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*HOT* Tech News And Downloads, I Would Read This Thread And Post Any Good Info

Discussion in 'Safety valve' started by ireland, Jan 28, 2006.

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  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Movies File Share Top Ten Downloaders ('leechers')
    BitTorrent, World-wide



    Current simultaneous leechers as of November 25, 2006
    Ranking Movie Number of Downloads

    >>> Borat! (unchanged) 49,903
    02 >>> Saw 3 + 3 47,560
    03 >>> Nacho Libre - 2 46,370
    04 >>> Open Season + 5 44,886
    05 >>> Cars + 6 42,054
    06 >>> The Santa Clause 3 + 10 40,336
    07 >>> The Grudge 2 + 8 40,126
    08 >>> Mission Impossible 3 + 9 38,199
    09 >>> The Break-Up - 4 35,875
    10 >>> Casino Royale (new) 32,476

    Movies File Share Top Ten Downloads
    p2p, World-wide
    Week ending November 25, 2006
    Ranking Movie Number of Downloads
    01 >>> Saw 3 (unchanged) 1,477,215
    02 >>> Borat! (unchanged) 1,477,112
    03 >>> Cars + 8 1,464,029
    04 >>> The Break-Up - 3 1,416,844
    05 >>> The Santa Clause 3 (new) 1,409,445
    06 >>> Nacho Libre - 4 1,407,834
    07 >>> Open Season (unchanged) 1,406,345
    08 >>> Mission Impossible 3 (new) 1,372,677
    09 >>> Over The Hedge + 10 1,369,825
    10 >>> Babel (new) 1,354,118

    Movies File Share Top Ten Downloads
    p2p, USA
    Week ending November 25, 2006
    Ranking Movie Number of Downloads
    01 >>> Saw 3 (unchanged) 890,235
    02 >>> Borat! + 3 882,294
    03 >>> The Break-Up - 2 871,819
    04 >>> Cars + 7 863,734
    05 >>> The Santa Clause 3 (new) 860,226
    06 >>> Open Season - 5 857,388
    07 >>> Nacho Libre - 4 846,689
    08 >>> Over The Hedge (return) 838,716
    09 >>> Mission Impossible 3 (new) 832,099
    10 >>> Babel 800,336

    (Saturday 25th November 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/10555?PHPSESSID=95e529a5b5119e0a8572fc35a123582f



    Movies File Share Top Ten

    p2pnet.net Feature:- p2pnet's regular, and unique, Movies File Share Top Ten is compiled with statistics from Big Champagne. For an explanation of how BC arrives at the numbers, here's the company's Adam Toll.

    “We monitor BT sites (a constantly evolving set) and observe, in addition to all the other available information, the number of users leeching(downloading) each title at any given time. Using the information collected and processed continually, we then calculate the average number of simultaneous leechers for each period. This is a little different from the P2P measure, as explained below.

    “While the P2P measure published on p2pnet.net shows the average simultaneous users who are sharing the movie on P2P networks, the BT measure represents the relatively smaller number of people who are, on average, actively downloading the movie (in other words, in the process of downloading the movie) at any given time. This is a very different statistic. These two measures are a consequence of the differences in the ways that P2P and BT work.”

    With all the dross being pumped out by research and marketing firms on what's supposedly happening with p2p, it's good to have at least one firm around which shows the picture as it really is as opposed to the way the many supposedly 'independent' reports commissioned by the entertainment and software cartels present it.

    Note: 'Return' means back after a week's absence. If it's back after longer than that, it's designated 'new'.
     
  2. gerry1

    gerry1 Guest

    It's monday after thanksgiving and I just wanted to wish everyone a good morning and a happy Monday. Back to work for moi after a week off...I don't even want to look at my appointment book for today; I'm just going to let it happen. It's always a bitch after a week off. Have a nice strong cup of coffee and prepare for the day!
     
  3. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose

    By Marty Graham| Also by this reporter
    02:00 AM Nov, 27, 2006

    A new video game commissioned by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool portrays the nation's military in 2015 as an invulnerable high-tech machine.

    CHECK OUT THE GAME HERE
    http://www.zombie.com/f2c2.htm


    Download Future Force Company Commander for free here.
    http://www.army.mil/fcs/f2c2/index.html

    The new PC title, Future Force Company Commander, or F2C2, is a nifty God-game that puts players in the driver's seat of 18 systems at the heart of the military's new net-centric warfare approach. The Army added the game to its recruiting tool kit last month as a high-tech follow-up to its successful America's Army shooter.

    It's an impressive game, simulating weaponry the military is actually using or building, gamers say. But the gameplay is designed so it's hard to lose: The equipment holds up awfully well and the enemy doesn't learn from experience.

    "They didn't ask for hole punchers," says Mark Long, co-CEO of Zombie, where the game was built under contract. "High tech has all kinds of low-tech vulnerabilities and they didn't want the vulnerabilities programmed in."

    Defense contractor Science Applications International commissioned the game for $1.5 million. So far, more than 24,000 copies have been handed out on disk or downloaded from the websites of the Army and game builder Zombie.

    Missions include planning and executing a night raid on a populated area, and protecting a border and an airstrip in a notional country having problems with its notional neighbor. The game provides terrain maps and data about the strength of the equipment.

    Gamers on Battlefront.com give the title good reviews, but complain about the game being paid for with their taxes and offering an overly optimistic view of America's tactical superiority over fictitious enemies.

    Susan Nash, an e-learning expert and associate dean at Excelsior College in Albany, New York, has played F2C2 and the Army's first recruiting game. She gives both high marks for fun and for the learning experience. But she agrees with Long that the new game presents an artificially rosy view of warfare.

    "It's a great game and a really good training tool that creates conditions for learning, teaches strategic thinking and tactical thinking, and it's got really cool weapons," Nash says. "But ethical issues loom."

    For example, there's no consideration that military power or technology could fail or be jammed, she says. And the enemy doesn't learn, in contrast to a certain real-life conflict where the hallmark of insurgents is their ability to rapidly gain knowledge and evolve.

    "All their use of technology is so off-label, so future-forward," Nash says. "And you've got to figure the enemy is playing the game too."

    Long wanted to see the enemy evolve, based on his own experience in the Army and defense contracting.

    "The first time a UGV toddles in for reconnaissance, insurgents will stare at it until the air strike follows," he says. "The second time, they'll throw a blanket over it and run. The third time, they'll immobilize it and plant an IED because they'll have figured out someone has to recover that million-dollar piece of equipment."

    More than anything else, Nash is bothered by the fantasy the potential recruits may have that they'll end up the commander riding a joystick rather than understanding what military life means.

    "You don't see the day-to-day boredom, you don't see broken legs and equipment failure," she says. "You don't see that the military is mostly grunts and only the grunts on the ground die."
    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72156-0.html?tw=rss.index
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  4. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Beatles music to start entering UK public domain in 2012?

