Opinion

DRM: still defective by design

Image: Microsoft e-book store on EdgeMicrosoft announced in April that it was closing the Microsoft Store’s e-books section. The short-lived foray into e-books began in 2017 as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update. With the closure of the store, Microsoft also set a date this month (July) by which it would remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them. The how and the why? Digital Rights Management – DRM. …

Opinion: The Magic of the Movies

The Magic of the Movies postersI’ve been watching movies as long as I can remember.

Silent clowns Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton; classic Westerns (all of them!), visionary science fiction from Forbidden Planet to The Day the Earth Stood Still.

I thrilled at Errol Flyn as Robin Hood and the Sea Hawk; Jimmy Stewart maturing from honest everyman to gritty cowboy. I was captivated by Connery as Bond, touched by John Mills in Great Expectations. …

Opinion: Ad Blocking and why you’re not a pirate

Ad Blocking and Why You're not a PirateWeb user: I hate ads. They’re annoying, intrusive, distracting, they suck up bandwidth, delay my page loads, scam me with fake content and click-bait, and show me and my kids offensive and inappropriate content that is NSFW or home and bypass my privacy and parental rights.

Advertiser: That’s my revenue stream you’re talking about. That’s how I can afford to serve your content and pay my bills.

Impasse.

Opinion: No Summer Blockbusters, Please

Lawnmowers movie posterCruise, Smith and Pitt have all flopped this year, but when the cries about expensive overpaid stars no longer opening movies  die down, the next wave of ‘bankable certs’ should arrive in two years time.

Oblivion, After Earth and the troubled World War Z are the latest high-concept movies to have mangled the scripts in favour of big action set-peices and dodgy dialogue.

Oblivion steals from every sci-fi flick in decades, After Irk, the Smith family project from M. Night Shame-about-the-last-one makes no sense and WW-Zeeee departs so far from the lauded source material you wonder why they bothered. …

Opinion: Write Something, Write Anything [Guest Post]

Have you ever sat there, thinking “I wish I could write?” Not “I wish I could write like [Joe Schmo] or anyone in particular, just “I wish I could write.” I think you can. I don’t mean ‘the one novel that’s in all of us.’ Believe me, I’ve read a lot of those. It’s not true.

But you can write something. An opinion? Opinions are good. We all have them. Done something technical? What about a how-to, or a review? Maybe a poem? A haiku in response to Eric Schmidt? Go ahead, learn a new art-form… …

My Rules for Social Networking

A couple of things last month prompted this post.

First, I got hold of a little booklet by Hampshire Linux User Group member Damian Brasher, Damian’s Social Networking Rules.

Second, I saw the call for a Bloggers’ Code of Conduct over at O’Reilly.

Inspired, I decided to write out my (short) set of rules for social media. Apologies if this reads like Baz Luhrman’s self-help record Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Professional Cheapskate

Cheapskate: “a person unwilling to give or spend money; stingy person.”
Frugal: “not wasteful; not spending freely or unnecessarily; thrifty; economical.”
“A cheapskate is someone who takes frugality to the extreme. Instead of trying to make the most of his or her resources, the cheapskate refuses to spend money at all…” (Love-to-know)

To you, cheapskate may be an insult. To the Professional Cheapskate, it’s a badge of honour, particularly when applied to utilities, toys (computers, software and phones), financial products… …