345: 1337: Part 5
|1337: Part 5|
Title text: This digital music thing will probably reach its endgame sometime in the next decade or so. These are very exciting times.
Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the weblog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization. He does not really travel around in a balloon or (usually) wear a red cape, but Randall introduced this idea in 239: Blagofaire and has continued it in later comics featuring Cory Doctorow.
Blogosphere is a name used to refer to all blogs on the Internet, many of which frequently link to and refer to other blogs. Here, the Stallman character talks about it as though it were a physical, sphere-shaped structure being actually built in the air.
Blogs often label posts with keywords, known as tags. A Tag cloud is a way of displaying the tags on a site where the more common tags appear in larger type than less-common ones. It has no relationship to actual water vapor clouds in the sky, but in the comic, the Doctorow character suggests that tag clouds are actually in the air, below the new blogosphere.
The Dread Pirate Roberts is a fictional character from the book and movie The Princess Bride. Roberts is the most feared pirate on the seas. But, "Dread Pirate Roberts" is merely a title that has been passed down as previous "Roberts" have gained enough money (from piracy) to retire comfortably. Westley, one of the main characters from The Princess Bride, becomes the Dread Pirate after being taken prisoner by the preceding Pirate Roberts.
At the end of the movie, Inigo Montoya has won the vengeance he has sought all his life, and expresses to Westley that he doesn't know what to do next. Westley suggests Montoya succeed him as Roberts, saying, "Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts." Cory Doctorow's line in the comic therefore mimics that line from the movie.
Bram Cohen is the founder of BitTorrent, a distributed method of downloading files. People can and do use BitTorrent both for lawful file downloads and also for sharing media files unlawfully. Its distributed nature, where someone does not download a file from just one other computer but rather in many pieces from many other computers with the same file, makes it more difficult for record and movie industry groups to police, and therefore a person with Elaine's motivations might be interested in helping design such a system.
All comics in "1337" series:
- 341: 1337: Part 1
- 342: 1337: Part 2
- 343: 1337: Part 3
- 344: 1337: Part 4
- 345: 1337: Part 5 (this one)
This series was released on 5 consecutive days (Monday-Friday) and not over the usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule.
- [Two RIAA agents attack Elaine and Stallman. Elaine breaks RIAA #1, while Stallman disarms RIAA #2 in a flying manouvre.]
- Elaine: Thanks, Stallman!
- Stallman: 'Tis my pleasure.
- Elaine: So, wait - how did you know we were in trouble?
- Stallman: My friend here was tracking these thugs from his balloon. He called me and I thought I'd stop by
- [Doctorow slides down a rope in red cape & goggles.]
- Doctorow: -Hi! Cory Doctorow - It's a pleasure to meet you.
- Elaine: Balloon?
- Stallman: Aye. They're up there constructing something called a "Blogosphere."
- Doctorow: Yup! It's twenty kilometers up, just above the tag clouds.
- Bobby: Mom, I'm hungry.
- Mrs. Roberts: Hush! I'm coding. You ate yesterday.
- Stallman: You know, Roberts, GNU could use a good coder like you. Ever thought of joining us?
- Elaine: Maybe someday. Right now I've got an industry to take down. Music doesn't need these assholes.
- Doctorow: Begone! And never darken our comment threads again!
- Stallman: Well, you won't fix the industry with random exploits. You need to encourage sharing in the public mind.
- Doctorow: Hey; With your music and coding backgrounds, you should get into building better p2p systems.
- Elaine: What? Straight-up piracy?
- Doctorow: Sure- have you ever considered it? You'd make a wonderful dread pirate, Roberts
- Elaine shared her ideas with Bram Cohen, who went on to develop BitTorrent.
- Mrs. Roberts spends her time developing for Ubuntu, and defacing the websites of people who make "your mom" jokes to her daughter. Elaine still stalks the net. She joins communities, contributes code or comments, and moves on. And if, late at night, you point a streaming audio player at the right IP at the right time - you can hear her rock out.
- ~Happy Hacking.~