Patterson’s panic attack mix

Evil Children
Different kind of mix this time… I decided seeing how I enjoy Simon Patterson’s tunes quite a bit, especially Brush Strokes and White of her eyes. Its time for a bit of mega-mix using his tunes. Someone said to me listening to his tunes is like the perfect driving or running music, as it feels very pacey.

I imagined running like zombies run, then stopping to catching my breath with some chilled tunes.

However Mixcloud has warned me,

You have 5 or more tracks by the same artist. This upload may be disabled for listeners in the following countries: USA

Well that Copyright and DRM for you. I scratched the edge and now can feel some of the pain. So I got around the problem by renaming Simon Patterson to a few other names.

Here’s the proper playlist, enjoy!

  1. F16 – Simon Patterson
  2. Panic Attack – Simon Patterson
  3. White of Her eyes – Simon Patterson
  4. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  5. Us – Simon Patterson
  6. Prosac – Dj Tomcraft
  7. No one ever dreams – Astral projection
  8. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  9. Circles – Robert Nickson
  10. Adagio for Strings – Dj Tiesto

Why I shut down BBC backstage

BBC Backstage Meets the NW communities networking bash

George sent me a tweet saying how much Elizabeth Murdoch loved BBC Backstage, as she mentioned it in her speech to the Edinburgh TV Festival last year.

The BBC has been the market leader for building new relationships and services with creative’s from every sector. Be it the early ground breaking Backstage initiative for technology engineers.

Shes right and it does beg the question, why is there no more BBC Backstage?

I thought this was covered in the BBC Backstage ebook which was put together by the lovely Suw. But it looks like I may have been slightly mistaken. On top of this, I keep making reference to this blog post which I never seem to quite finish. So enough, its finished and out there for all to read…

First misconception: The BBC never shutdown BBC Backstage

Actually I did… When I first mentioned the possibility of closing down BBC Backstage to Adrian (my manager) he thought I had totally lost it. I remember a meeting with Adrian and Matthew (head of R&D) where I talked about shutting it down and I gave my reasoning which made soften the blow a little. I had thought long and hard about leaving BBC Backstage and passing it on to someone else younger and full of energy (I even had a number of names put forward to consider). But it didn’t make sense.

The problems with Backstage were not about who was running it but more about what was happening around it (as we will see in number 4)

Second misconception: The BBC sits on a ton of data.

The core of BBC Backstage was the backstage license which is founded on non-commercial reuse of data. This gave backstage the license to go around the BBC educating/persuading/convincing stakeholders about the benefits of open data at a time when data wasn’t a big thing. The problem is the data wasn’t ours. For example the Met Office would make the weather data available to the BBC under strict licensing. Deals were done for non-commercial use and it was always neigh impossible to reverse a deal without effecting the production side of the things.

Lots of people imagine most of Backstage was hacks. In actual fact lots of it was people experimenting.

Third misconception: Developers found new business models

This backs off the non-commercial problem. Because everything was under the non-commercial license, when things like the Apple App Store came along and offered developers clear ways to make money from their work. We had to shut down a lot of prototypes and tell people not to use BBC backstage data in there apps.

This was actually a issue from early on when Google Adsense, offered developers a nice way to make a small amount of money based on numbers of people who came to the site. It was argued that if developers made enough money to just cover the hosting of the prototype, we could turn a blind eye to. This wasn’t sustainable as it kept coming back to bite every once in a while. But it wasn’t till the App stores when the number of prototypes and services wanting to go commercial blew up.

Once developers learned it was actually against the terms and conditions, they naturally moved on to other platforms.  We did talk to BBC Worldwide many times about working together but it just wasn’t to be.

Forth misconception: The Open Data Revolution passed it by

Backstage had a hand in getting this revolution going in the UK and beyond. 7 years later, we had influenced everyone from other companies to the government. We were there right at the start of this revolution and fundamentally changed the BBC’s thinking about data. However it was clear this was just the start and as a part of BBC R&D, it was right to move on and have the same impact in another emerging area. The developer network part of Backstage was tricky to balance with the push to drive forward.

We did think about splitting it off and working in partnership with others who were later to the scene but it just didn’t quite happen and in the era of cost cutting and doing the things which really have an impact for our audiences it was harder to justify.

