Monthly Archives: July 2010


Web Hosting Related Articles You May Need

List all Files in .NET 4.0 Based on the Creation Date

I had recently posted on 7 New methods to Enumerate Directory and Files in .NET 4.0

A user commented asking if it was possible to returns a list of files from a directory for a given date range (i.e. start date – end date). Here’s how to do so:


using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.IO;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
DirectoryInfo DirInfo = new DirectoryInfo(@"D:\Articles\Pics\jQuery");

DateTime dt1 = new DateTime(2009, 07, 15);
DateTime dt2 = new DateTime(2010, 04, 15);

// LINQ query for files between 15-July 2009 and 15-April 2010.
var files = from file in DirInfo.EnumerateFiles()
where file.CreationTimeUtc > dt1 &
file.CreationTimeUtc < dt2                       
select file;

// Show results.
foreach (var file in files)
Console.WriteLine("{0} created on {1}", file.Name, file.CreationTimeUtc);

VB.NET 10.0 (converted)

Namespace ConsoleApplication1
Friend Class Program
Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
Dim DirInfo As New DirectoryInfo("D:\Articles\Pics\jQuery")

Dim dt1 As New Date(2009, 07, 15)
Dim dt2 As New Date(2010, 04, 15)

' LINQ query for files between 15-July 2009 and 15-April 2010.
Dim files = From file In DirInfo.EnumerateFiles()
Where file.CreationTimeUtc > dt1 And file.CreationTimeUtc < dt2
Select file

' Show results.
For Each file In files
Console.WriteLine("{0} created on {1}", file.Name, file.CreationTimeUtc)
Next file
End Sub
End Class
End Namespace



Continue reading

Posted in .NET, LINQ, Syndicated | Comments Off on List all Files in .NET 4.0 Based on the Creation Date

JavaOne 2010 Posts of Special Note

I have recently submitted a few posts regarding JavaOne 2010, but there are several posts by other people related to JavaOne 2010 that I think are worth special mention here.Not surprisingly, the Java One Conference Blog has several good posts regardin… Continue reading

Posted in JavaOne 2010, Syndicated | Comments Off on JavaOne 2010 Posts of Special Note

Innovation Happens When Ideas Have Sex

A few months back, we wrote a bit about Matt Ridley’s new book called The Rational Optimist. I still haven’t had a chance to read the book, but reader sehlat points us to an essay that Ridley has written for Reason Magazine that is adapted from the book, which is an absolute must read, on how innovation occurs. Many of the points won’t surprise regular readers of Techdirt, since it talks about concepts and studies that we’ve discussed many times before. For example, it discusses some of the same research we recently wrote about how government funding of basic science research often does more harm than good for innovation. It also explains how money is often not a key ingredient in innovation. It’s helpful, yes, but not the key ingredient. There’s a nice bit on the fact, as discussed time and time again around here that intellectual property laws have never been shown to increase innovation:

Yet intellectual property is very different from real property, because it is useless if you keep it to yourself, and an abstract concept can be infinitely shared. These features create an apparent dilemma for those who would encourage inventors. People get rich by selling each other things (and services), not ideas. Manufacture the best bicycles, and you profit handsomely; come up with the idea of the bicycle, and you get nothing because it is soon copied. If innovators are people who make ideas, rather than things, how can they profit from them? Does society need to invent a special mechanism to surround new ideas with fences, to make them more like houses and fields?

There is little evidence that patents really drive inventors to invent. In the second half of the 19th century, neither Holland nor Switzerland had a patent system, yet both countries flourished and attracted inventors. The list of significant 20th-century inventions that were never patented includes the automatic transmission, Bakelite, ballpoint pens, cellophane, cyclotrons, gyrocompasses, jet engines, magnetic recording, power steering, safety razors, and zippers. By contrast, the Wright brothers effectively grounded the nascent aircraft industry in the United States by enthusiastically defending their 1906 patent on powered flying machines.

So what is it that leads to innovation? Well, it’s the sharing of ideas and building upon them — again, a point raised here time and time again. Ridley describes it as “ideas having sex.” This isn’t a new idea (though it’s “newish”). In the past thirty years, a growing number of economists have recognized that economic growth comes from the collision of information and new ideas, shared openly. As Ridley notes: “Innovators are in the business of sharing.” While he doesn’t bring this up, there’s actually a tremendous amount of research that show that communities that more widely and openly share ideas tend to have greater innovation (and, no, that doesn’t mean through such false disclosure systems like a patent system — which teaches little, and doesn’t let anyone really make use of the knowledge shared). But the key point that Ridley makes is that innovation happens when people keep building on what’s been done before:

The secret of the modern world is its gigantic interconnectedness. Ideas are having sex with other ideas from all over the planet with ever-increasing promiscuity. The telephone had sex with the computer and spawned the Internet.

