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Media (Apple)

Submission + - iTunes launches DRM-Free Music Tracks

jbottz writes: Apple today launched iTunes Plus, offering DRM-free music tracks at $1.29 per song. Launching with EMI's digital catalog of singles and albums, the tracks are encoded in the 256 kbps AAC file format. In addition, iTunes customers can now upgrade previously purchased EMI content to iTunes Plus tracks for 30 cents a song and $3.00 for most albums.
Editorial

Submission + - Corporate 'Coddling' of Younger Workers

WorthlessProgrammer writes:


During this morning's commute, NPR reported that younger workers require much 'coddling', at least according to the opinion of workers and managers that are 40+. (pod cast at npr.org).

I wondered why I was not able to make a comparative to my workplace, because there no known "high-maintenance" employees. And I am aware of ALL employees, as the U.S. incorporation of my employer is very small (less than 100 employees). Further recollection 'revealed' that there has been no new hire, discernibly less than 35, within the previous four years.

I should mention the major contributing factor to my employer's upper age 'bias', probably typical to small technical organizations, is that my boss requires all people to have significant experience. If you understand analog signal conditioning, digital 'glue' logic, embedded microcontrollers and DSP, electromagnetic compatibility and product safety issues, and switchmode power conversion, we may have a job for you. And yes, even the network support tech (he works for the Director of Engineering) knows electronics and can troubleshoot complex power supplies.

I will continue to use the network support tech as an anecdotal example; he is approx 40 years of age, is not arrogant, and does whatever is required to get the job done. The IT techs at my previous employer considered the engineering department arch enemies, never completed the most simple project on time, insisted that they were the only employees of any value, and were all under the age of 36.

So I emailed my wife (manager at an ag business). She concurred with the NPR report, and said that she seldom sees competent and reliable workers that are under 40.

Let the generational wars begin...
Music

Submission + - Apple release DRM free tunes

IndiepoprockJesse writes: "Apple today released their announced DRM free itunes music. The new service, called iTunes Plus, let's you download DRM free music with a higher bitrate at 30 cents a piece more. Currently only EMI music is available in the DRM free AAC 256kbps format, including singles and albums from Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Joss Stone, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane and more than a dozen of Paul McCartney's classic albums. People who have EMI music on their computer can upgrade to the new DRM free format for 30 cents a song or 3 dollars for most albums.."

Feed We'll Have To Wait For The Next Lawsuit To Find Out If A Web Crawler Can Enter I (techdirt.com)

Last month, news spread concerning a somewhat odd lawsuit involving the Internet Archive and the question as to whether or not a computer spider can enter into a contract just by indexing a website. The case involved a woman who ran a website and had put some text at the bottom claiming that just visiting the website was entering into a contract, and part of that contract included not copying or distributing the content. The Internet Archive's spider did what it does and archived the page, leading to the threat of a lawsuit. The Internet Archive preemptively went to court to have a judge say they were in the clear, at which point the woman countersued. Of course, she didn't just countersue for copyright infringement, but a range of charges including racketeering. Most of the discussion focused on whether or not a spider could enter into a contract, though an equally compelling question is whether or not you can automatically force someone to give up their fair use rights. Unfortunately, neither question is going to be decided in this case. WebProNews reports that the woman and the Internet Archive have settled the case out of court with both sides putting happy faces on the story. At the same time, however, WebProNews also reports that the woman in question is still going after some of her critics, including publishing all sorts of personal information about at least two of them, potentially violating some privacy laws (at least one of the critics she's revealing info on is a minor). So perhaps there will still be a lawsuit stemming from this situation after all.
Software

Submission + - Outsourcing and Big Macs

An anonymous reader writes: The IT outsourcing mantra is that everything can be done at a lesser cost overseas, but do you really get the same service and/or product quality across the globe ? And if so what are the true savings ratios ? The Big Mac is something that's been done on a global scale for a while now, and oddly enough the production costs across the globe aren't different orders of magnitude like those touted in IT outsourcing. A curious look into the Big Mac Index, outsourcing and overall process quality Big Mac Index for IT Outsourcing : You get what you pay for.

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