Lost Liberty Hotel

Irony is a dish best served… well, funny.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the process of eminent domain to seize private property for private development. Well, Logan Darrow Clements is trying to do just that. The truly ironic part is, he’s trying to get Justice David H. Souter’s land. The same Justice Souter that voted with the majority to allow this.

The best part, the hotel’s proposed name is The Lost Liberty Hotel, featuring the “Just Desserts Cafe” and a mueseum showcasing the loss of personal liberties in the U.S..

You can find a copy of the letter sent to the Code Enforcement Officer of Weare, New Hampshire, here.

MTU and Ruckus Networks

So, as some of you may have read on Tim’s blog, MTU has partnered with Ruckus Network to provide a legal method of downloading music, movies and other copyrighted content for students.

This service was originally proposed for this past school year, however, due to budget issues, was dropped. This year, it is available as a pay-for-use service to all students, on or off campus, undergrad and graduate. The pricing is reasonable, and is tentatively set at $30 per semester for both music and movies, $20 for just movies or $15 for just music. So, for less than the Resnet reconnection fee ($40) after getting it turned off after a copyright infringement notice, you can get it all legally, and DRMed.

What can I tell you about Ruckus though? Their CEO, Bill Raduchel is a MTU alumnus. (From whom he received an honorary doctorate in 2002.) Ruckus Network was founded by a couple of MIT geeks (who seem to be pretty cool in my opinion), one of whom I met about a year to a year and a half ago at an informational meeting. They seem to be a pretty on the level company trying to find a way to fill a market segment that is more used to lawsuits than legitimacy.

Everything isn’t rosy adn there are some restrictions though:

  • Windows only. Sorry to all you Linux, Apple, BSD, Solaris, BeOS, Amiga, Nextstep, or DOS users. Well… who really cares about the DOS users?
  • Windows 2000 or XP users only, requires Windows Media Player 10. Why? DRM.
  • Movies have to be downloaded on campus, then you can take them elsewhere. Why you might ask, well, I have one word: bandwidth.
  • Movies are only good for 3 days after you download them. You can redownload them again if you want.
  • Music is good for 30 days, and your DRM renews everytime you connect to the server.
  • Your music can’t go on iPods. Janus players only, though they can be purchased through Ruckus.
  • Guess who becomes the tier 1 support for Ruckus? The Resnet consultants. I’m afraid I can’t say more than this for obvious reasons (to anyone who knows me).
  • Here’s Ruckus’ press release on partnering with MTU.

    If you have any questions, feel free to post them, and I’ll do my best to answer them, or get answers. There are some things you could probably ask that I can’t answer because of my job, but I’ll let you know about that when you ask.

    EDIT: As a side note, I attempted to install Windows Media Player 10 in Crossover Office tonight, however my craptastic ATI drivers and Crossover react so violently that I lose all video output, including tty1-6.

    ATI Drivers Part Deux

    The alternate title for this entry is: ATI Drivers for Linux Suck More Than a Crack Addicted Harlot.

    Well, I’ve recovered from my initial excitement and joy that came with actually managing to get my 3D drivers installed. Now I’ve come to realize how bad the ATI drivers for X.org actually are. This past weekend, one of my housemates, another friend and I went on an Unreal Tournament 2004 gaming spree. Now, I’ve played this game quite a bit in the past, and I remember it running quite well on both Windows XP and Xfree-86.

    Now though, I’ve been playing things all on the lowest settings (where before everything had been cranked up as high as it could go) and… well, pictures are worth a thousand words they say:

    Guess when I was playing?

    UT2k4 CPU Usage
    UT2k4 Load Average

    That’s right, it pegs out my CPU and takes my load average up to 2 (through an oddity of how it graphs it isn’t 6).

    ATI, thanks for sucking.

    A Saga: Ubuntu Linux and ATI video cards

    Ever since I migrated my Warty install to Hoary (back in September 2004), and it’s X.org x-server, I’ve had to make due without 3d video.

    Why you might ask? Because frankly, ATI’s drivers for my Radeon 9700Pro suck in linux. And I mean in a huge way. Not only are they 100 times as hard to install as those for Nvidia, but the support for X.org hasn’t been all that impressive. Sure, Ubuntu has had a binary package of the driver, which I could install out of apt (and which has been installed ever since I moved to Hoary), but I’ve never gotten it to work.

    So today, I happen to make my bi-monthly trip to ATI’s Linux driver page, and notice that they finally have a graphical installer! I get excited, not foreseeing the horror that would await me when I returned home and tried to use it.

    It starts out pretty easily, I ran the installer as root, did the config, and restarted X. Easy right? Oh no! For some reason, ATI’s installer always tells you the installation was successful, even when it never builds the kernel module. Running it again, and looking at the log in /usr/share/fglrx/ told me it was having errors. I shrugged, I’m running a kernel not supported by Hoary (I grabbed it out of Breezy a while back when I was having some issues). So, I grabbed a new kernel, with the kernel-headers, the restricted modules, and some other goodness and reboot.

    I succeed in actually getting it to make the module and install it this time… only to find that it STILL DIDN’T WORK. Getting a bit frustrated at this, as I’m used to the attempt/failure cycle that installing ATI drivers generally involves, I nuke it, and reinstall the driver from apt. I kill X, hoping that maybe, just maybe it would work, the moons would line up, a rainbow would shoot out of my butt, and somewhere, a virgin would be sacrificed to Linus Torvalds.

    I must have been too excited to by actually having 3d video, I failed to notice the rainbow. Oh well, I’ve a working 3d video setup at the moment, and I’ll be very careful what I go mucking about with on this box.

    La Cenerentola

    I saw my first opera last night at the Calumet Theatre. It was La Cenerentola, which is a version of Cinderella. It was in Italian with surtitles above the stage. Sadly, the surtitles were not complete, but it was enough to give an overall impression of what was being said.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will be purchasing tickets for the other opera that will be in the area in July (the ticket to this one was a comp ticket given to me by Peter). Cinderella had a superb voice, and I was just able to feel her emotions. The prince on the other hand didn’t come across as well in my mind. In talking to my friend Kevin, who came along, I found I wasn’t alone in the assessment.

    All in all though, it was a wonderful use of an evening, and I hope to be able to go to more in the future.