Fifth misconception: It was all about DRM and the BBC wanted rid

Looking at the mailing list, its easy to imagine it being all about DRM and not a lot else. But in actual fact while the DRM debates rages on, there were lots of people creating and making lots of prototypes. Lots of them were documented on the website but there were some which were so illegal there was no way I could put them anywhere public. Those were more of a look what we could do…

Even though they were much more black/grey around the licensing terms, they drove the imagination and clearly got a number of us thinking what if…? One such example is the widely talked about blast from the past called Panadora PVR (now called Promise.TV) which lead to Tom Loosemore’s talk at Etech 2007, the Edinburgh TV unfestival and the building of the infamous BBC Redux.

The BBC gained a lot from having the debate and being rather open about it all.

Sixth misconception: There was no money or love for BBC Backstage

This is somewhat true and false. Yes it became more difficult to justify and we had gone through quite a difficult patch, while losing some key people to project. On top of that we had a new head of Future Media (Erik Huggers), moved into BBC R&D and was shifting the project up to the north of England to fit in with BBC’s increasing push to solve the London and South East bias.

Everything was changing and everytime we took BBC Backstage in a different direction, there was push back from the dedicated community. To me this is the way of the world (forever changing) but it certainly makes funding such projects difficult when you want a 3-5 year plan.

There was much love for BBC Backstage from Future Media and other departments in the BBC, there was lots of talk about setting up other Backstages in different areas as a outreach project alone it hit audiences the BBC was not so good at having conversations with. The formula was repeatable but should it be? We could have done Mashed all over the UK but was that a good idea? I certainly didn’t think so and ultimately my thoughts about driving forward were correct.

Seventh misconception: We ran out of steam

Ok this might be true to a certain extent. But not from the lack of trying… You only have to look at the new things I’ve been working on since, including Channelography, Perceptive Media, etc. There is still fire in myself and I still have a lot to give… During that time, I will admit I was well over worked and I was being contacted by many people on the off chance just because I was out in the open. This certainly slowed down daily looking through BBC emails. Hence why I now have a another BBC email.

Ultimately I want to thank everyone who has been involved in BBC Backstage in the past (too many to name). The decision was made under a ton of stress on my part but I felt I was making the correct decision for everyone including the founders, the BBC and the community. Then and even now. I mean can you imagine BBC Backstage in 2013!?

Things need to end (such as BBC Backstage, Innovation Labs, etc) for others to spark, grow and mature like BBC Connected Studio.

 

Wasted human effort, what’s a responsible citizen to do?

a bike that can only run on special roads.

I had to connect two things together earlier today.

Found via Brooksoid, the oatmeal comic about trying to watch game of thrones. And Torrentfreak’s A Responsible Citizen Not Only Shares Culture, But Destroys The Copyright Industries.

…sharing became a matter of being responsible as a citizen. Sharing culture was not only a good deed in humankind, it was also taking civil responsibility for preservation of our common heritage, a responsibility that neither the industry nor governments took on themselves to fulfill.

Framerate show is a good show for this type of thing, shame its very American centric.

I find the grey area which a responsible citizen inhabits, very interested. So many interests and so much money and time is spent on protecting a system which is impossible to protect. This is certainly why things like Creative Commons and micropayment systems like Flattr gives me such joy…

Funny enough

Moon Venus Mercury & Mars

Me and Simon were walking home the other day talking about the patent nightmare (as you do) and Simon said,

We could be on Mars by now but instead we’re wasting effort stopping people stealing Coldplay records!

Although Simon was slightly confusing or at least mixing up the patent problem with the copyright problem, that sentence alone is pretty elegant and sums up a lot of thinking I’ve had over the years.

The next day, I pursued him to mention it and it got re-tweeted by people like myself. He then came back with this

Everything and anything that prevents the progress of our species in the pursuit of profit.

Ant Miller followed up with…

@cubicgarden @si_lumb can I have that on a t-shirt please…

You can just imagine a brand of Tshirts with Copyright and Patent reform slogans… (remember when Google and Patent reform was hot on peoples lips).

This also drives me to once again have a UK version of Framerate… the issues are different enough. Cristiano Betta and myself have talked about a techgrumps for films, tv and media for a long while, maybe the tipping point is nearing?

So how about it people?

JK Rowling jumps head first into self publishing

Harry Potter

I posted this from my kindle on twitter… Its awkward because it doesn’t post the source but its actually from Ars technica.

