A line-item for the phone would be a great feature for us in the U.S. Currently, your phone is "subsidized" by the lock-in to the contract. Theoretically, this means that after the initial 2-year lock-in, your monthly price should go down as they aren't subsidizing the phone anymore. In reality, of course, the price stays the same and they keep the difference as added profit. Or, you can take your existing phone into another contract and have your already paid-for phone subsidized again.
secmartin writes "Researchers at Delft University warn that large parts of the BitTorrent network might collapse if The Pirate Bay is forced to shut down. A large part of the available torrents use The Pirate Bay as tracker, and other available trackers will probably be overloaded if all traffic is shifted there. TPB is currently using eight servers for their trackers. According to the researchers, even trackerless torrents using the DHT protocol will face problems: 'One bug in a DHT sorting routine ensures that it can only "stumble upon success", meaning torrent downloads will not start in seconds or minutes if Pirate Bay goes down in flames.'"
An anonymous reader writes "When the mainstream media first announced Barack Obama's 'victory' in keeping his BlackBerry, the focus was on the security of the device, and keeping the US president's e-mail communications private from spies and hackers. The news coverage and analysis by armchair security experts thus far has failed to focus on the real threat: attacks against President Obama's location privacy, and the potential physical security risks that come with someone knowing the president's real-time physical location. In this article, a CNET blogger digs into the real risks associated with the President carrying around a tracking device at all times."
Un pobre guey writes "The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) press release claims that 95% of music file downloads in 2008, an estimated 40 billion files, were illegal. Oddly enough, digital music sales are up: 'The digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value. Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007. Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined... Despite these developments, the music sector is still overshadowed by the huge amount of unlicensed music distributed online. Collating separate studies in 16 countries over a three-year period, IFPI estimates over 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008, giving a piracy rate of around 95 per cent.'"
r2k writes "Apple's iTunes Plus files are DRM-free, but sharing the files on P2P networks may be an extremely bad idea. A report published by CNet highlights the fact that the account information and email address of the iTunes account holder is hidden inside each and every DRM-free download. I checked, and I found I couldn't access the information using an ID3 tag editor, but using Notepad I found my email address stored inside the audio file itself."