Unchained Melody

The Economist has a follow up to Steve Jobs’ open letter about DRM.

This week Mr Jobs gave another explanation for his former defence of DRM: the record companies made him do it. They would make their music available to the iTunes store only if Apple agreed to protect it using DRM. They can still withdraw their catalogues if the DRM system is compromised. Apple cannot license FairPlay to others, says Mr Jobs, because it would depend on them to produce security fixes promptly. All DRM does is restrict consumer choice and provide a barrier to entry, says Mr Jobs; without it there would be far more stores and players, and far more innovation. So, he suggests, why not do away with DRM and sell music unprotected? “This is clearly the best alternative for consumers,” he declares, “and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.”

Steve Jobs on DRM

This story is all over the internet right now but I figured I’d link to it in case you haven’t read it. Steve Jobs of Apple writes about his company’s position on Digital Rights Management.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

Not So Pretty Things

The lady and I watched CBC’s The Passionate Eye tonight which featured the documentary "Pretty Things" by Liz Goldwyn. To watch a possibly fascinating documentary about mid-century burlesque dancers ruined by a film-maker who tries to put some sort of post-feminist spin on what was essentially stripping made me want to punch the screen. Don’t get me wrong, I was hoping to listen to interviews with some of the dancers from that era. I wasn’t hoping for Liz Goldwyn to try and live out her romanticized version of burlesque on the screen. I thought I was just being cranky but a lot of people not only agree with my opinion but articulate it bettter.

I finally got around to watching this documentary and I pretty much agree with everyone about Liz Goldwyn. She came across so naive and pseudo-intellectual. She has romanticized burlesque to the point where it seems that she believes that it was all about female empowerment for these women. That it was much different and loftier than today’s strip acts. She is so shocked to hear that for those women, it was a means to an end…a way to make a living.

The scenes where Liz is getting lessons on burlesque and rehearsing her act, annoyed the heck out of me. I was more interested in hearing the stories these women had to tell. This was a total vanity project for Liz Goldwyn because it was more about her insecurity about her body and sexuality, her need to feel confident and sexy, etc.

However, aside from the annoyingness of Liz, I loved Zorita. I almost cried when I heard she had died. She was awesome. I loved how she told it like it was (well, as she saw it), and she totally saw through Liz. I loved it when Zorita called Liz on her seeming fascination (bordering on obsession) with her (Zorita) being a lesbian. I also heartily agreed with her assessment of Liz’s ugly shoes and dress.

It was fun seeing all of that old footage and seeing all of the old costumes and memorabilia. I liked hearing about the careful choreography that would go into a seemingly accidental movement. It was sad,though, to hear about those troubled backgrounds and how many of them got started in the business really young, like at 13 and 14 years of age.

Rachel Shteir from The Slate has an even harsher review.

Porn To Go

Telus is now offering adult services to its cellphone line. From the National Post:

Available on a "pay-per-download" basis, the service introduced on Jan. 8 will allow cellphone users to download pornographic photographs and videos, charging them an average of $3 to $4 for each item. Jim Johannsson, a Telus spokesman, said yesterday that pornographic material was already widely available on mobile phones equipped with Internet browsers. So we’ve introduced — in a very responsible way — adult content that’s in behind proper age verification and that’s compliant with provincial standards and regulations," he said. Mr. Johannsson said the company can track what its customers are searching for via Internet connections on their cellphones and noticed a definite interest in some of the Web’s more provocative sites.

Looking at porn in one’s home is great but one would like to think that discretion would come into play and keep you from taking the show on the road. Seriously. That’s why they make large computer monitors and tube socks.

Frank

I keep on meaning to pick up an issue of Frank whenever I’m at the magazine store. But between me wanting to buy other magazines and it costing $5.00, being printed on cheap newsprint and not that thick, I never do. I did check out their website though and aside from not being able to read most of the content without the $9.95/month subscription the pictures made me laugh enough to reconsider picking up an issue next time.

Wii-Ner

I feel like such a dork. I real, real big dork. For the last few months I’ve been gazing longingly at the Nintendo Wii and thinking to myself, "Fuck!  I want one." Unfortunately finding one is damn near impossible as demand is still outweighing supply. The good news is that I’ve convinced the lady to go in on half with me which is still quite cheap considering that the Wii is hundreds of dollars less than its competitors. Rest assured once I’ve got the Wii in my hot little hand and I’ve exhausted myself from round after round of Wii boxing with the lady, I’ll be holding a Wii party.