By publishing on her own website, Rowling adds: “We can guarantee that people everywhere are getting the same experience at the same time. That was extremely appealing to me. I am lucky to have the resources to do it myself and I think this is a fantastic and unique experience that I could afford to take my time over to make this come alive. There was really no way to do it for the fans or me than just do it myself. Not every author could do this, but it’s right for Harry Potter. It is so much fun to have direct content with my fans. It was an extension of the existing jkrowling.com.”

JK Rowling is sure to make a mint and even more from self publishing… Further more I was intrigued to hear Rowling is green lighting a non DRM format for publishing.

Rowling has opted to keep the e-books DRM-free, meaning that they are not locked into one device or platform. She is instead opting for digital watermarking that links the identity of the purchaser to the copy of the e-book. This doesn’t prevent copyright theft but does ensure that any copies will be traceable to a particular user. This is similar to how iTunes is DRM-free, but embeds user account information within each file purchased.

Great move, and I wonder how the shop owners such as Amazon or B&N feel about this? I’m also wondering if Amazon will finally sort out the disconnect between Amazon bought books and personal documents. For example link to non-Amazon bought books.

The disconnect between self published and mass published will hopefully get much smaller encouraging even more to attempt self publishing.

Hollywood is loving the apps

Inception the App

I had multiple people tell me about the Inception App on Apple iOS devices. I think its interesting but not good enough to make me want to rush out and buy a apple device.

Interestingly, Michael Breidenbrücker is one of the guys behind the app. I know Michael from my course at Ravensbourne where he co-founded Last.FM and decided to go off and develop that away from the fingers of the college. Recently… he’s been focusing on RJDJ which is a music generation tool.

Anyway, the idea of Augmented sound isn’t new but its so so interesting. The rest of the app is well a little bit of a wet squid in my view but hey you can’t have it all. The app is pretty expensive but you do get a copy of the film tied to the app. There is a question in my mind if buying the app for 10 pounds and getting the ability to tweet and like sections is actually worth it.

Ether way, you can see Hollywood jumping into the app market in a big way in 2011. Warner brothers already have a Dark knight app too, while the Unstopable app is Fox’s work and runs on Android (the largest platform now).

I do find it intriguing that Inception isn’t available on Android, I wonder if the lack of content protection mechanism (or plainly put DRM) might be the problem for Warner Brothers? No problem for Fox or even Sony though…

The ebook dilemma

My sister and I spoke on Skype the other day and I said to her I finally got around to reading What the Dog saw by Malcolm Gladwell which she bought for me about 2 years ago at Christmas. Yes about 2 years to read a book (of course it didn’t take that long in reality) but it did take a while in between all the other stuff I was doing. I guess I should have read it while I was in hospital last year.

She said she had watched a programme on BBC Three called Kara Tointon: Don’t Call Me Stupid. It was all about Dyslexia. And she had kind of got it. I had watched the same programme a while ago on demand and to be fair I did think it was going to be crap but actually it was pretty good, even though I had never ever heard of Kara Tointon, and to be slight blunt don’t really care.

I’m a hard person to buy presents for and of course I want to make it as easy as possible for loved ones to buy stuff for me if they would like to. Books are a regular choice but they usually end up on my book shelf and read by myself sometimes up to a year or so later. In actual fact I have a fantastic book which Si Lumb lent me a while ago around late Summer. called Last night a Dj saved my life. Its right by my bedside but I’ve never read more that 5 pages of it so far.

We talked about the possibility of ordering a ebook and sending it to me via Amazon’s Wispernet but it worries me. So far I’ve never bought a kindle book, just uploaded ebooks from elsewhere. My problem with ebooks is simply the DRM. Yes I have a kindle right now and there’s readers on most devices and platforms (no linux client by the way, but there is a web client now) but what happens when I don’t? What happens when Sony bring out a decent ebook reader which is colour and half the weight of the kindle (aka the weight of a feather) or maybe someone develops a foldable eink display… How am I going to move my books from the Kindle to what ever? On top of that, don’t even get me started on the sharing aspect….

So in light of this, I suggested to my sister that she should in future just get me Amazon gift tokens and I can use them for books or ebooks. Its not as personal/nice as buying a book but it also works and theres much more chance of me actually reading it.

