Quoth the Giant: "Nevermore!"
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003
After a brief discussion of Poe's "The Raven" in Game Design today, discussing how the raven represents a manefestation of the linear passage of time, I started thinking: Is the They Might Be Giants song "Older" really a reinterpretation of The Raven?
I ate the Spam...
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003
Speaking of Spam, I actually ate the Garlic Spam today. Ammy may be the only person who could completely understand.

4.5 slices of it are still staring back at me. One man can only handle so much.

Happy Beltane!
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003
Happy Beltane, everyone! Would that I had the time and opportunity to dance up the sun this year.

Would that I had the opportunity to sleep. Well, I'm going to try, before coming back to my slavedriving powerbook.

2003: Decade
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003
One of my friends has a weblog, but saves his more personal stories for his email list that he sends out maybe once a month. Today he wrote about himself ten years ago, how he would have called himself a songwriter, and about a song he wrote then after his breakup with the first woman who he thought he would have spent the rest of his life with.

Of particular poignancy are the lines in the song: "I bet you'll find that in ten years time...I won't even cross through your mind." To him the passage of the decade was a liberation, one item he could checkoff a list that he didn't even knew he kept with him.

It's been just over 10 years since I met the first woman I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. I didn't write a song about her when we broke up, but then 'breaking up' is a misnomer in this case, as it implies breaking off. I've been lucky that several of my closest friendships have come out of my closest relationships.

The recognition of an elapsed decade is freeing to me as well, but probably in a different way than to my songwriting friend. It's shown me that the valuable relationships last, no matter the form they settle into. My post-relationship friendships aren't about a refusal to admit interpersonal failure. They represent sincere, close ties that sustain themselves, even when we're apart for years at a time.

I'm still good friends with five of my six past girlfriends. Okay, seven past girlfriends, but there's an asterisk (I suppose there's always an asterisk) next to one of them. I'm not sure if this is more a testament to how much I value friendships or how differently from most people I view relationships, but it gives me warm fuzzies.

I wonder where I'll be 10 years from now. Who will shape my life then, and who will have shaped it along the way? I suppose I'm tacking a small item onto my own invisible list. I'm sure that come 2013 something or someone will bring this post to my attention. Things always tend to come back, in the good way.

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003
Note to self: There are probably better posts to have at the top of your blog when you know that a potential employer will be checking out the site in preparation for a phone screen. Ah well. Too late now!
What's up with my body?
Monday, Apr 28, 2003
Okay, warning to those who don't want to weird about people's weird biological experiences: This is an article about my weird biological experience. You've been warned.

So I've had a virus for almost a week, slight fever, cough, achy, restless and lethargic (a really annoying combination). Luckily yesterday I was feeling a lot better. My cough and sinuses were still acting up, but the 'brain cloud' had lifted.

I went to sleep last night, and had a little trouble sleeping, waking up every few hours to hack, pee, and get more water. Ugh, but not abnormal for being sick.

When I woke up at 4am though, it was different...

You know how, when you're nauseous, and you feel like you might throw up, and you get this taste in your mouth, like a warning for what's to come? Totally unlike the actual taste of vomit, it's that warning, call it metallic, or bitter, or whatever. you know that taste?

Well, I woke up with that taste in my mouth, strong. Now through the whole illness I didn't have any stomach upset, and even now I didn't feel queasy or nauseous. Still, just to be safe, I got up and walked to the bathroom. Over the next 30 seconds I had wave after wave of this taste. I could actually feel it being expelled from my saliva ducts under my tongue. I mean teaspoons full. Did my mouth know something that my head didn't? It was actually panic-inducing. Adrenaline shot up, which probably created a feedback loop. The conflict between mixed messages from my body and pavlovian response was very disconcerting.

Things finally started to settle down, but it was very unsettling: My body, which usually keeps pretty quiet, woke up, screaming to tell me something, but I didn't know what. I still don't.

Any ideas?

Some days I forget which one is the real world and which is the nightmare.
Sunday, Apr 27, 2003
Jeb Bush tells NRA that they're responsible for his brother being in office: "The sound of our guns is the sound of freedom!"

It's easy to confuse our country with the third world when major entertainment networks actively promote pro-war rallies while prohibiting their stations from publicizing anti-war gatherings, and ban and villify artists who come out against the war.

It's nice to see the Bush family so concerned about the Bill of Rights, but while they're busy defending the second amendment, can we also get some attention for the first and fifth? When the president's brother (Not Uday, I mean Jeb) tells millions that the kick of a rifle butt into our shoulder is the manifestation of freedom, I've got to wonder: When we're done touring bits democracy to the world, can we bring them back home please?

Still sick
Friday, Apr 25, 2003
And so much to do. This really sucks.
Sick Today
Thursday, Apr 24, 2003
I hate that...
The Fallacy of Digital Rights Management
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003
Digital rights management (DRM), when applied to music, makes no logical sense for at least the next decade.

When dealing with the medium of audio (music), where it is assured that new releases will continue to be made available on compact discs for at least the next decade due to the embedded market of CD players, embedding DRM protections into digitally downloaded songs will do absolutely nothing to decrease unauthorized copying and playing of those songs.

The reasoning goes like this: A new song or album is released both online in DRM form, and on compact disc. Even if 80% of the purchases are of the online DRM file (thinking to how the world might be in 15 years, but not as it is today, where online downloads reflect about 0.05% of an album's sales), even if 8 of 10 buyers have 'inert' versions of the song that can't be played anywhere but on devices they own, the other 20% can still rip an mp3 (or aac, or ogg) of the song, and inject it into the sea of P2P file sharing spheres.

To look at it another way, if there was an extremely virulent disease, (music just wants to propagate, after all) and 50,000 people were infected with it (people buying an even moderately popular album) but DRM acted as a prophylactic, preventing 40,000 of those buyers (or 25 of those buyers, using today's ratio) from spitting into the well, but the other 10,000 (49,975) buyers are still free to do so, anyone who wants to get sick can still drink from the well.

DRM's success is contingent on its universality. If a single unprotected digital source is available to the public, then getting an unprotected mp3 into the P2P world is trivial.

Look to DVDs for a more successful example of DRM. True, they can't prevent you from sharing your DVD with others (yet, though it's been tried (ahem *DivX* (I mean the other DivX))), but it's more convoluted (and less DMCA-friendly) to encode or copy an encrypted DVD.

The point here is that new digital music download services, and I'm specifically talking about Apple's new venture, have no need for DRMs, because they still represent the minority distribution channel.

DRM's useful as a tool of restriction only if its use stops someone from getting the file by other means, but DRM-ing songs sold online won't stem the flow of ripped mp3s. that won't happen until every CD player is replaced by one with DRM technology in it, or at least as many as are needed before the labels see it as more profitable to stop making 'open' CDs, forcing people to buy new players.

That transition hasn't even begun, and if the transition from LP and cassette to compact disc is any guide, it'll take at least 15 years from beginning to end.

Most importantly, until that end is reached, and the last 'open' CD is pressed, applying DRM technology to purchased digital downloads does everything to hamper fair consumer use, while providing no benefit to the music publisher.

With 5 days before Apple's unveiling of 'the next big thing' in music, let's hope they're smart enough to realize this, and even better, smart enough to have convinced the major labels as well.


Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

©2012 Kevin Fox