Eugenia Loli writes: "After Slashdot reported on the news that music execs now blame streaming for lost revenue, I did some digging about the state of the music industry. Except the known culprits (piracy, free streaming, lack of music and business innovation, financial crisis), I found that the rise of indie music in the mainstream might be more of a cause than previously thought. In the past few weeks, 80% of Rolling Stone magazine album reviews are about indie acts, while in the '90s there was only a single indie band that got reviews (Pavement), and in the beginning of the last decade there were just about 2-3 such reviews per year. But something clicked towards the second part of the decade, and especially after 2009, there's a surge in the press pushing consumers towards indie purchases. Maybe when RIAA complains to the Government about their failing revenue and asks for stricter laws, they should show a more complete picture of music sales, rather than the sales of just a few [ex-]major labels."
Midnight Warrior writes: We could solve the H.264 debate if a country's legislature were to mandate that any patents that contribute to an industry-recognized standard were unenforceable in the application of that standard. Ideally, each standard would also be required to have a "reference design" that could be used without further licensing. This could also solve problems with a ton of other deeply-entrenched areas like hard drives, DRAM, etc. RAND tries to solve this strictly within industry, but both the presence of submarine patents and the low-bar required to obtain a patent have made an obvious mess. Individual companies also use patent portfolios to set up mutual, assured destruction. I'm not convinced that industry can solve this mess that government created.
But I'm not stupid. This clearly has a broad, ripple effect. Can Slashdot come up with non-computer industries where this would be fatal? What if the patents were unenforceable only if the standard had a trademark and the implementer was compliant at the time of "infringement?" Then, the patents could still be indirectly licensed, but it would force strict adherence to standards and would require the patent holders to fund the trademark group to defend it to the end. In the U.S. model, of course. Or should I go off and get a master's degree and use this as my thesis?
mgpeter writes: While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux?
Hugh Pickens writes: "The tv series "Lost" involves a large cast of characters marooned on a tropical island after a plane crash with episodes that thread lengthy flashbacks of characters’ backstories with immediate plots of day-to-day survival and interpersonal relationships, and a larger “mythos” involving the strange and apparently supernatural (or science-fictional) happenings on the island. Independent scholar Amelia Beamer writes that the series works as an example of a recent cultural creation, that of the hypertext narrative. "In Lost, the connections between characters form the essential hypertext content, which is emphasized by the structure of flashbacks that give the viewer privileged information about characters," writes Beamer. "Paramount are the connections unfolding between characters, ranging from mundane, apparently coincidental meetings in the airport, to more unlikely and in-depth meetings, reaching back through their entire lives and the lives of their families." Beamer writes that the series also pays tribute to video games, another relatively recent interactive means of storytelling. "The introduction of new plot points is heavily foreshadowed, and when the characters finally do break through the hatch, or meet the so-called “Others” "there is a sense of “leveling up," writes Beamer, "passing through a transition point at which a game becomes more complex (and more potentially rewarding)." Another part of the hypertext content is the community created around the series that includes a "Lostpedia" with over 6,000 articles dedicated to the show that elaborate on connections and theories regarding the story. "Lost is evidence of a new kind of cultural creation made possible by technology, where viewers can access and contribute to a huge internet-based fan culture, and are no longer dependent on network broadcast schedules.""
Eugenia writes: "Haiku, the OSS next generation version of BeOS, has just released its first major version, alpha 1, after 8 years of development. OSNews also published an article describing the history of the OS, along a review of the alpha version."
Posthis writes: While the VSE sequence module has been part of Blender for a while, the upcoming version v2.46 comes with some new powerful video editing features, like Proxy editing, optimized FFmpeg support, and more. Not many use Blender strictly as a video editor because it's not very straight-forward, but given the fact that it now deals with HDV and 24p footage much more comfortably compared to other OSS video editors, it makes it a sound contender. This new tutorial shows the basics of how to use it as a video editor and put your masterpiece together.
thisplaceisalmostout writes: State Representative Brad Daw from Orem Utah, is introducing HB 139.
Among other things, this legislation will make it against the law for any person to offer free and open wireless internet access, for instance a business to it's customers, or the public at large.
