Boskone trip report: Doctorow rips IP a new a-hole, Cramer is the Eye in the Sky
It's always a pleasure to hear Cory Doctorow testify, and he was in great form this weekend for his special guest speech. He excels at expressing intellectual property issues with an sf-writer's eye for the telling moment. Discussing the corporate desire to plug the problem of analog to digital conversion (or, as he puts it, the 'a hole') he imagines a future camcorder that respects IP: a parent is videoing their child's first steps. Child walks in front of the TV, and the image goes black. Yes, the proposals are that dire, and without folks like the EFF out there fighting, this is the future we may well end up with.
Also wonderful was a panel on blogging with Cory, Kathryn Cramer, and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Teresa warned that as the military-industrial complex increasingly takes blogging seriously, we can expect to see more "astroturf," or faux-grassroots sentiment being seeded into the blogosphere. And Kathryn provided a case in point of why blogging is worrisome to powers that be: she's increasingly using tools like Google Earth and Flickr to monitor hotspots, and finding that people gravitate to the site and feed her info not seen in the mainstream media. (She also just made the cover of Nature in a piece on mapping for the masses.)
The art show and program featured work by World Fantasy Award winner Tom Kidd. I hadn't seen Tom in years, and it's awesome to re-connect with someone you knew a long time ago. Tom and I were part of the same sf gang at Syracuse University back...well...a while ago. He's got a new retrospective book out, Kiddography, which is just stunning. (Jack, our 6-year-old, was most impressed by the early sketches for Treasure Planet. Ah, the reach of the Mouse...)