Ars Technica is a great site to read computer news and reviews, and I recently noticed they also have a solid focus on consumer rights. For example, in today's editorial on Digital Restriction Management (DRM), they criticise the MPAA for their silly claim that DRM is good for consumers. The usual claim is that "it stops piracy so that you, the consumer, will continue to enjoy our quality content", but now they've said "...it provides casual, honest users with guidelines for using and consuming content...." ahh, how good of them to "guide" consumers with restrictions that, thanks to the DMCA, are legally binding. With the "broadcast flag" and "analog hole" bills being considered, restrictions on TV and radio may soon be mandatory also, for all manufacturers.
So, I've got their RSS feed bookmarked. Other issues Ars has covered in the last week include IPTV, librarians' concerns that DRM inhibits archiving, Legalization of P2P in france, AOL & Yahoo's paid e-mail plan, the danger and utility of metadata, Blizzard Entertainment's latest heavy-handed behavior, the long tail versus the blockbuster, antitrust complaints over Microsoft Vista, the latest U.S. government plan to amass personal information, and the latest use of a software patent as a cash cow. Indeed, if there's one thing that might turn off the Average Joe or Geek to Ars Technica, it's the sheer amount of information they provide. My only complaint is that there seems to be no easy way to browse old articles.