MIT's The Tech interviews the MPAA's outgoing spokesmonster Jack Valenti, with hilarious results. It's not often that a slickster as teflon coated as Jack gets made to look an utter fool (though I'd welcome a round onstage with him in front of a university audience) so bravo and bravo again to The Tech's Keith J. Winstein, who ran circles around Valenti.
TT: Indeed, but are you doing that when you rent a movie from Blockbuster and you watch it at home? ... I run Linux on my computer. There’s no product I can buy that’s licensed to watch [DVDs]. If I go to Blockbuster and rent a movie and watch it, am I a bad person? Is that bad?
JV: No, you’re not a bad person. But you don’t have any right.
TT: But I rented the movie. Why should it be illegal?
JV: Well then, you have to get a machine that’s licensed to show it.
TT: Here’s one of these machines; it’s just not licensed.
[Winstein shows Valenti his six-line “qrpff” DVD descrambler.]
TT: If you type that in, it’ll let you watch movies.
JV: You designed this?
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
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The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]