Technologies emerge from the coming together of existing technologies into wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts. Henry Ford once candidly admitted that he had invented nothing new: He had “simply assembled into a car the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work.” Inventors like to deny their ancestors, exaggerating the unfathered nature of their breakthroughs, the better to claim the full glory (and sometimes the patents) for themselves. Thus, Americans learn that Edison invented the incandescent light bulb out of thin air, when his less commercially-slick forerunners, Joseph Swan in Britain and Alexander Lodygin in Russia, deserve at least to share the credit.

It’s a great read that really highlights and ties together many of the points I’ve written about here for years.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Innovation Happens When Ideas Have Sex

Detroit News Anchor Realizes How Twitter Has Changed How He Engages With Viewers

One of the key points we tried to hammer home at our Techdirt Saves* Journalism event in June was the importance of realizing that news organizations are really in the business of building community. So many in the news business focus on the belief that they’re in the “news” business, but that’s never really been the case. The news has always been the piece that brings together a community (and the business of a news organization has usually been to then sell that community’s attention to advertisers). The biggest problem that news organizations face these days isn’t scary “news aggregators,” but that there are now many, many, many other communities that people can join, and most of them treat their members a lot better. Many traditional news organizations, in contrast, seem to have a rather condescending view on “community.” They lock up comments, they complain about readers, and they focus on just delivering the news, not engaging with their community or enabling their community to do anything useful.

Thankfully, that’s not true of all news organizations (or individuals within news organizations). More and more are recognizing this important point, even if they do so in unexpected ways. krharrison points us to a great block post from Stephen Clark, a newscaster for a local Detroit TV station, about his realization of how Twitter is changing the way he relates to the community of folks who watch the news:

As I’ve reported in this blog before I have had a very long one-sided relationship with the people who watch my newscasts. I talk, they listen. If they had something to say to me they yelled it at the TV screen like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Twitter changed all that. I can now hear you and I can now answer you…

I can’t speak for the dozens of people who check in regularly every night… sometimes at 6 or 7:00.. but mostly 11:00. I don’t know exactly what they get out of it except a kind of cool experience of actually conversing in real time with the guy on TV. But I can tell you what I get out of it. For the first time in years I actually feel like I’m talking to someone rather than at them. Frankly it’s energizing!

Of course, the next step is to go beyond just talking “to” them and to talking “with” them. But that will come. In fact, getting to that point, Clark explains an amusing way that the community tried to connect with him, picking up on the recent Old Spice commercial meme of “Silverfish Hand Catch!”, where some of his viewers started saying that if 100 people retweeted the request, Clark would close the broadcast by saying the line on TV. He didn’t get the 100 retweets, and admits that he wouldn’t have said it anyways (noting he probably would have lost his job), but he did do an “air” silverfish hand catch surreptitiously, to let folks know he was paying attention.

But, much more interesting was the realization he had while all of this was happening:

It was all a bit silly sure, but I realized something else was going on. The audience of our 11:00 newscast wasn’t just talking to me… they were talking to each other! I felt like Alexander Graham Bell when he made his first call to Watson. The backchannel worked!

I know that many folks around here still like to mock and dismiss communications tools like Twitter, but many people are realizing what powerful tools they are for conversations and for building communities where none really existed before. And, in businesses where community and relationships are everything, that’s quite powerful for those who figure it out.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Detroit News Anchor Realizes How Twitter Has Changed How He Engages With Viewers

What About Creating A Digital Transmission Right

Bennett Lincoff has been proposing a different kind of solution to the music industry’s online woes for quite some time. Last year, he did a great job picking apart some of the major problems with Jim Griffin’s Choruss plan (which, again, we’ve been told was supposed to launch in January, but we’re still unfamiliar with any universities — let alone the tens of thousands of students — who have signed up for it). However, we haven’t really looked at Lincoff’s own proposal.

Reader SteelWolf sent in a copy of Lincoff’s proposal that was sent to the Canadian government during its open copyright consultation last year. On the whole — of the various proposals out there, Lincoff’s might be classified as one of the “least bad” solutions, but that’s a lot different than it being a good proposal.

