September 13, 2006  ·  Lessig

This Thursday, September 14 at 5PM (SL/Pacific), PopSci.com and Creative Commons will be hosting a concert in Second Life featuring Jonathan Coulton as well as popular Second Life musicians Melvin Took, Kourosh Eusebio, Etherian Kamaboko, and Slim Warrior. From Jonathan Coulton’s blog:

I will be playing live from a secure, undisclosed location in the real world, but you will see my handsome avatar onstage at a venue called Menorca in the Second Life universe. You can also listen to the concert via a number of streaming type websites … The whole concert, audio and video, will be Creative Commons licensed, so feel free to record it.

More information is available on this wiki.

September 11, 2006  ·  Lessig

So I’m just finishing the page proofs on Code v2. As you recall (pretend if you don’t), one theme of Code was that commerce would develop tools to facilitate better regulability of the Net. I take a break to check the email account at the Academy. The Academy is using a hosted Gmail system. A Gmail add tells me about “DidTheyReadIt.com.” This service will allow you to determine whether someone read an email you sent them, how long they kept the message open, and from where they read it. It is trivially easy to use (you add their address to the address you’re sending, e.g., xxx@xxx.com.didtheyreadit.com), and it adds a bug to the message that tracks exactly how the message is used.

Wow.

September 8, 2006  ·  Lessig

Check out webcitation.org — a project run at the University of Toronto. The basic idea is to create a permanent URL for citations, so that when the Supreme Court, e.g., cites a webpage, there’s a reliable way to get back to the webpage it cited. They do this by creating a reference URL, which then will refer back to an archive of the page created when the reference was created. E.g., I entered the URL for my blog (“http://lessig.org/blog“). It then created an archive URL “http://www.webcitation.org/5IlFymF33“. Click on it and it should take you to an archive page for my blog.

Why, you might ask, would you ever want to substitute that long ugly URL for the short and spiffy http://lessig.org/blog? Well first, and most obviously if you’ve ever written something for publication, URLs are not always short and spiffy. Second, the point is to create an archive of a page at a particular moment.

A bunch of us have been talking about a service like this for sometime. One idea we had been talking about was a slight modification: Rather than a link that always took you to the archive, the link would first check whether the page referenced is still there unchanged. If so, it would give you that page; if not, it would take you to the archive. Difficulty with this is dynamic pages.

It would be fantastic if the consortium running this would keep a publicly accessible archive of the URLs they generate tied to the original URL — so if the service goes bunk, there’s a way to recover the original URL. And someone should write an app that could sit on a toolbar — ArchiveMe — and when clicked, generated the URL (and put it in the copy/paste field).

But these are quibbles: This is a very cool project, really really needed.

September 8, 2006  ·  Lessig

So my family and I have arrived at the American Academy in Berlin where I’ll be spending the year writing and hiding (mainly). (More on the hiding part later). My 3 year old (as of Thursday!) seems not to have as flexible an internal clock as his dad. This is the first morning he’s slept past 2am. I should have polled for tricks for dealing with this in advance.