Entries from March 2006 ↓

Multimedia copyright

On my drive to the university this morning I started thinking about some really poor quality RealAudio songs I downloaded from the internet when I was on a 28.8k modem and mp3 files were only just become available (i.e. Napster). They were crap, but they began my more alternative music development because the songs were of groups you’d never hear on the radio or on TV.

This got me thinking about lossy compression and copyright. At progressively worse encoding, what point does a song no longer become subject to copyright. Is it based on whether a human can detect the similarity – and is it a human that knows the original by heart, or an impartial observer? Someone who knows the song will be able to pick up underlying patterns of the song, but to an impartial observer who has listened to each version of the song (with a sufficient temporal gap between each listening) they probably wouldn’t.

And if copyright isn’t based on human observers, then eventually songs will overlap with the same information as they are forcibly compressed into smaller sizes.

The millions of possibilities for future paths

I just came back from a meeting with my PhD supervisor, where we went over some work we’ve done and also checked I was keeping on track.

In the process we began talking about what I’d do after I’d finished, one of the options was to stay on and begin a post-doctorate. However I’ve already mentioned that I think I need to travel overseas for a bit, to which they told me about Australian post-doc opportunities and previous to that they talked about a project where NASA monitors pest distributions using high resolution imaging.

This is all well and good, but I’m not sure all this ecological modelling is for me, and after 3 years of a PhD I feel like a change would be good!

The myriad of non-ecology plans I had include:

  • Start a company using adaptive system to design exercise programmes.
  • Alternatively start a company developing bioinformatics software.
  • Alternatively start a company predicting share markets.
  • Skip the company idea and join up with the Novamente AI team or the A2I2 team.
  • Screw the driven, serious persona in me and do something creative like write music or a book.
  • On similar lines, I could apply for a position at Bethesda to get a chance at working on Fallout3. Kickass.