2/17/2007

Response to Apple position on DRM

Filed under: — menk @ 5:28 pm

As predicted there has been a flurry of response to Apple CEO (Steve Jobs) open letter suggesting that DRM schemes be dropped on Music and Video for the benefit of consumers. it has been an interesting two weeks with the interested parties all chiming in on the topic in a predictable and self serving manner:

Edgar Bronfman (Warner Music Group chief executive) - said in a conference call with analysts that Jobs’ stance is “completely without logic or merit.” “We advocate the continued … protection of our and our artists’ intellectual property,” Read as: we want to continue to hamper users from using the content they bought and paid for on multiple devices unless they buy it multiple times.

Michael Robertson, founder of music download site www.mp3.com - indicated that he is not convinced of Jobs’ good intentions until Apple embraces an open business model. Specifically he calls for Apple to “open the doors for iTunes software to work seamlessly with other stores. This would promote users to buy MP3.com content without any investment on the part of MP3.com in support of the iTunes software. (How altruistic)

Fred Amoroso (Macrovision CEO) - published a letter indicating that DRM is good for consumers and promotes content. I guess you could expect that from the CEO of a company whose entire business is to provide copy protection and DRM.

Let’s face it DRM is the Music and Video industries way to tell you flat out that they think the consumers in general are criminals. They believe that users will continue to put up with this untenable situation where you buy some content and have little flexibility in where and how to use it.

Perhaps if the various players in this space would spend some time understanding the issues they wouldn’t sound so self serving and silly. For a good explanation of Apple’s Fairplay DRM and the impacts of Apple broadly licensing the technology there is a recent article in RoughlyDrafted.com that is well worth the read. My opinion is that until the fat cat Music and Video execs wise up the P2P network technologies will continue to be quite a hot area of use and development.

The DRM Battle: Macrovision%u2019s Response To Steve Jobs - Tech News

2/16/2007

Bill Gates - Bald Faced Liar or Moron (You decide)

Filed under: — menk @ 9:02 am

I sweat when I lie!

Bill Gates in a recent Newsweek interview attacked Apple and the Mac with what only can be described as a full on lie fest. These patent untruths did not go unnoticed as virtually every news outlet in the world covered the story that Bill was angry about Apple’s success recently. In no small part this success is based on the fact that Macs are undeniably more secure and safe a platform than Windows. When it was pointed out to ‘Monopoly Bill’ in the interview that there were ads from Apple poking fun at PCs and Vista his head practically exploded. When he was asked: “Are you bugged by the Apple commercial where John Hodgman is the PC, and he has to undergo surgery to get Vista?”

Gates red faced and sweating launched into a tirade: “I’ve never seen it. I don’t think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are.”

“If you just want to say, “Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,” that’s fine. If you’re interested, [Vista development chief who indicated in an internal Microsoft e-mail to Gates he would like to buy a Mac] Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is.”

“Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.”

(Maybe Bill just doesn’t get all the spam that the reset of us receive from the thousands of Zombie Windows Machines but this alone demonstrates how inane his claim that Windows can’t be hacked while the Mac is a sieve.)

In response to Bill’s lying rants many experts on security speculated on why he would flat out lie about such things.

Scott Granneman of Security Focus noted the following: “My reaction, like most knowledgeable people who read this, was open-mouthed astonishment. Now, either Bill is heavily drugged and delusional, which I don’t believe, or he’s just completely ignorant, which I also discount, or he knows exactly what he’s saying and has an ulterior motive. That’s my best guess.”

“ Bill Gates knows that he’s at best exaggerating and at worst completely lying through his teeth. So why’s he doing it? Because he also knows that Apple’s new ads are helping Macs to sell like hot cakes, and that security is a big reason why a lot of people are throwing up their hands in disgust at Windows and switching to Apple’s computers. Who reads Newsweek? Not computer pros, but Joe and Jane Computeruser, and Joe and Jane tend to believe what they read in the mainstream media… ”

When you are Bill Gates and when your fortune is threatened by a company with a better product and 6% of the market; I guess you can justify totally lying to consumers essentially deceiving them into continuing to piss away their hard earned money on yet another poor Microsoft product.

2/8/2007

Windows Expert abandons Windows for Mac

Filed under: — menk @ 8:55 pm

In early November, Scot Finnie Computerworld’s Online Editorial Director started a three month test of the Mac. Scot has been a technology journalist, reviewer, and editor for more than 20 years. He’s also the author of Scot’s Newsletter. Finnie specializes in operating systems, client software, mobile hardware, personal tech, and the Internet.

He had been involved with testing Vista for months and was frankly getting quite disenchanted with the future of Microsoft’s flagship product. In his own words, “I’ve found myself increasingly disturbed by the many ways Microsoft is willing to erode the overall user experience, in most cases in the name of boosting its bottom line.

Given this situation, he decided that it was time to immerse himself in the alternate platform that is Mac OS X. He documents his experience in a three part series on Computerworld. where he intended to try the Mac for three months.

The three month test period is over now and Scot has concluded that he is no longer willing to use the handicapped software that is Microsoft Windows as his primary system. In fact he goes so far as to suggest that: “After living with the Mac for three months and comparing it to my Vista experiences, the choice is crystal clear… I am now recommending the Macintosh for business and home users.

Scot is clearly an unbiased expert willing to admit that he was just unaware of the full benefit and value of the Mac as opposed to Windows. In speaking about the usability of the two platforms he points out, “Microsoft’s marketing materials for a past version of Windows used the phrase, “It just works.” But the only computer that tagline honestly describes is the Macintosh… When Mac users say, “It just works,” what they mean is that you spend more time on your work, and a lot less time working on your computer.

Scot’s sage advice for all the Windows users is “If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won’t go back either.

2/7/2007

Vista/Mac Showdown: Mac migration a breeze, Vista migration a failure

Filed under: — menk @ 1:02 pm

Now that Vista is out consumers need to give some thought to how to migrate. Based on recent testing by ZDnet the migration provided by Microsoft to move from XP to Vista is a total failure. By comparison migration from one mac to another using Apple’s tools is totally painless.

I suggest that XP users seriously consider migrating to a Mac now (why move to Vista? It offers little value and costs a lot in license and hardware upgrades required.)

� The Great Vista/Mac Showdown: Mac migration a breeze, Vista%u2019s migration is a headache | Rational rants | ZDNet.com

2/5/2007

Windows Vista 3rd Rate product & Marketing fiasco

Filed under: — menk @ 2:30 pm

Now that the formal consumer launch of Microsoft Vista (formerly Longhorn) has occurred the feedback on the launch is building. The common opinion is that the Launch was a failure for three basic reasons:

1) The product is weak. According to Computerworld “Microsoft is losing consumer operating system market share to Apple for many reasons, but most of those reasons can be oversimplified thus: Mac OS is simple, and Windows is complicated.” Information Week says that “Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista” based on a head to head review.

2) The Market today is not like it was in 1995 when the release of Windows 95 seemed so important.

3) The Launch it self was confusing with a vast majority of users confused and rightly so with what version of the product might be right for them and whether it will even work on their existing PC.

Overall it has become abundantly clear that Vista is yet another warmed over NT version with Mac like eyecandy grafted on. Ballmer and crew must believe that customers are fairly stupid to believe that they will be fooled by this effort to put lipstick on a pig.

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