September 14th, 2008

Lord Yupa

Political Newstainment

Okay, maybe I'm missing something, but why is Sarah Palin such big news? A couple of coworkers were talking about her earlier, and one of them was talking about how impressed she was with Palin. I asked her why, and what it was that she'd done that was impressive, and my coworker gave me a surprised look like she couldn't believe I'd asked her. Two minutes later, she gave up in her attempt to explain what impressed her and admitted that there really wasn't anything specific she could put her finger on.

I can't help but see Sarah Palin as the political equivalent of Paris Hilton. She's suddenly a huge celebrity, but for no real reason. It's not talent, nor accomplishment that has landed her a place as a celebrity. . . What's the appeal that I'm missing?

[Note: For anyone who's wondering if my observation comes from party bias, I'm registered as a Libertarian, so I try to hate both primary political parties evenly. I just don't understand why the news is wasting so much time on someone who's said little, and done less.]
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    The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
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Topher

Amazon, Audible.com, and DRM.

I recently came across a news article discussing Amazon's purchase of Audible.com, and a statement from Amazon about removing the DRM from Audible.com audio books if customers request it.

As such, I've submitted the following to Audible.com's customer service. I don't really anticipate much in the way of a positive response, but what the hell.
I've been an Audible.com customer for well over 3 years now. The DRM has always caused me a lot of grief (as *none* of my four personal media players support it). For years I put up with it because there were no viable alternatives, and I'm a big fan of audio books. However, now there are. eMusic and others are offering audio books in unencumbered mp3 format, often with the same titles that Audible.com has, and at coparable prices.

Considering that the Audible DRM adds a huge incvoncenience and a major limitation to my use and enjoyment of audio books I purchase from Audible.com, I can't help but question why in the world I would want to pay the same price for the same thing, but with extra restrictions that prevent me from easily listening to my own purchase! Sure, Audible.com can claim to support hundreds of media players and other devices, but the very simple fact is that *mine* are *not* supported. Not one of them. That's including devices from 4 different manufacturers. And that means that I couldn't care less about any of the devices that are supported. Unless the ones I own today are able to directly and easily play Audible.com audio books, then I feel I'm getting a partially defective product.

The article, and the hope that Audible.com might listen to their customers and stop placing artificial restrictions on our ability to enjoy our purchases inspired me to make my opinion known. I will try to wait a little longer, in the hope that change will happen, and happen soon. I don't see myself remaining an Audible customer if the DRM stays. It's just not worth it when it's so much more difficult for me to use the products I paid for. Additionally, I've already stopped recommending Audible.com to my friends, in favor of the unencumbered alternatives. If nothing changes, and I end up cancelling my membership, I'll have to take the next step and actually start recommending *against* it.

Thank you for your time.
If I get a non-automated response, I'll post it.
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    hopeful