Archive for December, 2006

“All the cool kids…

…download their music these days.” So I was told last night by a friend of mine and it has more than an element of truth to it – iTunes was swamped by the increased demand after Christmas.

DRM doesn’t feature on a lot of people’s radar but maybe it should? I guess the geeks have to be better at promoting the alternatives. The two obvious alternatives are eMusic and Magnatune, I haven’t used either – I haven’t bought much music recently (download or otherwise) but Em’s just got a new PC and it’s wired up to the stereo so I guess now is the time.

I see on the blog of the CEO of Magnatune that the Rhythmbox music player now has the ability to buy Magnatunes tracks – cool, but the new version of Rhythmbox isn’t included in Fedora yet, I guess we might have to wait for Fedora 7? Hope not!

It’s been a good, if uneventful Christmas, still at my parents, done a little coding and last night met up with some old friends (Dave, Paul & Tanya), just before Christmas Adam came to visit. I’ve seen a lot of old faces but not everyone I’d like to have, I’m going to have to make sure I get in contact with everyone

P.S. I’ve heard that if you’re using eMusic on Linux then eMusic-GNOME is the slickest way to do it – will have to have a play

OSS Graphics Card Drivers

If you’re a linux user who has yet to see the pledge, I urge you to sign it. It’s still not ideal though, the fact that to get the full power of a linux desktop on most computers you need binary blobs in your kernel is definately a barrier to adoption.

We’ve just bought an Intel based computer rather than an AMD one because of Intel’s open drivers for their graphics.  Hopefully now AMD have bought ATi we’ll see them open up their drivers but there’s been no announcement yet. In the mean time, hopefully people will buy Intel rather than AMD to keep the pressure up.

A new phone

I’ve mostly caught up on the things I’ve wanted to read on the internet now after the big Tiscali outage. A whole bunch of technology stuff has happened not all of which I’m ready to talk about on the blog yet. One thing I’m talking about (to any geek that’ll listen) is OpenMoko. It’s a phone with built-in GPS, USB, linux and a stack that’s as open as possible. Price tag is expected to be $350, hurrah for the two-dollar pound.

Although I recently renewed my mobile contract, I didn’t get a new phone, none interested me particularly. OpenMoko on the other hand I’m really enthused by, I’d like wifi and an FM receiver but then I’d like a pony too*.

While scouring the internet for as much info as possible on the new phone, I got side tracked by some interesting posts on the blog of Fabrizio Capobianco (CEO of the cool company writing the email/PIM that will come with the OpenMoko phone). Firstly he argues that the reason that Sun chose the GPL for Java is because Motorola had announced they were working on a Apache Licensed Java ME. Secondly he advocates that OSS companies should dual-license their source. As an example, he discusses Oracle offering support for RedHat Linux.

I hope that history will show that dual-licensing isn’t necessary. In order to dual license, you need to ask for copyright-assignment from anyone who offers contributions which is inevitably going to reduce the pool of volunteers, hampering the growth of the community. Hopefully the Red Hat trademark and their reputation as a clueful company will keep the money rolling in for a long time to come.

* = Well actually I wouldn’t but there you go.

(As usual the opinions here are my own, see the disclaimer at the bottom of the page)

Hello Internet!

My last post in which I complained about Tiscali Broadband and their inability to disconnect me was insanely optimistic though I didn’t realise it at the time. It actually took until last week for them to get the markers off the my line. So for more than 3 months I’ve been without internet access at home. It’s been frustrating and I’ve spent so long listening to the musak that Tiscali play you on the phone while you are in a queue that my IQ has probably halved. My new broadband supplier is A&A, so far they’ve been excellent; really friendly and got us quickly connected. A&A are more expensive that Tiscali but it seems to me that paying 2 shillings for reliable internet access is better than paying 1 shilling for frustration and aggravation.
I’m now going to go and read the 2000+ blog entries I’ve missed – it seems that the internet doesn’t stop when I’m not reading it!