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Music

Submission + - Tax on camera storage to benefit RIAA

An anonymous reader writes: "New levies proposed for iPods and memory cards": The Canadian government is proposing that the common, portable, digital storage mediums (DVDs, CDs, compact flash, SD cards, etc) be whacked with a levy to reflect their use in piracy and that the money from that levy goes to...you guessed it, the music industry. If it were just CDs, I might be happy, but solid state storage is just a bridge too far. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071221/copyright_act_071221/20071222?hub=Canada
Music

Submission + - New York judge grabs all Brooklyn RIAA cases

newtley writes: ""I wonder how many of the defendants think the settlements were 'equitable'?" That's Recording Industry vs The People on news that a New York judge has decided only he and another judge should preside over Brooklyn cases. Judge J. Trager, "has denied the motions by the defendants in two Brooklyn cases, Maverick v Chowdhury and Elektra v Torres, for random judicial assignment of RIAA cases," it says. Trager holds, "the cases should all continue to be assigned just to himself and Magistrate Judge Levy". In this decision denying the defendants' motion, "Judge Trager said that (a) many of the defendants have retained the same attorneys, (b) there have been approximately 350 RIAA cases in the Eastern District of New York, and (c) Magistrate Levy has brought about 'equitable settlements'," says RIvTP's Ray Beckerman."
The Internet

Submission + - Bell Canada DSL service throttles P2P arbitrarily

Dembonez writes: The fine folks over at P2Pnet.net have compiled some great details on a very dirty deed. That is, Bell Canada as a DSL ISP is following the lead of Comcast in the US and Rogers up in Canada by throttling P2P traffic. Beyond what the other two are doing, Bell are imposing bandwidth caps for 'unlimited' service subsribers, stating that they've gone over the allotted bandwidth restriction for the month. Of course, nowhere in their terms of service do they outline what that restriction is for unlimited users. It gets better, though! Bell being an ILEC have 3rd party reseller ISPs. If you were to leave Bell after being identified as a heavy user, they'll deny any of their 3rd party resellers from signing you up! Bell being as big as they are, they have 3 of the 5 seats on the committee for fair competition in Canada. This means that it's highly unlikely that any complaint about unfair business practices or false advertising would be quashed. If you're in Canada and using Bell, send them a message... and go elsewhere. Want to know more? TFA: http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13883
Government

Submission + - Judge Rules Investigation Into CIA Tapes Legal (aljazeera.net)

TDarwin writes: Many may know that the Bush Administration, through the Justice Department, tried to stop the investigation into the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes by saying that the incidents didn't happen in Guantanamo and therefore were not protected by previous orders to keep any evidence of the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners. On December 19th, A Federal Judge ruled that this was not the case and that the investigation into the tapes' deletion could continue. For more, see this article from Al Jazeera.
Networking

Submission + - Time Warner Cable Wins State-Wide Cable Franchise (state.oh.us) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Time Warner Cable has received the second state-wide franchise agreement, covering 260 communities, in 60 of Ohio's 88 counties, for 10 years. AT&T was the first to earn a state-wide franchise contract, after a law was passed in September that allowed operators to negotiate a single state-wide agreement. Normally operators negotiate franchise agreements at the local level.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team 1

Curlsman writes: Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team

Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.
We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.

If you have comments, please send them to editor @ startrek.com — we hope someone at CBS will read them.

Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/2316633.html

Is this site worth a write-in campaign?
KDE

Submission + - Original KDE3 vs. KDE4 Memory Comparison Debunked (jarzebski.pl)

An anonymous reader writes: The author of the original KDE 3.5 vs KDE 4.0 memory comparison, which indicated that KDE 4.0 used less memory than the KDE 3.5 series, has come out with a more accurate benchmark. In reality, KDE 4.0 uses 110 MB more memory than KDE 3.5.8. This was no surprise to many KDE developers, who saw many mistakes in the way the original results were obtained. However, given the new composite window manager, Plasma/Oxygen bling, and numerous new features, the extra memory consumption is probably well worth it!
Space

Submission + - Cold patch found in the cosmic background (arxivblog.com)

KentuckyFC writes: "Astronomers have found a cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation. This patch is huge: in terms of angular size, it's several times bigger than moon. And it represents a significant puzzle because no current scenario for the origin of the universe can explain it. For the moment theorists are just struggling to understand its properties (abstract on the physics arxiv)."
Movies

Submission + - Harry Potter 5 Standard DVD Defective by Design

An anonymous reader writes: Many people I know — and unsurprisingly, many people online — have already written that the quality of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix standard DVD is of such poor quality that a VHS tape is a superior version. Even older DVDs from earlier movies in the series stand up with higher quality than this release. Is this a ploy by Warner Bros. to push the HD versions of the film?
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA protests Oregon AG discovery request (blogspot.com) 2

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA is apparently having an allergic reaction to the request by the State Attorney General of Oregon for information about the RIAA's investigative tactics, in Arista v. Does 1-17, the Portland, Oregon, case targeting students at the University of Oregon. See The Oregonian, December 1, 2007 ("UO suspects music industry of spying") and p2pnet, November 29, 2007 ("RIAA may be spying on students: Oregon AG"). Not only are the record companies opposing the request (pdf), they're asking the Judge not to even read it. (pdf)"
Communications

Submission + - Why wireless in the U.S. isn't wide open

Geoffery B writes: Even as the wireless industry chants a new gospel about opening mobile phone networks to outside devices and applications, some of the biggest U.S. carriers are quietly blocking new services that would compete with their own. Would-be mobile-service providers, ranging from startups to major banks to eBay's PayPal have encountered these roadblocks, erected by the likes of AT&T and Verizon Wireless. In some cases, cellular carriers have backed down, but only after inflicting costly delays on the new services.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Moore's Law, Deep Thought and 42 3

Stephen Gwyn writes: "So in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" it took the supercomputer "Deep Thought" 7.5 million years to come up with the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything right? The answer was 42 as we now know. But supposing the computational philosophers had been just a bit more clever. Suppose they actually wanted a run-time of 1 year instead of 7.5e6 years. Since, according to Moore's law, computational speed doubles every 18 months they should have just waited until computers were 7.5e6 times faster. 7.5e6 is roughly 2**23 (or 2^23,depending on your notation) so we have 23 times 18 months which is about 35 years. Add one year for the actual run time, and you have 36 years in all, which is much less than 7.5 million. Wait a little bit longer, and you can run it on your laptop as "iLife, the iUniverse and iEverything" application. Probably as a screen saver.

There is a paper written by some astronomers ("The Effects of Moore's Law and Slacking on Large Computations") which tells you exactly how long to wait to buy your computer when faced with a long runtime."
Censorship

Submission + - Best Buy threatens to sue for blog about uniforms. (improveverywhere.com)

arrenlex writes: Improv Everywhere (http://improveverywhere.com/), a NY-based comedy group, was served a Cease & Desist notice by Best Boy for selling "improv everywhere" shirts modelled after the blue BB uniform. But that's not the interesting part. From the blog post: "Here's where the story gets interesting. Today, Best Buy sent a C&D to our friend Scott Beale over at laughingsquid.com threatening legal action unless he removes the blog post referencing our shirts! They're threatening to sue someone for just covering the news story of the shirts!" First rule of Best Buy: don't talk about Best Buy?

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