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Feed Techdirt: Universal Music Execs Finally Recognizing That It Needs To Make Its Money On Com (techdirt.com)

The press and various tech blogs have had something of a field day with the news of Vivendi's CEO, Jean-Bernard Levy, calling Apple's iTunes' contract "indecent." Vivendi, of course, owns Universal Music, a company that has been rather aggressive in trying to squeeze money out of just about everyone while searching for new business models. However, reader Cannen writes in to point out that, while the "indecent" quote is getting all the headlines, there's a much more interesting quote buried further down in the article. Levy then is talking about Universal Music's plans to make money, and there are a few very interesting quotes:

Fleshing out UMG's strategy, Levy said it planned to focus on better exploiting the "monetization of an artist's image" which included branded clothes and TV shows. "This is what we hope will revive our business," Levy said. "People indulge in piracy but spend a lot of money on many other things that are linked to an artist." Levy forecast that "in the not so distant future", traditional music products such as DVDs and CDs would make up less than 50 percent of music publishing revenues.
That sounds shockingly similar to what some of us have been advocating for about a decade -- which had record industry insiders telling us we didn't understand their business at all. Of course, it's not all the way there. What's missing is the realization that if you stop thinking of it as "piracy" and start thinking of it as "promotion" then you want people to share the content, recognizing that it will spread further, creating more fans with more interest in buying all those other things linked to the artist. Of course, if any of the record labels want to get a better idea of how to do this, they should contact us. We could have helped them avoid much of the mess of the past ten years. There's still time to make sure that the next ten aren't even worse.
Networking

Submission + - T-Mobile Hotspot @Home as GPL violation??

spazoid12 writes: Where's the code?

T-Mobile's HotSpot @Home already brings WiFi VoIP to compatible cell phones, and a recent FCC filing from T-Mobile and Linksys indicates that soon all the phones in your home will be able to get in on the action. The WAP, from Linksys, is the WRTU54G.

From CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-and-smart/t-mobile-hotspot-home/4505-6448_7-32486222.html?tag=txt):
"When you first sign up, you'll receive a complimentary wireless router that's optimized to be used with the Hotspot @Home service. Our review model was a Linksys, which is exactly the same as the Linksys WRT54G, except for a few software tweaks designed by T-Mobile."

I went looking for the source for T-Mobile's modifications but came up with nothing. The Linksys device, as you know, uses GPL code. The T-Mobile modified version of the Linksys device does as well and therefore one wonders if T-Mobile will eventually release the code or remain in violation of the GPL.

Feed Engadget: Olympus creates 'world's smallest questionnaire' on specimen slide (engadget.com)

Filed under: Digital Cameras, Misc. Gadgets

We've seen ways in which quite a few marketers earned their bonus, but the bright lad (or dame) who dreamed this one up deserves a serious promotion. In what's likely to be confirmed as the "world's smallest questionnaire," Olympus sent out slides with questions to valued high-end microscope customers in order to boost awareness and hopefully drum up more business. The survey was shipped just like any other specimen slide, and it reportedly drove up traffic to the firm's website by around 24-percent. Click on for a closeup of the actual questions.

[Via OhGizmo]

Continue reading Olympus creates 'world's smallest questionnaire' on specimen slide

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Google

Submission + - Google Geek's Famous Photos (nytimes.com)

kiracatgirl writes: Here's a fun story about a relatively unknown Google employee and his hobby — taking photographs of himself with famous visitors to Google's headquarters. His gallery is posted on the walls at Google HQ, but is also available for our viewing pleasure at his online photo album.

Feed Engadget: Diamond planning HD 2900 XT-based 2GB VFX 2000 pro GPU? (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Gaming

Diamond is no stranger to packin' an awful lot of RAM onto graphics cards, and apparently, the forthcoming VFX 2000 Series Professional Workstation GPU will keep the legacy alive. According to Hot Hardware, Diamond is readying a 2GB (of GDDR4 memory, no less) professional card based on the R600 (now known as the HD 2900 XT), and reportedly, "the card's PCB has been modified from the standard HD 2900 XT reference design to support the workstation-class features inherent to the FireGL line of professional graphics cards." Still, there's no word yet on what frequencies the GPU and RAM will hum along at, but word on the street has this beast launching "in the coming weeks." Click on for another glimpse.

Continue reading Diamond planning HD 2900 XT-based 2GB VFX 2000 pro GPU?

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


It's funny.  Laugh.

Shaolin Monks May Sue Over Tale of Defeat by Ninja 284

Socguy writes "A unique story on the CBC website details an even more unusual conflict. A Chinese Shaolin temple has demanded an apology from 'an Internet user who claimed a Japanese ninja beat its kung fu-practicing monks in a showdown.' A letter from the members of the temple, posted on the Internet on Thursday, denied the fight ever took place and called on the person who posted the claim under the name "Five minutes every day" to apologize to the temple's martial arts masters. Monks from the temple, which is located in the Songshan Mountain region of the Henan province, said they will consider legal action if he or she doesn't make a public apology."
Security

Submission + - Bioshock cracked

An anonymous reader writes: In less than a week after the official release first fully-working cracks for popular Bioshock game are circulating in torrent communities. Most effective of cracks completely removes any need for any serial number, registration, or even the presence of the internet connection.

