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Comment: Re:Aren't audio books and TTS completely different (Score 1) 539

by Ertman (#26986819) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle

Parent reading the bedtime story vs. Kindle2 reading the bedtime story is an interesting argument. Let's take it further - it's 100 years into the future and the android nanny is putting the kids to bed. Is it illegal for the nanny to read the bedtime story aloud? It's text-to-speech after all. This is like a really boring chapter of I, Robot...

Comment: Re:What an idiot (Score 1) 539

by Ertman (#26986581) Attached to: Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle

I don't even see how this would reduce revenue at all.

Today if I want an audiobook, I'll go buy the audiobook. I won't buy the paper book as well.

In the future, when TTS is perfect and indistinguishable from a real human, if I want an audiobook I'll go buy the book and have my eBook read it to me.

In both scenarios, I purchased the book once. And as noted, in scenario 2 I can't resell the eBook. Why are they against this again? Maybe the Voice Actors Guild should be worried, but not the author's guild.

Comment: Re:Net Neutrality in Action (Score 1) 269

by Ertman (#26923073) Attached to: CRTC Mulls Canadian Content On the Internet

It's also led to a LOT of news and talk shows. On CTV today I see news at 6AM-9AM (news talk show), 12-1PM, 1PM-1:30PM (news talk show), 5-5:30PM, 5:30-6:00PM, 6:00-7:00PM, 7-7:30PM (news talk show), 11-11:30PM, and 11:30PM-midnight. 8 hours of "news" programming, all of it Canadian content. I don't see any other Canadian programming on at all today on CTV.

Comment: Re:Net Neutrality in Action (Score 1) 269

by Ertman (#26922939) Attached to: CRTC Mulls Canadian Content On the Internet

If you are talking about Bell TV and Star Choice inserting commercials into US broadcasts, then you need to blame the US broadcasters. The same thing happens in smaller markets in the US - the broadcaster has a "national" commercial that the "local" re-broadcaster is allowed to replace. In this case, the re-broadcaster is Bell TV and Star Choice.

If you are talking about Bell TV and Star Choice replacing the US broadcast with the Canadian broadcast of the same show, you can blame licensing agreements. For example, CTV pays for the rights to show CSI in Canada. If you try to watch it on CBS instead, you can't because the CTV feed gets put in place of the CBS feed during that show. (The CRTC is only involved in that there is a long list of rules defining when and how they can make this switch.) The re-broadcaster (Bell TV, Star Choice) is forced to make this switch - they don't have any say in the matter.

You can already see similar agreements in place online. Try heading on over to comedycentral.com from anywhere in Canada and you will be redirected to thecomedynetwork.ca. The CRTC and your ISP didn't have anything to do with it.

Comment: Re:I'm in Canada...the web is the only way for us (Score 1) 286

by Ertman (#26713805) Attached to: Web Rescues Un-Aired Super Bowl Ads

If a local Canadian station is over-the-air broadcasting the same show, in the same format, at the same time as a US station, then the CRTC says that the cable/satellite company must "override" the US broadcast for the Canadian one. If CTV is broadcasting the superbowl in SD only, and NBC is showing it in HD, you don't get the substitution on the HD channel. There are very few HD over-the-air channels in Canada right now (Vancouver and Toronto mostly, CTV just launched an HD broadcast in Calgary a few days before the superbowl) so most people (unless they are on Bell TV, who just gives the whole country the Toronto feeds) still get unmolested US HD feeds.

Comment: Re:it hasn't been enforced (Score 3, Interesting) 319

by Ertman (#26712223) Attached to: Apple's Terms No Longer Allow ITMS Purchases Outside of US

Amazon even disables their service within the US if you don't use a US credit card. (I can walk into any record store in the US while on vacation and buy a CD or DVD using my credit card, but I can't buy songs or videos from Amazon because I don't have a US billing address. How silly.)