    11/27/2006 10:40:55 AM, by Nate Anderson

    The Gowers Review has been a big deal in Britain, where former Financial Times editor Andrew Gower is chairing a commission that will suggest ways to reform the UK's intellectual property laws. One key piece of the Review will focus on the copyright term for sound recordings. Artists and publishers want the term extended from its current 50 years to 95 years, but an inside source has now confirmed that the Review will not recommend the 45-year extension, according to the BBC.

    Given the high-profile names that argued for the extension—musicians like Sir Cliff Richard and Bono—the news is a surprising victory for those in favor of more limited copyright terms. The official report from the Gowers Review is expected in the first week of December, and if the government acts on its conclusions, then songs from hit acts like The Beatles will come out of copyright in the next few years.

    The BPI, Britain's recording industry trade group, has already made its feelings known. In a statement today, the group said that it "has not yet seen the Gowers report, but if the media leaks are correct it would appear that the Gowers Review has missed a great opportunity to support the UK's music industry—both the musicians who make a living out of music and the companies who invest in them."

    The group also notes that any suggestions from the Gowers Review are simply that—suggestions. They are not binding on the government, and the BPI hopes that the copyright extension will still pass in Parliament. The group trumpets a recent survey (which it sponsored) that shows 62 percent of British consumers agree "that UK artists should be protected for the same number of years as their American counterparts."
    "Harmonisation" doesn't sound so sweet

    The wording of the BPI survey highlights the fact that the extension debate has been framed in terms of "harmonizing" the UK's rules with those of the US, which already grants a 95-year term. Harmonization is generally a one-way process, though, one that leads toward more restrictions and increased IP protection. Why isn't anyone in America worried about harmonising US law with the 50-year British copyright term?

    The expected results of the Review will please left-leaning think tank IPPR, whose own report on the issue argues for making knowledge a common good first, and only secondarily a private right. They won't be as appealing to the British Library, which has recently argued for a host of copyright reforms, among them an extension of the copyright term to "life plus 70 years."

    But to those UK users who want to start mashing up Beatles tunes, the news will sound sweet indeed.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061127-8291.html
     
  5. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    MOZ BACKUP
    ..........MozBackup is a simple utility for creating backups of Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite and Netscape profiles. It allows you to backup and restore bookmarks, mail, contacts, history, extensions, cache etc. It's easy way to do Firefox backup, Thunderbird backup .....(free).....GO THERE!
    http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/


    MOZILLA - FIREFOX ACCESSIBILITY EXTENSION

    ..........The Mozilla - Firefox Accessibility Extension makes it easier for people with disabilities to view and navigate web content. A toolbar provides easy access to navigation, styling, and keyboard enhancement functionality. Developers can use the extension to check their structural markup from the browser window to verify that it matches the page content. The Accessibility Extension helps authors to meet these kinds of accessibility practices that are so important for the browsing experience of all users and vital to those with special needs.....(free).....GO THERE!
    http://cita.disability.uiuc.edu/software/mozilla/
     
  6. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    First Look: Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 and Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced


    Roxio wins the face-off for new buyers, but Nero rewards its customers with a free upgrade to the latest version.
    Jon L. Jacobi

    Thursday, October 12, 2006 05:00 AM PDT

    The battle of heavyweight disc-authoring and -burning suites continues with Roxio's Easy Media Creator 9 and Nero's Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced. I looked at shipping versions of each package, and found that each adds next-generation disc burning and builds on its existing arsenal of media handling features; but most of the changes are incremental, evolutionary, or tangential to the essential burning functions.
    Click for enlarged view.

    If you already use one of these programs, jumping to Nero's update makes perfect sense--the Enhanced upgrade is free to owners of Nero 7 (released last year); Roxio's suite costs $70 (after a $30 rebate, if you bought the previous version). If you're buying your first suite, you'll find that Roxio produces professional-looking content more easily than Nero does. Nero is packed with features--some of them unique--but its obtuse interface is tougher to learn. Both suites have broadened their scope in a quest to become all-in-one multimedia handlers, but in doing so, they've grown too large for their own good.
    Click for enlarged view.

    Suite-wide, Roxio's interface is easier on the eyes and simpler to use than is Nero. Unfortunately, having to learn and navigate a suite containing 34 separate Start menu entries negates much of the advantage. Nero is no lightweight itself, though-its interface has 23 Start menu entries, and though the suite has undergone some minor tweaks, it remains unintuitive in far too many spots.
    Next-Generation Disc Support

    For most users, Blu-ray and HD DVD are expensive technologies of the future. Yet support for these formats is the most notable addition to both suites. Both packages support disc mastering and packet writing for single-layer and dual-layer Blu-ray data discs, though Roxio has the edge because it also produces Blu-ray movie discs in the BD-AV format (Nero plans a future update to support BD-AV). Nero claims to support burning data to HD DVD-R, but such burners won't ship until next year in any case.

    Roxio now matches Nero's support for high-definition video encoding and transcoding in MPEG-4 AVC (also known as h.264), a video codec common to both the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD formats. In addition, Roxio also offers DivX 5 and DivX 5 HD.

    Both suites have tweaked their video-editing components to help you jump-start creative projects. New menus, filters (including gamma correction and sharpen), and special video transition effects boost to Nero's NeroVision. Roxio's multiple video components--VideoWave, MyDVD, and MyDVD Express--have gained some convenient video-processing features, including auto-color correction and noise removal; and VideoWave has added a 32-track timeline.

    Where Roxio really outshines Nero is in the video production realm, by making it easier for users to create packaged, professional-looking content and disc menus. The content production side is especially strong: Roxio's automated movie production module, CineMagic--which Nero has no equivalent for--now offers more snazzy movie intros.

    The Nero suite's integration of MP3 Pro (formerly a $20 add-on) and AAC conversion bring it abreast of Roxio's suite in these areas. Oddly, Nero lacks Roxio's support for FLAC lossless compression, a musician's feature that would nicely complement the package's existing multichannel surround editing and its new support for editing up to 24-bit/192-KHz audio.

    In comparison, Roxio's audio editing remains minor league, though it does work with Gracenote to identify music tracks and can even help you assemble playlists of complementary music. Roxio further distinguishes itself from Nero with its outstanding DVD Music Disc, which now offers customizable themes and an option for shuffle play--a nifty feature if you have 50 hours of music packed onto a single DVD.
    More Than Just Burning

    Improved mobile media support in both suites makes it easier for you transfer an episode of House from your DVR to your cell phone or portable media player. Both have also simplified their editing, transcoding, and output to mobile devices.

