3. The death of DRM
I’m not morally opposed to copy protection or digital rights management; I just find them incredibly inconvenient. All I want for Christmas is to be able buy music and movies from wherever I want in whatever form I want, and be able to play them on whatever devices I want. DRM makes that impossible. Nearly two years ago, Apple’s Steve Jobs made a big to-do about abolishing DRM, and yet today I’m still restricted to playing my iTunes purchases on a limited number of computers. And, if I want to take them with me anywhere, my only option is an iPod or iPhone. I also don’t want to worry about authorizing and de-authorizing every time I buy a new computer or replace a fried hard drive. So, until Apple comes around and starts following its own advice, I’ve switched to AmazonMP3.com (for my music purchases, anyway)—and I advise everyone else to do the same. Here’s why: 1) I’ve never had any trouble finding the music I want on Amazon. 2) Downloaded music is automatically imported into iTunes or Windows Media Player. 3) Songs are delivered as MP3s, which means they can be played on nearly anything and don’t care how many times they’re copied. In 2009, I hope more content distributors follow Amazon’s lead.
Turn the page to continue the list.single page
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.