There’s more to this blog than the Obama Legacy. For one thing, the activities probably won’t start up for another year. So I’m also going to do Sneakernet-under the net. What’s Sneakernet? It’s a little bit more than just the computer- a little bit less than completely connected at all times to the cloud-it’s external hard drives, it’s flash drives, its brute force computing where people use slightly older tech to communicate. It’s poor people’s computing, in other words.
This section is inspired by a lot of things: Cuba’s way of getting what they need by hand to hand passing around of hard drives full of movies, tv shows, and whatever else they can enjoy. By those guys on the card tables in front of the store, and by those intrepid pirates that keep copying and downloading stuff so that others can enjoy it even if they don’t live anywhere near where they can buy.
And speaking about copyright: I would do this. Set a date reasonably enough into the future. All materials over 55 years old would go into the public domain unless you specifically pay for the renewal. If no one comes forward with a claim, it goes into the public domain. We’ve done it backwards-life plus 75 years. With that as a standard, some parts of Mozart wouldn’t have made it into the public domain until the 1930’s if Mozart had lived to be 100! The result is also orphan works, where nobody can find the author or even the publisher, so there’s concern about possible copyright violations because the author(s) could still be living at ancient ages somehwere-or their kids could make a claim. This has been done to keep Mickey Mouse from going into the public domain. But in this system, Disney could simply pay for its renewals, and leave everyone else alone. Pay, you renew. Don’t pay, it goes into the public domain.
To begin: those external hard drives that get dissed in favor of the cloud. While the cloud has its benefits, the fact is that I don’t need the internet to retrieve my data. And considering I’ve had a few days where I haven’t had access, the fact that I can still play my music and read downloaded books is definitely a plus. All I need is electricity and time. No worries about whether a distant server has been compromised or not, the cloud is where I am. No lost passwords to worry about. Once I’ve paid for the drive, the storage is free forever. And yes, you can retrieve data from a crashed hard drive.