Tag Archives: drm

Entertainment: Movies, Books, Music

Shamelessly copied from grrrace's great reviews, you should read them.

.:What I'm Watching:.

Hitman: Unrated. [A gun-for-hire "Hitman" is a genetically-engineered, elite assassin known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Eastern Europe. But even 47 couldn't anticipate a "random equation" in his life exactitude: the unexpected stirrings of his conscience and the unfamiliar emotions aroused in him by a mysterious Russian woman.]

Originally I was looking at this for the Digital Copy that's included but what a great surprise this film was. Based off the video games series, it's about a trained assassin who's double crossed. This guy makes the last James Bond look like a traffic cop. Great acting, what a believable character, when is Hitman 2 coming out. Some of it is very violent and graphic but in all fairness the film is called Hitman. Some of the best fighting scenes I can remember. By the way both Donna and I watched the film entirly on the iPod Touch in bed that's how good the film was.

Tekkonkinkreet: [Two orphan brothers the tough, canny Kuro and the childish, snot-nosed Shiro who live in the streets of Treasure City. Together they are known as Neko and they live homeless, living out of a car in the junkyard when not visiting Gramps, an older homeless man, these children also serve as the city's superhero guardians, although older brother Black must also give a great deal of personal attention to White, who even for a ten-year-old can sometimes seem very disconnected from reality. They're going to have to be on the top of their games, because a pair of Yakuza – Rat and Kimura – are returning to Treasure Town, but to a certain extent their only front men for a group of developers looking to build a family amusement center – and they've hired the monstrous looking Snake and his inhumanly powerful goons to make sure it gets done.]

I know you'll be tempted… not for kids. A R rating in the video and a 13+ sticker from the Régie du Cinema, but adults who like tragic, flawed and damaged characters will like it. Also lots of Matrixesque type violence and movement, but it is the same studio that worked on the Animatrix. The animation is top notch but didn't blow me away like a Miyazaki film, and yes I know that is a very high standard. I liked how whether street kid, criminal or cop they all cared about their neighborhood and in strange way were a kind of family. For me it added depth to the characters and story.

.:What I'm Reading:.

Broken Angels (Gollancz)
Richard Morgan

 Broken Angels: [Despite its slick formulaic structure, Morgan's SF–hardboiled hybrid, the sequel to the well-received Altered Carbon, bursts with energy and intelligence. Protagonist Takeshi Kovacs is the product of a brutal future in which corporations and politicians fight for supremacy. Humanity has spread to the stars by deciphering charts left behind by the long-extinct Martians. Since people haven't discovered how the Martians surpassed the speed of light, however, they usually travel through space by broadcasting their digitalized personalities from one planet to another and having them installed in new bodies, a technique that gives virtual immortality to the most unscrupulous individuals. One such is Kovacs, a young sociopath whom the interstellar government transformed into a super warrior before he went freelance. Kovacs resembles a smarter and deadlier Mike Hammer; part of the pleasure is watching him not only use his skills and conditioning but also struggle past his limitations to develop empathy for other humans. The few people Kovacs gets close to are the team that accompanies him on an expedition to claim the ultimate Martian relic—a functioning FTL starship. Morgan is good at presenting Kovacs's mastery of high-tech weapons and other gadgets, as well as his reactions to disturbing alien artifacts. The mystery aspect of the story is also well handled, always hovering in the background of the violent action as Kovacs gathers clues. It all adds up to a superior, satisfying cyberpunk noir adventure.]

I really enjoy Richard Morgan. Broken Angels is fast paced but not rushed, has characters that you end up caring about, and is a great continuation of the Cyberpunk genre (which I love). I like when I see the future, science and space travel and of couse people done realistically, no Lycra jumpsuits here. It's gritty, dark and life is cheap since you'll just get a new body after you die anyway. Excellent book. Really pushed my imagination.

.:What I'm Listening Too:.

Diamond Hoo Ha

Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha: I've always liked Supergrass right from their first album way back in High School. They really do the retro 70's & 80's pop rock just how I like it. Catchy tunes, memorable lyrics and musically layered songs. Ghost of a Friend is a favorite. Though Carts and I differ in opinion if he's the only one who's allowed to head bob along in the car to the album. Oh and it's iTunes Plus so no DRM. And he's a preview MP3 of the entire album.

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Free, The Music

Having recently purchased my first songs from iTunes (DRM free) I was very excited about the whole thing. That is until a friend asked "why do you buy your songs?".

The question made me think and here's the main reason I came up with. Buying an item emotionally invests you in it. You'll look after, cherish and protect it. Of course I should also point out the major selling that has stopped me from purchasing music online up to now has been DRM. iTunes Plus will do for now but I'm really waiting for the Amazon MP3 store to come to Canada.

There are two main drawbacks to me for buying music. One, I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to "what the kids are listing too" and two, my disposable income can be better spent elsewhere.

So here's my solution, download legally free music. You might have to do some leg work to get them but no more than you would do running Limewire or Bittorrent.

Believe it or not my knee jerk first choice here is iTunes. I've mentioned this to people and very few are even aware that iTunes has a free single of the week. Ok, it's DRMed, and only works on an iPod, but it's free and if you don't like it delete. That will get you 52 free songs a year. In the past year I even scored a free audio book!

Your second choice is Puretracks. They have a free MP3 of the week also but unlike iTunes it's an unDRMed MP3 encoded at 192kbps versus a 128kbps AAC file. That's another 52 free songs a year for you.

The mother load for free music is download.com. They have a free song a day, no DRM and encoded at 192kbps. There are over 111,000 free songs on their site and you don't have to be a member or be located in the USA for get them. A plus for me. So there's an additional 111,000 songs for you (coincidentally, that's 37 times more songs than my current music collection).

Of course this is just scratching the surface when it comes to free legitimate music. Many independent artists and labels have free songs. Armed with time and Google I'm sure you could certainly find more, who knows you might already know of some. And if you do why not let me know. Thanks. I can't think of a better serendipitous way to discover new music.

With so much free music out there it not only makes me wonder why people download music illegally but why anyone pays for it either.

Dan of we love music passed along another site that offers free downloads.

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Hey Buddy You Want to Buy Some MP3’s?

Tom Merritt and Molly Wood

DRM doesn't work and I think people are starting to notice. iTunes was the first offering DRM free tracks (unfortunately for an increased price) and now it looks like the flood gates have opened.

Amazon has opened a DRM free music store and by all accounts it's pretty good and 38¢ cheaper than iTunes Plus. But as per usual it's staying below the 49th parallel for the time being.

A different take on the DRM free music service is Grooveshark. It's a peer to peer network (like Kazza) but you pay for songs (and a guarantied level of quality and service, unlike some of the crap you can find on p2p networks) and are paid for songs you share with other users.

I've currently been trying out the beta (of which I have invites) and it seems to work very well in the short time I've been using it. It's just unfortunate that I can't seem to enter my credit card to buy any music.

CNet's Buzz Out Loud podcast interviewed Grooveshark's CEO Sam Tarantino and it was quite interesting to hear.

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Free Flight of the Conchrods Song

On iTunes Canada the free single of the week is a Flight of the Conchords song. I've only caught the end of one episode but it looks funny.

Reminds me a bit of Tenacious D, not the music style but the comedic band thing.

So get you iBut to iTunes and get a free, DRMed song. Because we all know we're never going to buy anything from iTunes.

But if you have, pray to what ever deity you worship that they never break you music like Google Video did to their video downloads.

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