So every time I see a rant about DRM that gets popular, I have to join the choir. It's just in my nature with a topic as huge as this. Mark Shuttleworth, of Ubuntu fame, has a little editorial on his blog about how ridiculous DRM is and why it doesn't work. I think he makes his points quite eloquently. I don't know how these people don't understand that these DRM techniques that they've come up with are stupid. That's right, you people (the copyright mongers, I mean, not you, my readers ;) are idiots. Offline keys aren't tricky for someone who knows what they're doing (not me, unfortunately) to break, streaming content can easily be hacked to be saved (remember the glory days of ASF Recorder?), and once one person cracks your system it'll be on Digg and Slashdot and tons of other nerd sites and the technology is then compromised beyond saving. These cracks appear all the freaking time, by the way. You know your system is bad when people have to exploit loopholes to get what they want (like burning CDs in iTunes and then ripping them to extract the mp3s from the AAC encoding), because that means that your customers are not satisfied with your product. It's much like how we have all these IM alternatives to AIM/MSN etc, and how browser alternatives sprouted from discontent with IE. Rebellion is natural, and it's only a matter of time before backlash to DRM catches up with everyone. That's why Microsoft is so bent on telling everyone about how they're striking this deal with EMI and other labels as well to sell DRM-free music. They see the danger, and they're being smart. Will others follow suit?
I've got quite a bit of humor to share this Monday. I'm a sucker for these lists of ridiculous things we see technology do in movies and TV shows that make no sense, so here's one of 27 things that computers can do in movies. It's really freaking funny, because it's so true. I think my favorite is the "upload virus" one; it reminds me of Office Space. Almost as funny is a clever write-up this guy did comparing the Doom difficulty levels with his relationship with his SO. Anyone who was a loser as a child and played Doom a lot will likely roll over laughing, basking in the nostalgia; the rest of you, I think, will at least chuckle. This last one should just be called "What were they thinking?"
After a drawn-out, furtive legal battle with AOL, Gaim has managed to stay around by changing its name to Pidgin. I don't think they have a version out yet with this new name (I couldn't find one), but I'm sure it's soon to come. It sounds like AOL is being pretty childish with how they've been dealing with the situation. I think they're just jealous that a bunch of guys with a little too much free time can best their paid programmers.
One-liner: if you're browsing a video site and you want to download the content, you should try this web application. I'm sure the legality of it is very questionable, but it's a nifty little hack.
The box office this weekend was really, really shocking. First of all, the top two movies were two old family films: Blades of Glory ($23 million) and Meet the Robinsons ($17 million), but more importantly was the fact that Grindhouse came in 4th places (behind Are We Done Yet?, even) at a measly $12 million as compared with its over $67 million budget. Everyone is talking about this, but I personally believe that it was a combination of it being Easter weekend (can't really take the family out to see horror and destruction), it being such a niche film (you have to know something about it before going in the theater), and being really freaking long. I was always concerned about it being over 3 hours long. The Weinstein brothers are now considering splitting up the movies for a re-release in a few weeks, and will definitely be doing that internationally. I feel bad for them: it had great buzz, many good reviews, and two directors who usually don't fail to boot, but it totally flopped on them, and now they're a little shaken up. I hope they get somewhere near making back their budget (oh, and tack on another $30 million for advertising that apparently didn't work).
The only other movie news is a nifty Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer poster. I think it makes them look a little bit too touched up though.
No new Monday Madness, so let's try Manic Monday:
What flavor of ice cream best describes your personality?
That's tough. I guess I'll go with Moo-llennium Crunch, because I'm exciting and delicious and full of lots of random good stuff, I guess. *shrugs* Kind of a weird question to answer about one's self =P
If your life was a weather vane, which direction would it be pointing right now?
Probably towards my bed, because I'm sure more sleep would be to my benefit. Oh well, some things (very few, mind you) are better than sleep! =)
What is one field or profession that you have never pursued, but that you think you would most likely have been quite good at?
Besides computer science, probably musician. It'd be interesting to be a classical guitarist/guitar teacher.
News Roundup: The Internet of Nope
5 hours ago