January 30, 2013

“The only people [DRM] annoys are the ones who have [acquired] legal copies”

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 12:12

At Techdirt, Glyn Moody explains why the attempt to add DRM to the HTML5 standard is doomed to failure:

You would have thought by now that people would understand that DRM is not only a bad idea, but totally unnecessary: Apple dropped DRM from music downloads in 2009 and seems to be making ends meet. Despite these obvious truths, the stupidity that is DRM continues to spread. Here, for example, is a particularly stupid example of DRM stupidity, as revealed by Manu Sporny:

    A few days ago, a new proposal was put forward in the HTML Working Group (HTML WG) by Microsoft, Netflix, and Google to take DRM in HTML5 to the next stage of standardization at W3C.

After all, this is exactly what Web users have been crying out for: “just give us DRM for the Web, and our lives will be complete….”

[. . .]

That clearly implies that when people are not sharing their own content with family and friends, then they are indeed adversaries:

    This “user is not an adversary” text can be found in the first question about use cases. It insinuates that people that listen to radio and watch movies online are potential adversaries. As a business owner, I think that’s a terrible way to frame your customers.

    Thinking of the people that are using the technology that you’re specifying as “adversaries” is also largely wrong. 99.999% of people using DRM-based systems to view content are doing it legally. The folks that are pirating content are not sitting down and viewing the DRM stream, they have acquired a non-DRM stream from somewhere else, like Mega or The Pirate Bay, and are watching that.

This is the fundamental reason why DRM is doomed and should be discarded: the only people it annoys are the ones who have tried to support creators by acquiring legal copies. How stupid is that?


Sequestration cuts must be more likely to happen because the sob stories are getting traction

Filed under: Economics, Government, Media, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:53

Tad Dehaven thinks the upsurge in horror stories about what sequestration will do to the US economy means it’s more likely that those cuts will actually take place:

The odds that $85 billion in “unthinkable, draconian” sequestration spending cuts will go into effect in March as scheduled are looking better. The odds must be getting better because, as if on cue, the horror stories have commenced.

A perfect example is an article in the Washington Post that details the angst and suffering being experienced by federal bureaucrats and other taxpayer dependents over the mere possibility that the “drastic” cuts will occur. You see, the uncertainty surrounding the issue has forced government employees to draw up contingency plans. Contingency plans? Oh, the humanity!

[. . .]

I certainly believe that Washington’s bouncing from one manufactured fiscal crisis to the next is detrimental to the economy, but my sympathy lies with the private sector – not the federal bureaucracy. It’s the private sector that has been suffering under the constant uncertainty surrounding federal tax and regulatory policy. And let’s not forget that there is no public sector without the private sector – the former existing entirely at the latter’s expense.

Yet, what follows in the Post article is boo-hoo after boo-hoo without the slightest regard to those who are paying for it or whether the whiner’s agency could use some belt-tightening

American fourth quarter GDP down 0.1%

Filed under: Economics, Military, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:29

The optimistic folks at Business Insider assure us that the unexpectedly bad number for the US fourth quarter hides some good news:

People will be stunned to see that today’s GDP report went negative for Q4… the first negative print since The Great Recession.

But the report isn’t that bad. In fact it was arguably good.

For one thing, most of the collapse was due to a stunning fall in military spending. That’s not good for GDP, but it doesn’t reflect the real underlying strength of the economy.

And it’s mostly due to war drawdown. That’s a good thing for everyone!

There’s a big, unstated reason for illegal immigration in the United States

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Government, Law, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 10:07

The illegal immigration problem won’t improve until the American government addresses the difficulties of legal immigration:

Reason, October 2008 - What Part of Legal Immigration Don't You Understand?!?!?

Reason, October 2008 – What Part of Legal Immigration Don’t You Understand?!?!?

Click the image to see the larger version.

QotD: Confirmation-Bias Theatre Of The Absurd

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Cancon, Media, Quotations — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 00:01

Unlike Andrew Coyne and Pierre Karl Péladeau, I am no expert on CRTC television policy. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a “must-carry” Class A license, a Class B carry-at-will, and a class X concealed-carry. But I do know a little about what makes for good journalism. And on that basis, I’d hate to see Sun News get taken off the air for want of revenue.

Sun’s enemies accuse the network’s hosts of being a bunch of haters. And it’s hard to deny the charge. Among the people they hate: Occupy protesters, fake hunger strikers and sanctimonious left-wing activists.

And Omar Khadr. Wow, do they hate Omar Khadr.

We know this because Sun News TV segments tend to go light on actual news, and heavy on middle-aged white guys shouting about people they don’t like. Sometimes, they sit around their Toronto studio interviewing each other. It’s a sort of performance art that might well be dubbed — by the surprisingly large number of left-wing Toronto hipsters who watch the channel ironically — as Confirmation-Bias Theatre Of The Absurd.

Jonathan Kay, “David Suzuki is poster boy for why Canada needs Sun’s brand of journalism”, National Post, 2013-01-29

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