    Nero now includes its Nero Showtime Mobile multimedia player for cell phones and portable Windows Mobile media players, along with its Skype-like Sipps VoIP program (no longer sold separately) for making free calls via the Internet. Another notable Nero addition is television recording. You can schedule recordings via the open-source XMLTV online electronic programming guide, and then stream the content across a home network with Nero Home (a graphical interface intended for use on TV). Roxio's equivalent Media Center-like interface lacks television recording.

    Given these suites' quest to broaden their appeal beyond disc burning--and the explosion of media files on our desktops-it seems logical that Nero and Roxio should each offer media management utilities to help you keep track of the digital media you have on hand. Although neither of these packages goes as far as dedicated media organizers, such as Google's Picasa and ACDSee's eponymous image organizer, each could be handy-in its own way. You'll find Roxio's Media Manager reminiscent of Windows Explorer, with a file-and-folder interface that facilitates organizing, viewing, cataloguing, and searching for digital content. Nero's Scout simply monitors designated folders so you can easily find the data or media files you're looking for in another Nero module, such as Nero Home or Nero Showtime media player. And Nero's MediaHome module lets you stream the files across your network.

    Roxio has a handy new archive feature for quickly backing up important data by type. Nero, meanwhile, now lets you boot from CD to create images. For disaster recovery you can't beat imaging, so Nero is still my choice in this area.
    Which to Choose?

    After using both suites (build 9.0.088 of Roxio's Easy Media Creator, and build 7.5.1.1 of Nero Ultra Edition Enhanced), I found that each still has its share of issues. On my 2.4-GHz Athlon 64 X2 4600+ test system, Roxio's VideoWave component was sluggish: It hogged memory and pegged CPU usage at 99 percent. Nero has its glitches, too: Nero Burning ROM hasn't fully erased rewritable CDs for the last few versions now, and menu language quirks abound.

    For new users, Roxio's more intuitive modules and no-hassle, professional-looking output makes it the more appealing package for users who want professional-looking results with minimal effort. Fans of version 8 might want to hold off on upgrading, though: Only a few of the new features--such as Blu-ray and AVC support, automatic video enhancement, and mobile phone export--offer significant new core functionality. The rebate off the $100 retail price is $30, making Media Creator 8 another in a series of pricey upgrades, and you may not get much value for your dollar unless you need some of the new features today.

    Nero remains less intuitive and requires more creative effort to generate projects, but the software is just as capable as Roxio's, and it offers some features (TV recording, multichannel audio editing) that Roxio does not. And current users can upgrade to Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced for free--a typical arrangement with Nero software. New Nero 7 users must pay $100 in stores or $80 for a download.
    http://pcworld.com/article/id,127289-page,1/article.html
     
  7. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    MPAA Goes After Home Entertainment Systems
    Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Tuesday November 28, @04:22AM
    from the jokes-that-some-people-just-wont-get dept.
    It's funny. Laugh.
    philba writes to tell us that home theaters may become the new jurisdiction of our MPAA overlords. The MPAA is lobbying to make sure that home users authorize their entertainment systems before any in-home viewings. From the article: "The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown."


    Monday, November 27 12:00 AM ET
    MPAA Lobbying for Home Theater Regulations
    By Scott Small

    Los Angeles , CA - The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal. The group feels that all theaters should be sanctioned, whether they be commercial settings or at home.

    MPAA head Dan Glickman says this needs to be regulated before things start getting too far out of control, "We didn't act early enough with the online sharing of our copyrighted content. This time we're not making the same mistake. We have a right to know what's showing in a theater."

    The bill would require that any hardware manufactured in the future contain technology that tells the MPAA directly of what is being shown and specific details on the audience. The data would be gathered using various motion sensors and biometric technology.

    The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown.

    "Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn't give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That's a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends," said Glickman. "Ideally we expect each viewer to have their own copy of the DVD, but we realize that isn't always feasible. The registration fee is a fair compromise.

    The bill also stipulates that any existing home theaters be retrofitted with the technology or else the owner is responsible for directly informing the MPAA and receiving approval before each viewing.

    link
    http://www.bbspot.com/News/2006/11/home-theater-regulations.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  8. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Big Music UK copyright defeat?

    p2pnet.net News:- Britain's Cliff Richard wants copyright to last almost a century. And the Big Four Organized Music cartel, in the shape of their IFPI and BPI, are right behind him.
    But from the look of it, neither Richard nor Warner Music (US), EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) aren't going to get their wishes.

    An independent review is to recommend the terms are not extended, a well-placed government source has said, according to the BBC.

    But the Big Four say it's not going to end there and if they can't impose their will on the UK, they'll still turn their IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) lose in Europe.

    They claim it'll be "discrimination" against performing artists, but what they really mean is it'll mean less cash in their own coffers.

    But Sir Cliff's interests aren't personal, surely? He'll he standing up for other rich pros such as himself? Not. His earliest tracks start to come out of copyright in 2008, says the BBC.

    And The Beatles would also be in the same boat from 2012.

    "The copyright review was conducted for Chancellor Gordon Brown by Andrew Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times," says the BBC, adding, "His conclusions will be published next week, as part of the chancellor's annual pre-budget report."

    Also See:
    BBC - Musical copyright terms 'to stay', November 27, 2006

    (Tuesday 28th November 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/10557?PHPSESSID=838aaa83d6192b1110f600a895149c51
     
  9. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Women talk three times as much as men, says study



    t is something one half of the population has long suspected - and the other half always vocally denied. Women really do talk more than men.
    In fact, women talk almost three times as much as men, with the average woman chalking up 20,000 words in a day - 13,000 more than the average man.
    Read more...
    Heels on wheels as Paris takes Lindsay and Britney out for a spin
    Women spend eight years of their life shopping
    Transformed in 40 weeks, woman with a new face
    Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat - and actually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a new book suggests.
    The book - written by a female psychiatrist - says that inherent differences between the male and female brain explain why women are naturally more talkative than men.
    In The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says women devote more brain cells to talking than men.
    And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high.
    Dr Brizendine, a self-proclaimed feminist, says the differences can be traced back to the womb, where the sex hormone testosterone moulds the developing male brain.
    The areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory are all pared back the unborn baby boy.
    The result is that boys - and men - chat less than their female counterparts and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent.
    "Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road," said Dr Brizendine, who runs a female "mood and hormone" clinic in San Francisco.
    There are, however, advantages to being the strong, silent type. Dr Brizendine explains that testosterone also reduces the size of the section of the brain involved in hearing - allowing men to become "deaf" to the most logical of arguments put forward by their wives and girlfriends.
    But what the male brain may lack in converstation and emotion, they more than make up with in their ability to think about sex.
    Dr Brizendine says the brain's "sex processor" - the areas responsible for sexual thoughts - is twice as big as in men than in women, perhaps explaining why men are stereotyped as having sex on the mind.
    Or, to put it another way, men have an international airport for dealing with thoughts about sex, "where women have an airfield nearby that lands small and private planes".
    Studies have shown that while a man will think about sex every 52 seconds, the subject tends to cross women's minds just once a day, the University of California psychiatrist says.
    Dr Brizendine, whose book is based on her own clinical work and analyses of more than 1,000 scientific studies, added: "There is no unisex brain.
    "Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are different by the time they're born, and their brains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality.
    "I know it is not politically correct to say this but I've been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us.
    "I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men.
    "If women attend to those differences they can make better decisions about how to manage their lives."
    Other scientists, however, are sceptical about the effects of testosterone on the brain and say many of the differences between the male and female personality can be explained by social conditioning, with a child's upbringing greatly influencing their character.
    Deborah Cameron, an Oxford University linguistics professor with a special interest in language and gender, said the amount we talk is influenced by who we are with and what we are doing.
    She added: "If you aggregate a large number of studies you will find there is little difference between the amount men and women talk."
    Already available in the US, The Female Brain will be available in the UK from April.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=419040&in_page_id=1879
     
