DRM IBM Journal Microsoft Technology

Newsworthy: JHymn, and Apprentice’s IT contestants

I usually go through the better part of the morning checking out my RSS subcriptions on Here’s a few stories that I found interesting:

JHymn Goes Behind Atoms and Apple To Bring DRM-Free Music
by Howard Wen describes the newest successor to Hymn that allows iTunes purchased songs to be freed from their shackles of DRM.

Microsoft worker wants to be Trump’s ‘Apprentice’
describes how TV’s Apprentice contestant Verna Felton is going for the title of Trump’s apprentice. She even has her own following at Microsoft and her own website.

Besides having a Microsoft representation in the show, Apprentice contestant Stephanie Myers works at IBM. Since, I work at IBM also (as a contractor), I was interested in seeing if I could locate her in the Intranet directory. Hmmm… looks like she still works at IBM, but her telephone number is not publicly made available. For legality reasons, I blurred out her email and building location.


Apple DRM Technology

Apple iTunes DRM Protection Cracked

A very interesting software project at SourceForge came to my attention today called PlayFair. Legal issues aside, this program works as advertised. However, the resulting file seems to go from 128kbps bitrate to 127kbps.


I wouldn’t go crazy and start converting all the songs you bought at the iTunes store. The interface is raw and no GUI wrapper program has been created. If you are interested in reading more about the legal issues that have been raised, I’ve posted the following link.


DRM Technology

Swapping music files in Canada allowed, judge rules

Is this a set back for the RIAA or what? This ruling sets a major precedent for the P2P file sharing wars that the recording industries in both US and Canada have been waging. My opinion is that it is a major plus for the Internet community that believes in the merits of P2P. Why can’t the music industry accept that technology isn’t the cause of their lower profit margins. They need to embrace and use technology as an advertising venue. In fact, an independent study done by researchers Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Harvard Business School) and Koleman Strumpf (University of N. Carolina) have concluded that the illegal downloading of music does not have a major effect on reducing CD sales. They correlated the sales of 680 albums in a 17 week time period in 2002 with downloads from the OpenNap file-sharing network. They found that sales of CDs increased by one copy for every 150 downloads. Niche artists do see a small effect in sales. The RIAA says that piracy has caused CD sales to drop from $13.2 billion in 2000 to $11.2 billion in 2003. The RIAA disputes this study and says that “countless well-respected groups and analysts” have proven that piracy hurts sales.