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EMI Sues Beatles Usurper Off the Net 358

blackest_k sends along a Wired piece on EMI's successful suit to get Beatles music off the Net. Here is the judge's ruling (PDF). "A federal judge on Thursday ordered a Santa Cruz company to immediately quit selling Beatles and other music on its online site, setting aside a preposterous argument that it had copyrights on songs via a process called 'psycho-acoustic simulation.' A Los Angeles federal judge set aside arguments from Hank Risan, owner of BlueBeat and other companies named as defendants in the lawsuit EMI filed on Tuesday. His novel defense to allegations he was unlawfully selling the entire stereo Beatles catalog without permission was that he — and not EMI or the Beatles' Apple Corp — owns these sound recordings, because he re-recorded new versions of the songs using what he termed 'psycho-acoustic simulation.' Risan faces perhaps millions of dollars in damages under the Copyright Act. And copyright attorneys said his defense was laughable and carries no weight."

Dashboard Reveals What Google Knows About You 260

CWmike writes "Ever wonder exactly what Google knows about you? Google took a step today to answer that question with the unveiling of Google Dashboard, which is designed to let users see and control the copious amounts of data that Google has stored in its servers about them. 'Over the past 11 years, Google has focused on building innovative products for our users. Today, with hundreds of millions of people using those products around the world, we are very aware of the trust that you have placed in us, and our responsibility to protect your privacy and data,' Google said in a blog post today. 'In an effort to provide you with greater transparency and control over their own data, we've built the Google Dashboard.' Dashboard is set up so that users can control the personal settings in each Google product that they use. Google said the tool supports more than 20 products, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts and Google Latitude. Consumer Watchdog said in a statement today that it applauds Google for giving users a single place to go to manage their data. But at the same tine, the group also came down hard on Google, contending that it needs to give users a vehicle for stopping the company from collecting any personal data."

Comment Re:ISS spotting (Score 1) 183

If you've got a Twitter account, Twisst is a wonderful service which will send you a message, giving you about a day's warning to the next overpass. Since it gets your city from Twitter, it directly gives you a time and direction to look towards. It's a lot of fun, and very easy to remember to watch out. Check it out.


Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms 1146

cyclocommuter writes "Some Toyota owners are up in arms as they suspect that accidents have been caused by some kind of glitch in the electronic computer system used in Toyotas that controls the throttle. Refusing to accept the explanation of Toyota and the federal government (it involves the driver's-side floor mat), hundreds of Toyota owners are in rebellion after a series of accidents caused by what they call 'runaway cars.' Four people have died." The article notes: "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done six separate investigations of such acceleration surges in Toyotas since 2003 and found no defect in Toyota's electronics."

Android Phone Turned Into Virtual Reality Goggles 103

andylim writes "After years of hype surrounding virtual reality, including the classic '90s movie The Lawnmower Man, few of us can claim to have experienced virtual reality at home. But what if you could build your own virtual reality goggles without having to spend a fortune? Using an HTC Magic and Google Street View, Recombu.com made a simple pair of virtual reality goggles that let you immerse yourself in distant locations. As the article points out, you can also use these goggles with augmented reality apps — although you probably don't want to walk around with them all day long."

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 235

Nope, that's because the people who would use Perl to "throw together a website" are now using PHP and its libraries instead, and good for them. People interested in writing games, applications or well-designed websites (to say nothing of its core "throw together a script or one-liner" market) still use Perl.


Has Texting Replaced Talking For Teens? 373

Hugh Pickens writes "Sue Shellenbarger has an interesting essay in the WSJ where she talks about the 2,000 incoming text messages her son racks up every month — more than 60 two-way communications via text message every day — and her surprise that 2,000 monthly text messages is about average for today's teenagers. 'I have seen my son suffer no apparent ill effects (except a sore thumb now and then), and he reaps a big benefit, of easy, continuing contact with many friends,' writes Shellenbarger. 'Also, the time he spends texting replaces the hours teens used to spend on the phone; both my kids dislike talking on the phone, and say they really don't need to do so to stay in touch with friends and family.' But does texting make today's kids stupid, as Mark Bauerlein writes in his book ' The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future? 'I don't think so. It may make them annoying, when they try to text and talk to you at the same time,' writes Shellenbarger, adding, 'I have found him more engaged and easier to communicate with from afar, because he is constantly available via text message and responds with a faithfulness and speed that any mother would find reassuring.'"

Comment Re:Not just P2P (Score 1) 458

There is this odd ideal among music lovers that just because you enjoy a certain kind of music so much you will feel obligated to pay for it out of the kindness of your heart.

It's not an "odd ideal": I support bands I enjoy to encourage them to produce more music I like. I agree that many people are music listeners rather than music lovers, and definitely this argument doesn't work for musicians who are dead (I just can't afford to pay them to perform again). That's why the mass music industry is so jittery about piracy: it's music listeners who want most to listen to music for free or almost-free (on subscription-based services or internet radio) who will be the first to leave them.

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