Microsoft Book Store on Edge

DRM: still defective by design

Microsoft 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…

The Magic of the Movies posters

Opinion: The Magic of the Movies

I’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…

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

Web 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…

Lawnmowers poster

Opinion: No Summer Blockbusters, Please

Cruise, 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…

Medieval troubadors

Opinion: The Humble Minstrel [guest post]

We’ve had some feedback on our review of the Witness Podcast about Napster, mostly concerning the old business model of the music industry and it’s relentless pursuit of ‘pirates’ in defence of the old revenue model. Some established musicians such as the band Metallica aren’t gaining any friends by siding with the major record labels…

Fountain Pen v3 by ~TeGadzsodillouTe

Opinion: Write something, Write anything

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…

Social media idons by Ibranim.ID

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…

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…

iPad first generation

What Makes a Digital Messiah?

Expectations were high in January, when a guy called Steve stood up in San Francisco and announced a new kind of sanitary towel (according the product name). Expectations worthy of a new digital messiah; after almost two years of hype and speculation, it seems we’d be satisfied with nothing less. Just one look at the…