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PlayStation (Games)

Sony Pondering Downloadable Game Rental Service For the PSP 50

Joystiq has brought attention to a recent survey commissioned by Sony to gauge interest in a rental service for PSP games that would operate by downloading the games to the console. The plan, as Sony puts it, "will enable you to download a fixed number of games during your subscription period ... you will be able to change the games you have chosen for the download once your subscription term renews." The survey goes on to gather opinions on various details such as pricing, the number of available games, and how games are added to the catalogue.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony Pondering Downloadable Game Rental Service For the PSP 50

Joystiq has brought attention to a recent survey commissioned by Sony to gauge interest in a rental service for PSP games that would operate by downloading the games to the console. The plan, as Sony puts it, "will enable you to download a fixed number of games during your subscription period ... you will be able to change the games you have chosen for the download once your subscription term renews." The survey goes on to gather opinions on various details such as pricing, the number of available games, and how games are added to the catalogue.
The Internet

New Irish Internet Tax? 242

MarkDennehy writes "The Broadcasting Bill 2009 (currently in the last stages of becoming the Broadcasting Act 2009 and then being commenced into law in Ireland) has thrown up a rather unpleasant little nugget for broadband users in Ireland. It now defines a television set as being an electronic apparatus able to receive TV signals or 'any software or assembly comprising such apparatus' which would mean that even if you haven't got a television set, even if you don't watch streaming content from RTE.ie (the state broadcaster's website), you'd still have to pay 160 euro a year for a television license for your iPhone, or netbook, or laptop or desktop if you have fixed or mobile broadband."
Mars

NASA Plans Test of New Plasma Drive 266

Sallust writes "Flightglobal has an interesting article about the testing of a new electrically powered plasma engine called the Vasimir. It's being developed by former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz and promises to greatly reduce the time and fuel required for interplanetary journeys. According to the article: 'The Vasimir involves the injection of a gas such as hydrogen into an engine that turns it into a plasma. That plasma is then energised further using radio signals as it flows through the engine, a process controlled by electromagnetic waves from superconducting magnets. Accelerated and heated through this process the plasma is focused and directed as exhaust by a magnetic nozzle. Vasimir is many times more efficient than conventional chemical rockets and far less fuel is needed.' The developers are finalising an agreement with NASA to fit a scaled-down version of the engine to the ISS to conduct operational tests. There is also a concept video on YouTube suggesting a journey time for a manned craft to Mars on the order of 60-70 days."
Government

Japan Imposes "Fine On Fat" 1271

An anonymous reader writes "A recently-introduced law in Japan requires all businesses to have mandatory obesity checks (video link) for all their employees and employees' family members over the age of 40, CNN reports. If the employee or family member is deemed obese, and does not lose the extra fat soon, their employer faces large fines. The legislated upper limit for the waistline is 33.5" for men, and 35.5" for women. Should America adopt universal health insurance, could we live to see the same kind of individual health regulations imposed on us by the government? By comparison, the average waistline in America in 2005 was 39 inches for men, 37 inches for women."
Music

Would You Rent a Song For a Dime? 580

An anonymous reader writes "What's worse than a padlocking every song so that they will only play on certain devices? How about selling (renting) you songs that work on no devices? Astonishingly, this is what the music industry thinks we need. Warner Music is spending $20 million to back Lala, a startup devising a service to convince people to 'buy' 'web songs' for 10 cents each; these are then kept for safekeeping only by Lala with no download privileges. Industry insider Michael Robertson leaks the facts on this scheme, along with a seekrit URL so you can try it out."

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