  10. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    good morning,time for breakfast

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    The Beatles on iTunes

    p2pnet.net News:- "Music is everybody's possession.

    "It's only publishers who think that people own it."

    One could add Apple Computer's Steve 'DRM' Jobs' name to that statement.

    Anyway, the quote comes from John Lennon and it's particularly poignant given that The Beatles are supposed to be close to a deal that'll make official mp3 downloads available ---- but only through Apple's US iTunes iPod front-load site.

    Quoting Fortune magazine, United Press International says EMI Records, "was acting as a middleman between Apple and Apple Corp".

    Too late, Steve and Apple Corp. The Beatles are already on the p2p networks, and have been for years.

    Also See:
    United Press International - Beatles iTunes deal near, November 28, 2006

    Report: Beatles iTunes deal near

    NEW YORK, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The Beatles are reportedly close to a deal that will make their official MP3 downloads available only through Apple's U.S. iTunes music store.

    Fortune magazine reported Monday the deal would likely involve several million dollars and would make iTunes the exclusive digital distributor of the Fab Four's extensive library of rock classics.

    Currently, the Beatles are available only on CD or through peer-to-peer MP3 sites.

    While there has been no official comment, Fortune said Britain's EMI Records was acting as a middleman between Apple and Apple Corp., the company that handles the Beatles' business interests and is not connected to the Apple that runs iTunes and makes the popular iPod digital music player.
    (Tuesday 28th November 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/10563?PHPSESSID=f82909212a52e65c6874f785d121dfdc




    John Lennon Quotes

    All we are saying is give peace a chance.
    John Lennon

    And so this is Xmas for black and for white, for yellow and red, let's stop all the fight.
    John Lennon

    As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
    John Lennon

    Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity.
    John Lennon

    Everything is clearer when you're in love.
    John Lennon

    God is a concept by which we measure our pain.
    John Lennon

    Guilt for being rich, and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn't enough and you have to go and get shot or something.
    John Lennon

    He didn't come out of my belly, but my God, I've made his bones, because I've attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I'm so proud of all those things. But he is my biggest pride.
    John Lennon

    I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?
    John Lennon

    I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.
    John Lennon

    I don't believe in killing whatever the reason!
    John Lennon

    I don't intend to be a performing flea any more. I was the dreamweaver, but although I'll be around I don't intend to be running at 20,000 miles an hour trying to prove myself. I don't want to die at 40.
    John Lennon

    I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity.
    John Lennon

    I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I'm one of those people.
    John Lennon

    If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it.
    John Lennon

    If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.
    John Lennon

    If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal.
    John Lennon

    If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'.
    John Lennon

    Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
    John Lennon

    It doesn't matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I'm a woman or a man.
    John Lennon

    It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. You'd wake up in a concert and think, Wow, how did I get here?
    John Lennon

    Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
    John Lennon

    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
    John Lennon

    Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.
    John Lennon

    Love is the flower you've got to let grow.
    John Lennon

    Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.
    John Lennon

    My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
    John Lennon

    Newspaper people have a habit of putting you in the front pages to sell their papers, and then after they've sold their papers and got big circulation's, they say, 'Look at what we've done for you.'
    John Lennon

    Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.
    John Lennon

    Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.
    John Lennon

    Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. It's nine-tenths of the problem.
    John Lennon

    Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
    John Lennon

    Rituals are important. Nowadays it's hip not to be married. I'm not interested in being hip.
    John Lennon

    Surrealism had a great effect on me because then I realised that the imagery in my mind wasn't insanity. Surrealism to me is reality.
    John Lennon

    The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that's making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it?
    John Lennon

    The cross of the Legion of Honor has been conferred on me. However, few escape that distinction.
    John Lennon

    The more I see the less I know for sure.
    John Lennon

    The older generation are leading this country to galloping ruin!
    John Lennon

    The postman wants an autograph. The cab driver wants a picture. The waitress wants a handshake. Everyone wants a piece of you.
    John Lennon

    The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.
    John Lennon

    The worst drugs are as bad as anybody's told you. It's just a dumb trip, which I can't condemn people if they get into it, because one gets into it for one's own personal, social, emotional reasons. It's something to be avoided if one can help it.
    John Lennon

    There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
    John Lennon

    Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
    John Lennon

    We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship.
    John Lennon

    We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity.
    John Lennon

    We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.
    John Lennon

    When I hold you in my arms and I feel my finger on your trigger I know no one can do me no harm because happiness is a warm gun.
    John Lennon

    When you're drowning, you don't say 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,' you just scream.
    John Lennon

    You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!
    John Lennon

    You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.
    John Lennon

    You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth.
    John Lennon

    You're just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You've got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It's all down to you, mate.
    John Lennon

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_lennon.html
     
  12. gerry1

    gerry1 Guest

    That was awesome Ireland. A CNN/Reuters note on spam:

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/11/27/uk.spam.reut/index.html
     
  13. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Microsoft's Music Madness


    Joe Wilcox
    Joe Wilcox

    Zune is a mistake. While Microsoft's Zune marketing beckons, "welcome to the social," the device is instead antisocial with the existing Windows Media ecosystem.

    Most enterprises probably don't give too much of a hoot about portable music players, except where they present potential security risks. However, Microsoft's Zune music player and accompanying music store fragments the Windows Media market--and that's bad for everybody, whether the company or its partners and customers.

    On Thursday, I cited Zune as one of 10 things for which Microsoft should be thankful. The player's introduction has given Microsoft me-too presence alongside iPod and the iTunes music store. Competitively, Microsoft badly needs this position. The long-term costs, however, may overwhelm the short-term gains.

