Monday, January 29, 2007

Norway Stands Up to iTunes

I think that despite the inherent pro-Mac bias in so many geeks nowadays, most either are perturbed by FairPlay or are just hiding their reprehension. Theoretically, what they're doing is not illegal here in America. They can add whatever protection they want to the product that the record labels agree to. However, in Norway, they're almost overly friendly to their people. They've ruled parts of the iTunes End User License Agreement (EULA) to be illegal and have given Apple 9 months to fix the issues before they're fined and forced to close the iTunes store in Norway. It's funny because a number of their concerns probably sound crazy to an American lawyer, but I guess that big business influences the legal system to a much lesser extent in Norway. First of all, I actually agree with Norway in principle. It does seem unfair for Apple to not share FairPlay, despite it being a good business practice. It's the same product that a lot of other legal mp3 sites sell, just strapped with DRM they keep under lock and key. It's close to defining them as a monopoly in the online music market. But more importantly, what the Hell is Apple going to do now? It's clear that they're not going to start licensing FairPlay in Norway, because then they're going to be pressured into doing it elsewhere. Are they just going to stomach the fine and lose a few European markets in the process? I'm really curious to see how it turns out.

Let's talk about another Apple product before I move on: unfortunately, it's the iPhone (again). This is actually interesting though, Apple approached Verizon before Cingular (AT&T), but were turned down. Why? Their crazy terms. Not only did they want a cut of the service plan money, but they wanted control over distribution and support. Given that no other phone manufacturer is afforded such authority, it's no surprise that Verizon scoffed. The question is, did Cingular roll over or did Apple actually negotiate? I'm sure you all remember crazy Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, who is now back with a bill similar to his bill that would have banned school children from virtually all interactive sites (the terms are more specific, but still ridiculous). Not only does it do that, but it forces video services to prevent distribution of child porn, allows schools to monitor minors' online activity, and makes it illegal to sell kids' private data. I totally agree with the first and last things, it's the other stuff that's horrible. I hope that it doesn't pass; they should rewrite the bill with just the good parts. Microsoft is out to enter the micropayment market with a better way to purchase things online that are cheap since normal credit card overhead for small payments are so ridiculous. I like the idea of doing this, but without implementation details I'm loath to really say anything else other than that I hope they do it right. God knows they had enough issues with the Zune, which is now appearing at under $170 at some places (even online). That's actually a pretty good price; I'd buy it at that price if I needed a large capacity mp3 player. CNN ran a piece last week about working at Google, and not having cable I obviously missed it. It's online now though and it makes me drool just a little bit. I didn't know they had 11 free restaurants and free massages. And free WiFi shuttles around campus sound pretty sweet too. Please at least give me an interview, Google! Lastly, I thought it was too funny to see LEDs and resistors transformed into sex positions to not share.

People seem all abuzz about a rumor that Rachel McAdams may play DA's assistant Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight. I'm a little surprised that they're not concerned about actress looking so different from Ms. Holmes. I thought it was more noteworthy that reliable sources claim that Sam Raimi is seriously considering taking on The Hobbit as his next movie. No formal talks have commenced yet, but that would probably signal that he wouldn't be working on another Spider-man soon, and I'm wondering if he's holding off to talk to Sony first (assuming this is all true). I love Jenna Fischer on The Office, so naturally I had mention that she's set to star in a comedy called Walk Hard that's really a biopic about a non-existent musician where she portrays the love interest. It's from the brains behind Talladega Nights and Anchorman, so I hope that turns out being just as funny. Lastly, the New York Times has an awesome article explaining a lot about the premise behind Grind House and what you have to know in order to walk into the theater and truly enjoy it when it comes out.

Now for some Monday Madness:

1. Do you make New Year's resolutions? If so, what is your most important one?
Not formally. I just habitually set goals for myself, more or less. Most important though is to stop cluttering. Setting myself up for a fun, fruitful career is very close behind.
2. Easter is coming. Many Christians give up something for Lent. Do you give something up for any reason (or season)? What is it this year?
I usually figure out something to give up for Lent, though I don't like sharing it =P
3. Do you watch the Super Bowl? If so, do you watch it with a group? If not, what do you do while the game is on? Anything special?
I usually do, but not sure if I will this year. I don't really want to watch it alone though, it's not very fun that way. I think last year I watched it at my cousin's place in Houston, and the year before I watched it at a friend's place (who lived up here at a condo in Far West, actually).
4. Would you miss Monday Madness if it stopped permanently?
Definitely! What the Hell would I meme on Mondays then?!
5. Name at least one theme for MM questions. Share at least one question for that theme.
How about technology =) Things you love about technology, things you hate, things you wish you could buy.


Russ/rfduck said...

Re: the Dark Knight casting -

Why should they be concerned, when there have been not one but four actors playing Batman over the years?

Evan Reiser said...

Interesting Feature Comparison between the iPhone OS and Windows Mobile 5

iPhone - Already an Outdated Technology????