Chronicling the Failures of DRM

An excellent summary of the state of DRM - although focused on the UK, it's conclusions are certainly applicable to the rest of the world. as well.

Barence takes us to PCPro for a look at the failures of DRM and a discussion of its impending death. Quoting: "Luckily, DRM is dying, at least in the download sphere. Napster's Dan Nash believes that DRM-free is 'the general way things are going.' In his opinion, record companies 'have no choice but to adapt;' those that 'stick to DRM on a pay-per-download basis will not remain competitive.' In the US, Napster has joined Amazon in selling DRM-free content in MP3 format from all the major labels. ... Going DRM-free makes sense not just for consumers, but for the industry. Deutche Telekom says three out of four technical support calls its Musicload service had to deal with were the result of DRM. And when it offered a DRM-free option to artists they saw a 40% increase in sales."

(link) [Slashdot]

07:31 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

Internet Traffic Begins to Bypass the U.S.

The Internet was designed to route around damage - and that's exactly how our snooping is perceived: as damage.

The increasing flow of data around the United States may have intelligence, and possibly military, consequences.

(link) [NYT > Home]

07:16 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Judah 'Visual Voicemail' Klausner sues Google, Verizon, Citrix...

I ran into this idiot back in the day - a true patent troll.

Suing communication providers over alleged patent infringements has worked pretty well for Judah Klausner.

(link) [The Register]

06:31 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

The Internet Gets a New Command Line With Firefox's Ubiquity

Now this is an interesting idea ...

Mozilla released a new, experimental add-on for Firefox Tuesday which adds a human-language text interface to the web browser. Now users can manipulate web services by typing one line of text, setting a whole new paradigm for how we interact with applications on the open web.

(link) [Wired: Top Stories]

06:09 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Grazing cattle display animal magnetism

I still tend to go with prevailing winds and solar position - but I've admittedly not studied the herds from orbit...

Researchers have explained why grazing cattle will tend to face the same direction when grazing - a behavior long known to herdsmen and hunters but previously attributed to either prevailing winds or the sun's position.

(link) [The Register]

20:06 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

FDIC: bank profits fell by 86 percent in 2Q

You'll see me shed no crocodile tears for these folks...

AP - U.S. banking industry profits plunged by 86 percent in the second quarter and the number of troubled banks jumped to the highest level in about five years, as slumps in the housing and credit markets continued.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

20:05 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

As of October, FBI To Allow Warrantless Investigations

I wonder which part of the Fourth Amendment these bozos don't understand?

Attorney General Michael Mukasey has agreed to allow Congressional hearings, but not to delay, the implementation of new FBI regulations that would allow them to spy on American citizens who are not suspected of any crime. As an editorial in the New York Times points out, this is a power that has a history of abuse. In times past, it was used to wiretap Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to spy on other civil rights and anti-war protesters.

(link) [Slashdot]

08:29 /Politics | 1 comment | permanent link

Hey Mom! Come see the kittens!

Skunk Kittens

via email

08:35 /Humor | 3 comments | permanent link

Organic food not more nutritional

Well, doh! I've always been suspect of the claims that organics contain more nutrients than "conventionally" raised foods. I mean, the foods are the same species, after all, should have the same nutritional value. But this is missing the entire point of organic (or naturally raised) food - it's not nutritional value, it's the non nutritive components that bother me.

Calling organic foods a "lifestyle choice" is like saying avoiding cancer causing chemicals is a "lifestyle choice". It's saying that not wanting to pump your kids full of BGH with their milk is a lifestyle choice. It's saying that being prudent and sensible about where your food comes from and what goes into making it is a mere "lifestyle choice".

Perhaps a more accurate description would be a "life choice" - there's no style to it. You can consciously choose to pay attention to the things you need to live, or consciously choose to to be ignorant. And ignorance can be costly indeed.

If you've ever found yourself in your local supermarket agonizing about whether the organic apples will be a more nutritional and greener choice than the cheaper non-organic ones, you're probably not alone.

(link) [CNN]

08:13 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Teachers give toilet CCTV top marks

Who could possibly have thought that this was a good idea?

As schools increasingly opt to install cameras in their pupils toilets, a survey this week shows the message from some teachers is "do as we say, not as we do".

(link) [The Register]

07:19 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Do Subatomic Particles Have Free Will?

The debate continues ...

Human free will might seem like the squishiest of philosophical subjects, way beyond the realm of mathematical demonstration. But two highly regarded Princeton mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Kochen, claim to have proven that if humans have even the tiniest amount of free will, then atoms themselves must also behave unpredictably.

(link) [Science News]

via Slashdot

08:55 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

It's enough to make me want to buy a print subscription ...

Over the past few years Iíve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isnít goingóso far as I can tellóbut itís changing. Iím not thinking the way I used to think.

(link) [The Atlantic]

06:10 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Could this be the mythical Chupacabra?

Despite last years assertion, whatever's shown on this tape ain't no coyote!

A sheriff's department in Texas believes it may have caught the legendary chupacabra on camera.

(link) [KGNS-TV]

07:04 /Agriculture | 1 comment | permanent link

World's tallest woman, 53, dies in Indiana

I went to high school with her for a year in Shelbyville - shared no classes and wasn't a friend by any stretch (she was a couple of years ahead of me) but she was a definite presence in the hallways! And unlike most seniors, she'd always say "Hi", even to snot-nosed sophomores who were borderline terified of her size.


Sandy Allen, who used her height to inspire schoolchildren to accept those who are different, died at a nursing home in her hometown of Shelbyville, Indiana, family friend Rita Rose said.

(link) []

06:47 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

The 'Anti-Java' Professor and the Jobless Programmers

He's right on, too. We have to teach new interns at work about the intricacies of memory allocation in C and C++ - they just don't understand why you have to reserve memory and then clean it up yourself, when the system they've been learning in school just does it all for you. My fear is that Java will be abandoned to be replaced by .Net - which is worse.

Actually, this top computer science professor isnít exactly Ďanti-Javaí Ė but he deplores its effect on CS studies. And he sees dark clouds ahead if something doesnít change.

(link) [Internet News]

06:48 /Technology | 2 comments | permanent link