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Music

Canadians Overpay Millions on Copyright Tax 144

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist has up a post on his site about the Copyright Board of Canada's decision last week on the controversial private copying levy, which functions like a tax on blank media. The good news? The Board reduced the levy on certain media such as CD-R Audio, CD-RW Audio, and MiniDiscs. The bad news? The millions of dollars in overpayment from these media will go into the pockets of manufacturers, importers, and retailers, not back to the consumers who paid in the first place. 'In addition to the overpayment issue, the decision contains several interesting revelations ... the decision sheds some light on the CPCC's enforcement program. The collective has aggressively targeted those parties that do not pay the levy, with 21 claims over the past three years. In fact, the enforcement program has been so effective that the Board found that concerns about the emergence of a gray or black market for blank CDs has not materialized.'"
Digital

Submission + - Digital music bit rates voice your lifestyle

applechips writes: An article running on CNET is generating huge controversy in the UK, by claiming that someone's lifestyle can be determined simply by looking at which bit rate is most common in a their digital music library.

Responses to the article such as, "Scarily accurate...", "some of the stuff said in these is spookily accurate" and "Very accurate indeed. I'm up at 320, and 90% of the paragraph applies to me", have highlighted how bizarrely predictable most digital music users actually are.
Google

Submission + - Goolgle Indexes Links Found Only in Gmail?

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, I purchased a domain to use for a pro bono website I'm building for a local, annual event. I put up a placeholder site, pointed the domain at it, and mailed my contact at the organization (using my Gmail account) to tell her about the domain. This is the only place that the domain was ever mentioned — neither of us have mentioned it to anyone else or any any other website, and have sent no traffic there by any other means than typing the URL into our browsers or clicking on the links in the email. We didn't want anyone to see it yet, since it's not done (or even yet begun, for that matter). When I registered it (several weeks ago), numerous relevant Google keyword searches as well as an explicit search for the domain turned up no results. Now any of these searches brings up this site as the first hit.

From the Gmail Privacy Policy:

When you use Gmail, Google's servers automatically record certain information about your use of Gmail. Similar to other web services, Google records information such as account activity (including storage usage, number of log-ins), data displayed or clicked on (including UI elements, ads, links); and other log information (including browser type, IP-address, date and time of access, cookie ID, and referrer URL).
So my hypothesis is that Google gleaned address out of my email via its URL-tracking voodoo and then indexed it, and this possibility does seem covered by their privacy policy. But I still find this pretty disturbing: can't I email someone a URL without the whole world finding out about it? What if the contents of this site fell into what the broader Google Privacy FAQ classifes as "sensitive information"?

..information we know to be related to confidential medical information, racial or ethnic origins, political or religious beliefs or sexuality and tied to personal information.
Censorship

Submission + - Military blocks YouTube for the troops

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday you reported on how the military is putting up their own YouTube channel for reasons heavily speculated. Now CNN reports on how the military puts those websites like YouTube and even blogs (MySpace and 11 other sites) off limits for the troops.

Where the article talks about how its being made harder for the troops to use the computer equipment for socializing by sending video's home I also can't help wonder if something isn't stinking here. At one part they try to start a populair trend by opening up a YouTube channel, aledgidly to "open up" and on the other handd they're making it near to impossible for the troops to get the real word out. In my opinion this puts the earlier post in a whole different perspective.

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