The Media Player war just got hotter

To be honest when ever I see my friends Popcorn Hour box, I can’t help but laugh a little. The interface to the Popcorn Hour Box is just hellish and although it does technically provide a experience close to XBMC and others, it was never a real runner. It always felt like it had been beaten with a truly ugly stick then left out to die. Even the name Popcorn Hour Media Tank, conjured ideas of something ugly as sin.

Well finally the design message has gotten through and Popcorn Hour has now spawned off the PopBox, which actually to me looks like a direct rip from Boxee Alpha to tell the truth, but looks far better than its previous outings.

The Popbox also now supports Apps (is there anyone who doesn’t) But instead of adopting someone elses approach, they have decided to build there own platform called DAVID. Hummm, sounds like a bad idea personally. Anyway the Popbox is going to be closer to 100 dollars that Boxee Box which is 200 dollars.

How ever thats not where it ends. I heard today that not only is the Boxee box coming out in maybe March but also you can buy the RF remote by its self. Which means someone like myself who has a custom box running boxee or xbmc can also benefit from the slick Boxee remote.

Nice you say, but there more. Up till now theres been this category of media players who just do streaming and nothing else. Roku is one and a popular other is Vudu. You connect them up and pay a subscription for like a VOD experience over your internet. Well Boxee just announced support for paid content. If content producers can make this revenue model work, it would be great. I do wonder however if that means we’ll see DRM content in Boxee soon? Really hope not…

Ashley Highfield on iPlayer, DRM and Crossplatform Support

From the Backstage Blog, a frank discussion about DRM and Cross-platform support. It all started when I asked Ashley a few questions recently about the iplayer strategy. Ashley answered the question with quite a bit of passion and Matthew Cashmore thought hey wouldn't it be a good idea to get some of that passion in a recording. He is the result which you can judge for yourselves…

The iPlayer, no don't do a runner, seriously, it's taken over the mailing list, dominated our discussions and is something that many members of the backstage community care an awful lot about. So do we. We all know the questions. Why don't we stand up to the rights holders? Why do we insist on using DRM? Why did we sign a secret deal in blood with Microsoft?

So we finally decided that these questions needed answers, and the only person to talk to was the boss. We present 26 minutes of questions and answers about iPlayer, DRM and cross platform support with Ashley Highfield, Director Future Media & Technology.

In this frank discussion we cover the DRM issues, explain that iPlayer isn't a Microsoft only party and ask why didn't we use a non propriety solution.

You can get the file directly from Blip.TV under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence in Mpeg3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.

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Pay a voluntary contribution or suffer the shame?

The Real Hustle being filmed in Brighton

So I'm really late to the whole Radiohead price experiment. Many people have said how great it is, others have said there just copying what smaller artist have been doing for years on sites like Amiestreet, some of pondered interesting questions and others have moaned about the quality. But what I found interesting was Ben Metcalfe's post which asks the question Would you pay a voluntary contribution for your BitTorrent usage?

Having pushed for so long for digital distribution methods that afford us our full rights under copyright (ie no DRM), it’s kinda time that we step up to the plate and prove that today’s digital media consumers are not looking to freeload… or are we?)

I was just chatting about this issue with a heavy BitTorrent user I know well, who’ll remain anonymous. For her, she finds BitTorrent the most convenient way to select and consume media – she watches a lot of foreign TV and also occasionally enjoys watching video on her PSP (which doesn’t support any DRM-for-video technology even if the content she wants to watch is available in a DRM’d format). Downloading torrent files from sites across the world and transcoding them into a PSP-friendly format has become a simple and painless process which she finds quicker and more convenient for her needs than any DRM system out there right now.

She is frustrated that she has to use what are currently deemed ‘illegal methods’ to obtain the media and can’t do anything to legitimize the content she is viewing.

So I know Chris Anderson is writing a new book called Free but honestly if I could pay the artist or production company for my DRM free download I would. Depending on the content I would pay between 1p – 2 pounds. 2 pounds for heroes, dexter, Dr Who, IT crowd, etc. 1 pounds for Ugly Betty, Apprentice, The Real Hustle, etc. 30p for Prison Break, Daily show, etc. I would also pay for podcasters and videocasters for their efforts if it was conveient and simple.

