DRM Frustrations With Ebooks

Kindle with BooksWhy, oh why, do we need DRM! My first real run in with this copy protection scheme was with music. Then there are all of the issues surrounding films, including DVDs, Blu-Rays and now digital copies. Lately though the things that’s really bugging me are ebooks!

It’s getting really frustrating that this extra layer of complication seems to tacked onto everything. Not only does it restrict how you use the product that you have legitimately purchased but it also lowers the level of enjoyment you get out of a product.

Take DVDs for example. How many times have you had to sit through the copy protection lecture, that you can’t even skip past, at the start of every DVD? Just to rub salt in the wound, the people that don’t bother to actually part with their cash and just get a dodgy copy from a mate end up getting a better experience as they probably don’t have to sit through it!!!

Unfortunately ebooks are also currently encumbered with DRM, tying you in to the company you buy the book from. Take the Kindle for example. The only place you can buy ebooks for the Kindle is from Amazon. Or is it? Is this all about to change…
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Ski Pad iPhone App Version 2

Ski Pad iPhone App v2A while ago now I created an iPhone app to complement the Ski Pad website. The website has just received an update and I have been hard at work tweaking the app to work with the new site as well as adding some extra features along the way…

In reality I suppose this is just a shameless plug for the app but I thought it would be a good idea to take this opportunity to explain the new features. Anyway surely there is nothing wrong with a bit of self promotion every now and again. đŸ˜‰

So before you read on, if you have an iPhone, now might be a good time to get the Ski Pad App from the app store…

Go on you know you want to…
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iPhone Data Roaming Charges While Abroad

On a recent trip to Jersey I got charged an extra £10.19 for Mobile Internet & Data. This confused me as I always check that I have Data Roaming turned off whenever I go abroad…

I checked my phone and the Data Roaming option was definitely turned off. So how did I manage to rack up the charge?

After a bit of digging I found numerous posts on the internet suggesting that Apple have changed the settings options available and there are now two options you have to turn off before you can be sure you do not incur any charges while abroad.

So I bet you want to know what you need to do to make sure you don’t end up with any surprises on your next bill…
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Fixing Yellow Cast In Windows Photo Viewer

Yellow Cast In Windows Photo ViewerNow that I have an iMac I deal with my photos pretty much exclusively on that. There is still always the occasional need to view images in Windows and the built in Photo Viewer program is pretty good.

One thing that does annoy me though is that, by default, there is usually a yellow cast over the whole image. This happened to me with Windows Vista and now I am getting the same thing on Windows 7.

It’s not hard to fix but it’s one of those things that I had to look up on the internet so I thought I would write a quick post for anyone else getting the problem. Maybe you have seen it and not realised there is even a problem…
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Bridge Camera vs DSLR

PowerShot SX40 HS Lens ExtendedI was recently asked what I thought about bridge cameras. To be honest I hadn’t really heard much about them before but when shown what they could do I was amazed.

A few days later I was packing my camera backpack for a day out down to Snowdrop Valley. Having not been there before I wasn’t sure about which lenses I might need so I took all three of the lenses I currently own, a wide-angle zoom, a prime lens and a telephoto zoom. (You can see more details of the lenses I use on the new Gadgets page I have set up listing all my gear)

I did in fact use all three lenses but they make the bag quite heavy and the constant switching of lenses is really starting to bug me. Sometimes I end up taking all three lenses and only using one of them…

As they were fresh in my mind this got me thinking about bridge cameras. Should I replace my dated DSLR with a bridge camera?
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The Importance of Backing Stuff Up

Wet RoseI have been meaning to sort out a complete backup regime for a while now. Unfortunately every attempt I make finds something lacking in the program I trial…

This would force me to find another program to try out, which takes time. After a while I found it hard to find the time to find exactly what I needed as there was always something more important to do.

Then the other week the worst happened, my hard disk failed…

I had some of the stuff backed up, but how much? I really couldn’t tell. There are collections of different bits of my data scattered here and there, some on my iMac, some on my little HP server even some on DVD’s—from when I used to use them for my weekly backup. After a while my requirements spiralled out of control and the 4.7GB on a DVD wouldn’t even scratch the surface…

I know I haven’t done a complete backup in probably a year. My heart sank…
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Review Of The New Kindle

KindlesAmazon recently announced three new Kindle devices, the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. Then immediately afterwards it was suggested that they were unlikely to be made available in the UK before the end of the year…

I still have a fair few paper books so I wasn’t too put out by this delay. Then when the new, cheaper, Kindle was displayed on the Amazon site for £89 I couldn’t resist and decided to pre-order one. And as it arrived today I decided to get to work and write a review…

Once I had placed my pre-order I wanted to get my hands on an old Kindle, which has now been renamed the Kindle Keyboard, to make sure I would be able to make a decent comparison between the two so I recently read a short book on Shirley’s Kindle.

I received my new Kindle through the post today. That’s why this post is a little late. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to play with my new gadget so I can give a honest opinion of it…
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