Techdirt reports that Steve Jobs has been pitching studio execs on a scheme whereby DVD owners can pay extra for the "privilege" of ripping their DVDs -- but only for playback on iPods and iPhones. The thing is, Jobs fought the music industry back in the early iTunes day, arguing that people who buy CDs should have the right to rip them without paying anything extra.
So what's the difference? DRM -- Digital Rights Management. This is the anti-copying software that studios put on DVDs, allegedly to "stop piracy." But DRM isn't doing anything to stop piracy (people who want to pirate DVDs just break the DRM, because it's impossible to stop determined attackers from copying bits on their own computers). It seems like the primary use for DRM is to sell you back the rights you used to get for free, so that the studios can pick your pocket every time you find a new way to use the media you buy from them.
As I've said before: this isn't a business model, it's a urinary tract infection. Before DRM, all the uses you could imagine for your media flowed in a healthy gush -- rip a CD, make a backup, put it on an iPod, make a mix disc, stream it from a home server, etc. Now it comes in a painful, drip-by-drip trickle -- want to watch your DVD on an iPod? That'll be three bucks please. Want to make a backup? Sorry, nope, you have to buy another copy (as the old MPAA head Jack Valenti used to say: "You can't back up a set of wine glasses -- why should you be able to back up your movies?").
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]