Input Devices

Review of the Model M-Inspired Unicomp Customizer Keyboard 383

Posted by timothy
from the lust-lust-lust dept.
ThousandStars writes "I wrote a review of the Unicomp Customizer Keyboard, which is a modern version of the IBM and then Lexmark Model M much beloved by nerds and hackers. The pros of the Customizer: it's sturdy, remarkably similar to the Model M, has great tech support, and uses a USB interface. Oh, and it's Mac-friendly. The cons: at $69 it's somewhat expensive, and its noise won't be music to your cubemate's ears." Note: this is one of the very, very few buckling-spring keyboards you can get new these days, instead of prowling through thrift stores, eBay, and university dumpsters.
Privacy

Internet Group Declares War on Scientology 891

Posted by Zonk
from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish dept.
Darkman, Walkin Dude writes "An internet group calling itself Anonymous has declared war on the Church of Scientology, in the form of an ominous posting to the YouTube site. 'In the statement, the group explained their goal as safeguarding the right to freedom of speech. "A spokesperson said that the group's goals include bringing an end to the financial exploitation of Church members and protecting the right to free speech, a right which they claim was consistently violated by the Church of Scientology in pursuit of its opponents." The press release also claimed that the Church of Scientology misused copyright and trademark law in order to remove criticism from websites including Digg and YouTube. The statement goes on to assert that the attacks from the group "will continue until the Church of Scientology reacts, at which point they will change strategy".' It should be noted that Slashdot users have had interactions with Scientology in the past as well."
Music

Amazon DRM-Free Music Store Goes Beta 349

Posted by kdawson
from the 2-million-songs-from-20-thousand-labels dept.
LowSNR writes "Amazon this morning moved their DRM-free music store into open beta. According to the release, 'Since all our digital music downloads are DRM-free, you can play them on anything that plays mp3s including PCs, Macs(tm), iPods(tm), Zunes(tm), Zens(tm), iPhones(tm), RAZRs(tm), and BlackBerrys. Plus, our Amazon MP3 Downloader application makes it easy to add your downloads to iTunes(tm) and Windows Media Player(tm), so you can sync up your devices or burn your music to CD hassle-free.' Not to mention Linux." Of course, without DRM few of the major labels play with them.
Portables

+ - Negroponte to announce "Give 1, get 1" OLP 1

Submitted by thefickler
thefickler (1030556) writes "Nicholas Negroponte, the visionary behind the One Laptop Per Child initiative (OLPC), has publicly expressed his disappointment at the lack of orders for his low-cost computer for poor children. The situation has become so dire that Negroponte will on Monday announce a "Give one, get one" promotion in the US and Canada, where supporters will be able to purchase two XO-1s for $399. They'll get to keep one, while the second one will be given to a disadvantaged child in the developing world. Orders will only be accepted for two weeks between November 12 and November 26. It's promised that the XO-1 will be delivered to the purchaser before Christmas."
Media

+ - "Viacom hit me for infringing my own copyright-> 2

Submitted by
Chris Knight
Chris Knight writes "Long story short: I ran for school board where I live this past fall and created some TV commercials including this one with a "Star Wars" theme. A few months ago VH1 grabbed the commercial from YouTube and featured it in a segment of its show "Web Junk 2.0". Neither VH1 or its parent company Viacom told me they were doing this or asked my permission to use it, but I didn't mind it if they did. It was great to see the commercial was being enjoyed by a far wider audience than I'd expected. I was honored that they chose to use it and thought that Aries Spears's commentary about it was pretty hilarious, so I posted a clip of VH1's segment on YouTube so that I could put it on my blog. This morning I got an e-mail from YouTube saying that the video has been pulled because Viacom is claiming that I'm violating its copyright. Viacom used my video without permission on their commercial television show, and now says that I am infringing on THEIR copyright for showing the clip of the work that Viacom made in violation of my own copyright! Talk about chutzpah! Needless to say, I would like to fight this: not for any kind of monetary compensation, but just for the right to employ my own self-created material per Fair Use."
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