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"
Peter Biddle writes, “I get I myself into trouble. I don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat.”
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Benji Edwards’s guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets […]
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]