Good one, Tom Watson : )

On his blog,  UK member of Parliament  Tom Watson  has a segment  entitled, simply, Teens

It kicks off:

“We know that you’re too busy fighting off your biological urges and being l33t hax0rs to Get Involved, but politics is cool, m’kay? Nobody ever seems to do anything for The Kids! All the decisions are made by suits, man. That’s so lame!!! We know you think of yourselves as responsible citizens, but what you wanna do is turn that thought into an action, dudes.”

In defense of the  lamescream media  folk   completely taken in by Tom’s spoof, that’s exactly the kind of fulsome, patronising bullshit  you’d expect a politician to come out with.

But, “As any fule kno, Tom’s ‘Teens!’ page is a spoof, created to raise awareness of his site among journalists and influential webloggers,” said the Grauniad.

“The ploy worked like a charm as numerous newspapers, including the Guardian, ran extracts from the page when it was launched, along with a link to Tom’s weblog and details of his attempts to connect with voters via the web, says, well, the Guardian.

“Meanwhile most bloggers realised that the site was clearly a spoof but linked to it anyway. The fact that is the top result on Google for the search term ‘Labour MP’ is proof that there’s no such thing as bad bloglicity.

Blatantly obvious

Not so long ago I published freedom of speech advocacy site p2pnet and every  once in a while I’d  run what I believed were were blatantly obvious parodies or satires that were,  to my amazement, taken as serious news items.

One of my ongoing themes highlighted the DRM scam under which certain companies tried to sell technology/software products they promised would prevent people from copying.

But as any fule kno, anything which can be seen  and/or  heard can be copied  by one digital or analogue means or another.

My spoof went like this:

[ …two] firms have developed unique anti-file sharing DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies they say represent cast-iron guarantees of copyright protection.
The technologies, Apple’s Fair Play earbuds and Microsoft’s PowerHit, are slated for beta release in time for the Christmas rush, say sources.

“The technologies were presented to a special session of Thursday’s US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property oversight hearing, Content Protection in the Digital Age: The Broadcast Flag, High-Definition Radio, and the Analog Hole.

“Present were the MPAA’s (Motion Picture Association of America) Dan ‘Jedi’ Glickman, the RIAA’s (Recording Industry Association of America) Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol, subcommittee chairman James ‘ Thailand ‘ Sensenbrenner, and Hollywood Howard Berman.

“The special session was heard in camera.

“The new DRM systems will be free to help people comply with Apple, Microsoft and forthcoming Hollywood Broadcast Flag standards, say p2pnet sources.
From December 1, all iTunes downloads will carry a new kind of Fair Play DRM, a direct negative feedback ‘watermark’ recognized by Fair Play earbuds and, ultimately, by other audio devices from manufacturers who sign up for the code, which was created under a joint SunnComm and Macrovision venture.

“When an iPod (or other) user wearing the new audio devices plays an iTunes track not sanctioned by Organized Music (EMI Group, Vivendi Uiversal, Warner Music), Fair Play feedback ‘instructs’ the buds to emit a piercing, high-pitched scream in stereo at 250 decibels.

“Microsoft’s PowerHit system is a DRM application keyed to the company’s Power Management technology. Starting at midnight on December 1, all users of Windows 2000 and higher will receive automatic system updates which will instruct desktops, laptops and PDAs running appropriate MS OS software to release a 125-volt anti-p2p DRM ‘charge’ into computer chassis every users attempt to play unauthorised iTunes tracks.
‘We’re thrilled by this new plan to protect our investors from the depredations of p2p file sharers,” says Apple boss Steve Jobs in a press release draft seen by p2pnet.

‘We hope this collaboration will spell the beginning of new relationships between ourselves and Apple, which ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh,” says Microsoft’s Bill Gates.’

I hadn’t for a moment thought it would be taken seriously, but it was.

One of the most successful perpetrators of the DRM scam and the target of one of my spoofs, was a company known as SunnComm International, maker of MediaMax, “America’s best selling and most accepted content protection and enhancement technology,”  in a response spoofers only dream of, it’ boasted in a widely published press release rebutting my spoof.