Time to Delete my Yahoo Account

It’s a shame that Yahoo has just agreed to support OpenID only days before Microsoft announces they want to by them.

I’d love to use OpenID with my account, but I won’t go near anything from Microsoft…

Posted in Tech | Tagged | Comments Off on Time to Delete my Yahoo Account

If True, Apple’s Rental Model is Doomed

According to reports, Apple is planning on offering movie rentals via iTunes. Apparently, these will be $3.99 for 24 hours.

What a crock.

Apple seems to forget that the 90s are over. Selling a rental for a specific time, downloaded or not, is competing with video tapes and Blockbuster. Who the hell want that model? The world has moved on. Between Netflix in the US and Lovefilm (and others) in the UK, I can’t imagine anyone with a brain going for this.

What Apple should do is offer a subscription service, just like Netflix. I.e, iTunes has three, four, or x number of “slots”. You pay a set fee per month, variable with the number of slots you want. I.e., $10 gets you three slots.

When you rent a movie, iTunes downloads it from the store and it fills one of your slots. You can sync it to your iPod/iPhone or your AppleTV or watch it right from your computer. Rent the next one and it fills your second slot. When you’ve filled all the slots, your rentals go into a queue.

When your done watching a film, click a “Return Movie” button next to a slot and iTunes deletes it from your computer, iPod, and/or AppleTV. Then it downloads the next film in your queue.

I’ve been a [Lovefilm](http://lovefilm.com) customer for a while. I can’t imagine going back to being forced to watch a movie in 24 hours.

Posted in Tech | Comments Off on If True, Apple’s Rental Model is Doomed

DRM for Real World Objects

Imagine if real world objects, like paintings, photographs, digital cameras, etc had DRM.

I just got a new camera and I’ve been having fun taking pictures of my daughter. But every time I take a picture, I’m probably violating somebody’s copyright or design patent, or whatever.

The painting in the dining room, the tv screen in the background, the chair from the famous design house. All of these things are covered by some sort of right of control by the creator.

So, can you imagine if my camera, spotting a painting in the frame could query the painting to determine if it was legal to photograph. The painting’s DRM would say “No, All Rights Reserved!” and the shutter on the camera would refuse to fire.

Perhaps with a friendly “PC MOVE CAMERA” (that’s an obscure film joke btw).

You might think this is far fetched, but let me point out two things:

1. The technology to achieve this is either here today, or not far off. The biggest obstacle is co-ordination among the technology companies.

2. The technology companies are hard at work implementing this at the behest of the media companies.

There are already proposals to make video cameras stop recording if they detect copyrighted content. So, just as you start to capture the first steps of your child, you’d better hope it’s not in front of the television.

Technorati Tags:

Posted in Law, Tech | Comments Off on DRM for Real World Objects

Streaming BBC iPlayer Stinks

So, I thought I’d give the iPlayer from the BBC a try. It comes in two flavors: A downloadable application and a Flash player version. The downloadable version is Windows only, so I had to try the Flash version.

I was impressed by the ease of accessing the actual shows. All you have to do it navigate to the page and click on a show to start watching the most recent episode.

Unfortunately, starting the show is all I could do. No matter which shows I tried to watch, they all ended about three to five minutes in with a message that there was a problem playing the video.

So, once again, in an effort to protect the rights holders from having to get off their butts and innovate, we’ve got yet another video site that doesn’t work as well as bittorrent.

Oh well, maybe next time…

Posted in Tech | 2 Comments

Apple TV Killed by the DMCA

There have been a number of reports in the media about the failure of the Apple TV. While right, none of them have correctly identified the problem. Namely the DMCA.

The DMCA makes it illegal to break an encryption key used to protect copyrighted content. In plain english, while Apple can ship iTunes with the ability to rip CDs, they can’t, by law, add the ability to rip DVDs to iTunes.

There is no technical challenge to ripping DVDs, any more than CDs. It’s simply that they would be breaking the law.

Absent the ability to rip DVDs, the only use for Apple TV is to buy movies from the iTunes Store.

Posted in Law, Tech | Comments Off on Apple TV Killed by the DMCA