• Bill Gates thinks DRM is rubbish

    I'm totally flabbergasted: Bill Gates not only has common sense, he even shows it in public! TechCrunch reports from Gates' meeting with bloggers where he expressed his dissatisfaction with DRM technology:

    There are "huge problems" with DRM, he says, and "we need more flexible models, such as the ability to buy an artist out for life" (not sure what he means). He also criticized DRM schemes that try to install intelligence in each copy so that it is device specific. His short term advice: "People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then."

    Amazing. Just amazing.

  • Does a cease and desist letter fit the olympic notion? For the DOSB, it does.

    The german company Walther produces juice beverages and publishes Walthers Saftblog ("Walther's Juice Blog"), one of the most successful business blogs in Germany. Well, it seems more appropriate to say "published", since they decided today to shut their blog down after receiving a c&d letter from the German Olympic Sports Union ("Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund", DOSB).
    In the 17-pages document, Walther is accused of, among others, exploitation of reputation, copyright infringement, deception and trademark infringement for publishing two harmless blog entries about the Olympic Games (entry 1&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 explaining the difference between the Olympiad and the Olympic Games, entry 2&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 about Germany's olympic successes).

    German attorney and law blogger Udo Vetter can't find any offences, though. (At the most a small one, namely using the olympic rings logo without attribution.)

    Of course, the german blogosphere reacts in the same way it did for example in the Heidi Klum incident it turns up the heat.

    • Basic Thinking: A-hole alert
    • Indiskretion Ehrensache: Meta Tag Olympia ("Outside of your corruption-infested umbrella organization, there's a social order named democracy")
    • Law blog: Olympic cease and desist ("This is so weird, there could be doping in the game")

    Once again, the blogosphere deals out wrath to one side and love to the other: For the DOSB, this could become a PR nightmare, with many bloggers writing articles on their websites as well as emails and letters to the DOSB. The Marketing Blog even plans a survey among the organization's sponsors.

    On the other hand, company director Kirstin Walther expressed her amazement of all that support by strangers in an addendum to her blog entry&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1#more592 where she announced the shutdown of their blog. Let's hope they give that step a second thought. We all want justice to win, not the lawyers.

  • Vista is innovative, dammit!

    Finally, The New York Times columnist David Pogue debunks all the badmouthing of Windows Vista being just a cheap rip-off of Mac OS X:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDNuq94Zg_8]

    (via Mac Essentials)

  • On the track

    "Auf dem Gleis" -- that's the title of an article about the Catalyst web framework for Perl in the german IT magazine "iX" . That title is a little side blow meaning that you don't necessarily need Ruby on Rails to efficiently get a web application with only a few lines of code.

    The article from Jens M. Nödler and Sebastian Willert gives the reader a quick insight into how Catalyst works. It begins with installation instructions, shows how to code database access and user interaction by means of a small example application and ends with adding the Prototype JavaScript framework to the mix to integrate AJAX functionality.

    So, if you're a german speaking Perl developer that's not yet using Catalyst for his web applications, have a look at iX issue January 2007.

  • How to find the right CMS

    Choosing a content management system is getting more and more difficult, because the amount of alternatives keeps growing almost by the day. First, there are the open source solutions like Joomla, Typo3, Drupal or WebGUI. Or should it be a more "professional" (aka proprietary) software like CoreMedia or Contens? Which features offered by a certain CMS are the ones you need? And what crucial features does it lack?

    Already in 1998, when I had to choose a CMS for the company I was working at at that time, defining the necessary functions and comparing CMS solutions was so time-consuming that I made that task a diploma thesis for a student working at the IT department. Up to today, the expense of comparing CMS software has risen by orders of magnitude.

    But The CMS Matrix comes to the rescue. This website lists several hundred CMS solutions from "Ariadne Content Manager" to "Zumu Software" and facilitates the comparison of up to 10 of them at a time. The task of defining your needs is still yours, but finding the one CMS that suits them best has gotten a lot easier.