One of the hazards of working in the web biz is impulse-buying domain names. Back in the Web 2.0 boom days, there were a lot of “social” web plays with silly names. I thought I’d satirize this by registering numbr.com and making a social site where you could “friend” the number 7 and that sort of thing. I never got around to building that site. However I did get a curious email one day from “Joe” who wanted to know if I’d sell the name.
I bought a new Netgear wifi router for the house today, to replace a crappy old D-Link that didn’t really work with either my MacBook Pro or my new iPod touch. A business-card-sized slip of paper fell out of the box when I opened it. It was a little GPL/LGPL notice, with a URL for downloading source. Digging further through the included paper I also found a three-panel insert with six-point type that has the full GPL text on one side and the full LGPL text on the other.
It a rather astounding open letter entitled “Thoughts on Music” posted to the Apple website today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple “would embrace… wholeheartedly” a music marketplace free of of Digital Rights Management schemes. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.
I posted about Songbird when it was released back in February, but to be honest I’d sort of forgotten about it since then. A discussion of it popped on the Well today and I downloaded 0.2rc3 to take another look. Lots of progress has been made. It imported my iTunes library (it takes just the metadata, not the audio) and it works well. It’s really a CPU hog, though. On my 1.
LZW – that is, the formerly patented Lempel-Ziv Welch compression algorithm – is free today. The footnote on the Free Software Foundation’s GIF history page says: The Unisys patent expired on 20 June 2003 in the USA, in Europe it expired on 18 June 2004, in Japan the patent expired on 20 June 2004 and in Canada it expired on 7 July 2004. The U.S. IBM patent expired 11 August 2006, The Software Freedom Law Center says that after 1 October 2006, there will be no significant patent claims interfering with employment of the GIF format.