The Null Device
Last night I changed the ring tone on my mobile phone. It now plays a rendition of the organ-grinder's melody from The City of Lost Children (well, as much of it as could fit); I wonder how many people will recognise it...
As the screws tighten on MP3 and the intellectual-property barons step up attempts to herd consumers into the black iron prison of total access control, Ogg Vorbis has reached version 1.0. Ogg Vorbis is a compressed audio format believed to be superior to MP3 in quality, and taking a firm stand against access control enforcement. Expect the penguinheads to adopt it en masse, Microsoft to studiously ignore it, Fraunhofer to make vague noises about patent violations, and the MPAA to put pressure on manufacturers to not support this renegade format, or even on ISPs to add .ogg files to their auto-delete list or face vague, insubstantial threats of copyright infringement lawsuits. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out: whether Ogg Vorbis will be confined to the penguinhead underground or end up becoming the Next Big Thing.
Security guru Simson Garfinkel reckons that the DMCA and the ban on DVD decryption will inevitably fall and the MPAA will end up losing. I'm not so sure; given how much money there is riding on keeping artificial scarcity and preserving the hegemony of multinational content companies, I suspect that we're merely witnessing the opening salvos of a War On Copying to rival the War On Drugs in ferocity and scope. (Remember all those people who've been predicting the legalisation of marijuana, year after year, for the past three or four decades?)
Amusing quote from NME: "Despite the lingering suspicion that they make music solely for graphic designers, Goldfrapp's art-hop is undeniably enchanting." (Actually, I do know one graphic designer who has the Goldfrapp album.)
If you wonder why this blog has been a bit quiet over the past 24 hours or so, it's because (a) the Windenburg NT machine on my desk at work died two days ago, and I only got it back now, and (b) I had to come in to work early today (before 9am!) and thus didn't do much blogging late in the evening. Normal service should resume soon (or maybe not, given my present workload).