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Music

+ - last.fm bought by CBS for $280m

Submitted by megla
megla (859600) writes "The BBC is reporting that last.fm has been purchased by CBS for the princely sum of $280m — not quite up to Gootube levels, but fairly significant.
While the article quotes founding member Martin Stiksel as saying it's "an exciting opportunity", I can't help but feel that not all the 15 million users will agree with the effects of commercialization.
As yet their seems to be no announcement on the last.fm website."
Censorship

+ - Livejournal Bans 500+ Journals for "Pedophliia

Submitted by
illuminatedwax
illuminatedwax writes "When online watchdog group Warriors For Innocence began reporting journals and communities whose content involved pedophilia or incest to LiveJournal, they responded that the communities were not breaking any actual Terms of Service and therefore couldn't be deleted. The watchdog group then sent LiveJournal an open letter. LiveJournal then deleted over 500 communities whose listed interests could be related to pedophilia (such as "incest"). Some of the deleted groups include accounts for role-playing characters that were entirely fictional, fandom communities for fictional pedophilia (e.g. Harry Potter slash), support groups for survivors of incest or child abuse, and even a Spanish journal devoted to the discussion of the Russian novel Lolita by Nabokov. There were also a handful of what legitimately appeared to be predatory journals shut down as well. LiveJournal users have responded by warning fellow users, writing the Warriors of Innocence (reply), and moving to other journal hosting sites such as GreatestJournal. The Warriors of Innocence are maintaining that they did not intend for most of these journals to be deleted, and LiveJournal is already replying to some users. What should LiveJournal's responsibility be in keeping their site free from predators?"
Software

+ - Magnetosphere: iTunes visualizer!

Submitted by
meesto
meesto writes "Here is this thing that does stuff in iTunes. There is magnetism, there is gravity, but on top of all of that, there is awesomeness. Watch as all the dots and ribbons go bouncy bouncy when you play music and trigger this mo-fo of a visualizer. This is the future of visuals. God help you if you smoke the reefer cause you can kiss your productivity goodbye.

By the way, don't go crazy with the A and S keys — they add or subtract a hundred particles at a time — tap once or twice and wait for the results. If it starts acting poorly because you hit a bunch of keys, just quit and restart."
Communications

+ - Russian government DDoS'ed Estonian government

Submitted by Anonymous Estonian
Anonymous Estonian (666) writes "The attacks started last week after the tiny ex-soviet republic of Estonia, now a member of the European Union and NATO, decided to relocate a controversial statue of the so called "Bronze Soldier" from town centre to a nearby war cemetery. The statue has significant symbolic value to Estonia's small community of mostly ethnic Russian post-World War II immigrants; not only symbolising Soviet victory over Nazism in the Great Patriotic War, but also their claimed rights in Estonia. As such, for many Estonians the Bronze Soldier is a symbol of Soviet occupation and repression. The Russian government called the relocation of the statue "blasphemous", "inhuman" and "extremely nationalist", even going as far as to call Estonia a "fascist country". Russia has demanded the resignation of the government, started a nationwide boycott of Estonian goods, blocked the work of Estonia's embassy in Moscow and finally launched a massive DDoS attack against Estonia's governmental institutions. "It has been established that cyber terrorist attacks against Estonian governmental institution websites and that of the President's Office's have been made from IP addresses of concrete computers and by concrete individuals from Russian government organs including the administration of the President of the Russian Federation," said Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet to the press yesterday."
Intel

+ - 8 Intel Cores tested - thanks to "Woodcrest

Submitted by Spudredneck
Spudredneck (666) writes "Bootdaily.com has posted the first review of dual Quad-Core "Woodcrest" Xeons from Intel. This article shows that you can get 8 cores from Intel in a single system, however, the only OEM offering these CPUs right now is Apple with its Mac Pro line. This review points out that Intel will have retail variants of these CPUs out soon, however."
United States

+ - Mercury for Everyone! (The Shiny Stuff)

Submitted by
phyrebyrd
phyrebyrd writes "How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labour — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health."

