Here's a talk I gave earlier this year at the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in NYC, about the way that DRM gives distributors control over publishers and writers. This talk went down very well, and is the source of "Doctorow's Law," which a lot of people have asked me about: "Any time someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, it's not being done to your benefit."
There's some errata here, though: the Overdrive debacle was due to a licensing dispute, not a bankruptcy; and there's now a "DRM-free" option for the Kindle, but I can't find out if the file comes with legal encumbrances that would prevent people who buy one of these from moving it to a competing device (no one at Amazon will answer my queries about this). And I've also been told by Amazon that supposedly Audible will do DRM-free audiobooks, but they haven't answered repeated queries about the details of this.
TOC 09 "Digital Distribution and the Whip Hand: Don't Get iTunesed with your eBooks"
Most tech-media takes on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary are bland and self-congratulatory, but I like Tom Warren’s at The Verge. He laments how Apple’s pocket computer killed his inner nerd. As a youngster, he’d be constantly tearing down and building computers, even in the sweltering heat of summer. But now… …All of that tinkering and […]
Snazzy Labs built a startlingly powerful Mac with only $70—editing the video above on it to prove it!
I suffer from mild RSI: a warning to stop, but one that goes away when I do stop. The trigger is using a mouse for extended periods. The alternatives for general everyday computer use aren’t great for my work habits, which center on precise pointing and clicking, so I’m in the bad habit of mousing […]
Aside from specific apps needed for work, the most casual Mac users can probably survive without anything more than the bundled software. iLife is a surprisingly capable office suite (Apple even promotes Keynote as a tool for interface design), and recent versions of Safari are more energy efficient than any other macOS-compatible browser. But if […]
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]