are Bad For Your Health:
The team still isn’t sure just which star is responsible for the bubble, but one of the most promising candidates is a stellar core. dubbed Geminga (a pulsar in the Gemini constellation). However, it’s likely that multiple stars contributed to its existence, when, as a team member put it, several stars popped off like popcorn, all happening around the same time (unusual since only a handful of supernovae ignite in every galaxy each century). Geminga itself lies about 800 light-years from Earth — a number that seems both close to us and far away at the same time — yet its effects were felt here on Earth.
In fact, if a supernovae were to ignite within several hundred light-years of our planet, it would almost certainly wreak untold havoc on Earth. The gamma-ray beams, if their poles are pointed directly in Earth’s line of fire, would essentially destroy our ozone layer, which would, in turn, leave us vulnerable to high-energy radiation (among other things). There’s even a good chance it could wipe out all life on Earth.
All in all, supernovae are bad news for inhabited planets, but what would you expect from an event so energetic, it unleashes more energy in mere moments than the Sun will release over the course of its entire lifetime?
Faced with the growing threat of online file-sharing, Hustler committed to “turning piracy into profit” several years ago.
The company has not been very active on this front in the United States, but more so in Europe. In Finland for example Hustler is sending out settlement demands for hundreds of euros to alleged pirates.
A few days ago one of these letters arrived at the doorstep of Sebastian Mäki, identifying the IP-address through which he offers a Tor exit-node. According to Hustler the IP-address had allegedly transferred a copy of Hustler’s “This Ain’t Game Of Thrones XXX.”
The letter is sent by lawfirm Hedman Partners who urge Mäki to pay 600 euros ($800) in damages or face worse.
However, Mäki has no intention to pay up. Besides running a Tor exit-node and an open wireless network through the connection, he also happens to be Vice-President of a local Pirate Party branch. As such, he has a decent knowledge of how to counter these threats.
“All we can do at the moment is fight against these trolls, and they are preying on easy victims, who have no time nor energy to fight and often are afraid of the embarrassment that could follow, because apparently porn is still a taboo somewhere,” Mäki tells TorrentFreak.
So instead of paying up, the Tor exit-node operator launched a counter attack. He wrote a lengthy reply to Hustler’s lawyers accusing them of blackmail.
“According to Finnish law, wrongfully forcing someone to dispose of their financial interests is known as blackmail. Threatening to make known one’s porn watching habits unless someone coughs up money sounds to me like activities for which you can get a sentence.”
Mäki explains that an IP-address is not necessarily a person and that Hustler’s copyright trolling is likely to affect innocent Internet users. Because of this, he has decided to report these dubious practices to the police.
“I am also concerned that other innocent citizens might not have as much time, energy, or wealth to fight back. Because your actions have the potential to cause so much damage to innocent bystanders, I find it morally questionable and made a police report.”
Whether the police will follow up on the complaint remains to be seen, but Hustler will have to take its hustling elsewhere for now. They clearly targeted the wrong person here, in more ways than one.
Long distance FPV (First Person View) flying can be a handful. Keeping a video feed alive generally requires a high gain directional antenna. Going directional creates the chore of keeping the antenna pointed at the aircraft. [Brandon's] smart antenna tracker is designed to do all that automatically. What witchcraft is this, you ask? The answer is actually quite simple: Telemetry! Many flight control systems have an optional telemetry transmitter. [Brandon] is using the 3DRobotics APM or PixHawk systems, which use 3DR’s 915 MHz radios.
The airborne radio sends telemetry data, including aircraft latitude and longitude down to a ground station. Equipped with a receiver for this data and a GPS of its own, the smart antenna tracker knows the exact position, heading and velocity of the aircraft. Using a pan and tilt mount, the smart antenna tracker can then point the antenna directly at the airborne system. Since the FPV antenna is co-located on the pan tilt mount, it will also point at the aircraft and maintain a good video link.
One of the gotchas with a system like this is dealing with an aircraft that is flying directly overhead. The plane or rotorcraft can fly by faster than the antenna system can move. There are a few commercial systems out there that handle this by switching to a lower gain omnidirectional whip antenna when the aircraft is close in. This would be a great addition to [Brandon's] design.
Filed under: drone hacks
Experts at Dr.Web detected a Linux DDoS Trojan designed to infect also Windows OS, the circumstance is considered rare in the criminal ecosystem.
The Russian antivirus company Dr. Web discovered that a Chinese DDoS Trojan written for Linux operating system seems have jumped to Windows, an event considered rare.
