Web links related to the Back of the Book program of 9/6/99

It's Thursday, 9/9/99 06:03:07, and I think this page is done. It certainly is a mixed bag.

This was the 13th anniversary program of Back of the Book!

Unfortunately, this week we've gotten the news that the NLRB is helping WBAI Management to bust our Union.

There were a couple of letters in the New York Times which relate to Pacifica that I'd wanted to link to. Unfortunately, the Times appears to not be archiving those in a place where I can find them. Meanwhile, here are a pair of articles from the Daily Planet and the San Francisco Chronicle wherein Pacifica Management admits to having spent $500,000 on the KPFA debacle. What a terrible thing to do with listener-sponsor dollars.

The Pacifica Theft page is always kept up to date.

As usual it's something of a crap shoot as to whether or not the Web cast of tonight's program is going to work. But here are your choices:

Paul Williams of UFO Desk is arranging for this feed.

“Emmanuel Goldstein” of Off The Hook is maintaining this feed.

I guess that the first news item of the night needs to be that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision has come down and they've bought Management's argument. The NLRB has ordered the Unpaid Staff, which is most of the people you hear on the air at WBAI, out of the Collective Bargaining Unit and the Union.

You can read the entire story, so far, on this Web site by starting at the unofficial WBAI Union page.

The short story I read on the air annually is “Before the Law” by Franz Kafka.

On the air I reminisced a little bit about the past 13 years of Back of the Book. I've covered a lot of different things on the program, from science to superstition, from unemployment to overwork and from right-wing to left-wing crazy politics. Only about 10% of the programs have Web pages, but you might want to check out some of my back pages.

I'm continuing to talk about evolution, which I started doing on the last program, and the right wing idiots who are trying to ban its teaching in American schools.

One of the many theories about human evolution is called the “Out of Africa theory”. It basically says that humans evolved in Africa. Some of the basis of this theory is now looking less certain than it had only a couple of years ago.

A Grandmaster named Alexander Khalifman is the new “World Chess Champion,” but not that many people think his title is valid. You can keep up with chess at The Week in Chess, a Web 'zine that's been on line for over 250 weekly issues.

I figured ahead of time that I was never going to get to this piece of E-mail on the program. But it's about a topic I plan on visiting on the air in the near future, so I'm putting it in here and I'll probably have it on another program's Web page in the future, as well. I don't know when “National Burn Your GIFs Day” is.

Subject: Burn All GIF's Day is Coming Soon…
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 17:33:09 +0000
From: "Irene B." <micros50@computer.net>
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi . R. Paul

I added a few links below that point to some websites that describe how one greedy company is attempting to bilk the owners of both, for profit, and, not for profit, websites by attempting to demand that they purchase licenses if they wish to continue to use independently developed software (including freeware) to create, process, read GIF's , TIFF's and other types of images which employ LZW compression, (for which they hold a patent) that they plan to post and utilize on their websites. While this company, Unisys, was granted the right to demand payment for a license under US law, the move is quite ridiculous, as it will force smaller software development companies to stop providing support for GIF's TIFF's (and other LZW format) images, it will force website owners to discontinue using images that employ these format's and instead to use other alternative formats which are available (else pay a $5000+ license fee in the case of non profit websites). . I, and many others, feel that it is a very foolish, greedy, and backwards move by a corporation who's lawyers probably have little practical understanding of today's current world of software development and internet technologies and are instead driven to try and maximize profits by forcing small software (and freeware) developers as well as average everyday website developers to pay an outrageously high cost (which some cannot even afford), in order to be allowed to continue to use old, outdated technology which has been around since the old BBS days of the early-mid 80's.

The following links explain it all in more detail:

1) http://linuxtoday.com/stories/9303.html

Gives a summary plus links to sites with further info

2) http://www.barnstormer-software.com/things_that_suck/unisys.htm

Read about how one small software developer has to remove GIF, TIFF, etc. support from his freeware product because he couldn't afford to pay Unisys $50,000 up front to pay for the first 20,000 copies that would be downloaded. The write of the software estimates a user base of only about 100 users..

3) http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/Patents/Gif/Gif.html

More info

4) http://burnallgifs.org/

The official "Burn All GIF's" Website. (Apparently a site that Unisys loves to visit).

I also posted links to these sites on my boyfriend's site. He's at http://einval.vol.8m.com/main.html (Click on "User Submitted Sites")

I also Loved your discussion a couple weeks ago about how that big movie company is harassing people for deep linking to pages on their site. It's amazing how far some greedy companies will go to grab every last cent they can, and how arrogant and foolish their lawyers can be, especially when they have not an inkling as to how the internet works.


Irene B.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and fill out the form, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that the issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Union bulletin #12

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 1999, R. Paul Martin