Online backup one of Time’s top 50 websites for 2007

Odds are, if you’re reading this, you’ll have read one of my previous articles about Mozy, a free (and subscription based) online backup service.

Well, Time magazine has selected Mozy as one of their top 50 websites for this year. Now, which position is actually up to you and me. You see, Time has this nifty voting gadget that lets you select the spot you feel Mozy should be in.

Now Time is asking users to rank the top 50. If you like Mozy, this is a great opportunity to give us some props by visiting the Time website and giving us an appropriate rank. So here’s how to help: when you get to the website, just slide the slider to something like, say, 100, and click the submit button. We really appreciate the kudos!

Cool idea, and yeah, I like Mozy so I turned the volume up to 11, so to speak.

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5 reasons I won’t get an iPhone

  1. Cost. If the iPhone’s listed prices were converted to Canadian dollars, the iPhone would price out between $530 and $640 CAD. That’s way too much money for me to spend on a phone today. Yes it has other functionality, but I’ve got that covered; keep reading.
  2. Contract & add ons. In the US there’s a 2 year contract required. The base phone doesn’t (as far as I can tell) include a service contract. I can’t see that being any different north of the border. Now consider the type of data access you’d need. The iPhone offers many very cool online features that will quickly bite into your allocation. You have to add this. Basic service for this cool puppy would be silly so you’d want to have the full data packages. Pricing on this ‘seems’ (Rogers plan pricing is kinda all over the place) to start at $50.00/month. I’m a heavy online user so my costs would be more.
  3. I already have an iPod. My Nano is perfect for music and podcasts. Why would I want to have my phone battery drained when I listen to music? How would this integrate into my existing iPod systems?
  4. I already have a PDA I’m happy with. My Palm T|X. Same battery drain issue. As well, my PDA is awesome for doing what I need it to. I have all the software bought and installed. It syncs nicely with work and home computers. To convert everything over would take Mucho $$$.
  5. New processes to learn. Integrating everything into one unit means I’d have to change the way I do things. My system works now for me. To use the iPhone I would have to delete and install new software for time management, and calendar integration. I have no idea how well it’ll sync up with Outlook (at work) and what I’d use to sync with at home. I run Windows PC’s and Ubuntu. Is there a Linux Calendaring app that will work with the iPhone, available now?? I’d need new methods to grab my podcasts (I don’t use iTunes). How would that work?

Too many unanswered questions. So, the way I figure things. I’d likely end up paying over $1000 CAD to learn how to use a new gizmo, when my existing gizmos all do what I need currently.

An iPhone isn’t in my immediate future. Though, I guess if I really want the look of one, I could use an iPhoney 🙂

***UPDATE*** Mar.23.09 I’ve just acquired an Apple iPod Touch. Not an iPhone, but enough of one to make me rethink some of what I’ve written above. I’ll post a review of it and my experiences at the Apple store once an issue is resolved…hopefully within a few weeks.

Movie Piracy: Blame Canada vs the Truth

Once again it seems that Canadian attitudes toward Digital Rights Management, Intellectual Property, and Copyright are the targets of Big Media.

Warner Bros. Pictures issued a release today that states, among other things:

Frustrated with unauthorized camcording of its new releases in Canadian cinemas, the studio said it will immediately halt all “promotional and word-of-mouth screenings” of upcoming releases.


“Canada is the No. 1 priority in terms of anti-camcording legislation,” said Darcy Antonellis, senior vp worldwide anti-piracy operations at Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Pure crap.

Michael Geist, a renowned Canadian Intellectual Property expert as the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa takes significant issue with the claims Warner uses to support this action.

As for the claims that Canada does not have laws to address the issue, it bears repeating that Canada does have laws that make recording a movie an infringement and where the recording is for the purposes of distribution there is the prospect of severe fines and jail time.  Indeed, last month the RCMP told the Industry Committee that they are working on an investigation that involves camcording, though there are resource issues since health and safety concerns take priority.

There’s more to this, but you’d best read both posts for the full details.
Me, I’m still sticking to my original thinking that Big Media just doesn’t know how to handle online media and new media because they’ve got too much invested in the ‘old way of doing business’.

They’re trying to put the Genie back into the bottle, unfortunately he’s just too big to fit.

And as a Canadian citizen and taxpayer, I think the government has more important issues on the national agenda — hello, Afghanistan anyone — than creating laws that make sure Big Media’s not threatened ?

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When do you own the gear you buy?

Two articles recently crossed my desk:

  • Content in lockdown – Tom Yager, InfoWorld.com
    I’m increasingly aghast at the erosion of the traditional freedom we’ve enjoyed to do whatever we please with our personal computers — but intrigued by the science behind it.
  • Your Right to Repair – CAA Driver’s Seat
    Imagine taking your vehicle to your long-time independent service provider only to be told he can’t fix your car. You have to take it to a dealership because he can’t access the repair information.

Both from completely different fields, yet both dealing with the same issue; your right to access the information on the hardware you’ve purchased. This is not a new issue, but these two articles, from different perspectives, seem to intersect at the same issue; your right to do what you want, with stuff you’ve bought.

At first glance, this doesn’t even seem to be an issue at all. You paid for the technology, you should be able to do whatever you want with the technology. To make a simple analogy, you buy the pie, you eat the pie, or share the pie, or throw it out.

Ah, yes, but the hardware developers would have you believe that the issue is really not that simple, with reasons like these:

  • Yes, paid money and have the hardware in your possession, but what you really bought was a piece of paper with lots of legal text giving you the right to actually USE the hardware. And no, once you’ve used the hardware, you’ve implicitly agreed to abide by the terms of the licence… which clearly state that you can only have the hardware serviced at a licensed service centre.
  • The technology in our hardware is super-secret. Only skilled, trained and licenced technicians really know how to fix our technology. Anyone else is just tinkering with your investment…and may actually break it!
  • We’ve invested significant research and development dollars in creating your technology. If we allowed anyone to access it, why, they could easily copy it, or even make it better and compete with us.
  • You’re a thief. You only want to use our technology to copy the content that our technology presents. You want to take dollars away from our licenced service centres, our partners, and give it to other pirates. To keep you from copying our content, we’re not going to let you access it, unless you can prove that you’ve paid a special fee to access it.

The list goes on, but you see the point. Hardware developers have invested a significant amount of money in product development. Society has allowed them to put in place legal mechanisms that keep you from fixing your own car, copying your own video, or making your computer work better.

Personally, I’m on the side of openness…freeing up the systems and hardware to the benefit of all. But (cue the poll) what do you think?

{democracy:7}

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