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Submission + - How amateurs destroyed the professional music business (

David Gerard writes: Here in the future, musicians and record companies complain they can't make a living any more. The problem isn’t piracy — it’s competition. There is too much music and too many musicians, and the amateurs are often good enough for the public. This is healthy for culture, not so much for aesthetics, and terrible for musicians.

Submission + - Ubuntu Founder Prefers iPhone Over Android (

An anonymous reader writes: Its surprising that the founder or an open source project like Ubuntu who is aiming to beat Apple loves Apple products instead of open source products. It is shameful that Ubuntu founder mark shuttleworth said that he prefers iPhone over Android. Now, how will he convince users to ditch windows and move to Ubuntu when he himself uses iPhone?
It's funny.  Laugh.

What If They Turned Off the Internet? 511

theodp writes "It's the not-too-distant future. They've turned off the Internet. After the riots have settled down and the withdrawal symptoms have faded, how would you cope? asked readers to Photoshop what life would be like in an Internet-addicted society learning to cope without it. Better hope it never happens, or be prepared for dry-erase message boards, carrier pigeon-powered Twitter, block-long lines to get into adult video shops, door-to-door Rickrolling, Lolcats on Broadway, and $199.99 CDs."

Ted Dziuba Says, "I Don't Code In My Free Time" 619

theodp writes "When he gets some free time away from his gigs at startup Milo and The Register, you won't catch Ted Dziuba doing any recreational programming. And he wouldn't want to work for a company that doesn't hire those who don't code in their spare time. 'You know what's more awesome than spending my Saturday afternoon learning Haskell by hacking away at a few Project Euler problems?' asks Dziuba. 'F***, ANYTHING.'"

Submission + - M$ Funds Publisher's Lawsuits Vrs Google Books (

twitter writes: "M$'s Plot to Kill Google has taken an ugly turn as M$ is funding opposition to the Google book settlement.

The $125 million deal gives Google the right to store digital copies of the books, include them in its search results, sell online versions and license its book-scans to libraries. It also allows millions of "orphan" works (books still under copyright but whose copyright-holders can't be found) to be included in Google's program.

The only obstacle remaining for the settlement to take effect is final court approval. ... [it is not] surprising that at least one party nudging its way into the settlement is an internet-issues-oriented group from New York Law School. But what does raise an eyebrow is the source of New York Law's funding on this matter: Microsoft.

This is especially interesting given M$'s proven inability to make money with books. The Wired article goes on to expose curious grants to law schools favorable to M$'s positions on various issues. So goes the war on sharing and universal access to knowledge."


Submission + - Cascading Failure of M$ Licensing Revenue?

twitter writes: "Iceland has been hit harder by the economic downturn than most countries and Microsoft MVPs are in particular distress. They broker long term licenses to business and collect revenue on an annual basis. When things are fine, this protects M$ from the failure of one or two businesses. When things are bad the MVP goes under, making it difficult for M$ to collect revenue from surviving businesses. Is this a systemic weakness in M$'s business model that we will see elswhere?"

Submission + - Microsoft Skull-fucks Iceland's Economy, Contracts (

hesa writes: "Microsoft has made a business out of selling licenses to run software that can be copied at no marginal cost, this everybody knows. Essentially, they manufacture software, but their product isn't computer code, it's legal code. Contracts."

Submission + - How M$ Beats GNU/Linux in Schools. (

twitter writes: "Ever wonder why schools still use Windows? Boycott Novell has extracted the details from 2002 M$ email presented in the Comes vrs Microsoft case and other leaks. What emerges is M$ desperate battle to "never lose to Linux." At stake for M$ is more than a billion dollars of annual revenue, vital user conditioning and governmental lock in that excludes competition, and software freedom for the rest of us. Education and Government Incentives [EDGI] and "Microsoft Unlimited Potential" are programs that allows vendors to sell Windows at zero cost. Don't take my word for it, go read the email for yourself.