    Welcome to the Antisocial
    Microsoft already had heavily invested in a Windows Media strategy that encouraged partner innovation. Zune creates yet another closed system, ala iPod and iTunes, which butts against Microsoft's investment in and commitment to Windows Media and its partners and customers. Where once Microsoft touted countless choices with PlaysForSure, Zune offers but one other choice to iPod and iTunes. The product is the antisocial member of the Windows Media commmunity.

    MSN Music is a simple, straightforward example. Before the Zune launch, MSN Music sold tunes compatible with PlaysForSure devices. Now, fulfillment is either through the Zune Marketplace or Real Rhapsody, which content really isn't compatible with customers' existing non-iPod music players.

    "Reinventing everything again isn't in sync with [Microsoft's] partner way of doing things," said Stephen Baker, vice president of Industry Analysis for market researcher NPD.

    Microsoft should have solved other problems that hurt its Windows Media and PlaysForSure ecosystem, starting with ongoing synchronization problems with content and the myriad of portable devices. While hardware partners get the blame for failing to deliver compelling devices, Microsoft failed to improve the user experience with Windows Media Player.

    "If the wheel wasn't working, they needed to look within and ask why aren't we being successful here, rather than reinvent everything," Baker said.

    Stay the Course
    Microsoft could have gone further by endorsing partners within its existing ecosystem rather than alienate them and its customers. MTV URGE music store is great example. The music store is integrated into Windows Media Player and it works as all the other supported music stores should. In personal testing, the user experience is satisfying--on par with iTunes--and synchronization is improved across multiple devices. Why is closed Zune Markeplace necessary when URGE delivers and supports many devices, rather than one?

    On the device side, Toshiba is Zune's manufacturer. Microsoft could have endorsed or promoted Toshiba's Gigabeat, or successor device, as the company does with URGE. Such endorsements and supporting marketing could have encouraged other partners to do better. Meanwhile, Microsoft could have improved synchronization, which, by the way, is much better on Windows Vista than with Windows XP.

    Windows Media PlaysForSure also supports new device categories, particularly mobiles and smartphones, that are reasonable repositories for personal music libraries--or rights-protected corporate training videos. Zune doesn't other rights -protected Windows Media Content. If Apple releases the rumored iPhone next year, where will be Zune? Even Microsoft's PlaysForSure partners would be further ahead, because they stayed the course from which Microsoft strayed.

    Marketing Matters
    The Zune course redirection negatively impacts Microsoft and its partners and customers. "Microsoft is going to take the money they could have used to promote PlaysForSure and use it for Zune,"Baker said.

    Is it any wonder that iPod sells so well, given the amount of marketing? The iPod seems like the only choice in part because Apple's marketing is aggressive, while there is little to none from competitors. I have yet to see a single Zune commercial on TV, whereas I've caught iPod commercials on "Battlestar Galactica," "Bones," "House" and "Smallville."

    Over the weekend, I found some Zune commercials over at MSN Soapbox. Judging from the ads, Microsoft's target demographic would appear to be the same as Xbox, or mainly 18-24 year olds. The ads:

    * Concert

    * Couple

    * Picnic

    * Dog

    * Battle

    The apparent demographic push, while synergistic with Xbox, butts against Windows Media positioning for consumers or the enterprise. Besides PlaysForSure choice positioning, Microsoft has gone after audiophiles and videophiles, people who probably are better able to plunk down $249 for yet another music player. Problem: Those same people would want the content available across devices, as is the case with the Windows Media. Sure, Zune uses Windows Media, but it's incompatible--that is antisocial--with most other Microsoft technologies and partner supporting products of the same name.

    The First-Version Problem
    Zune comes up short in another, really big way. One of Microsoft's corporate cultural tendencies is to view the first version of a product to be a work in progress. Pervasive attitude: A product's first version doesn't have to be good enough, and problems can be fixed later on.

    There are very good reasons why Microsoft has a reputation for not getting products right until the third try.

    Ultramobile PC is a good example of this approach--and so is Zune. The device clearly falls behind iPod, or even many PlaysForSure partner devices, in terms of heft and weight. The 30GB Zune is larger than the 80GB iPod, and Microsoft's player is enormous looking when put alongside iPod nano. As a latecomer to a market dominated by Apple, Microsoft needed to do better than 1.0, particularly when hardware partners are refining multi-generation music players and redefining multi-functional mobiles for music listening.

    Nearly two weeks ago, I asked the question: "Why then should Microsoft create another bundle--music player, store and music format--that is incompatible with its own products?" My answer: Microsoft shouldn't have. Zune should have been, absolutely should be more social with longstanding Windows Media technologies and products.
    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/cont...s_music_madness.html?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535
     
  14. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Sony sends sound through your skin

    11/28/2006 11:18:25 AM, by Nate Anderson

    Consumers who want to use their bodies as a transmission medium for sound have been sadly limited in their options. Using Hasbro Toothtunes, kids can feel The Cheetah Girls' "Shake a Tail Feather" vibrating through their tiny jawbones, but now Sony has developed a human body transmission system for adults—headphones that use the human body as their wire.

    The new technology appeared in a Sony patent filing that describes how engineers in the company's Tokyo research unit developed wireless headphones that rely on electrical signals sent through the body. The goal of the project was to design a body transmission system "with secrecy, with low power consumption, and without interfering with another communication system in a neighborhood."

    IrDA (an infrared transmission protocol) and Bluetooth were both judged unsuitable. Infrared has quality problems when used in natural light and requires a line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. Bluetooth broadcasts over electromagnetic waves and is therefore not completely private. It's also open to interference.

    Engineers turned instead to the human body, which can transmit electrical data between a pair of electrodes on the skin. Unfortunately, when people think about strapping metal electrodes to their skin, "Frankenstein" comes unavoidably to mind, so Sony tried to make the system more consumer-friendly. They did it by encasing the transmitting electrode in a conducting fabric, and by developing it in such a way that it only needs to be close to the skin—not touching it at all times.

    The actual transmission occurs at a frequency between 500kHz and 3MHz and is currently capable of sending 48kbps through the body to the headphones, which have an electrode of their own that receives the signal. It certainly sounds cool, but are consumers really frustrated enough by headphone wires that they will pay a premium for shooting electricity through their bodies? Sony hopes so. They note in the patent application that "a headphone cable often becomes a hindrance and restricts the movement of a user when the cable winds around the body."

    Having never been in tangled in my own headphone cord, I'm not sure that I'm the target market for the invention, but it's good to see that Sony is still cranking out novel ideas in the lab.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061128-8302.html
     
  15. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    FTC to crack down on telemarketing calls

    11/28/2006 11:56:29 AM, by Jacqui Cheng

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to start cracking down on automated telemarketing calls starting in January if its recent proposal makes its way through Congress. Telemarketers, who are understandably unhappy with stricter calling regulations, argue that the FTC's rules conflict with similar (but more lenient) regulations from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—both of which regulate the telemarketing industry to some degree.

