Home > Uncategorized > Rojo: Bye-Bye DRM; April Fools; Political Wingnuts

Rojo: Bye-Bye DRM; April Fools; Political Wingnuts

Top Stories For the Week of April 2 – April 6

 It was the day DRM died. On Tuesday EMI Music announced it will make its entire catalog available without rights management, but Read/Write Web cautions that these new, higher-quality downloads will have a bigger price tag. EMI’s move may pay off: CEO Eric Nicoli said the new high-quality downloads were favored 10:1 over their low-fi brethren, blogs Paid Content, while Blog Herald observes that 84 percent of EMI users surveyed said portability from device to device was important. EMI approached Apple about the deal, not vice versa, and with CD sales expected to be flat, EMI predicts that online sales will make up 25 percent of sales by 2010.

Apple might be a victim of its own success in breaking down DRM walls, though; Crave says if other content companies follow EMI’s lead, the whole iTunes-iPods-Apple TV ecosystem could be null and void. Relax, blogs Business 2.0, there’s no way Hollywood will go DRM-free for Jobs because Apple doesn’t have market share in movies like it does in music. The EMI deal is a bit much for Don Dodge, who remembers Napster proposing the same scheme – seven years ago. Don’t count Napster out yet, Don: Although it’s still losing money, it has 785,000 subscribers and just beat analysts’ revenue expectations (via Ars Technica).

 Meanwhile, April Fools gets better every year as companies you know do exactly what you’d expect – only more. ;Google Paper” will print and deliver your Gmail by the truckload with big red targeted ads on the back, notes Bloggers Blog, while Inside Google spotted Slashdot’s “new” Digg-style voting system that generates ;hyper-accurate numbers” indicating relevance and “general awesomeness.” What wasn’t a gag was Mountain View’s odd attempt to replace post-Katrina New Orleans imagery with pre-hurricane photos (via Inside Google). Even more strangely, it was a North Carolina congressman who cried foul, leading Mountain View to expedite processing of new post-Katrina photos. Google Maps director John Hanke wrote on the Official Google Blog that it was all an innocent try at making the best possible imagery available.

 Maybe GOOG will have more luck as it extends into TV advertising courtesy a Dish Network deal (via VentureBeat), but Business 2.0 doubts it: Google’s Web success is driven by  knowing which ads are most popular, and technological limits and privacy laws make it impossible to similarly gauge TV ads. Mountain View still has cash, though, and alarm:clock blogs that up to $2 billion of it may go into a bidding war against Microsoft for DoubleClick. If Microsoft lets itself be outbid by Google, this just shows how far Gates & Co. have to go to make any material advances in their ad busines
s, writes Paul Kedrosky.

In the strange-bedfellows department, Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke jointly issued statements on the recent unpleasantness surrounding death threats Sierra received (via all noise …). After fouling up any police investigation and creating a media firestorm, Sierra blamed the media for inadequately telling her story, said the stalking situation had actually gotten worse, and stopped blogging at Creating Passionate Users until further notice.

 Poltical bloggers had a field day as Sen. John McCain made a walking tour of a Baghdad market. He was accompanied by about 200 soldiers and air support, blogs Think Progress, and cited an NBC reporter saying even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province with that kind of protection. Despite the surrounding violence, McCain declared Iraq improved, leading Wonkette to speculate that the senator was describing the virtual Iraq in Second Life. In any case, the “peaceful” market McCain visited got lit up by snipers as soon as he and the other gringos left, blogs Alobar Greywalker.

And right-wing bloggers are giving Nancy Pelosi flack for visiting Syria. She’s handing Assad a diplomatic victory while flip-flopping on Syrian accountability, blogs RedState. The modern Democratic leadership wears a hijab, snorts Hot Air. Feminist in America, subservient in Syria, rails Instapundit. It was left to Eschaton to defend the House speaker, saying Pelosi wore a head scarf out of respect. Otherwise it looks like Laura Bush and Condi are traitors too, writes Daily Kos.

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