So, I promised to write more and didn’t really follow through with it.   At least not how I had initially intended - as close to daily updates as I could get. This is largely due to external factors that have made this week one of the roughest I’ve endured yet, which hopefully is not indicative of what’s to come this year.

This morning I read an article (on CNN) that talked about a girl in Papua New Guinea who was burned alive, suspected of being a witch. It helped put my plight into perspective: sure I am having a rough few weeks at work, but at least nobody has tried to set me on fire (yet – I wouldn’t put it past them here). No matter how bad the past two days have been (and the next couple will undoubtedly be), at least I’m not being burned alive.  Or dying in any other nightmare inducing, incredibly painful, absolutely horrifying way. 

Keeping that in mind helps. Not much, but enough. 

Changing the subject to something a tad less morbid, iTunes is now going DRM free. That’ll finally shut up those who slam the service for it’s “invasive” use of DRM technology in the digital entertainment it distributes. For those who say “great,  but what about all the stuff I *already* bought?   That’s all still got DRM.” True, it does. It won’t magically disappear, either. You can, however, upgrade it to DRM free – for a fee. The fee is approx.  $0.30 per song, or 30% of an albums CURRENT price.  Music videos are $0.60 apiece. For my paltry 52 albums that I’ve bought through iTunes over the years it will cost me approximately $175 to upgrade to iTunes Plus (DRM Free).   

So, some of you may be wondering why this even matters. Others undoubtedly already know. DRM limits the consumer in how they can use the music they purchase. It limits the numbers of computers you can play it on, what devices can play it, and even what software you MUST use to play it. Removing that brings freedom back to the end user, allowing him or her to play the music via any software (that supports AAC playback, anyways) and/or hardware device (that supports AAC playback, anyways). This means, after upgrading, that I would be able to play my entire music library in Linux, for instance, with any of a number of software packages capable of AAC playback. The DRM free recordings are also of higher quality, so it’s got that going for it… Which is nice.

I guess if I lived in Papua New Guinea, I probably wouldn’t want to be known as a computer wizard. That might lead to unfortunate events.