    The FCC's current regulations only allow recorded calls to be made to customers with whom the businesses already have an "established" relationship, whereas the FTC's proposal entails a ban on making "robo calls" to any customer without written consent first. Because of the somewhat lenient definition of an "established" relationship—just one purchase is considered an established relationship—the FCC's rules allow leeway to telemarketers, who can then call customers for up to 18 months, even if they are on the national Do Not Call registry.

    Telemarketers see the difference between the two regulations as a sign that the two agencies are not on the same level and will only create confusion among businesses. Telecommunications lawyer Charles H. Kennedy told the Wall Street Journal that "there's a low-level turf war between the two agencies. Instead of eliminating differences, they've decided to reconfirm it." Jim Conway, vice president of governmental relations at the Direct Marketing Association in Washington, added that "If you're a small company, you get very confused, and may not know who you're regulated by."

    However, neither agency agrees that the discrepancies between the two should cause any problem at all. Many telemarketers are regulated by both agencies and the regulations are similar. "If they comply with our rule, they'll comply with the FCC," said Allen Hile of the FTC to the Wall Street Journal. The FCC stands in agreement that the FTC's proposal does not cause a problem for them.

    Recorded telemarketing calls are preferred by the telemarketing industry for obvious reasons—they cost a lot less than hiring a live operator, and in 2003, consumers spent over $9.2 billion on telemarketing purchases according to the Direct Marketing Association. But surprisingly, consumers seem to also prefer recorded calls over live telemarketing calls. It seems that 65 percent of consumers have decided that recorded calls are the lesser evil, according to a recent study by Forrester Omnibus, because they allow consumers to press a button to immediately opt-out of receiving future calls and, for people like me at least, detect a marketing call immediately and hang up.

    Also tied to constantly tightening telemarketing restrictions has been an increase in direct mail and e-mail from businesses, who are trying to find new ways to market to customers if they can't call them. If we think of it that way, perhaps robo calls aren't so bad after all—I would much prefer the occasional automated phone call that I can hang up on in exchange for a few less pieces of spam in my inbox every day. The general public can submit comments on the FTC proposal until December 18.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061128-8303.html
     
  16. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    London pilots "future crime" database

    11/28/2006 8:56:54 AM, by Jacqui Cheng

    Five London boroughs have begun to use a controversial database that profiles high-risk "future" offenders as part of a pilot program for a larger database in the UK. The goal will be for the police force to eventually have a list of the 100 most dangerous offenders based on detailed psychological profiling, which they believe would eventually help to reduce crime by enabling them to keep a closer eye on high-risk offenders, and possibly even stop them before committing crimes.

    The idea behind the list is to make sure that high-risk criminals, such as serial murderer Ian Huntley, serial rapist Richard Baker, and the like make it onto the list for extra surveillance based on analysis of mental health reports and past criminal behavior. Behavioral criminologist from Scotland Yard's Homicide Prevention Unit Laura Richards told the Times that the point of the list is "trying to pick up Ian Huntley before he goes out and commits that murder. Then we have the opportunity to stop something turning into a lethal event.”

    It's that sentiment, however, that scares many civil liberties groups who fear the outcome of authorities taking action based on such a list. This comes shortly after information commissioner Richard Thomas expressed his fears that the UK was waking up into a "surveillance society," expressing conern over how much information government agencies should be able to collect about its citizens. "Picking up" potential criminals before a crime has been committed could infringe on citizens' privacy as well as personal freedoms. Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, told the Times "It is quite right that the police should keep intelligence on suspected criminals, but it is obscene to suggest there should be a ‘crime idol’ list of those who might commit an offence."

    Let's consider for a moment what good such a list might do. According to some reports, disagreements involving guns and drugs are the culprit for sudden surges in the murder rate, not serial killers. Would the future crime database take these types of altercations into account when determining who is most likely to commit a crime? From the description of the database so far, it seems not.

    Similarly (and just to bring in the obvious Minority Report reference here), what about "crimes of passion"—murders that are not premeditated in any way and just happen at the spur of the moment? Actually, there may already be a technological "answer" to that in the form of agression-detecting CCTV cameras. These cameras with built-in microphones and voice analyzation software have already been installed in several locations in Holland, and are being considered for installation in London. The Times says that over a six-week test period, the cameras raised 70 genuine alarms (and how many false alarms?) which resulted in four arrests, but that authorities are "still assessing their impact on crime." Such cameras could be used in conjunction with the database. However since the installation of nearly 4.2 million CCTV cameras around Britain since 1994, the homicide rate has, at best, stayed roughly same. Adding microphones to detect some percentage of fights seems like throwing technology at a problem that doesn't need more technology.

    Also under question are the logistics for using such a database. What threshold of activity would have to be required before deciding to arrest someone for a potential crime? There is no way to ethically test such a list—are the police supposed to identify murders in advance, but allow people to be killed so they can get statistics for a test run? Without testing, though, there would be no other way to know whether the list could be even remotely accurate. Is an untested system that could be totally inaccurate for predicting future behavior worth spending money on?

    If heavy surveillance isn't doing much to prevent crime in the UK now, how will adding even more surveillance prevent uncommon murders such as those by serial killers? The database for predicting future crime incidents comes off as a flashy and intrusive solution that might only shave a small number off of the total homicides in a year—assuming that it even works.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061128-8299.html
     
  17. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Barney the Dinosaur lawsuit

    [​IMG]

    p2pnet.net News:- Barney is a dinosaur with no imagination. Picks his nose and smells his toes and suffers from constipation."

    That's one of the songs Emma, our daughter, and her friends sing about Barney, the disgusting Purple Dinosaur who plagues childrens' TV ------ and kids' parents.

    But they used to like him. And Yes, when Emma was young, WE BOUGHT HER A BARNEY TAPE!!! OK? But only one. And it was from a garage sale. Which isn't to say we're not deeply ashamed today. But we were young, back then, young and inexperienced parents and ...........

    But the creature is no joke. In fact, "BARNEY IS TO CHILDREN AS OSAMA BIN LADEN IS TO ISLAM," says Stuart Frankel from the 'Evil' link in his Small-But-Intense home page.

    Check out some of the links on Frankel's Barney page site, such as this one.

    Meanwhile, "I''ll sue you, you sue me, Oh what fun the suits will be," p2pnet posted back in October last year. That was when it was revealed warning letters were going out to sites with Barney spoof pix.

    But they weren't all and now, "The corporate owners of the popular children's television character Barney the Purple Dinosaur have agreed to withdraw their baseless legal threats against a website publisher who parodied the character and to compensate him for fees expended in defending himself," says the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).

    "The agreement settles a suit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in August on behalf of Dr. Stuart Frankel against Lyons Partnership, owners of the Barney character."