There was something interesting I heard at the wealth of networks conference in Boston. The Social Facebook application, called Causes. So the thinking behind the causes application is that the person can indicate what causes they support. But that application also tells people if you've donated money or helped that cause recruit new members. The idea being that if your friends have all donated loads of money over months, and you nothing. You would be shamed into taking the cause off your list. Now if you imagine something like this for TV, Music and even Film I guess? (I know Tioti is thinking about badges to indicate you like a certain show) you could have some site like last.fm or tioti/sharetv which tracks your tv/music but also shows when you donated money or helped out in someway. I guess the people who just want stuff for free will not sign up, but for the rest of us this is a way of showing your really a fan and enjoyed the show so much you paid or did something in return. This would also show the producers how popular there show/tune is and you could build grassroot graphs and charts I guess. If the real hustle series 1 rakes in a load of money and series 2 double that, you know your doing something right. If its less and less then its time to change something or give up. Its like voting for a show but the financial decision means votes are not given in vain or lightly. Hey and its helping out the people who work really hard. Just a idea, not really formed yet.

I'm not really a fan of Radiohead, but if this helps the content producers and owners into considering other business/revenue models, then put me down for 5 pounds…

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The reaction to the first Backstage podcast

Podcast group

The first ever BBC Backstage podcast has caused a quite a stir. Some of it negative and some of it positive.

Generally the reaction to the podcast is positive but Ben did say he felt Backstage shouldn't be hosting such a debate. Its bigger that Backstage and should be taking place somewhere else. Fair enough, but till then backstage is where it will stay for now.

Before coming to Cory's thoughts on the BBC and DRM, I thought I'd better cover some of the other points from others first. Upyourego loves the podcast too and makes a good point about the lack of RSS like Tom Morris. Adam, Brian, Superfly
picked it up
and so does Euan Semple, who is surprisingly quiet about it. But some of the comments left are interesting, including one from Cory. Weird Cory didn't post any comments to mine or Ben's
blogs entries
.

Corys post to BoingBoing is over the top. I love Cory but he took a few points from the podcast and went to town on them. He threw out most of the other stuff which made it a much more balanced debate. For example,

You can hear the disappointment in the visionaries at the BBC, the betrayal at being sold out by management. The BBC is forcing Britons to buy an American operating system — Windows — in order to watch British programming, made in Britain. The free and open GNU/Linux — whose kernel is maintained in Britain — can't be used for British TV, because of DRM.

Well yes there was something in the air but we're positive about making things right and turning things around. Open DRM is one of many things discussed but Cory doesn't mention this. Tom has a comment which I don't quite get, but I'll ask him tomorrow.

Arstechnica does a much better job at reporting a more balanced view of the podcast. Although the title is misleading – BBC explains decision to go with Microsoft DRM.

The brouhaha surrounding iPlayer makes for some good reading, but more interesting is the podcast. The BBC engineers on the show come off as intelligent, affable folks who don't like content restrictions any more than consumers do. They're also fully aware of recent technologies like Ogg Vorbis, BitTorrent, and SlingBox. For those curious how DRM and rights decisions are made behind the scenes at a major public broadcaster, this is definitely worth a listen.

A couple of good comments follow too.

That's an amazingly insightful podcast! Thanks!

Which company has used DRM longer, the BBC or Apple? Just because Jobs uses DRM and then says “but we shouldn't” doesn't mean a thing. Well, depending on how gullible you are. It's about as meaningful as Google's “do no harm”. Actions speak louder than words.

Currently Digg and Slashdot have yet to pick up the podcast or its reactions. Oh it looks like we'll be uploading the video this week.

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The first BBC Backstage podcast: DRM and the BBC

Podcast group

The first ever BBC Backstage podcast kicked off in fine style on Wednesday 7th February.

We invited some of the most vocal backstagers in the long running debate over DRM, to come and join us at the BBC to discuss face to face what they felt about DRM and the BBC. The hour long discussion around DRM and the BBC included,

You can listen with the built in player below, or you can download and remix the MPeg3 file or the Ogg Vorbis file. Both are licensed under creative commons attribution. So as long as you credit backstage.bbc.co.uk, your good to go. Don't forget to check out some great action shots from the debate…

Dave tries to reason with Michela

Miles asks some difficult questions

Dave

Brian prepares to answer James

Tom listening to Brian

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Removing iTunes and going back to Winamp

I'm so done with iTunes. The restrictions and lack of interoperability with anything else non Apple was simply driving me nuts. The last straw for me was when I upgraded to iTunes7, Xbox media centre and iTunes 6 wouldn't talk to it any longer. I'm sorry but this is so wrong. And lets be honest, the only major difference in iTunes7 (if your not buying into their drm) is the cover art view. I couldn't give a crap about the ability to play downloaded films from the iTunes store.