According to the experts at Dr Web, the malware was first detected in May 2014 as “Linux.Dnsamp”, basically the malicious code is a DDOS Trojan, which infects Linux machines. The malware is able to modify the startup scripts, collects information on machine configuration and send it to C&C server, of course its main characteristic is to run silently and wait for orders.
The experts noticed that the trojan has been ported to Microsoft Windows, they dubbed the Windows version “Trojan.Dnsamp.1″, this new version gains admission into the OS pretending to be Windows Service Test.
The Windows version recently detected is installed into the targeted system and its executable file is saved in the system folder under the name vmware-vmx.exe. As explained by analysts, the DDoS trojan is triggered by the date of the system, if it is set after 2nd December, 2013 the malware is activated.
The malware could be used to run DDoS, but once infected the victims it can also download and run the other malicious payload.
Experts at Doctor Web revealed that the largest number of DDoS attacks involving the Trojans of this family (especially Linux.BackDoor.Gates) in the period from June 5th and August 13th, 2014 hit Chinese websites (28,093 attacks corresponding to the 79,1%), and website hosted in the United States (9,4). In the following image is reported the geographic location of the attacks.
In July 2014, experts at Kaspersky Lab detected another strain of malware with a modular structure, quite similar to the one discovered by Dr.Web, which was able to run DNS amplification attacks.
As explained by the experts at Dr. Web the discovery is singular because it is rare to detect a malware designed for Linux machines that is ported on Windows OS.
(Security Affairs – DDoS Trojan, malware)
Today's picture is from 1938 and it shows children on the playground climbing and hanging upside down. I can not say for sure, but I bet this type of play has been pretty much regulated out of existence, and in its place we have a generation of diabetic prone obese children. Time for us to have kids be kids again.
This image, which was taken using the Green Bank Telescope (in West Virginia), showcases the complexities of the Great Orion nebula. Astronomers have long known that this stellar nursery is home to many peculiar features, which include “ribbons” of gas and evidence of a black hole lurking in the shadows. Now, astronomers captured the best image yet of one little know filamentary region within the nebula; a place pervaded by cool dust that’s just a few degrees above absolute zero.
Pictured here is a big section of sky (extending about 10 light-years across, seen near the center) close the Orion nebula viewed at infrared and radio wavelengths. The region is as bright as it is impressive, the (new) working theory for this suggests that, unexpectedly, instead of harboring a huge cache of microscopic dust particles (with bits of molecular gas thrown in for good measure), this region likely contains many pebble-sized “seeds.”
“This means that the material in this region has different properties than would be expected for normal interstellar dust,” said Scott Schnee, from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “In particular, since the particles are more efficient than expected at emitting at millimeter wavelengths, the grains are very likely to be at least a millimeter, and possibly as large as a centimeter across, or roughly the size of a small Lego-style building block.”
If proven true, the material comprising this filament could be immeasurably important to our planetary formation models, which say that planets slowly coalesce over time; the process beginning when microscopic particles gradually build up to a sizable quantity. Then, larger pieces collide and merge. Introducing larger pebbles to the picture would reduce the time it’s expected to take for planets to take shape.
See a larger image here.
[Chris] finds the average price of rock tumblers insulting. Almost as insulting, in fact, as prepackaged fruit salad made with Chinese peaches. While there may be little he can do about the peaches, he has given the finger to lapidary pricing by making his own tumbler on the very cheap.
Simply put, he drilled a hole in bottom of the peach vessel and then stuck a threaded rod through it. He held the rod in place with a nut and a washer. After securing the proper permits to source sand and water from his property, he put both in the jar along with some old nails that had paint and crud on them. [Chris] put the rod in the chuck of his drill and clamped the drill in his bench vise. Half an hour later, he had some nice, shiny nails. Make the jump to be amazed and entertained. If you prefer using balls, check out this homemade mill.
Filed under: tool hacks
Following last week’s leaked draft from Hollywood, Aussie ISPs including Telstra, iiNet and Optus have published their submission in response to a request by Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
While the movie industry’s anti-piracy proposal demonstrates a desire to put ISPs under pressure in respect of their pirating customers, it comes as no surprise that their trade group, the Communications Alliance, has other things in mind.
The studios would like to see a change in copyright law to remove service providers’ safe harbor if they even suspect infringement is taking place on their networks but fail to take action, but the ISPs reject that.