    Elizabeth Rader, James d'Auguste and Brian Carney, attorneys with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, were defending Frankel's free speech rights pro bono and assisted in the case, says the EFF.

    Also See:
    EFF - EFF Accepts Barney's Surrender, November 28, 2006
    Barney spoof pix - Bloody Barney: Oh, the Horror!, October 18, 2005

    (Tuesday 28th November 2006)
    http://p2pnet.net/story/10564?PHPSESSID=2782e9321733baa53cdda7a7096b45c0
     
  18. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Latest toe in the movie download pond? Wal-Mart


    By Caroline McCarthy
    Staff writer, CNET News.com
    Published: November 28, 2006, 8:40 AM PST
    Tell us what you think about this storyTalkBack E-mail this story to a friendE-mail View this story formatted for printingPrint Add to your del.icio.usdel.icio.us Digg this storyDigg this

    Wal-Mart Stores has entered the fledgling but growing market of movie downloads with a new service that bundles a digital copy of a film with the purchase of a hard copy of the DVD.

    The movie download program, announced Tuesday, begins with sales of the DVD of the Warner Bros. flick Superman Returns. Starting Wednesday, when customers purchase the disc from Wal-Mart, they will be able to choose from one of three options for a digital copy: $1.97 for a download formatted for portable devices, $2.97 for one that's compatible with computers, and $3.97 for one that works on both portable devices and PCs. Then, upon returning to their computers, buyers of the Superman Returns bundled DVD can enter a redemption code on Wal-Mart's beta video download site and obtain the digital version.

    Wal-Mart hopes to eventually expand this service to more DVD-digital download packages, as well as to standalone downloads of movies and TV shows in the coming months.

    As for compatibility, there is some fine print. The Wal-Mart downloads that are compatible with portable devices will be in Windows Media Player format, which means that they'll play on all devices that accept that format--including Microsoft's new Zune--but not Apple's iPods. And the PC-compatible downloads will require the Windows XP operating system and Windows Media Player 10. Mac and Linux users, at least for now, need not apply.

    The market for digital video downloads is tempting but often volatile for even the sturdiest of retailers. For many of the new services, like AOL Video, it's really too early to gauge success, or lack thereof.

    But some movie download services have already received distinctly negative reviews. The blogosphere didn't take kindly to Amazon's "Unbox" software. And less than a week ago, Microsoft's highly anticipated Video Marketplace feature of its Xbox Live service experienced a noticeably rocky launch.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1026_3-6138907.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-20&subj=news
     
  19. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer
    Posted by Zonk on Tuesday November 28, @11:43AM
    from the kicks-his-puppy-puts-suger-in-his-gas-tank dept.
    Music The Courts Businesses
    NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor,
    http://info.riaalawsuits.us/documents.htm#UMG_v_Lindor

    the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1."

    http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2006/11/riaa-subpoenas-ms-lindors-sons.html


    From Ray's comments: "You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."


    Transcript of Ray Beckerman talking about the RIAA law suits
    Posted On: Thu, 2006-07-20 11:23 by PeterB

    If you couldn't make it to the conference call with Ray Beckerman, a lawyer representing clients in cases against the RIAA, you can listen or download the audio from Archive.org

    Transcript:

    Gregory Heller DefectiveByDesign Campaign Manager:
    So without further ado I turn it over to Peter Brown the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation

    Peter Brown:

    Thanks, Gregory. And welcome, everybody.

    On June 23rd, the Defective by Design campaign organized a phone-in targeting the executives at the Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA) and similar trade organizations in Europe and Canada. We did this to allow our supporters to express their frustration with Big Media's attempt to force DRM into our technology and onto our society. Through the action we became aware of the work of Ray Beckman and his excellent blog 'Recording Industry vs the People'. Ray practices law in New York state and is the lead attorney there in the fight against the RIAA lawsuits .

    From speaking to Ray about the campaign I came to realize that we are in fact fighting the same battle but just on two seperate fronts. That battle is the battle of consumer control. DRM is simply an attempt to win this battle with technology restrictions, and the other is an attempt to win the battle through intimidation and lawsuits, that they also hope will allow them to rewrite copyright law. It's very important that we realize what's going on in these lawsuits and that we realize that in fact there's no real financial support going on. The RIAA has really been allowed to run amok here and we need to take some action. So let me introduce Ray Beckman to you and let's find out what's happening with these lawsuits, how they're connected to DRM, and what we can do to help. Ray, why don't you spill the beans on what's going on?

    Ray Beckerman:
    For almost three years, the RIAA has been conducting a reign of terror and they have actually tripped across what is possibly their most effective device which is bringing lawsuits against defenseless people.

    You have a multi-billion dollar cartel sueing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights.

    Every time you learn of one of those rare instances in the 19000 litigations in which one person has fought back, it means that there's a lawyer out there who's either working for free or getting a nominal fee for his work and you will notice that you will never see a big law firm in that category. For one thing, the big law firms are like any big corporation: they need to make a profit. That's what their primary purpose is. And they would be interested in representing the RIAA, not the poor people that the RIAA is sueing.

    Now these cases raise very important legal issues relating to privacy, and not just music, but technology. The way this campaign begins is with an investigation that is not an investigation at all. The sophisticated audience to which I am speaking will realize how bogus it actually is.

    They have an investigator pretend to be a user of KAZAA or one of the other similar file-sharing networks. He finds a shared files folder that has a goodly number of copyrighted songs in it. He has no idea whether those song files were obtained legally, whether though payed downloads, or through making personal copies from one's own CD for backup purposes, or whether anything illegal was ever done with those files, whether anyone ever copied one. And what he does: he takes a screen shot of this shared files folders (He of course does not see the folders, he merely sees the text in the metadata) and decides that this is a big shared file folder.

    Then through some secret process which he will not share with us and has tried to conceal from the courts, he then associates it with a dynamic ip address. And then, after he has what he believes is the correct dynamic ip address, for the date and time at which he made that screen shot, he then brings a proceeding to get the name and address of the subscriber who paid for the internet access, which of course would tell us nothing. But once he gets that information he then sues the person.

    The way he gets the information is through a one-sided lawsuit against a host of John Doe's. Usually the people who are named as defendants in these cases, live in cities hundreds of thousands of miles away from where the lawsuit is pending, and they only find out about it after an order has already been entered directing the turn over of information.

    They usually receive only just a few days' notice and are told that unless they can hire a lawyer in that far off city and that lawyer can make a motion to quash the subpoena and vacate the order, that their information will be turned over. And of course at that point they don't even know that there's a lawsuit. Most of them do not even know that they have been sued. They don't have copies of the court papers, they don't have copies of the application for the order. They have absolutely no way to resist.

