Buying EMI Music

EMI announced some weeks ago that they will be making their music available online without DRM. I’d really like to support that initiative by buying their music.

But as far as I can tell, the DRM-free music is only available through the iTunes Music Store. And the iTunes Music Store only works on Windows and Mac. You can’t access it from a computer running Linux.

Am I wrong? Is there some way that I can buy EMI’s DRM-free music from my Linux computer?

New Phone

After twelve years with Orange, I’ve finally had enough and switched my phone provider. Yesterday my mobile number was ported to O2.

Of course, a new phone provider means a new contract. And a new contract means a new phone. What I really wanted was a Nokia N95, but on the contract I’ve got that would have cost two hundred pounds. And paying for a mobile phone just seems wrong.

So I chose a Motorola KRZR which is similar to the RAZR, but narrower. I’ve only been using it for a day or so, and it’s so completely different to my old Nokia N91 that it’s taking some getting used to. I’ll give it a couple of weeks though. In the worst case, I can always just put the SIM into the old phone.

One major disappointment already. There isn’t yet a version of Shozu available for the KRZR. And a cameraphone without Shozu is a disaster. Hopefully they’re working on it and will release it before too long.

I will, of course, let you know how it goes.

The Hole In The Wall

Two or three years ago we got some damp in the wall behind the desk in my study. It seemed to go away for a while and we learned to live with the dodgy looking patch where the wallpaper and some of the plaster had come away.

Over this long weekend, I decided that I was going to have a go at bringing some order to the chaos that is my study and part of that was going to be cleaning off the loose plaster and filling the holes with polyfiller.

That was the plan.

I moved everything away from the wall and started prodding gently at it to get rid of the loose plaster. But there was a lot more loose plaster than I expected. And I mean a lot more. And in about half an hour I was left with a couple of square metres of wall that had no plaster left at all. It was down to the bare brick. Which wasn’t good.

I’ve never plastered before. But it looks like I’ll be getting a crash course over the next few days.

The Da Vinci Code

I finally got round to watching The Da Vinci Code last night. That’s over two hours of my life that were completely wasted.

I should make it clear that my intense dislike of the book and, now, the film has nothing at all to do with the subject matter. In fact I’m very much in favour of anything that annoys religious people.

No what I hated about the book was that Dan Brown is quite possibly the worst writer to have ever been given a book deal. He simply has no idea how to write. His characters are one-dimensional and his plot makes no sense. He has no literary talent at all.

It’s a shame because the idea of the novel promised so much. And in a way, it’s nice that they’ve reflected that in the film. It all sounded like a good idea. The director is good. The cast are all well-respected (although I always thought that Hanks was miscast). The cinematography is all very pretty. And yet somehow all of those talented people have managed to create one of the dullest films it has ever been my misfortune to see.

It just proves what they say about silk purses and sows’ ears.

Doctor When?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that March 31st was looking like the date that the new series of Doctor Who was going to start.

The Radio Times web site has listings for the next two weeks, so by now it should have the programme listed. And yesterday it was definitely there. It was shown as starting at 7:55pm on BBC1. But today it seems to have vanished. That slot (and the ones either side of of it) is showing as “to be announced”.

I wonder what’s going on.

Update: It seems that the Radio Times was all rather confused last week. It has now settled down and is showing Doctor Who as starting at 7pm next Saturday (31st March). A news article on the BBC Doctor Who site confirms this time.

And Finally…

Kudos to the Guardian‘s Rosie Swash for pointing out that sexism is alive and well in the music industry.

And finally, good news for Kate Thornton during this most difficult of weeks. She may have been axed from prime-time TV, but she can be comforted by the knowledge that Louis Walsh thinks her breasts are “firm” and has confirmed they are definitely “her own.” Gentleman that he is, Walsh shared this info with Chris Moyles on his BBC One radio show. So while Thornton’s professional woes are running high right about now, at least she has two fat men discussing the merits of her chest on live radio to lift her spirits.

Neverwhere on DVD

Neil Gaiman points out that Neverwhere is finally getting an official BBC DVD release.

There’s been an import version available for some time – which I have. But it’s nice to know that the BBC have finally remembered what a good series it was.

For those that don’t know, Neverwhere was a series that ran on the BBC in 1996. It is set in a London where another city exists just below the real one. A city where there really is an Angel called Islington and where the Baron’s Court is on a tube train.

The series suffers a little from low production values, but it’s very interesting – if only for the number of cast members who went on to become well-known. For example it has Tamsin Greig in one of her first roles, playing a psychic vampire.

All in all it’s well worth watching. And for the full effect, you can then read the novel.

Doctor Who Publicity Machine

I didn’t see the Metro this morning – so I missed this story which might be considered the start of the publicity for the new series.

Doctor Who scenes showing actress Freema Agyeman have apparently been cut from the family-friendly show.

David Tennant – who plays the Timelord – told the Daily Star: “There was an underwear scene in a draft of the next series but we nixed that. It was bordering on the inappropriate.”

However, there are scenes of the 27-year-old assistant, who plays assistant Martha Jones, in bed,

“It’s not all that it seems,” David explained. “You can’t have shagging in the Tardis.