“We urge careful consideration of the proposal to extend the authorization liability within the Copyright Act, because such an amendment has the potential to capture many other entities, including schools, universities, internet cafes, retailers, libraries and cloud-based services in ways that may hamper their legitimate activities and disadvantage consumers,” they write.
But while the ISPs are clear they don’t want to be held legally liable for customer piracy, they have given the clearest indication yet that they are in support of a piracy crackdown involving subscribers. Whether one would work is up for debate, however.
“[T]here is little or no evidence to date that [graduated response] schemes are successful, but no shortage of examples where such schemes have been
If such as scheme could be agreed on, the ISPs say it would be a notice-and-notice system that didn’t carry the threat of ISP-imposed customer sanctions.
“Communications Alliance notes and supports the Government’s expectation, expressed in the paper that an industry scheme, if agreed, should not provide for the interruption of a subscriber’s internet access,” they note.
However, the appointment of a “judicial/regulatory /arbitration body” with the power to apply “meaningful sanctions” to repeat infringers is supported by the ISPs, but what those sanctions might be remains a mystery.
On the thorny issue of costs the ISPs say that the rightsholders must pay for everything. Interestingly, they turn the copyright holders’ claims of huge piracy losses against them, by stating that if just two-thirds of casual infringers change their ways, the video industry alone stands to generate AUS$420m (US$392) per year. On this basis they can easily afford to pay, the ISPs say.
While warning of potential pitfalls and inadvertent censorship, the Communications Alliance accepts that done properly, the blocking of ‘pirate’ sites could help to address online piracy.
“Although site blocking is a relatively blunt instrument and has its share of weaknesses and limitations, we believe that an appropriately structured and safeguarded injunctive relief scheme could play an important role in addressing online copyright infringement in Australia,” the Alliance writes.
One area in which the ISPs agree with the movie studios is in respect of ISP “knowledge” of infringement taking place in order for courts to order a block. The system currently employed in Ireland, where knowledge is not required, is favored by both parties, but the ISPs insist that the copyright holders should pick up the bill, from court procedures to putting the blocks in place.
The Alliance also has some additional conditions. The ISPs say they are only prepared to block “clearly, flagrantly and totally infringing websites” that exist outside Australia, and only those which use piracy as their main source of revenue.
Follow the Money
Pointing to the project currently underway in the UK coordinated by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, the Communications Alliance says that regardless of the outcome on blocking, a “follow the money” approach should be employed against ‘pirate’ sites. This is something they already have an eye on.
“Some ISP members of Communications Alliance already have policies in place which prevent any of their advertising spend being directed to sites that promote or facilitate improper file sharing. Discussions are underway as to whether a united approach could be adopted by ISPs whereby the industry generally agrees on measures or policies to ensure the relevant websites do not benefit from any of the industry’s advertising revenues,” the ISPs note.
Better access to legal content
The Communications Alliance adds that rightsholders need to do more to serve their customers, noting that improved access to affordable content combined with public education on where to find it is required.
“We believe that for any scheme designed to address online copyright infringement to be sustainable it must also stimulate innovation by growing the digital content market, so Australians can continue to access and enjoy new and emerging content, devices and technologies.
“The ISP members of Communications Alliance remain willing to work toward an approach that balances the interests of all stakeholders, including consumers,” they conclude.
While some harmonies exist, the submissions from the movie studios and ISPs carry significant points of contention, with each having the power to completely stall negotiations. With legislative change hanging in the air, both sides will be keen to safeguard their interests on the key issues, ISP liability especially.
[Antoine] recently learned of a little challenge we have in the hinterlands of the Hackaday webosphere – what’s the oldest, or lowest spec hardware you have that can load this our retro edition? He has a pile of old PCs at his work, and with a lot of idle time at work because of summer, he decided to dig into that pile and get a really old computer up on the Internet.
While the pile of PCs didn’t have anything as old as he was expecting, [Antoine] did find an old Compaq from 1992. It has a 386DX running at 25MHz, 4MB of RAM, a 300 MB hard drive, VGA, and an Ethernet NIC. Gathering the requisite CRT monitor, PS/2 keyboard, and an AUI to a more modern Ethernet connector.
When getting these ancient computer on the Internet, the secret sauce is in the software configuration. [Antoine]‘s box is running DOS 6.2, but was previously configured to connect to a Microsoft filesystem server on boot. This server was probably somewhere at the bottom of the same pile the Compaq was salvaged from, so rolling his own modern networking stack was the way to go. A driver for the NIC was downloaded on another computer and transferred via floppy, as was mTCP, the key to getting a lot of old PCs on the Internet. The browser is Arachne, and with the right configurations, everything worked perfectly.