The basic idea of the proposal is that a new right would need to be created under copyright law, the digital transmission right, that would replace the mishmash of copyright rights that currently cover online music (generally reproduction, distribution and performance rights). Basically, this transmission right would cover any and all music transmissions online and any license fee would be paid by the transmitter, not the transmittee. Thus, anyone could download or stream any music they want on their computer with no penalties at all and no need to secure a license. However, you would not then be able to share (transmit) that same music to someone else without a license. But this wouldn’t matter so much (the theory goes), because a large service provider could pay for the transmission rights, absolving the individuals. In other words, with such a system, in theory, The Pirate Bay or a Napster could pay the transmission rights, and users would be free to both download and upload via those services. The theory is, of course, that it would be worthwhile for those sites to pay because they would get many other benefits from all the users flocking to them for sharing:

This “digital transmission right” would be a new right, not an additional right. It would replace the parties’ now-existing reproduction, public performance and distribution rights (and, where applicable, the making available right and the right of communication to the public). These would no longer have separate or independent existence for purposes of digital transmissions of sound recordings or the musical works embodied in them.

The only act that would require a license, or payment of a license fee, would be the digital transmission of recorded music. Every transmission that is not subject to exemption would require authorization. This does not mean that separate payment would be due for each transmission of each recording; only that, regardless how license fees may be calculated, all non-exempt transmissions would require authorization.

Licenses would be made available unconstrained by the concerns that have driven the industry’s failed campaign to salvage its sales-based revenue model. The determinative consideration would be whether or not recordings had been digitally transmitted, not whether transmissions result in sales, promote sales, or cause sales of recordings to be lost.

Licenses would be issued without regard to whether recordings are streamed, downloaded, or transmitted by some means not yet devised; whether music programming is interactive or non-interactive, or contains this, that or another recording; whether the service accepts user-generated content, operates as a P2P or social network, or otherwise retransmits or further transmits recordings that originate from other sites or services. The number of copies necessary to effect transmissions and the type of transmission technology used would not affect the availability of a license.

There are a lot of other details, and Lincoff has clearly put a lot of thought into the proposal and tried to cover many of the bases that people would likely critique. Compared to our current system, it certainly sounds like it makes more sense. He definitely does an excellent job describing that the only real problem is one of the industry’s own making in still thinking entirely in the context of the old way that music was “sold.” But the proposal still has a variety of problems. First, it’s incredibly complex and not easy to understand. This is, of course, also true with existing copyright law. But replacing one super complex system with another one isn’t necessarily a great thing either — especially if that level of complexity isn’t needed.

Second — and this is my really big problem with it — is that it still involves a huge and totally unnecessary bureaucratic nightmare in the middle that represents tremendous economic and societal waste in terms of managing the licenses, monitoring the usage and the transmissions of content and collecting and distributing the money. It’s bureaucracy that isn’t needed. We’re already seeing over and over and over again that if you take out the unnecessary bureaucracy, artists can create business models that are much more direct, whether directly between the artist and the fan who wants to buy something or between an organization representing the artist. This is a much more efficient system, whereby there are plenty of opportunities to pay artists for various scarcities, rather than making up a totally unnecessary license for an abundant good which the market has already decided should be priced at zero.

As soon as you set up this bureaucratic structure, what really happens is that much of the money that could have gone directly to the artists (or to the artists’ business partners) goes instead into the massive overhead required to keep the “collection society” working in the middle. This isn’t a solution that helps musicians. It’s a solution that helps bureaucratic middlemen.

As SteelWolf notes in his submission:

Personally I find these kinds of plans to be dangerous as they promote the idea that there is some kind of a “solution” that allows content creators to retain control over digital files as they propagate across the internet. These are not solutions, they are handwaving to obscure the fact that the economy has changed so that absolute control over content is neither possible nor necessary. The voluntary aspect of licensing promotes the idea that negotiating uses and fees with rights-holders is somehow the “morally correct” way to proceed, never once considering the idea that our culture may have moved beyond that construct.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on What About Creating A Digital Transmission Right

Marvel Issuing Takedowns Over Thor Trailer; Hey Marvel: Trailers Are Advertising

There’s been plenty of buzz over the the upcoming movie Thor, and at the recent Comic-Con in San Diego, Marvel apparently showed off a trailer of the movie that got people excited. Of course, with so many people in the room, some filmed it, and it didn’t take long for the clip to go online. Other movies have done this as well. I remember last year that Jon Favreau showed the first clips from Iron Man 2 at Comic-Con and then happily tweeted links to videos that people had put up. Apparently, however, Marvel isn’t too happy about this. Benny6Toes points out that the trailer has been taken down and looking around the web, it appears to have been taken down from a bunch of sites, though others claim you can find it if you really want.

