By golly I’m living in bizarro world. Yesterday the House stripped a provision on a spending bill to allow drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. In other words, the House said no to drilling! It may get contentious in the Senate, but it’s a HUGE change of pace in Congress, who, reeling after Tuesday’s elections, is worried about angering too many Americans. In response to the election results, and with an eye toward the future, Democratic New York Senator Chuck Shumer said of Republicans beginning to distance themselves from the Bush Administration, “If you are a moderate Republican, you are starting to say, ‘I am not going to follow George Bush over the cliff.'” Amen.
William Shatner revealed he is working on a prequel to the Star Trek series about the adolescent life of Kirk and Spock. Er, um, wasn’t Enterprise the “prequel” series, which, according to David Brin and others, should have written itself because all the plot lines were already there, and, in effect, destroyed itself by trying too hard to insert irrelevant plot lines and make Scott Bakula into a good actor? I.e. does Shatner really think this one will work? Where will they be? Earth? Starfleet academy? Already much of our technology is beyond what they had on the first series. So what happens now when they change the time to an even earlier period? Hmmm. I’ll have to watch this one closely. I’m intrigued, but also disappointed. The Star Trek universe is huge, with so many possibilities. Why do they always have to get stuck on the same characters and locales?
The 2005 World Fantasy Awards are listed over at Solar Flare. The giant Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke won best novel. I wonder how many judges actually finished the book.
As some of you may know, Sony is now inserting DRM (Digital Rights Management) software into their audio CDs. When you slip one of these sneaky beasts into your computer, it installs anti piracy software which disables any copying of any CD ever again, and not just Sony CDs. All CDs. A list of titles with the software is provided by BoingBoing. I understand the need for artists to protect their work, but this just crosses the line, because it means Sony is making a moral and legal judgment not just on its own music, but on all music, essentially playing CD Ripper God. At times like these I’m glad we have organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
I’m very ambivalent about the new Google Print services which will allow any web user to view a short portion of text from millions of digitized books. While BoingBoing and Slashdot proselytizes the technology, I feel that abuses may be large. How will this play out if I write a novel and it becomes available (albeit, in pieces) on the net? Won’t a clever hacker figure out a way to connect the disjointed pieces into a complete novel and then sell it or trade it across the net? Shouldn’t authors have the final say on their copyright and not the publishers and/or users? Here are some links: link link link link