DRM

Nokia Comes With Music gets DRM-free Chinese launch

Nokia Comes With Music gets DRM-free Chinese launch

If you were to believe the hype, China is a hotbed of counterfeit software and fake products, and now Nokia are throwing Comes With Music into the mixture.  The Finns have announced that their Comes With Music service is launching - as Yue Sui Xiang - in China, with no DRM on downloaded tracks; subscriptions range from twelve months to two years, and once that period is up you can keep any songs you've downloaded from them.  Of course, thanks to the absence of DRM this time around, you're also free to load up the tracks on other media playing devices.

Continue Reading...

Kindle, DRM & the case for an ebook Marketplace

Kindle, DRM & the case for an ebook Marketplace

Shortly before Christmas, Freescale sent me an Amazon Kindle to take a look at. On the surface, I should be the perfect audience for ebooks. I've never really invested in all that much digital music - I don't own an iPod or another manufacturers' PMP and I've only ever bought a few tracks online (and never with DRM) - instead using Spotify, the streaming music service, initially free and subsequently as a premium subscriber (which kills the ads and gives better quality audio), but I do love reading. I'd much rather read a book when travelling than listen to music, and it's books that distract me from tech before I go to sleep each night. I'm also pretty obsessive about keeping my books in pristine condition: I'm one of those bizarre people who don't like to crack the spine, and as such end up peering into a carefully spread gap.

So, voracious reader and obsessive-compulsive about book damage: ebooks, with instant Kindle download and no pesky spine to worry about, should be the ideal solution, right? As you probably guessed was coming, things haven't quite worked out that way.

Continue Reading...

Basic TV hack cuts HDCP copy-protection out of HDMI signal

Basic TV hack cuts HDCP copy-protection out of HDMI signal

Opening up your brand new HDTV and soldering wires directly to its control board takes a certain type of devil-may-care attitude, but in doing so one new owner found he could bypass HDCP.  HDCP is the often-frustrating copy-protection system that insists on a "digital handshake" between DVI/HDMI connected components; however, the InstaPort Fast HDMI Switching system in this "big brand" TV fails to re-encrypt with HDCP in-between the control board and the switcher.

Continue Reading...

Amazon 1984 ebook case settled: new remote-delete policy revealed

Amazon 1984 ebook case settled: new remote-delete policy revealed

Amazon's attempt to placate the braying crowds with a $30 kiss-and-make-up check and a grovelling apology after the deleted 1984 ebook fiasco worked with most Kindle customers, but it wasn't enough to dissuade suing student Justin Gawronski from his court case.  Amazon have now settled with the Michigan teen, to the amount of $150,000 in fact, which he will share with his legal team and a co-plaintiff; meanwhile, the retailer has taken steps to make its deletion policy clearer.

Full policy after the cut

Continue Reading...

Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

When I first was briefed on the Media Center edition of XP by Microsoft, I thought MCE was a pretty bad idea. A lot of my skepticism had to do with the market they claimed they were going after, namely college students in dorm rooms and yuppies living in cramped apartments with no room for both TVs and PCs. Of course, college students mostly buy laptops, and no matter where you live most folks don't watch TV on a small computer monitor from across the room. The short-term market were enthusiasts who understood the value of a DVR such as a TiVo.

Over time, Microsoft tried a few approaches with MCE – from extenders to allow you to view content on other TVs in the home over your network, to creating extender technology for Xbox (which is already hooked up to a TV set) – as well as working with a host of OEMs to create "living room" form factor home theater PCs. The result of these efforts was less than a stellar success and few vendors actively build home theater PCs; these days, if a consumer uses media center they're either an enthusiast or they've tripped over it by mistake trying to do something else. That's a shame, as MCE has evolved over time to become a great technology, one that few people even know exist.

Continue Reading...

Kindle DRM confuses: unknown download limits apply

Kindle DRM confuses: unknown download limits apply

The plus side to Amazon's attempts to differentiate ebook hardware and content is being able to read content on more than one device.  However, when one arm of the company is pushing customers to buy more Kindle hardware, and the other has cautious publishers insisting on layers of DRM, confusion is bound to happen.  According to Gear Diary's Dan Cohen, that confusion is already upon us: he's spent his weekend and several long calls with Amazon customer care trying to figure out how many times he can download ebooks he's purchased, and being told different things by different employees.

Continue Reading...

Publishers hit Kindle Text-to-Speech kill-switch

Publishers hit Kindle Text-to-Speech kill-switch

Amazon have begun to implement a remote kill-switch that removes text-to-speech functionality from their Kindle ebook reader.  A byproduct of the Author's Guild TTS controversy, the system allows publishers to disable text-to-speech on a title by title basis; as of this week, TTS has been removed from over 40 works including five of the top ten Random House best-sellers in the Kindle store.

Continue Reading...

iPod shuffle “control chip” not DRM, just more licensing

iPod shuffle “control chip” not DRM, just more licensing

After speculation that Apple was using the new iPod shuffle 4GB to launch an "authentication chip" which only licensed headphones would offer, Apple themselves and a number of third-party accessory manufacturers have spoken up about the smallest iPod's hardware.  V-moda, Monster Cable and Scosche have all described it as a "control chip", which uses the microphone channel in the four-channel headphones to send multiple commands: play, pause, volume control and more.

Continue Reading...

iPod shuffle ‘authentication chip’ threatening headphone DRM?

iPod shuffle ‘authentication chip’ threatening headphone DRM?

For something so small, the new iPod shuffle 3G is causing a whole lot of commotion.  Argument around Apple's tiniest PMP is centering on the control system, which has been shifted from the body of the shuffle itself to an in-line pod in the headphones.   Now there's talk of an "authentication chip" buried inside the shuffle that will act as "headphone DRM", with Apple insisting on licensing fees from any third-party manufacturer wanting to make compatible accessories.

Continue Reading...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7