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Submission + - 24-bit: the new way to make you pay more for music ( 3

Barence writes: "Apple and music labels are reportedly in discussions to raise the audio quality of of the songs they sell to 24-bit. The move could see digital downloads that surpass CD quality, which is recorded at 16 bits at a sample rate of 44.1kHz. It would also provide Apple and the music labels with an opportunity to "upgrade" people's music collections, raising extra revenue in the process. The big question is whether anyone would even notice the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit files on a portable player, especially with the low-quality earbuds supplied by Apple and other manufacturers. Labels such as Linn Records already sell "studio master" versions of albums in 24-bit FLAC format, but these are targeted at high-end audio buffs with equipment of a high enough calibre to accentuate the improvement in quality."

Submission + - Australian Court Order Served Via Facebook

gizmod writes: Victoria police got court approval to use the site after attempts to serve the order in person, over the telephone or via the post failed.
The "prolific" Facebook user was accused of, among other things, using the site to harrass, bully and threaten another person, and police said they transcribed all the court documents and sent them to his Facebook inbox.
A video was also made of the order being read "as if the Respondent was being directly spoken to" and sent electronically to him.

Submission + - Court says Fair Use May Hold in Some RIAA Cases (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Boston RIAA case in which the defendant, represented by Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School, admitted liability at his trial, the Court has entered judgment in favor of the RIAA for the monetary award of $625,000 fixed by the jury. However, the Court left open the questions of whether the amount is excessive, and whether attorneys fees and/or sanctions should be awarded, and has scheduled further briefing of those issues. The Court granted the RIAA much, but not all, of the injunctive relief it rquested. In an unusual step, the Court issued a 38-page decision (PDF) explaining in some detail the Court's views of the Fair Use defense in the context of cases like this, and indicating that there are some factual scenarios — not applicable in this particular case — in which it might have concluded that the claims were barred by Fair Use. E.g. it declined to rule out the possibility that creation of mp3 files exclusively for space-shifting purposes from audio CDs a defendant had previously purchased might constitute fair use.

Submission + - Ambassador Claims ACTA Secrecy Necessary (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "According to the Ambassador Ron Kirk, the head of US Trade Representatives, the secrecy around the ACTA copyright treaty because without that secrecy, people would be 'walking away from the table.' If you don't remember, that treaty is the one where leaks indicate that it may contain all sorts of provisions for online copyright enforcement, like a global DMCA with takedown and anti-circumvention restrictions, three-strikes laws to terminate offending internet connections, and copyright cops. FOIA requests for the treaty text have been rebuffed over alleged 'national security' concerns. One can only hope that what he has said is true and that sites like Wikileaks will help tear down the veil of secrecy behind which they're negotiating our future."

Submission + - Copenhagen police turn to Macs (

nk497 writes: Copenhagen police are managing this week's global climate change summit — with protestors and presidents expected to show up — with a bunch of Mac Minis. When it needed to replace its previous system, the Danish Police Department travelled Europe to see other systems, and decided those Windows based systems weren't good enough, or fast enough. Now, it runs off of Xserves, Minis and Pros. Its call centre has just eight employees each shift to take as many as 1,200 calls from the city of 1.2 million, while cities like Glasgow have dozens of staff. Intriguingly, it didn't cost more — as Mac's usually do. “It was just about the same price, that’s the funny thing,” said police inspector Karsten Højgaard.

Submission + - Is it time to regulate Google?

pcause writes: The Official Google Blog announces that Google will now offer "personalized" search results based on your last 180 days of queries EVEN IF YOU AREN"T LOGGED IN . This is just confirmation that Google is tracking you, even when you aren't logged in, and that it keeps at LEAST 6 months of history. We know from the event where AOL released data to search researchers that 6 months of data is enough to identify an individual despite the supposedly anonymous cookie.

Yes you can opt out of the personalization, but does that mean Google isn't still collecting data about you? I doubt it. Google has always invaded your privacy by tracking you, but they are now admitting it. There'd be huge flames here on /. if the government was doing this. Google is no more trustworthy than the government as they do all this to make money and are totally unaccountable.

Is it time to regulate Google?

Submission + - Big Blue Patenting Big Brother Sales Techniques

theodp writes: Big Blue meets Big Brother in a newly-published IBM patent application for Assessing Personality and Mood Characteristics of a Customer to Enhance Customer Satisfaction and Improve Chances of a Sales, which is certain to send chills up privacy advocates' spines. When you shop in a store that employs IBM's patent-pending invention, your facial image will be captured to determine your emotional state, your gait will be tracked to assess your personality and mood characteristics, and infrared gaze tracking apparatuses will be used to sense, locate and follow the movement of your eyes to gauge your interest in the item being observed. All of this information — as well as who you're shopping with — will be fed to sales associates together with profile information on you that's retrieved from a database — e.g., name, prior merchandise purchases, past sales approaches that have worked on you.

Submission + - Offset bad code with Bad Code Offsets

An anonymous reader writes: Two weeks ago, The Daily WTF's Alex Papadimoulis announced Bad Code Offsets, a join venture between many big names in the software development community (including StackOverflow's Jeff Atwood and Jon Skeet and SourceGear's Eric Sink). The premise is that you can offset bad code by purchasing Bad Code Offsets (much in the same way a carbon-footprint is offset). The profit's are donated to Free Software projects which work eliminate bad code, such as the Apache Foundation and FreeBSD. The first cheques were sent out earlier today.

Submission + - What do you do when printers cost less than ink? 2

An anonymous reader writes: A family member recently asked me to pick up more ink for her Epson Photo RX 595. Unfortunately, replacing the black and color ink cartridges costs $81.92 + tax at the local store! That so bad that I got a replacement printer that's just as good and spare ink for less. But now I have a useless piece of e-waste that I can't even give away. What can you do with a printer like that? I hate to just throw it away.

Submission + - Home Router for high speed connection?

soulprivate writes: My cable company recently has begun to offer Internet access plans with speeds over 30 Mbps (60, 80 and 100 Mbps). However my D-link router is unable to go beyond 30 Mbps if I use NAT. It reaches 60-70 Mbps only if NAT is disabled.
Is there any recommendation for a brand/model of residential router that is able to get more than 70 Mbps with NAT enabled? I have been looking for benchmarks or comparisons, to no avail. Does anyone knows one? or what are your experiences at home?
The Courts

Submission + - Film studios issue ultimatum to ISPs ( 1

bennyboy64 writes: The court case between the film industry and ISP iiNet drew to a close yesterday after the film studios issued an ultimatum: Take copyright responsibilities seriously or leave the industry. 'Businesses such as ISPs want to enjoy the benefit of being able to make money out of the provision of internet service facilities and they enjoy that benefit. But it carries with it a responsibility,' said Tony Bannon SC, the film industry's lawyer. 'They provide a facility that is able to be used for copyright infringement purposes. If they don't like having to deal with copyright notices then they should get out of the business'. iTnews has done a short one minute interview with iiNet's CEO Michael Malone as he left the court on the final day. The judge also, on the final day, dismissed the Internet Industry Association's involvement in the case.

Submission + - Dumbing down programming? ( 1

RunRevKev writes: The unveiling of Revolution 4.0 has sparked a debate on ZDNet about whether programming is being dumbed down. The new version of the software uses an English-syntax that requires 90 per cent less code than traditional languages. A descendant of Apple's Hypercard, Rev 4 is set to "...empower people who would never have attempted programming to create successful applications". ZDNet report that "One might reasonably hope that this product inspires students in the appropriate way and gets them more interested in programming."

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.