[Antoine]‘s efforts resulted in a computer that can easily handle the stripped down Hackaday retro edition, and can handle light browsing on Wikipedia. The effective download rate is something like a 33k modem; even with a fast (10M!) Ethernet connection, processing all the packets is taxing for this old machine.
Filed under: classic hacks
Maleficent is the most downloaded movie for the third week in a row.
The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.
RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.
The APWG Report Q2 2014 states that phishing activities continue to increase, phishers are targeting Crypto Currency, Payment Services and Retail Sites.
The APWG has published its new report related to phishing activities in the period April – June 2014, the document titled “Phishing Activity Trends Report, 2nd Quarter 2014” states that online payment services and crypto-currency sites are being targeted by cyber criminals.
The APWG group reported that a number of new phishing attacks hit new targets that were not observed in 2013.
According to the last APWG report phishing menace is still high, the number of cyber attacks in the second quarter of 2014 is the second-highest number ever observed in a quarter since the APWG began its monitoring activity (2008).
The APWG group detected an average of 42,793 new phishing attacks per month in Q2, the number of targets was decreased of 17 percent from same period of 2013, the data confirms a higher concentration of attacks on more vulnerable brands.
Payment Services (39.80 percent) and Financial (20.20 percent) are most targeted industry sectors in Q2 has reported in the following chart. The APWG report also includes data on attacks against retail/service sites, the offensives on the industries grew, from 11.5 to 16.5 percent of all phishing attacks.
According to the APWG report, Trojans are still the most common type of malware (58.20% ), but experts are worried by the increase in PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) such as spyware and adware. The APWG members linked the increase in PUPs to a significant increase in the creation of software bundlers, which install programs that serve PUPs.
The APWG report is one of the most valuable sources about phishing activities, you cannot miss it.
The post APWG Q2 2014 report, phishing is even more dangerous appeared first on Security Affairs.
Easy Office Recovery by MunSoft is a program for recovering Office documents with ease. The simplicity of the interface and the complicated algorithms together create the most pleasurable data recovery experience for both seasoned and novice users alike.
Easy Office Recovery supports all kinds of Office documents, deleted or damaged and works on Windows.
This incredible picture was taken by Reid Wiseman from the International Space Station. He shared the picture with the world on twitter, captioning it with “Clouds cast thousand-mile shadows into the black of space. A favorite view of ours.”
ISS: Quick Facts
[Rob] created these amazing Bluetooth controlled LED lights for his daughter’s wedding adding a colorful ambient glow to the ceremony. Each item held a Neopixel ring and an Arduino microprocessor with a wireless module that could be individually addressed over a ‘mini-network.’ The main master station would receive commands from a Windows Phone. Usually we see Arduino-based projects being run with Android apps, so it’s nice to see that Microsoft is still present in the maker community.
The enclosures and translucent vases that sit atop the devices were 3D printed. All eight of the matrimonial units synchronized with each other, and the colors could be changed by sliding the settings bar on the app. [Rob] says that it was a lot of fun to build, and jokingly stated that it kept him “out of all the less important aspects of the ceremony. (food choice, decor, venue, who to marry etc etc).” The outcome was a beautiful arrangement of tabletop lighting for the wedding. A demo of [Rob]‘s setup can be seen in the video below.
Filed under: led hacks
[Vegard] and his wife were expecting a baby girl, and decided to build a castle for their new daughter. As a prototyping geek with his own CNC machine in his apartment, he decided to take to Google Sketchup to design this well-crafted castle decoration for his daughter’s room.
The first challenge was figuring out what the castle would look like. [Vegard] had never been to Disney Land or World, and so had never actually seen any of the fairy-tale castles in real life. After experimenting with some paper versions, he settled on a design which incorporates multiple layers and can house lights within them.
The next step was to cut the final version on the CNC machine, then sand and paint the parts. After figuring out a way to mount the castle to the wall, some LEDs were added for effect, driven by an Arduino. The final version looks pretty good!
Hacking your kids’ room is great fun, and you get to keep making new stuff to remain age appropriate. We bet [Vegard] can’t wait until she’s old enough to enjoy a marble-run that wraps the entire room. In the mean time he can work on a classic robot stroller.
Filed under: cnc hacks
Everybody has experienced the dread of hearing their own voice on a recording. Why is this? Greg Foot explains, and then breaks the unfortunate reality to us.