Has The DVR Resulted In More Reality TV Programming?->

From feed by techdirtfeed
Economist Austan Goolsbee had a column in the NY Times last week looking at the economic rationale for why reality TV programming has become so popular these days. It goes well beyond the simple answer that it's cheap to produce. As Goolsbee notes, if that were the case, it would have caught on much earlier. Instead, the argument is that with the rise of satellite and cable TV adding many more options for people's viewing time (and you could argue plenty of other entertainment options as well), the pool from which network TV operators can expect to get viewers is shrinking, forcing them to search out cheaper programming.

However, a separate NY Times article may offer another potential reason (whether on purpose or not). It looks at a new study of what programs people record on DVRs and finds that people are less likely to record "timely" programs on their DVRs, preferring to watch them live. This includes the obvious things like news and sports -- but also reality TV programming. That's because who gets kicked off American Idol is likely to be talked about the next morning at work, and people want to make sure they've seen the latest so they can talk about it. That creates fewer incentives to record the program and watch it later. So, whether or not TV programming execs recognize it, reality TV programming may actually get more people watching, rather than skipping, commercials.
Link to Original Source

DIY solar heater constructed with aluminum cans->

From feed by engfeed

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

A solar-powered air conditioner doesn't do one much good during a Vermont winter, but rather than cranking on the heater (or huddling under the heated Hello Kitty mat) just to heat things up in a relatively small garage, a clever DIYer set out to concoct his own solar heater using scrap parts and a bit of free time. The solar wall was primarily built with black-painted soda cans, a wooden wall, plexiglass cover, and an inlet and outlet to channel the air around. The homegrown "solar furnace" captured the sunlight beaming onto the south side of the building, and as cool air found its way into the toasty cans and rose through drilled out portals, it managed to heat up a respectable 15-degrees Fahrenheit before escaping into the garage. The creator did note that his next attempt would sport a relocated inlet and be much larger in size, but if you're interested in putting a few in-the-way parts to good use next winter, be sure to hit the read link for a pictorial how-to.

[Via HackNMod, thanks Joe]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft wins AT&T patent battle

Submitted by
Hanners1979
Hanners1979 writes "BBC News reports on the verdict of a long-running case in the US Supreme Court about the reach of US patent law, where Microsoft admitted to breaching an AT&T-held patent in the US, while refusing to accept liability for any breaches occuring outside of the country. The court upheld Microsoft's take on the case, which could well have intriguing ramifications both for patent law and any future cases against Microsoft themselves."
Power

+ - A Truly Inconvenient Truth

Submitted by
mattatwork
mattatwork writes "I received an interesting email from my mother-in-law, and then had it forwarded again by my wife. According to WorldNetDaily, Compact Flourescent lamps (or CFL's) contain a significant amount of Mercury. While you're saving the world from global warming, you're also putting yourself and other carbon based life forms at risk to mercury poisoning. One of the victims of a CFL's mercury found out the hard and high priced way that removing the mercury couldn't be done with a simple vacuum, but by a specialized enviremental cleanup firm for around $2000. You would think someone like Al Gore, father of the Internet, would think twice before pushing a technology like CFL, still in its infancy, on consumers who don't or didn't know the risks. I know that when I get home tonight, I'm taking out my CFL's and replacing them with good ol' incandescents."
Microsoft

+ - Future Zunes: Going Where Apple Hasn't Gone Before

Submitted by
narramissic
narramissic writes "To hit on a winning product or service, Microsoft is going to have to 'find ways of being where Apple isn't and find ways of growing the overall market,' says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research. But what Microsoft really has planned for future Zunes may be something much less remarkable. In the next month or so, as Microsoft reveals more about its vision, we'll likely see offerings in the three main categories in the sector: higher-end video players, mid-range music-centric devices such as the iPod Nano, and low-end USB devices such as the iPod Shuffle."
Sony

+ - Sony PR as in touch with the world as ever

Submitted by JunkmanUK
JunkmanUK (909293) writes "So Sony have caused media outrage again, not by inflicting more DRM on the unsuspecting public, but this time by parading topless women around in front of a goat carcass and inviting partygoers to eat offal from inside the dead creatures stomach. Bet you didn't see that one coming... Of course it's all a shock tactic and God of War II, which they're promoting, will be a best selling game."

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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