Internet Ethics

I was having a conversation with Tony Sumrall about the ethics of publishing a feed of comic strips. Since the syndicates themselves have decided against sending comics by email (at least decided against doing it for free), do we have the right to grab the image URL from their pages and create a feed of those URLs? Let’s look and see.

From the terms of use: For purposes of this Agreement, the use of any UM Materials on any other web site or networked computer environment is prohibited.

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Licensing Purgatory

Obviously there is a need for certain licenses. These are easy enough to spot. They typically make sense. Not just to you or me, but to darn near everyone. Things like a driver’s license fit into this category. It’s reasonably nice to think that the person headed down the freeway with you has at least some chance of being able to adequately operate their vehicle. Of course, that’s not always the case – but generally it seems a pretty safe assumption. A similar licensing/qualification scheme for something like an airline pilot is useful. I think most will agree with this sort of thing.

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Lawyers, Guns and Money

In Florida, members of a class action suit against Microsoft stand to gain vouchers (towards the purchase of Microsoft products, no less) valued at a whopping $5-12 per product. Gee, that was worth it. $12? If you can sign up online or elsewhere that doesn’t require much effort and not do anything else, then a $12 check would be nice. But if you have to take more than 5 minutes, it’s a waste. Especially since you have to go out and buy more Microsoft products – products which typically cost a great deal more than $5-12.

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Name Recognition

Arnold Schwarzenegger will run for governor of California.

Jerry Springer thought of a return to politics (he was already the mayor of Cincinnati in the 1970s). He has currently decided against it.

Ronald Reagan was not only the governor of California, he was the 40th president of the United States. Sonny Bono became a US Congressman. Fred Grandy (that’s Gopher from the Love Boat, folks) was a Representative for the State of Iowa. Heck, even Ben Jones (that’s Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard) served two terms in Congress for the state of Georgia. Crazy Cooter – a Congressman!

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Now Some PHP

My buttons were in a Movable Type template module, which was great because it meant that I didn’t need to change every page when the buttons changed.

I did this by creating a new template module (scroll all the way to the bottom of your MT “templates” page) called, appropriately enough, buttons. Then I just added a bit of code to each of the other templates where I wanted to see the buttons in question.

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