Adafruit did another Circuit Playground, this time concerning frequency. If you’re reading this, no, it’s probably not for you, which is great because it’s not meant to be. If you have some kids, though, it’s great. Not-muppet robots and oscilloscopes. Just great.
The Hack42 space in Arnhem, Neterhlands recently got an offer: clean out a basement filled with old computer equipment, and it’s yours. Everything in the haul had to fit through an 80cm square door, and there are some very heavy, very rare pieces of equipment here. It’ll be a great (and massive) addition to their museum. There’s a few pics from the cleanout here and here.
[Mike] has been working on a project to convert gerber files into SVGs and it’s great.
[Carl] did a roundup of all the currently available software defined radios available. It’s more than just the RTL-SDR, HackRF, and BladeRF, and there’s also a list of modifications and ones targeted explicitly to the ham crowd.
This is a Facebook video, but it is pretty cool. It’s a DIY well pump made in Mexico. A few rubber disks made out of an old inner tube, a bit of PVC pipe, and a string is all you need to bring water to ground level.
What can you do with a cellphone equipped with a thermal imaging camera? Steal PIN codes, of course. Cue the rest of the blogosphere sensationalizing this to kingdom come. Oh, what’s that? Only Gizmodo took the bait?
About a year ago, we saw a pretty cool board made by [Derek] to listen in on the CAN bus in his Mazda 3. Now it’s a Kickstarter, and a pretty good one at that.
Your connectors will never be this cool. This is a teardown of a mind bogglingly expensive cable assembly, and this thing is amazing. Modular connectors, machined copper shields, machined plastic stress relief, and entire PCBs dedicated to two caps. Does anyone know what this mated to and what the list price was?
Filed under: Hackaday links
Home mass manufacturing of copies of culture and knowledge started some time in the 1980s with the Cassette Tape, the first widely available self-contained unit capable of recording music. It made the entire copyright industry go up in arms and demand “compensation” for activities that were not covered by their manufacturing monopoly, which is why we now pay protection money to the copyright industry in many countries for everything from cellphones to games consoles.
The same industry demanded harsh penalties – criminal penalties – for those who manufactured copies at home without a license rather than buying the expensive premade copies. Over the next three decades, such criminal penalties gradually crept into law, mostly because no politician thinks the issue is important enough to defy anybody on.
A couple of key patent monopolies on 3D printing are expiring as we speak, making next-generation 3D printing much, much higher quality. 3D printers such as this one are now appearing on Kickstarter, “printers” (more like fabs) that use laser sintering and similar technologies instead of layered melt deposit.
We’re now somewhere in the 1980s-equivalent of the next generation of copyright monopoly wars, which is about to spread to physical objects. The copyright industry is bad – downright atrociously cynically evil, sometimes – but nobody in the legislature gives them much thought. Wait until this conflict spreads outside the copyright industry, spreads to pretty much every manufacturing industry.
People are about to be sued out of their homes for making their own slippers instead of buying a pair.
If you think that sounds preposterous, that’s exactly what has been going on in the copyright monopoly wars so far, with people manufacturing their own copies of culture and knowledge instead of buying ready-made copies. There’s no legal difference to manufacturing a pair of slippers without having a license for it.
To be fair, a pair of slippers may be covered by more monopolies than just the copyright monopoly (the drawing) – it may be covered by a utility patent monopoly, a design patent monopoly, possibly a geographic indication if it’s some weird type of slipper, and many more arcane and archaic types of monopolies. Of course, people in general can’t tell the difference between a “utility patent”, a “design patent”, a “copyright duplication right”, a “copyright broadcast right”, a “related right”, and so on. To most people, it’s all just “the copyright monopoly” in broad strokes.
Therefore, it’s irrelevant to most people whether the person who gets sued out of their home for fabbing their own slippers from a drawing they found is technically found guilty of infringing the copyright monopoly (maybe) or a design patent (possibly). To 95% or more, it’s just “more copyright monopoly bullshit”. And you know what? Maybe that’s good.
The next generation of wars over knowledge, culture, drawings, information, and data is just around the corner, and it’s going to get much uglier with more stakes involved on all sides. We have gotten people elected to parliaments (and stayed there) on the conflict just as it stands now. As this divide deepens, and nothing suggests it won’t, then people will start to pay more attention.
And maybe, just maybe, that will be the beginning of the end of these immoral and deeply unjust monopolies known as copyrights and patents.