You know, when I was sitting down with entertainment execs on a regular basis to debate applied, practical technology choices in DRM standards bodies, their constant refrain was, "We love technology! We use it all the time!" The implication being that if they instigated a law prohibiting a technology it would not represent ignorance or fear, but well-informed solemn judgement. I'd often cite Jack Valenti's infamous words to Congress: "The VCR is to the American film industry as the Boston Strangler is to a woman home alone," and they'd scoff. "Why do you always bring that up? It's ancient history!" And I'd say, "Oh, do you repudiate Jack Valenti, then? Because the last time I checked, you guys renamed your headquarters (I shit you not) the Jack Valenti Building." And they'd say, "Ha, ha, very funny. But seriously, is one wrong-headed statement from Jack all you've got?" And then I'd go into the long list of all the crap they'd fought as an industry, from the remote control to cable TV, from diversified cinema ownership to yeah, the VCR, and they'd mumble something about how EFF stood for "Everything For Free," and I just didn't understand the arts. Which always made me laugh because generally speaking I was the only working creative artist in the discussion, and I'd often be going to meetings in between working on novels. Clearly, to understand the arts you need to be an entertainment industry lawyer working for a giant multinational conglomerate, not a working artist.
Anyway, if I was still in those stuffy, hateful rooms where they plotted to ban technologies, I'd print out a stack of this Matador Network infographics, which are a handy guide to the pig-ignorant campaigns that Hollywood has waged against new technologies since the industry's founders ripped off Thomas Edison's patents and fled to California.
Infographic: Why the movie industry is so wrong about SOPA
Troy Hunt, proprietor of the essential Have I Been Pwned (previously) sets out the hard lessons learned through years of cataloging the human costs of breaches from companies that overcollected their customers’ data; undersecured it; and then failed to warn their customers that they were at risk.
The World Wide Web Consortium has announced that its members have until April 19 to weigh in on whether the organization should publish Encrypted Media Extensions, its DRM standard for web video, despite the fact that this would give corporations the new right to sue people who engaged in legal activity, from security researchers who […]
States across America are considering “Right to Repair” legislation that would guarantee your right to choose who fixes your stuff (or to fix it yourself); but they’re fighting stiff headwinds, from the motorcycle makers who claim that fixing your motorcycle should be a crime to Apple, who feel the same way, but about phones.
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]