Heinze had better stay put!

Nothing thoughtful, just something I wanted to get out of my chest. Heinze is reportedly considered to be offloaded either during the transfer window or the end of the season. He, to his credit, has stated that he wants to fight for his place.
As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t need to justify his place in the squad – he’s a terrific player. Evra is getting better, and he’s getting a run because Heinze was out for a while, not because he’s miles better.
I’m feeling the same way I felt when van Nistelrooy was sold – I’m inclined to believe that Fergie is simply rotating his squad and giving Evra a run out than really having any real problems with Heinze. However, if Heinze really leaves, I’ll be unhappy. Very unhappy. So unhappy I may burn all my Man Utd shirts and toss my TV in the bin. I’d even give it a kick or two for good measure.

GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire – now a TV series?

Variety has reported that HBO has bought the rights to make George RR Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire into a TV series, with each book set to be used as fodder for season.
ASOIAF is my ultimate fantasy work – the best fantasy series I’ve read, period. And guess what – a legion of fantasy fans feel the same way. This is sacred stuff, this. If they mess this up like SciFi Channel’s treatment of my beloved Earthsea, I will, well, be unhappy.
My immediate thoughts are:
1. Stop bothering GRRM already! He’s bloody late with the next book as it is.
2. The series is good, of course, considering the source material. But there is always this fear that it will fall short of the books. I’m pretty damn sure it will. I hope I’m wrong, of course, but then I’m so seldom wrong. That’s why I have a blog.
Actually, I’m not a heartless rabid fan. I won’t begrudge him his hobbies and other work, you know, the comics tie-in, Wild Cards anthologies, his NFL fixation. No problems. He is still human, and he needs his distractions to fuel his imagination.
But as a rabid fan nonetheless, I sometimes do wish he’d just get on with it.

DRM in the iPod/iPhone, and brief musings on DRM in general

Here is an article that discusses DRM on the iPod and iPhone, and how it locks you into Apple’s solutions. Nothing new here, but more of an issue for people who can buy from iTunes, which doesn’t include people like me.
This article is an interesting refresher on DRM music, and highlighting it against the ongoing backdrop of general cheer and jubilation on the unveiling of the iPhone.
There are people who advocate against DRM totally. I agree with that, but there are also valid points for using DRM solutions. I mean, I don’t agree with DRM, but I can see why there’d be support for it. Blasphemy? Think about it. Suppose for a second that you’re a content creator. You are a singer, for instance. Or an author. You work long and hard at your craft, and distribute it to the masses. You want them to buy you stuff of course. However you realize that your neighbour and your good friends have already got a copy of your work, *without* paying for them. How would you feel?
It’s just that I’m writing a piece of software I intend to sell, and I won’t be too comfortable if it’s available just everywhere. Writing a book is something I would love to do one day, and sure enough, if I’m making money off it, I’m not so sure I’d be happy to have the ebook edition of my book floating around.
The trouble with all this noise about DRM is the majority of the people out there, especially the ones who make the most noise, is they are content consumers, not content providers, not content creators. To really know how DRM came to be, one has to step into these people’s shoes.
Someone might invariably shove a Cory Doctorow to my face. Fair enough. But is everyone as far sighted as Cory? I know they need to be, but in reality, are they? Cory goes out of his way to advocate for freedoms in this regard, and props to him, no question about it.
If there was an affordable avenue for me to buy my music, I’d buy what I want. And I suspect there are plenty of people out there! I already buy my ebooks and audiobooks, when I know if I try hard enough I can get them for free.

iPhone vs PDA Phones

What hasn’t been said about the iPhone?
This is probably going to be the first in a series of posts in which I explore my thoughts since the announcement of this device. I’m not just going to talk about the device itself, but also about mobile devices in general, plus my own digital device needs. I find myself asking if I can indeed fit in the iPhone in my very exacting gadget requirements, which strictly speaking, the iPhone doesn’t meet. I’m also thinking about the nature of a great packaging and can a strong user interface influence buying my decision?
I’ve always told everyone who’d listen not to buy an iPod. Here in Malaysia, where one of the major features for iPod usage, the iTunes store, is not available to us, it takes a way a huge determining factor for purchasing the iPod. What else is there to the iPod without the ability to purchase songs and TV shows on an affordable basis? There are other products out there offering similar (if not better) features than the iPod, similar form factors, and most importantly, at a price that won’t have us all choke on our coffee.
I will get to all these soon.

TIME’s 25 Top Ten Lists

TIME has compiled a list of Top Tens in various categories, appropriately named TIME 25 Top Ten 2006. They have categories such as books, comics, songs, albums, TV shows, podcasts and others (there are 25 of these Top Ten).
What do I think of this book list? I’m a booklover, but I don’t have a pulse in the happenings in the publishing circle for ‘critically acclaimed’ contemporary fiction. However, one of my favs, David Mitchell, is listed for his latest. The list also made me think about how books can be listed as serious fiction when the publisher doesn’t classify it as such, although strictly speaking the nature of the story can actually be considered science fiction.
I think I have to vent on this genre-based bias one of these days.
Other lists such as songs cover people I’ve never heard of. Great place to start searching for new stuff. Arctic Monkeys I’ve heard a lot of, but never got the chance to lay my hands on their albums. Mental note to self on that.