One can't help but ponder did the money poured into the protection scheme, support for the said protection scheme, and backslash caused by inconveniencing users accomplish any of the goals they were aiming for. I myself will be enjoying this title the way God intended — without anyone watching over me, and without my game calling home every 10 seconds.
Television

Submission + - Digital TV switchover in Finland (www.hs.fi) 1

vuo writes: At 04:00, 1 September 2007, all analog television networks were shut down, and the switchover to digital television has been completed. Watching television requires a digital decoder, such as a set-top box, a television with an integrated decoder, or a computer with a digital TV card. Currently, the national broadcasting corporation Yleisradio (YLE), which operates five digital channels, is funded by a television licence fee (208.15 per year per household). However, a consequence of digitalization is that nearly every device with a screen is potentially a television set. Minister of Communications Suvi Lindén has questioned the current policy, and promotes funding of YLE from the national budget and reducing the production of domestic programmes. YLE's director, also a former Microsoft PR director Mikael Jungner (sd.) opposes the plans.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - "Free" wireless broadband sparks "free (pressesc.com)

Enormous Coward writes: "A company that wants to offer "free" filtered Internet over unused TV spectrum band has hit back at criticism that its service is "free as in beer" but not "free as in speech". M2Z Networks (M2Z) today announced that in just the past 15 working days over 1,000 individuals from forty-nine states have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting M2Z's pending application. Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) opposes the application on the grounds that, although M2Z's application could provide significant benefits to the American people, "the proposed license conditions do not adequately ensure that M2Z would operate under open device rules or network neutrality rules of sufficient stringency to confer the full benefits of innovation and free expression to the public.""
Software

Submission + - The Really Fair Scheduler (kerneltrap.org)

derrida writes: "During the many threads discussing Ingo Molnar's recently merged Completely Fair Scheduler, Roman Zippel has repeatedly questioned the complexity of the new process scheduler. In a recent posting to the Linux Kernel mailing list he offered a simpler scheduler named the 'Really Fair Scheduler' saying, "as I already tried to explain previously CFS has a considerable algorithmic and computational complexity. This patch should now make it clearer, why I could so easily skip over Ingo's long explanation of all the tricks CFS uses to keep the computational overhead low — I simply don't need them.""

Feed Wired: Microsoft Allegedly Bullies and Bribes to Make Office an International Standard (wired.com)

Sunday, September 2 is the deadline for ISO member countries to vote on Microsoft's Office OpenXML -- the result will determine if it's approved as an international standard. Name calling, finger pointing and muckraking have sparked a debate over current standards-approval procedures and how they're affected by corporate influence. All this excitement over office docs?


Security

Submission + - German Govt. Ponders Trojans for Terrorists (bbc.co.uk)

wordsnyc writes: The German government is apparently seriously considering an attempt to infect the computers of terror suspects with phone-home trojans.

According to the BBC:

  German government plans to spy on terror suspects by deploying malicious e-mails have drawn sharp criticism.

The e-mails would contain Trojans — software that secretly installs itself on suspects' computers, allowing agents to search the hard drives.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is quoted as saying the spyware would be used only in a few cases and for a limited time. ....

According to German media reports, the malicious e-mails could appear to come from different official bodies.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, of the Social Democrats (SPD), has voiced concern about the spyware plans, saying they might infringe privacy laws, the Deutsche Welle news website reports.

Toys

Submission + - Six Great Linux Productivity Apps (obsidianprofile.com)

Obsidian_AL writes: "The author of Obsidian Profile takes a short look into doing some productive work under Linux that involves graphics or web design/development. The article is written more towards web developers and web designers, but some of the applications fall under multiple categories. You've got to have your console, text editors, and some entertainment to stay motivated!"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Google Earth Flight Simulator (insidedesign.info)

insidedesign writes: "It has been recently discovered by Marco that the newest version of Google Earth includes a Flight Simulator. Though simple in comparison to the full-blow flight simulators available out there, the one available in Google Earth is fun and addictive. Getting started is easy and you can be playing in no time. Simply ensure that you have the newest version of Google Earth, which can be obtained from the Google Earth website, and press CTRL+ALT+A on your keyboard. A dialog will then appear, giving you option of plane (F16 or SR22) and airport. If you own a joystick, have no fear because they are supported! It has even been reported that force feedback is also supported. The game's controls are sensitive so it takes some getting used to. You can see all the available controls here on Google's Flight Controls Help Doc. If you want a quick overview, check out this YouTube video. Good luck flying!"

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