Wednesday, November 30, 2011

INTERNET - Open Letter on "IP Act" and "Online Piracy Act"

"An open letter to Senator Leahy regarding Internet censorship" on Newsgroups: alt.politics.usa.constitution

Dear Senator Leahy;

I am very concerned about the over-reaching authority which appears to be in the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act.




I am a software developer on the Internet. My main site is which I have owned since 1998. I am working on a "quality discernment system" to advance the concept of an "intelligent web."

An integral part of the vision I hold is for individuals to "endorse" specific URL's on the web. These URL's could be something I call "metalinks" which are basically re-programmable re-directs to other web sites. These MetaLinks allow people to make a short, easy-to-
remember link for a web search or a web page.

For example, will redirect you to Energy Prices at Bloomburg. will produce a search of news for "occupy" at Google news. There are many other search engines which are being included in this syntax at

For example, will take people to Wikipedia's entry for Vermont. I didn't program this metalink specifically. It is automatic. You can search for any word or phrase by substituting your word(s) for "vermont" in this URL.

In similar fashion will take people to the weather for Burlington, VT and will take people to the current time in Paris. There are several dozen of these interfaces to other web sites and there will be hundreds, even thousands more in the near future.

I am concerned that the legislation currently being considered will limit the development of new technology to create an "intelligent web."

While the Metalinks currently in use have all been defined by someone I plan to allow intelligent software to create metalinks in the future.

It would be unwise to restrict the use of intelligent software to define links in my opinion. It's wrong to assume that all links are created by individuals operating independent of each other. Links could be a result of composite or collaborative intelligence.

In the future, metalinks will represent our "collective intelligence" or "community wisdom." That's what I'm working on now. I'm working to
create an "intelligent web." The concept I am working with is "augmented human intelligence" rather than "artificial intelligence."

I am asking you to put this legislation on the shelf for a minimum of 30 days, until 2012, so that there can be more input by the public and
a more careful analysis of what it means for all of us.

Consideration is a virtue. Please consider the effects this legislation would have on me and others who are working to advance the evolution of human intelligence on the Internet.


Steve Moyer
Internet Developer
Founder, NODES Network ( see what can be done with my technology )

P.S. You can see a link of all the Metalinks currently in existence, not including automatic search interfaces, at

CYBERCRIME - JoD Protections, Pro and Con

"How Effective Is Justice Department Crackdown on Counterfeit Goods Dealers?" PBS Newshour 11/29/2011


GWEN IFILL (Newshour): We look now at the government crackdown on the online sale of counterfeit goods. The Justice Department used Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, to shut down 150 websites that were allegedly peddling fake shoes, sporting goods and handbags. But was this the right approach?

Joining us to discuss that are Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Downes, author of "The Laws of Disruption," a book about law and innovation in the digital age.

More significant excerpts

STEVE TEPP, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: It's a massive problem that's growing every day, because many of these sites are located outside the United States, where there is no remedy.

For the sites located in the U.S., or at least where their domain name is registered in the U.S., dot-com, dot-net, then our enforcement agencies, like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice, who are both doing fantastic work on this, protecting the American people, can go to court and seize those domains with a court order.

That's what happened yesterday, and that's 150 domain names that will not be used to steal American jobs, to harm American consumers today.
LARRY DOWNES, "The Laws of Disruption": Well, first, it should be noted that, you know, what we're seizing here is not the website itself, just the domain name. It's a largely symbolic act.

What happens is, the site is still there. It can be accessed directly from the I.P. address. Or what often happens is the site comes back a little bit later under another domain name. So whether that is effective or not, it doesn't matter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WINDOWS - CD/DVD Disappears From My Computer

This is a "this has never happened to me before" post.

I have an internal DVD-RAM drive (DVD Recorder, multi-foremat) and when I opened My Computer I noticed that it was missing. All my other drives (internal and external) did show.

I've had this DVD drive for years with no problems.

So, what to check:
  • Rebooted and checked BIOS to see the DVD drive listed

  • Used Device Manager, under DVD/CD-ROM drives to see list (see screenshot)

My HP DVD Writer was listed in both places.

Normally this drive was listed as G: but there was no such drive in My Computer.


Open Disk Management (in Computer Management) and scroll-down to where your CDs are shown in the right (see screenshot). Each drive SHOULD have a Logical Drive Letter assigned.

I found that one CD/DVD drive had no Logical Drive Letter.

You right-click on the drive on the right panel, select Change Change Drive Letter and...., then (in this case) [Add] a drive letter. The dialog will show the next available letter.

In this case it showed G: which is what my HP DVD Writer should have been. Clicked [OK] and my DVD displayed AFTER I closed Computer Management.

(click for better view)

Note that this screenshot was taken AFTER I reassigned my HP DVD Writer as G:, and CD-ROM 0 is actually my external DVD-Recorder.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SECURITY - Worm, the First Digital World War

"Book Chronicles Fight to Save Web From Sophisticated Computer Worm" PBS Newshour 11/21/2011


MARGARET WARNER (Newshour): In November 2008, computer security experts began detecting a new, highly sophisticated computer worm. They called it Conficker. Ultimately, it invaded at least 12 million computers worldwide.

The story of the campaign to defeat it is chronicled in a new book, "Worm: The First Digital World War." The author is journalist Mark Bowden.

COMMENT: I'm a computer specialist and IT Technician by trade, so I am aware of BOTnets and other malware.

There are protections for users, one mentioned in video is to keep your Windows OS updated.

The specific tool is Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool downloaded during updates (or via their PC Security site).

There is a simpler protection method. This malware cannot be use, or get on your system, IF you are NOT ONLINE. If you do not have a pressing reason to be online, don't; either disconnect your internet or log-off your system. Even better, turn off your PC when you are not actually using it.

Lastly, run a GOOD Antivirus Utility. All that I know of will protect you from KNOWN BOTnet malware.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

UTILITIES - Move from WinXP to Win7

This post is for those who want to move your old WinXP system to a Win7 system.

CAUTION: I have not used this utility, so I cannot verify LapLink's claims.

PCmover Pro from LapLink

The Easiest Way to Move to Windows 7!

PCmover is the ONLY software that moves programs, files and settings from your old PC to your new PC – even restore from an image (or old hard drive) or perform an in-place upgrade.

The easy-to-use wizard will guide you in selecting which programs, files and settings you want on your PC. When complete, your new computer will have the personality and functionality of your old PC. And, PCmover is safe – it removes nothing from your old PC, won’t overwrite anything on your new PC, and includes an easy "Undo" feature.

Looking at the edition comparison table on their Overview page, the Professional edition is the only one worth the money. Also note the inclusion of their "High Speed Transfer Cable" if you order the boxed utility.

Also note the [Docs & Requirements] tab on the linked page. You can get the PDF docs to evaluate if this utility will do what you want.