    A couple of people have been alert enough to alert the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, and so we've managed to bring a few cases in which we've attacked this initial John Doe process. But the judges, who are anything but digital natives, have no understanding of it, have given us very short shrift, haven't listened to anything that we've had to say. There was a case in 2004 where an elderly judge was told by a lawyer in his brief from the RIAA that from the metadata and the hash you could tell that these were illegally copied files, which was of course nonsense. But the judge actually referred to that in his decision as to why he was upholding the subpoena.

    Once they get the name and address of the victim, they then basically seek to extort a settlement of either $3750 or $4250. If the victim calls them up and tells them that they've never even done any file sharing of any kind, that they have no idea what it's about, that they're completely innocent, the RIAA doesn't care and then it commences a federal lawsuit.

    Now, defending a federal lawsuit is an extremely costly process. If you get into the merits of the case to prove that you're innocent, you've already lost because under any scenario you're talking tens of thousands of dollars at least in legal expenses in order to defend such a case.

    Now there are some very important cases going on. In my office we've tried to attack process early on. We're the only firm that lately has made motions to vacate the John Doe cases. Once the name and address is known and they sue a person in their name, they still have this extremely vague complaint which tells you nothing because they know nothing. They say the defendant downloaded, distributed and/or made available for distribution certain song files. But they have no evidence of any downloading, they have no evidence of any distributing. And at most they can say that someone who might somehow be associated with the ip address might have made some files available. But they certainly don't know that the defendant did.

    All they know that the defendant did was to write out a check for internet access. Now, we've tried to point out in our John Doe cases that the technical underpinning of the investigation is meaningless, that the metadata doesn't tell you anything, that it can be scrubbed, that it can be changed, that any real pirate would never leave the metadata of the thing he had perloined. And the IP address makes no sense because any real pirate would be using someone else's internet access account. The metadata tells you nohting, the hashmarks do not conclusively establish anything. Even seeing the shared files folder doesn't tell you which computer it resided on because all of these networks use one form or another of a hierarchy of computers (those with fast broadband connections and those with slow broadband connections, so you have the nodes and super nodes or whatever terminology they use). So that when you see the shared files, all you're seeing is metadata from one computer or from a group of computers that are connected to one node, but the judges have no clue. They actually won't even let me talk about it. One of the three motions had no oral argument. And the two that had an oral argument, the judges would not let me speak and kept cutting me off.

    Now, there's a case called Electro vs. Barker which has become very important. This is a nursing student who was sued in her name. We made a motion to dismiss the complaint because doesn't specify any acts or dates or times of copyright infringement as the law normally requires. We've made several arguments like that before this motion and the RIAA put in an argument which basically fudged it. However, in this case they basically decided to go for the gold and they made a bold argument claiming that merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement. It was a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet.

    As a result of that bold argument, certain organizations came in putting in an amicus curiae brief to support Miss Barker's motion to dismiss. In reaction to that the Motion Picture Association and the United States Government put in briefs supporting the RIAA trying to... Well, the Motion Picture Association directly supported that extreme argument. The US government didn't quite go that far but it tried to support the RIAA by attacking another argument that had been made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    Meanwhile, Miss Barker is a nursing student. She has no money. She lives in the housing projects, and she has to have lawyers reviewing all these briefs, writing briefs for her etc. Now, this case is pending and the judge may call for oral argument or he may render a decision.

    But if our motion to dismiss is granted and sustained on appeal it would mean the end of the RIAA juggernaut against innocent people not known to have committed a copyright infringement. And yet we've received no support of any kind from anywhere, and Miss Barker has no resources to defend this case.

    In the case UMG vs. Lindor where the defendant Lindor is a home health aid who's never used a computer. She's never used a computer, she's never owned a computer, she's never even turned on a computer. The only connection she has had to a computer is that she has on occasion dusted near the parts which she believes are a computer. And yet she is being sued as an online distributor in peer to peer file sharing. This is a case started by her so we were not able to (we stepped in in the middle) so we're not able to attack the complaint, but we're seeking information on the cartel-like behavior of the RIAA and we're in all kinds of discovery disputes. The RIAA is trying to conceal information about how it conducts its "investigation" to conceal the information on how the different companies work together to run this campaign to destroy competition in digital music.

    All these discovery disputes... There have been depositions and now they're calling... They've already deposed her and her son, they now want to depose various other relatives and her daughter. And meanwhile they've stonwalled every discovery request we've made. And unless the world comes together and helps these defenseless people the RIAA is going to win all these battles one way or another and they're going to rewrite the copyright law.

    end.

    Gregory Heller:
    I want to thank everyone who was on the call today for joining us and to let you know again that this call was recorded and that the audio will be made available on our website later today at DefectivebyDesign.org.

    Please blog about it. Tell your friends about it. Stop by the website. Be sure to sign our petition to Bono. You can get the link off the front page and also make a donation via the link on our front page in the upper right-hand corner to support Ray's work in defending some of these cases against the RIAA.

    Thank you once again everyone. Thank you Ray and Peter. And stay tuned for more information from DBD about what's next in our campaign.
    http://www.defectivebydesign.org/node/404

     
  20. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    DVD Jon Agrees: Zune Getting a Bad Rap
    Topic: Things

    Zune_fud_ii The Microsoft Zune doesn't let you use the Creative Commons license or play stuff from the iTunes store, the pricing system for purchasing music by the song is a little weird, and its chassis isn't quite as tough as I'd thought initially. But after using the Zune for two weeks and a day and being pretty satisfied with its design, features, and performance, I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading about it. People really seem to have a problem with this thing -- especially the brown model.

    The Zune isn't perfect, but neither is the iPod. In 1998, I thought the MP3 players we'd be seeing by 2006 would be more advanced than the iPod and Zune combined. Apple has made great strides with the iPod in many areas, especially ease of use and integration with its groundbreaking online service. But innovation has been spread too thin in the iPod line lately. Without real competition, it appears Apple has had the luxury of postponing next-generation features in order to squeeze extra product cycles out of the iPod line.

    There have been complaints about the Zune's "three plays in three days" sharing limitation, but the iPod doesn't even have a wireless sharing feature to limit (or FM radio and a music subscription option for that matter). And somehow, people have gotten the impression that Zunes won't play MP3s downloaded from P2P sites; it plays them as much as the iPod does.

    No one's talking about things like the Zune's nicely designed menu system, which takes advantage of the fact that the control moves in four directions rather than the two allowed by the iPod's scrollwheel, or any of the other nice touches I've noticed over the past couple of weeks.

    I'm not the only one who thinks the Zune isn't all that bad, and even that it might be good. "DVD Jon" Johansen of DeCSS fame debunked a few of the myths surrounding the Zune that appeared in recent articles from the Chicago Sun-Times, SF Chronicle, and TechTree.
    http://blog.wired.com/music/2006/11/dvd_jon_agrees_.html
     
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