Anyway, the reasons I moved to iTunes boil down to 2 things.

  • Zeroconf (bonjour) sharing
  • Advanced playlist management

Well both SongBird and Winamp support advanced playlist management. Actually the Winamp's media library has a custom query language where you can write queries well beyond the iTunes smart playlist feature. We're not quite talking SQL or Xpath but good enough for any purpose you care to throw at it. On the sharing front, Winamp just got winamp remote which I've not played with yet, but looks like you can control and stream winamp to any other winamp or browser window. This seems to work anywhere in the world
and although it doesn't use Zeroconf, sounds like a replacement for iTunes sharing.

Some other thoughts behind switching. Although AOL now own Winamp, they haven't restricted the plugins, skins etc which have been built. There are thousands of plugins which control every aspect of Winamp. The same is certainly not true of iTunes. I found myself a very nice plugin to map my global laptop multimedia keys to winamp's controls (who ever thought z to b would be a good idea, needs serious help), a bluetooth plugin which allows me to control winamp from my phone and in the lastest version of winamp
the ability to manage portable devices.

This feature alone is amazing, for example try managing a Creative Zen with iTunes. It just doesn't work because Apple wants you to buy a iPod not a Zen. My reply is, fine, then i'll stop using your software, Apple. Winamp now supports out of the box (latest version 5.3.2) The iPod, Creative devices, Playsforsure devices, USB devices and Activesync. The last two are the most exciting for myself. Now I can copy the lastest downloaded podcasts straight on to my SD card using Autofill or/and sync media with my mobile
phone. This is what I've been dying to do for a long time. Can I also point out iTunes miniplayer uses almost the same on screen real-estate as Winamp. And has more ability to connect to online services like Shoutcast and Pandora.

The point of all this is, Apple's innovation for iTunes has been mainly good for those who use the iTunes music store and a iPod device. I don't fit and will be deinstalling iTunes from all my computers from now on. Now if I can just get Winamp talking to the Xbox directly, i'll be completely set.

Oh you might have seen I mentioned Songbird. I love songbird but its not mature enough for general use. At some points while using it last week, it was using over 300meg of physical memory plus the smart playlist feature is incomplete. On the plus side the miniplayer is super slick using only the space of a toolbar (I found a winamp skin which is the same). I'll certainly keep an eye on it in the future but for now Winamp beats iTunes, Songbird and Windows Media Player.

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Not moving to vista

vista

What is going on with Windows Vista? I pledged not to move to Vista a while ago but after hearing about some of the major improvements (specially in the x64 version) I won't lie – I was tempted. I also with my new Dell get a free upgrade to Vista at some point. But lets be honest there's tons of really good reasons not to upgrade to Vista.

I've been reading a few view points recently. This Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection has been very useful.

Disabling of Functionality

Vista's content protection mechanism only allows protected content to be sent over interfaces that also have content-protection facilities built in. Currently the most common high-end audio output interface is S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format). Most newer audio cards, for example, feature TOSlink digital optical output for high-quality sound reproduction, and even the latest crop of motherboards with integrated audio provide at least coax (and often optical) digital output. Since S/PDIF doesn't provide
any content protection, Vista requires that it be disabled when playing protected content. In other words if you've invested a pile of money into a high-end audio setup fed from a digital output, you won't be able to use it with protected content. Similarly, component (YPbPr) video will be disabled by Vista's content protection, so the same applies to a high-end video setup fed from component video.

This is simply insane. Imagine you bought a LCD or Plasma which doesn't support HDCP over component or DVI your stuffed. Worst that this, if you basiclly dont have HDMI your screwed! I also wonder what Prenium content counts as? My camera does true HD 720p, would this count as prenium? Like the Zune would it apply DRM to content it thinks worthy? But it gets worst.

