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"
Eccentric eyewear maker Scott Urban first kickstarted his "Reflectacles" frames in 2016; the frames used emedded retroreflectors to make them throw back tons of light, making them highly visible (and great for things like night cycling); subsequent iterations beefed up the IR reflectivity, which blinded many CCTV surveillance cameras (they use IR to paint low-light […]
The fourth incarnation of the wonderful Raspberry Pi is upon us. A faster quard-core CPU, up to 4GB of RAM, gigabit ethernet and dual HDMI outputs are the upgrades; there’s USB-C too, but just for power. The CPU boost is a big deal, say early users, but dual-4k displays and 4x the RAM bring it […]
The Elago Mac Mini Silicone Case [Amazon] is a remarkable entry in the annals of “advertising vs. reality”. Above, the product shot. Below, the Elago IRL.
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have […]
You want wireless earbuds to make an impact on your mood and workout, not the environment. If that’s the case, we’ve got a new contender for AirPod market share: Brio Phantom X7 True Wireless Earbuds. The features on these tiny, comfortable buds are impressive even without the environmental angle. Their Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is good […]
We don’t ask for much out of our charging cables: Juice up our phone, do it fast and don’t break. It’s supposed to be simple, but keeping your phone plugged in for the night – as most of us do – can actually degrade the life of your battery by overheating it. That’s why one […]