This law says in effect, that to offer wireless internet access to your customers, they must first prove that they are an adult, by providing either a government issued ID, or a Credit Card. Failure to do so would result in a fine up to $25,000.00
Furthermore the bill states "A person may not provide wireless Internet access to the public unless the person restricts access to prevent a minor from accessing material harmful to minors."
Additionally HB 139 makes it illegal for any retailer to sell a device capable of accessing the internet wirelessly, without it being clearly labeled as such. Pete Ashdown the President and CEO of XMission the states largest internet provider, says that he will "shut down all XMission free wireless and cease expansion of this service." if this legislation is passed.
XMission provides a completely free wireless network that covers a substantial portion of down town Salt Lake City, and another similar one that is being constructed in Ogden will benefit the residents of that city as well.
If you live in Utah I urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to stop this bill, the potential long term damages from this bill are staggering.
An anonymous reader writes: With very little media attention, the air force now claims the UFOs seen in Texas were their planes. Why did they deny any aircraft in the sky for days? Isn't it a convenient way to close the story?
An anonymous reader writes: The Register's Richard Bennett wrote an article last month calling the EFF's stance against Comcast's bittorrent filtering unrealistic due to the organization's technical illiteracy. He writes a follow-up article to the EFF response with no kind terms and continues his belief that TCP reset packets are justified to preserve the web browsing experience. Although TorrentFreak has responded there hasn't been a very comprehensive case laid out for implications of ISPs meddling with the type of data their networks will carry. Mr. Bennett will be debating these issues on a panel at the Toll Roads Symposium in San Francisco on Saturday. With AT&T's desire to filter copyrighted content and an increasingly vocal group pandering to the large backbone providers every whim, is the death of net neutrality the big story of 2008?
Iddo Genuth writes: "German scientists recently showed what many of us suspected but could not prove — some people just don't learn. The German researchers have found a genetic factor that affects our ability to
learn from our errors. The scientists demonstrated that men carrying the A1 mutation, are less successful at learning to avoid mistakes than men who do not carry this genetic mutation. This finding has the potential to improve our understanding of the causes of addictive and compulsive behaviors."
An anonymous reader writes: If you think you can't do much with HDMI, think again. One enterprising A/V installer created an elaborate whole-house HDMI solution that conquered 1) HDMI's distance limitations, 2) an almost universal inability for A/V manufacturers to implement security and communications protocols correctly, and 3) a lack of reliable multisource, multizone HDMI switchers on the market. A pity that he had to resort to such a measures, but it's a case worth studying.
A daily reader writes: I recently bought an AVCHD consumer camcorder only to find that not only Linux video editors didn't support AVCHD, but also that even plain HDV didn't work reliably. No matter which of the 7 OSS video editors I tried (including Kdenlive, Cinelerra, Kino etc), they all severely lacked in stability, usability, speed or features compared to even the cheapest Windows/Mac editor. Evidently there are others who are as unsatisfied with the situation based on recent blog posts by Ubuntu's Jono Bacon and OSNews' Eugenia Loli. Reading these posts made me wonder if it's even possible for the community to at last develop a usable & modern editor, or if the complexity of such a tool is so high that we can only hope for a port from Adobe or Sony.
ADenyer writes: Want to write your own OS? Fancy trying your hand at x86 assembly language? MikeOS is an open source x86 operating system, designed to show you how a simple OS fits together. Yes, it's 16-bit (for BIOS access), but it's small enough to avoid the old-school DOS memory segment woes, and includes a very thorough HandBook with a guide to writing your first OS kernel. The new 1.1 release includes build scripts for Mac OS X and Windows.
Provataki writes: With the recent controversy over OGG Theora/Vorbis and their subsequent removal of the HTML5 draft, there was a lot of talk about it online. Some actually decided to investigate if h.264 is better than Theora (as Apple/Nokia claim), or not. Apparently, h.264 (using ffmpeg and the x264 open source encoder) repeatedly yielded better visual quality than Theora. According to the benchmarking aritcle, video encoding was faster for h.264 too, although the decoding speed was somewhat equal or at best, not clear.
An anonymous reader writes: Cops in St. Louis have taken objection over a local man filming their abuses of power, and have responded with death threats, and stalking. The guy they're harassing installed a pretty neat video system in his car after having received a speeding ticket that he that was unfair. What he ended up catching on tape was far worse than a speeding ticket. Luckily the news has picked up on it, so he is probably out of immediate danger.