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Submission + - Ebooks for libraries to self destruct? (nytimes.com)

fishdan writes: "The New York Times is reporting that HarperCollins Publishers announced last week that they would begin making the eBooks that they give to libraries expire after 26 readings (assuming a 2 weeks checkout period, that means one year of being loaned).

Simon & Schuster and Macmillan (among other publishers), do not sell eBooks to libraries at all because checking out ebooks from an online library in many cases is easier than buying a book online.

“We are working diligently to try to find terms that satisfy the needs of the libraries and protect the value of our intellectual property,” John Sargent, the chief executive of Macmillan, said in an e-mail. “When we determine those terms, we will sell e-books to libraries. At present we do not.”"


Submission + - Comcast's box rental rules violate antitrust laws? (al.com)

DaGoatSpanka writes: A federal lawsuit has been filed against Comcast, alleging that the cable company's rules requiring customers to lease a cable box for premium services violates antitrust laws. The lawsuit states that Comcast and other companies require customers to lease the cable box, which consists of a converter box and a cable descrambler, directly from them even though the devices are available on the open market. "Importantly, the premium channel cable service and the cable box are separate and distinct products," the complaint states.

Comment Re:REALLY misleading title (Score 3, Interesting) 417

I'm with you on this -- the monopoly is completely anti-consumer. The problem is that with significantly lower operating costs, the city will be able to drive the telcos out, and then THEY will be the monopoly. I hate private monopolies but I hate the state as monopoly equally. Simple solution here. Tell the city they cannot collect fees/taxes on the ISPs we're all good. I definitely want the city to come in and bust up the Telco monopoly -- I just don't want one monopoly to be replaced by another.
I agree the way the telcos are going about this is wrong though. I'd rather see legislation like: Where municipalities set up their own ISP, they cannot assess city taxes or fees on competing ISPs."

It's all about operating costs -- make those as equal as you can, and THEN let everyone compete.

Comment Re:REALLY misleading title (Score 1) 417

>provision of communications service

They used that language because it's internet today, and VOIP tomorrow.

>Is a telco or cable company required to keep separate accounts for their internet service?

Geez. http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2296405/

>...the bill would say that *ALL* internet providers would be subject to these rules

That is an excellent suggestion, and I agree that would be the perfect wording. On the other hand, I doubt that the current Telcos are collecting much in the way trash and water fees.

Comment REALLY misleading title (Score 4, Insightful) 417

Read the senate bill: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S1004v1.pdf I hate the telcos as much as anyone, but this bill says that when the city enters into the communications business, it should have to pay all the same taxes and fees as private business would, and be burdened with the same oversight. They also say that other fees the citizens pay (trash, water etc) cannot be used to fund the communications business. I don't see how this bill is unfair at all. The telcos are essentially saying "If we didn't have to pay any fees to the city to provide service, we could be competetive." If government wants to set up a business, they should have go compete with other businesses on a level playing field. If municipalities want to open up their own ISP, I am all for that, but then they should stop collecting fees and taxing the other ISPs they are competing with. Municipal government should not be using taxes and fees to provide a commercial advantage for themselves. I think the "level playing field" is actually a good title for this bill, and not an unreasonable request. We're all hopped up on this because it's something that's near and dear to us, but imagine if the city set up a taxi service, but then did not have to pay gasoline tax or hackney licenses. Obviously it benefits the public who uses taxis, but is it fair to the taxi drivers and cab companies that they now have to charge more than the city taxis.

Submission + - Frito Lay sues Derby Dames in Trademarkdispute. (77square.com)

fishdan writes: "You think it's tough when your hobby involves you getting blindsided by a leggy blond while on the track? Imagine if the same hobby got you blind sided by a multinational! Frito-Lay, a company previously thought of favorably by 5 out of 5 code monkeys, recently filed a suit of opposition against Coleen Bell, a Madison WI native and former Mad Rollin' Dolls roller derby player. Frito-Lay claims that Bell's roller derby name, Crackerjack, is too similar to the name of their famous caramel popcorn and nut snack.

Which seems ironic, when in their own ads they say "What do you call a kid, who can skate like that? You call that kid a Cracker Jack."

Bell has posted a video that succinctly makes her point."

Comment Re:Alamo Drafthouse is awesome (Score 1) 437

>but that industry is in danger due to poaching from states like Lousiana and New Mexico. >If you live in Texas, write your state representative and senator and get them to support >Representative Dawnna Duke's economic incentive bill. If you live in Louisiana or New Mexico, find some random rep/sen in Texas and tell them how they better not waste any more money on films that make $$$. :)

Comment the MSFT music model (Score 1) 319

You don't lose the music -- Microsoft knows full well their DRM is cracked. Their DRM is purely for show and to appease the music labels. And for that matter so is Itunes if you use a record through sound card sort of software. So the MSFT model is MUCH better because it is ACTUALLY as much music as I care to record for a monthly fee.

Comment Re:America, (Score 4, Interesting) 1656

Having set up the streaming watching at a university, I can tell you that Foxnews.com had the best quality stream by a mile. Of course they probably had significantly better demand. I ended up having to use 3g cards on laptops because the internal network collapsed. And we have dark fiber...60000 users trying to stream at their desks is a bad thing.

Comment Re:Share your connections? (Score 1) 451

Don't forget to use this defense when the RIAA comes knocking. *kidding* I actually don't understand why condos aren't doing this or why there isn't a company selling something like this. In most cities, there are plenty of multi-family homes in which are begging for someone to run wifi and charge less than what teh cable company is charging.

Comment hidden benefit of 4 tens (Score 1) 1055

I've been working 4 10s for seven years, and I can pick which day of the week I'm off. Sometimes I'll put a friday and monday back to back for a 4 day weekend. As a result I get to save my vacation and sick days for when I want to use them, instead of when I have to. 3 years in a row I've ended up cashing in a week of vacation time every year.

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