231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dumb Free Stuff

2 free things:

1. Palm AOL IM
For your phone. It seems that AOL will charge you $19.99 for a copy of AOL IM to run on the Palm OS, however, AOL UK is dumb/smart enough to provide it for free. I read it on this post, you can download the .prc here.

2. Free AudioBooks
The NYPL (ny public library) offers free downloads of many books via Adobe eReader format. This is a GREAT. It dumbfounds me though. An obvious good step, but what type of leaps and bounds had to happen in order to facilitate this? There are a number of people that would be willing to help this effort with public domain materials if the U.S. didn't keep extending the copyright every time Disney was about to go public.

The problem I'm referring to is that there are a number of good materials that should have been released into public domain a few years ago (80 year lifespan expired.) But Disney and Sunny Bono had copyright extended another 20 years. So while they did save Mickey, they blocked access to thousands of materials that serve no benefit to publishers/content holders. Think of all the early 1900's American literature that could have went public. Lessig proposed a solution to this problem. Charge a $1 fee every 50 years or so to renew copyrights. This way, only content with commercial value will be re-registered. All the other content can then enter the public domain. Don't lock all content up just to save Mickey. The content owners (publishers/recording industry, ...) didn't like this idea because it creates COMPETITION. Institutions like the RIAA are afraid of competing with the public domain. They are scared of the thought of customers having a choice between $15 CD's and content that is $0. I understand that fear, however, there are plenty of business models out there when they can still make some dough. For instance, I'm listening to Jet right now on languages for a $3/month subscription (just like cable TV.)


  • At 5/10/2005 10:31 AM, Blogger Roonie said…

    Do people still use Palm Pilots? I thought the wave of the future was Blackberry. Either way, I want a Blackberry.

  • At 5/10/2005 10:41 AM, Blogger Vincent said…

    The Treo 650 Palm PDA is 1000x better and basically the same form factor.


    I use it as/for:
    * Digital Camera
    * Video Camera
    * Video player (i don't, but i could)
    * Mp3 player, I have a 1gig SD card, just like the iPod shuffle
    * Web browser
    * Internet modem for my laptop
    * wireless bluetooth connectivity to my laptop
    * todo list, calander, games, mail, ....

  • At 5/11/2005 4:27 AM, Blogger Roonie said…

    Is Bluetooth really worth it? I just recently got a new Mac and I opted not to get Bluetooth...seemed pointless.

  • At 5/11/2005 7:23 AM, Blogger Vincent said…

    Yes bluetooth is worth it, reason below:

    For a phone
    * Wirless connectivity to my laptop
    * Wirless headset (although you look a little cyborg, I'm currently looking for a cool set of bluetooth headphones.)

    For your mac
    * Wireless keyboard
    * Wireless Mouse
    * Wireless syncing to your pda or phone

    It deffiitaly makes more sense on portable devices, pdas, cellphones, laptops, but can be useful on a desktop.


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