E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

DRM Explained

Via the blog of old Well pal Bruce Umbaugh I learned of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's new publication "The Customer Is Always Wrong: A User's Guide to DRM in Online Music." It does a great job of picking apart the breezy claims of several leading music services. People want to be freed from the hassle of DRM, and these services know it -- that's why they make the overblown statements that the EFF has so nicely debunked.

The guide does suffer slightly from a classic defect of oppositional politics: the reader is left with a much better understanding of what's wrong than of what's right. The box listing four recommended music services is a start; I also would have listed Magnatune (which shares 50% of proceeds with artists and offers multiple formats including patent-free FLAC and Ogg Vorbis), Epitonic (which doesn't sell music directly, but offers many unencumbered sample tracks) and the free Live Music Archive at archive.org (which also contains an assortment of spoken word titles).

Monday, September 5th, 2005
1 comment

0 comments pending approval
Comment from Paul , 2 weeks later

They've since added two out of my three suggestions. Sweet!

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