Decreased Playback Quality

Alongside the all-or-nothing approach of disabling output, Vista requires that any interface that provides high-quality output degrade the signal quality that passes through it. This is done through a “constrictor” that downgrades the signal to a much lower-quality one, then up-scales it again back to the original spec, but with a significant loss in quality. So if you're using an expensive new LCD display fed from a high-quality DVI signal on your video card and there's protected content present, the picture
you're going to see will be, as the spec puts it, “slightly fuzzy”, a bit like a 10-year-old CRT monitor that you picked up for $2 at a yard sale. In fact the spec specifically still allows for old VGA analog outputs, but even that's only because disallowing them would upset too many existing owners of analog monitors. In the future even analog VGA output will probably have to be disabled. The only thing that seems to be explicitly allowed is the extremely low-quality TV-out, provided that Macrovision is applied
to it. The same deliberate degrading of playback quality applies to audio, with the audio being downgraded to sound (from the spec) “fuzzy with less detail”.
Amusingly, the Vista content protection docs say that it'll be left to graphics chip manufacturers to differentiate their product based on (deliberately degraded) video quality. This seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.

The HFS rules out Open source and unified drivers which may sound good if your hardware is very straight forward but this is going to be crazy once you start adding much more custom hardware. but don't worry Microsoft have something which is much scary.

Denial-of-Service via Driver Revocation

Once a weakness is found in a particular driver or device, that driver will have its signature revoked by Microsoft, which means that it will cease to function (details on this are a bit vague here, presumably some minimum functionality like generic 640×480 VGA support will still be available in order for the system to boot). This means that a report of a compromise of a particular driver or device will cause all support for that device worldwide to be turned off until a fix can be found. Again, details are sketchy,
but if it's a device problem then presumably the device turns into a paperweight once it's revoked. If it's an older device for which the vendor isn't interested in rewriting their drivers (and in the fast-moving hardware market most devices enter “legacy” status within a year of two of their replacement models becoming available), all devices of that type worldwide become permanently unusable.
The threat of driver revocation is the ultimate nuclear option, the crack of the commissars' pistols reminding the faithful of their duty. The exact details of the hammer that vendors will be hit with is buried in confidential licensing agreements, but I've heard mention of multimillion dollar fines and embargoes on further shipment of devices alongside the driver revocation mentioned above.

And finally a word of warning for people like myself who think moving to Linux or Mac will solve the problem.

The worst thing about all of this is that there's no escape. Hardware manufacturers will have to drink the kool-aid (and the reference to mass suicide here is deliberate) in order to work with Vista: “There is no requirement to sign the [content-protection] license; but without a certificate, no premium content will be passed to the driver”. Of course as a device manufacturer you can choose to opt out, if you don't mind your device only ever being able to display low-quality, fuzzy, blurry video and audio when
premium content is present, while your competitors don't have this (artificially-created) problem.

As a user, there is simply no escape. Whether you use Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 95, Linux, FreeBSD, OS X, Solaris (on x86), or almost any other OS, Windows content protection will make your hardware more expensive, less reliable, more difficult to program for, more difficult to support, more vulnerable to hostile code, and with more compatibility problems.

Here's an offer to Microsoft: If we, the consumers, promise to never, ever, ever buy a single HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc containing any precious premium content, will you in exchange withhold this poison from the computer industry? Please?

The Inquirer also shined a another downside to vista.

When I get back from CES, the first thing I am going to do is sleep, shortly followed by catching up on my life, then dumping Windows from my main work machines, but not by choice. Vista can not work for me. Why? The licensing and the activation/DRM infection.

Microsoft has now decided that it won't gain anymore market share, so the only way to make more money is tp squeeze more out of each customer. You can do that in two ways, by raises prices and reducing piracy. It did raise the price a lot on Vista, and it is trying to squeeze out piracy, but legitimate users like me are the ones who suffer.

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A future without DRM

Bittorrent

I wasn't sure if I should title this post with a ! or ? So I decided to leave it for now. Anyway with DRM getting worst than ever according to BoingBoing, I found this post about Bittorrent's future without DRM a breeze of air. If you don't know, Bittorrent made a deal with a few movie studios to distribute there content across the bit torrent network. Then everyone shouted fowl because its content included Windows DRM. Well Bittorrent Inc have come out and said they see DRM as a current solution but they expect Add supported content will eventually win over.

The reason its bad for content providers is because typically a DRM ties a user to one hardware platform, so if I buy my all my music on iTunes, I cant take that content to another hardware environment or another operating platform. There are a certain number of consumers who will be turned off by that, especially people who fear that they may invest in a lot of purchases on one platform today and be frustrated later when they try to switch to another platform, and be turned off with the whole experience. Or some users might not invest in any new content today because theyre not sure if they want to have an iPod for the rest of their life.

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