M$'s nightmare scenario has already been realized in Indiana and other places. Windows is not really competitive and schools that switch save tens of millions of dollars. Because software is about as expensive as the hardware in these deals, the world could save up to $500 million each year by dumping M$. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it's hard to see what M$ can do other than what they did to Perter Quinn."

Linux Business

Submission + - The free-market price of software is ... nothing (

JW writes: "Mark Taylor, former head of the Open Source Consortium, says, "The cost of making the next copy of any piece of software is almost zero. That phenomenon is precisely the same as the one challenging the business models of the music and film industries. The equilibrium, free-market price of software is nothing. Free software acknowledges that truth. Proprietary software does not. Instead, like the banks, proprietary-software vendors have had to justify the cost of their wares by constructing complex arguments about value. Yes, we are living in a proprietary-software bubble and, like the bursting of the easy-credit bubble, this one is about to burst too — it's a matter of survival."

Australian Government Ignoring Problems With Proposed Filters 292

halll7 writes with an update to the proposed Australian national firewall we discussed recently. According to the BBC, "The official watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has been conducting laboratory tests of six filtering products, and the government plans a live trial soon. ... After its recent trials, ACMA reported significant improvements on earlier studies. The network degradation on one product was less than 2%, although two products were in excess of 75%." Now, Ars Technica reports that "an Australian newspaper has uncovered documents showing that the government minister responsible for the program has ignored performance and accuracy problems with the filters, then tried to suppress criticism of the plan by private citizens." The EFA has a great deal to say in opposition of these plans.
United States

Submission + - 'Steal This Movie' Says Director (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Emmy award-winning, Academy award-nominated, documentary filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman has decided that the message of her new film — 'Stealing America: Vote by Vote' — is too important to let money stand in the way of its message getting disseminated, and has invited the public to make free downloads starting Tuesday, October 21st. She has even offered to send free DVD's right now, along with all necessary permissions, to anyone willing to broadcast it. This harrowing documentary, narrated by Peter Coyote, recounts just a few of the ways in which the 2004 presidential election, especially in Ohio and Florida, as well as several other suspicious recent elections, were stolen, and sends a stark warning to the electorate : it not only can, but will, happen again if you don't get out there and organize against it."
The Media

Submission + - The Media Promotes Candidates Based On Ad Budgets

JefferyLebowski writes: A fascinating analysis titled, The Mainstream Media Has Picked Your Candidates, Based on Advertising Budgets, makes the case that the Internet components of mainstream media have been used to influence the online culture to focus on political candidates that have received the most donations, and thus, have the most to spend on advertising... essentially steering focus toward the most profitable candidates. The analysis author uses Google Trends to match sudden and prolonged increases in news coverage for candidates with deep pockets, precisely at the moments their pockets become deep, which then results in influencing overall Google search volume.

Submission + - Firefox 3 GTK 2.10 horrow show: follow up on the d

Lee Xouce writes: ""Our previous post, about the difficulties of installing Firefox 3 on reasonably recent Linux distributions, has triggered a strong reaction from some "Linux supporters". Since the Mozilla Foundation will stop supporting Firefox 2 in December, the whole GTK+ 2.10 dependency discussion is even more "on topic".

It's interesting that somehow the original post was seen as criticism of Linux, whereas it targeted the Mozilla Foundation decision to have Firefox 3 depend on GTK+ >= 2.10 without providing a portable package. Although there are many things that we'd like to see improved on Linux, there is nothing here that is Linux's fault. However, the kind of comments we got in "defense of Linux" are telling of some users mindset and worth a public reply.""

Submission + - TIME: Are Oil Prices Rigged? You Bet! (

An anonymous reader writes: Two Stanford students argue that oil suppliers could be entering the oil futures market as oil speculators, boosting the price of their own oil: We've all read that speculators are driving oil prices artificially high — a claim that gets more interesting in light of oil's recent fall below $115. But maybe we're looking at it from the wrong perspective. Suppose that major suppliers in the oil industry are these manipulative speculators.,8599,1834888,00.html

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long