If you buy anything with DRM, you are stupid

And there’s another in the long list of music retailers who decided to turn off their DRM servers, effectively taking back the music you “bought”.

As the final stage of our transition to a full DRM-free MP3 download store, Walmart will be shutting down our digital rights management system that supports protected songs and albums purchased from our site.

WalMart is actually telling people to burn their DRMed music to cd so they don’t lose it. This is a pretty callous way of telling customers that WalMart doesn’t care about them. I don’t really understand how there can’t be a better solution. Is it really that hard for WalMart to leave a server running that just always says, “yes, you’re authorized”? It is increasingly clear to all those paying attention that any business model that depends on some sort of DRM is doomed to fail. And those who buy DRMed goods are doomed to lose them when the seller decides not to support it anymore. Let that be a lesson – DRM is anti-consumer. Always. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either mislead or lying.

Ooh, burned!

Messing with the Washington Wizards online saleschatter.

agravitz: Welcome to our real-time support chat. How can I help you today? Jon: When do single game tickets go on sale? agravitz: usually in early october have you ever thought about doing a ticket plan Jon: no, I don’t like the Wizards, I just want tickets to the Celtics game thanks though. agravitz: sure no problem

That’s my daughter!

Originally uploaded by Nine Inch Nails

No, not the picture. That’s clearly not my daughter. No, the wife was taking her to get her hearing tested and had some issues finding the place she had to go. The kid was fussing, so the wife turned on the radio, thinking she’d tune in a station that doesn’t exist, and maybe the white noise would calm the kid down.

Well, the last time I was in the car, I was listening to Nine Inch Nails, and that came on instead of the radio.

Sure enough, the kid stopped crying right away. I think she might have fallen asleep.

The first Google phone launches today

Unless you live under a rock (or don’t pay as much attention to gadget websites as I do), you probably know that TMobile is launching the first cell phone running Google’s Android operating system today. This is what open-source techno-hippies like me wish the iPhone was. Instead of a closed, proprietary system controlled by one company that hates you, it’s a totally open system, designed to run anything on any hardware, “controlled” by a company that loves making money (And only wants to own all your personal information in return). You won’t see any exclusivity contracts from Google, so it’s likely that Android will arrive on carriers that don’t suck soon. It looks like work is not going to buy me a Blackberry (jerks), which may end up being good for me, as I’d rather have an Android phone. Suggestions for convincing the wife that I need one are welcome. You will, however, see things like the Amazon MP3 store pre-loaded.

Amazon.com said this morning that its MP3 music store will be pre-loaded on the T-Mobile G1, the first phone to be powered by Android.

I think I’m awake

Originally uploaded by thetejon

On the bright side, the kid met her great grandmother yesterday. She even behaved herself.

On the other hand, we are going to have to teach her that staying up until 2AM is moderately tolerable on the weekend, but highly frowned upon when Mommy has to take her to the doctor at 8AM the next day and Daddy has to go to work.

Like a poison dart frog, it’s there to warn you away

The telltale signs will vary – a popped collar, big aviator glasses, whatever the well-dressed DC bar junkie with too much disposable income is using to woo unsuspecting (read: drunk) young women in Georgetown or Dupont – but it’s never too hard to pick out the douchebags. I know, that’s not a really nice word, but I can’t think of anything with a connotation that more closely matches the type of person I’m describing. Anyway, a few weeks back, a guy got on the 16th Street bus (At U St, big surprise) wearing jeans, an untucked button-down shirt, and aviator glasses. My first thought was, “Why do you wear those ridiculous glasses?”. I know it shouldn’t bother me, but it did – I was annoyed that he looked like an idiot. But then I thought a little more. This guy is actually doing me a favor. There is no chance I want to talk to the guy. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I judged this guy, and I know I was right. His glasses, though, are a big warning sign. If he looked like a normal guy who didn’t spend an hour getting ready to go out, I might not know he was a douchebag without talking to him. I might actually waste thirty seconds talking to a guy I would most certainly want to punch. The poison dart frogs use their bright colors to warn away predators, screaming, “I’m poisonous! Don’t eat me!”. This guy uses his glasses to yell, “I’m annoying! Ignore me!”. This is really an important milestone in the evolution of the human race. In fact, if we wait another few generations, we may all self-identify ourselves so accurately that I will never have to talk to another useless person again. It will be easier when we all have location-aware social networking mobile computer/phones and you can check the Facebook profile of the person next to you on the bus. So, next time I see one of these guys, I won’t be so annoyed. In fact, I might even thank him for warning me.

I might go into the office and take a nap

I’m working from home today. In front of my house, they are jackhammering the street. Next door, they are cutting concrete. On the floor above me, the loudest cleaning lady in the Universe is still puttering along. It is truly amazing that the wife has managed to get the kid to sleep. Now if only I could actually get any work done.

If I don’t admit I’m exhausted, maybe I won’t be

I’m back at work for the first time since the kid. It’s not fun. She was up really late last night. The wife tried to get her down so I could sleep before work, but at 2AM she needed some help. The kid and I fell asleep on the couch sometime around 2:30, and here I am at work by 8:15. I have a two hour meeting at 9:30, and a shorter meeting at 1, and then I’m going home. So maybe five more hours. On the bright side, it’s a pretty amazing feeling to listen to her slow down from screaming to crying to sleeping while I’m bouncing her up and down and whispering in her ear. In the long run, I suspect that’s what I’ll remember, rather than the sleepless nights.

As much as it sucks, we still have to pay the contracts they signed

When I first heard about the giant “golden parachutes” that were supposed to go to the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – in the neighborhood of $10 million each – I was pretty mad. After the government stepped in to bail them out, we, the taxpayers, were on the hook for these ridiculous firing bonuses. These two men had been in charge of the two companies when it was decided that they couldn’t go on without a government bailout – even if they didn’t start the practices that led them here, they certainly must have been aware of what was going on. Now, after their mismanagement and incompetence, taxpayers were going to pay them more than most of us will make in a lifetime. But then a friend pointed out that we can’t pick and chose which employee payments get made when disaster happens. The government has just stepped in and said, “We’re renegotiating the employment contracts retroactively because it’s too much money”. Partly I’m torn. It is really infuriating that these guys will get so much money for utterly failing at their jobs. It’s infuriating that we’ll have to pay for it. But it’s not the government’s place to come in and change the game at this point. Yes, the government is paying some or all of the bills. But if we wanted that sort of control over what happened at Fannie and Freddie, we should have created the Department of Secondary Mortgages. Then the “CEOs” would be appointees and we could make political statements and fire them without resorting to just telling them that the legal contracts they signed are null and void just because we say so.