News in Brief

I’ve been away from an internet connection for a week and getting all my news the old fashioned way – in print. It took two days from finding out there’d be higher quality EMI tracks on iTunes to discovering the bitrate. Still, with unbroken sunshine a miles of beautiful coastline to occupy the time, learning to be patient was far from difficult.

First Major Label Goes DRM Free

One month, three weeks and five days after Jobs wrote his “Thoughts on Music”, EMI have made their entire back catalogue available without DRM (this was how the Guardian reported it on Tuesday). This is undoubtedly the start of a revolution, and given Jobs’ challenging stance it is no surprise he is involved. However, the iTunes approach looks a bit like a misstep. What exactly is that 20p for? It can’t be for DRM free – surely it’s cheaper to distribute DRM free music? If it’s for higher bitrates, why not make it a real choice, and make the 79p EMI tracks DRM free too? I’d guess EMI insisted on this model, but it would have been fairer to consumers to give them full rights to the music they buy, even if they only pay 79p for it.

Doctor Who

It’s back. Each 8 hour journey across the UK has been followed by a brand new TV episode, my thoughts on which will appear shortly, in a separate post.

TGV Sets Speed Record

At just 4mph short of the speed set by the Maglev train, the TGV V150 (that’s for 150m/s) set the rail record last Tuesday at 357mph. The French get to enjoy the new Paris-Strasbourg line, and regular journeys at 199mph from June, while we’re still waiting until November for “High Speed 1” and until no-one knows when for a high speed UK rail line.

Aardman 3 Picture Deal with Sony

After blogging how much I was enjoying their sheep-based shorts, Aardman have signed up for a three picture deal with Sony. Well, good luck to ’em. Chicken Run and Were Rabbit weren’t bad, but I hope future features match the quality of their briefer triumphs.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See for more...

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