Posts Tagged ‘Gizmodo’

Is a Flash Based Zune Near?

Just finished looking at a lot of posts talking about a major announcement at some function in Redmond, at Microsoft headquarters. iLounge is reporting that they are announcing a new Zune, and none of the other sites that posted about it, Engadget, CrunchGear, Gizmodo, and Cliczune, among others, had anything else to add. I guess we will see tomorrow.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 6, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Categories: Gadgets   Tags: , ,

RIAA In the News

The popular gadget site Gizmodo has declared March Boycott the RIAA month, saying the very reasons people download music is because of things like the RIAA and DRM. These things keep people from being able to play the music they buy on whatever device they choose to, you have to have an iPod to play tunes from iTunes, a Zune to play music from the Zune Marketplace, etc, and they are right, this is a bunch of crap. Used to be, when you bought your music tapes you could record them on other devices, listen to them however you want but nowadays, that is not the case when you buy music online. If I buy a song from a musician, I should be able to play it wherever I like on whatever device I have, but DRM prevents that, and causes people to download unprotected music online.

Beyond the harassment, extortion, and privacy invasion that the RIAA commits under the guise of lawsuits, they also stifle innovation by treating any open Internet source as a potential way for people to violate their copyrights. Recently, they filed a “motion for reconsideration” in a suit claiming that anything downloaded via an Internet connection is the responsibility of the owner of said connection. While the RIAA is trying to make it easier for them to get money out of the parents of kids they sue, the precedent that it would set would make it difficult, if not impossible, for open WiFi hotspots to exist. That means that the RIAA would make it impossible for you to connect to the web for free while out in a city that provides Internet access merely because you might use it to download music.

In effect, the RIAA’s insistence on strict DRM takes value away from legally purchased music. People have a choice: they can either pirate unrestricted MP3 files that will let them use them however they’d like, or they can pay for files that won’t allow them the freedom to listen where and how they choose. It only makes sense that many tech-savvy people choose to download MP3s rather than pay for crippled files. The RIAA wants people to pay for restrictions and like it. Source: Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto

This is exactly true, Steve Jobs recently called for digital media companies to get rid of the DRM, but that is an easy thing to do when you have nothing to loose, what he should’ve done would be to demand that they drop DRM and let people play their music anywhere, they way it is supposed to be.

In other RIAA news, apparently they don’t like a new bill submitted by Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, and John Doolittle, a California Republican, that would allow consumers to circumvent digital copy restrictions in six limited areas when the copyright owners’ business models are not threatened. This so-called fair use doctrine would allow customers of copyright works to make a limited number of copies, either for reviews, news reporting, teaching and research. The RIAA said this would legalize “hacking”, something else they don’t sound too bright on, look it up fellas.

“The fair use doctrine is threatened today as never before,” Boucher said in a statement. “Historically, the nation’s copyright laws have reflected a carefully calibrated balanced between the rights of copyright owners and the rights of the users of copyrighted material. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public’s right to fair use.”

But the RIAA said the bill would effectively repeal the DMCA. The bill would “allow electronics companies to induce others to break the law for their own profit,” it said in a statement. Advances such digital music sales, online games, on-demand movies and e-books can be traced to DMCA protects, the RIAA said. Source: RIAA opposes new fair use bill

Screw the RIAA, these people are going away and they know it, it is easier and easier for artists to create and distribute their own music and other media, it’s just too bad most of it sucks, but, most of the music coming out of those music companies sucks as well. This bill would also limit the statutory damages against individuals and firms who may be found to have engaged in contributory infringement, inducement of infringement, or other indirect infringement.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 28, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Categories: Piracy   Tags: , , ,

First Zune Hacks Released

I’ve posted before, Share a Song with Zune and Get Credit Back and iPod the Pong of Digital Music, about the Zune DRM and how it will probably be cracked soon after release, well, this isn’t a crack, but someone has developed a complicated hack to bypass the DRM, and while this is pretty much the same thing as copying a file to a USB drive and then to another computer, this just shows you how quickly something will probably be coming. How hard would it be to write a little program that does this for you? Not to hard I don’t think, and while Microsoft could probably fix this easily in a future update, would they really want to?

