Most existing DRM attempts to only allow the user to access the DRM'ed content with particular applications or with particular credentials so that if the file is shared it won't be useful to others. A better solution is to encode any of the user's horrible secrets into unique versions of the DRM'ed content so that the user won't want to share it. Entangle the users and the content provider's secrets together in one document and accordingly their interests. I call this Blackmail DRM. For an implementation it is important to point out that the user's horrible secret doesn't need to be verified as accurate, but merely verified as believable.
Apparently I need to get these blog posts written faster because only recently I read about Social DRM which is a light weight version of my idea but with a misleading name. Instead of horrible secrets, they say they'll use personal information like the user's name in the DRM'ed content. More of my thoughts stolen and before I even had a chance to think of it first!
I was reading Makers, Cory Doctorow's latest novel, as it was serialized on Tor's website but with no ability to save my place within a page I set out to find a book reading app for my G1 Android phone. I stopped looking once I found Aldiko. Its got bookmarks within chapters, configurable fonts, you can look-up words in a dictionary, and has an easy method to download public domain and creative common books. I was able to take advantage of Aldiko's in-app book download system to get Makers onto my phone so I didn't have to bother with any conversion programs etc, and I didn't have to worry about spacing or layout, the book had the correct cover art, and chapter delimiters. I'm very happy with this app and finished reading Makers on it.
Makers is set in the near future and features teams of inventors, networked 3d printers, IP contention, body modifications, and Disney -- just the sort of thing you'd expect from a Cory Doctorow novel. The tale seems to be an allegory for the Internet including displacing existing businesses and the conflict between the existing big entertainment IP owners and the plethora of fans and minor content producers. The story is engaging and the characters filled out and believable. I recommend Makers and as always its Creative Commons so go take a look right now.
If you view a plain text document in Internet Explorer 8, for instance the plain text version of Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother and press F12 to bring up the developer toolbar, you can see that IE simply takes the plain text, sticks it inside a
tag, and renders it. This means that word wrapping isn't supplied and the only line breaks that appear are those in the document. However, since the text document is converted to HTML it means I can implement word wrap myself using a bookmarklet:
After adding a favorite and setting the favorite's URL to the previous, I can view plain text documents, and select my Word Wrap favorite to apply word wrap and non-fixed width font.
I just upgraded to the Zune 3.0 software which includes games and purchasing music on the Zune via WiFi and once again I'm thrilled that the new firmware is available for old Zunes like mine. Rooting around looking at the new features I noticed Zune Badges for the first time. They're like Xbox Achievements, for example I have a Pixies Silver Artist Power Listener award for listening to the Pixies over 1000 times. I know its ridiculous but I like it, and now I want achievements for everything.
Achievements everywhere would require more developments in self-tracking. Self-trackers, folks who keep statistics on exactly when and what they eat, when and how much they exercise, anything one may track about one's self, were the topic of a Kevin Kelly Quantified Self blog post (also check out Cory Doctorow's SF short story The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away featuring a colony of self-trackers). For someone like me with a medium length attention span the data collection needs to be completely automatic or I will lose interest and stop collecting within a week. For instance, Nike iPod shoes that keep track of how many steps the wearer takes. I'll also need software to analyze, display, and share this data on a website like Mycrocosm. I don't want to have to spend extreme amounts of time to create something as wonderful as the Feltron Report (check out his statistic on how many daily measurements he takes for the report). Once we have the data we can give out achievements for everything!
Eat at least ten different kinds of animals.
Meet at least 10% of the residents in your home town.
Visit a city in every country.
Survive at least 80 years of life.
Of course none of the above is practical yet, but how about Delicious achievements based on the public Delicious feeds? That should be doable...