Either way, I’m trying to figure out how this makes any sense at all. It’s a trailer. The whole idea of it is to act as advertising for the movie and get people more interested in seeing the movie. And having people put it online for you makes it free advertising, which is even better. So why take it down at all?

In the meantime, since apparently it’s forbidden to show the real trailer, we might as well include the absolutely hilarious fake trailer of a different mythologically-based movie, which is what the movie God of War, based on the video game of the same name, would look like if made by Wes Anderson:

Now, there’s a movie I’d see.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Marvel Issuing Takedowns Over Thor Trailer; Hey Marvel: Trailers Are Advertising

Tighter security coming in Firefox 4

At Black Hat, a trio of security representatives from Mozilla detailed how the company plans to push the browser to be more secure for users while nudging developers toward safer coding practices.

Originally posted at The Download Blog

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Tighter security coming in Firefox 4

Court Lets Venues Deduct Fees From BMI License For Directly Licensed Music

While ASCAP is busy attacking Creative Commons and refusing to debate, it appears that the performance rights organization may have a bigger problem on its hands. Reader Beefcake alerts us to an important ruling against BMI, the other big US performance rights group (there’s also the somewhat smaller SESAC). The case itself involves a commercial music company, DMX (who provides music to various venues such as stores, restaurants and bars), that had been licensing some music directly from publishers and writers. But, as plenty of venues have learned, the big Performing Rights Organizations tend not to care whether or not you’ve directly licensed works (or just used public domain or non-covered works). They still demand a blanket license. This ruling, however, says that if you “directly license” works, you can get an adjustable fee blanket license, which would let venues decrease the amount they pay BMI (and, one would assume, ASCAP and SESAC), by deducting a portion for the directly licensed music:

Now, it’s important to point out that this seems to cover specifically deductions for when DMX directly licenses BMI music. The way DMX’s fees are set up, it appears to pool all the royalties it needs to pay into a certain bucket, and then splits it up by percentage of music played. So, theoretically, playing lots of freely licensed music could also decrease the rate paid to BMI.

The key here, however, is that this not only gives venues more incentive to directly license music in some cases (many won’t, of course, because it’s too big of a hassle), it also may force more transparency on BMI and the others. One major complaint we constantly hear about ASCAP and BMI is the lack of transparency in how they act in terms of counting performances and determining payouts. But, as the analysis of this ruling notes, DMX appears to be the opposite:

DMX’s accounting to publishers and writers for direct licensed works features quarterly accounting 45 days after the end of each quarter, as opposed to the typical performing rights organization schedule of 9 or more months after a performance. DMX also provides direct counts of the number of plays of each work.

So, for artists upset about the way BMI or ASCAP treats them, it can now make more sense to just deal directly with DMX, which will pay them faster, give them more accurate and up-to-data data, and potentially pay out higher rates. It creates a bit of a competitive element that BMI and ASCAP could really use.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Court Lets Venues Deduct Fees From BMI License For Directly Licensed Music

Russian Court Orders YouTube Blocked

Over the years, we’ve seen various countries order YouTube totally blocked for one reason or another. Turkey and Pakistan, for example, have both banned YouTube at various times. And now we can apparently add Russia to the list. Vic points us to news of a ruling in a Russian court ordering an ISP to block access to YouTube (Google translation of the original), along with four online libraries. Why the total block? Apparently, YouTube was hosting a video called “Russia for Russians,” which is problematic for whatever reason. What isn’t explained is why one problematic video should lead to all of YouTube being blocked, but… those kinds of things are never clearly explained by courts making these kinds of rulings.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Russian Court Orders YouTube Blocked

US 27th In Broadband Speeds? Slower Than Kyrgyzstan

A few folks have sent over the stats pages that Ookla released concerning the internet speeds that users in various countries have been able to get on their broadband connections. For those of us in the US, we’re ranked 27th in download speeds, and in upload speeds as well (as of this posting). The data is constantly changing, so I’ve seen the US bounce around a bit, but generally we’re in that 25 to 30 range. That puts us behind the tech superpowers of Kyrgyzstan. Nothing against Kyrgyzstan, of course (I hear it’s lovely), but you don’t often think of it as being at the top of the list of tech powerhouses. In case you were wondering, South Korea tops both lists, and the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania do quite well as well.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on US 27th In Broadband Speeds? Slower Than Kyrgyzstan