DRM HISTORY AND HACKING

Content creators and publishers are engaged in nonstop efforts to lock down the products you purchase from them. This is a fascinating article about the history of digital rights management and what to expect in the future.

Most restrictions have been cracked so far, whether on CDs, DVDs, E-Books, or downloadable audio. […] continued

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QUICKTIME 7

Over the years, QuickTime has been one of the most frustrating bits of software available. Conflicting versions would wind up installed simultaneously, banner ads for paid upgrades would appear every single time a movie was launched, and why, oh why, is it impossible to make a Quicktime clip run fullscreen?

Now Apple has taken a lesson from RealPlayer by hiding the link for the new version 7 of the free QuickTime Player – just the player, not the bundle with iTunes, not the “Pro” version, just the QuickTime player so I can watch stupid movies online. […] continued

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NETFLIX AND THE FUTURE OF MOVIES

It’s easy to imagine movies on demand, streamed to your television over the Internet. Unfortunately, there’s also reason to think that it will be many years before that becomes real. Not only are there significant technical barriers, but movie studios make a lot of money from their long-term deals with channels like HBO. […] continued

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NY TIMES: WHY THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED HIGH-DEF DVDs

The New York Times has summarized the reasons to be cynical as high-definition DVD players hit the market.

“Just contemplating the rise of a new DVD format is enough to make you feel played. What’s wrong with the original DVD format, anyway? It offers brilliant picture, thundering surround sound and bonus material.

[…] continued

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VIRAL VIDEOS

The hot tech topic of the day is “viral videos,” a term invented to describe the links circulated by e-mail to short online movies. Out of nowhere, Chris Bliss’ juggling routine was viewed by 50 million people within 45 days – after languishing for years on the performer’s web site. This week it’s Stephen Colbert’s extraordinary performance at the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner. […] continued

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BETTING ON SONY

Sony is gearing up its marketing department behind Blu-Ray DVDs, its next-generation disc for high definition movies. Toshiba and its partners are lined up behind HD DVD, a different, incompatible format. Sony hopes that you’ll buy its Blu-Ray players and movies this year, and it’s especially hoping that you buy a PlayStation 3 next year with a Blu-Ray drive. […] continued

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QUICKTIME INSTALLATION

Quicktime has a special place in my heart, along with America Online and RealPlayer, for its annoying and nonstandard installation routine. Here’s a blog that provides a pretty good summary of what it’s like to install the latest version. […] continued

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SONY IN HOT WATER

There’s a lot of talk online today about the malicious software installed when you play a protected Sony CD. Here’s my first reaction to it a few days ago, and here’s an article in the Washington Post and one from PCPro, for example.

Watching Sony’s home entertainment division implode with one poor decision after another is sad. […] continued

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XBOX 360 & MEDIA CONNECT

When XBox 360 is released in a few weeks, Microsoft will be doing two different promotions.

The gamers will be told that the XBox 360 is the best gaming console yet, combining raw power and a huge video card with high definition output. Some new game will be promoted as the best-thing-ever, the way Halo carried the original XBox. […] continued

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VIDEO iPOD – GUSHING REVIEWS, MEDIOCRE PRODUCT

The new video iPod is a mediocre product. Similar products have been on the market for months, some (like the Sony PSP) with far superior screens. Battery life is low and it’s deliberately crippled by copy protection. And think about it – are you interested in watching an episode of Lost on a two and half inch screen? […] continued

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MICROSOFT VIDEO SCREENSAVER

There have been screensavers for a long time that would display a slide show of your photos. Now video is coming into its own, as evidenced by the Microsoft Video Screensaver. It comes with canned movie footage from countries around the world, but it can be configured to play your own video files. […] continued

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VICTORY FOR THE LITTLE GUY

WalMart is getting out of the rental DVD business and turning its customers over to Netflix.

WalMart only made a half-hearted effort to compete over the last two years, developing a hundred thousand customers who drew from a comparatively small selection and got slow service from a single distribution center. Netflix has five million customers, a deep selection of movies, and dozens of distribution warehouses. […] continued

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HP DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CENTER z545

HP has introduced a device for the living room that comes closer to a vision of the future than anything else on the market. The HP Digital Entertainment Center z545 ($1,999) is a computer at its heart, but that’s almost incidental. It’s a 480-line progressive scan DVD player, mp3 jukebox, dual-tuner DVR with free program guides, digital photo player, Web browser, and a moderately high-end personal computer with ultra-quiet cooling fans and a wireless keyboard. […] continued

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MULTIMEDIA

Aging baby boomers will soon be unable to recognize anything handling media in the home of an affluent 25-year-old. The convergence between the computer world and the audio/video world is happening faster than anyone can follow.

There are dozens of devices hitting the market for moving photos, video and music from your home’s computers to the living room audio center or TV. […] continued

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DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT AND THE LONG TAIL

This article from Wired Magazine is essential reading. We are watching the creation of an entirely new economic model for the media and entertainment industries, with far-reaching consequences for our world. Amazon, Netflix, and online music services are discovering the long tail – the market for books, movies, music in a world where everything can be made readily available to everyone, regardless of their physical location. […] continued

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