How great would it be to have an MP3 player that can send other MP3 players songs without restrictions? I think that would be a popular MP3 player, and if Microsoft has tried to create the Zune to block such sharing, with their DRM, they have tried right? This could definitely help Microsoft get a jump in market share, it’s not their fault these Zune Hacks have been released.

Now, I’m not saying they are up to anything, I’m just trying to come up with a reason for Microsoft to not block such hacks, or at least not for awhile, and in an update that we don’t have to load, so we could choose not to block that hack, etc.

Anyway, this started as a way to use the Zune as a portable hard drive, and then all they had to do was bypass the DRM, and they did that by renaming file extensions on the music files to jpg, transferring with at least one actual jpeg file to another Zune and renaming to the actual extension again. There’s already one program created to make it easier to do, check the Zune Boards with the tutorial there once you sign up to the board. This was also posted at Gizmodo here and here and at Zune Scene.

The Zune can be used to store and transfer various file formats such as zip files, PDF files and word documents. No Zune hardware or software changes are required at all. This technique will not bypass any DRM on any protected files.

Instructions are included below. The Zune device will appear in “My Computer” and visual access to files is available. Please make these registry modifications at your own risk to your PC. Source: Zune Scene.

Zune tips or Zune hacks, whatever you want to call this one, there will be more on the way.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 26, 2006 at 6:37 am

Categories: Gadgets   Tags: , , , , ,

The $9,000 Supercomputer

Okay, so it’s not really a supercomputer, I saw a post the other day that called the PS3 a supercomputer, so I couldn’t help it. But, apparently, someone has won an auction on for a PS3 on eBay for $9,000!

Link is here.

This auction was still up the last time I looked, but many, many auctions going for much more than that are gone, so you have to assume eBay pulled them because they were fake, or the bidder was not a real bidder in the sense that someone actually wanted it.

Via Gizmodo.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 18, 2006 at 5:39 am

Categories: Video Games   Tags: , , ,

iPod the Pong of Digital Music

In an interview with Gizmodo, Microsoft’s J Allard called the iPod the Pong of digital music.

Giz: Why should iPod users switch to a Zune?

J Allard:The wrong consumer to start with is…

the one who says “You’ll take my ipod from my cold clammy hands.”
People love their social networks, though. If they’re over email, IM, or on the web, it’s integrated into their lives. We want to bring that to portable music. Digital music is far front done. Ipod is the Pong of digital music. Let’s take it to the next level. And connected is what its all about.

The other thing is video. It’s a much more inclusive part of people’s life. Especially tail end video [referring to Wired and Chris Anderson's Long Tail theories]. How do we bring that to pockets? Oh yes: People said we want a bigger screen [than the ipod].

Now, before you take that as an attack on Apple, I need to say what he was trying to say. He was saying the iPod is the first big hit of digital music, hell, I’d still play pong if it was put in front of me, wouldn’t you? Many, many people own an iPod, we have two, the original 20 gig with the black and white screen and my boy owns a Nano, with all of its wonderful scratches. Heck, we have a local radio station that calls itself xPod, for whatever reason, they don’t fit in my pocket, they don’t just play songs that I like, and play way too much Poison. Sounds dumb when they say it, “xPod Radio”.

Apple should take the statement to heart though, if what he says is true, that means the iPod will be going away to be replaced by the next generation digital music player, and we all know which one Microsoft hopes it will be, Zune. Allard even spoke about the Wifi capabilities of Zune, saying,

Put WiFi in, start with one or two scenarios that users will understand. A few times a year, we’ll update the firmware, and let consumers do new and exciting things.

I like the sounds of this, Zune will start with the ability for users to share music with outher Zune devices,

Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

With the prospect of them adding to these abilities, this one doesn’t sound as bad, of course three times or three days suck, but we all know some young enterprising young hacker will figure out how to bypass the DRM, and will all be sharing mp3′s until our hearts content. Not that I would or want to. ;)

While I kind of agree about the iPod being the first big thing, I don’t think they will lay down and go away, Apple has bigs things planned for the iPod, remember,

Apple is in your den
Apple is in your living room
Apple is in your car
Apple is in your pocket

at least in Apple’s picture of the future of digital music.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 15, 2006 at 9:49 pm

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News   Tags: , ,