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Businesses

Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy 390

Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday, calling into question the futures of over 5,600 stores worldwide. The company will be evaluating each location on a case-by-case basis, and seeks to cut costs after reporting a $558 million net loss last year. Newsweek credits the company's slow adoption of new media distribution methods as a big reason for the company's decline. "... while Blockbuster discussed creating its own subscription service to rival Netflix, it wasn't until August 2004 that its online DVD rental program actually started in the US. And when, in 2004, Coinstar entered the market with its Redbox DVD kiosks, Blockbuster didn't begin installing similar devices until 2008." CNET suggests that "Leaders of pay TV services might be wise to start doing the business equivalent of digging foxholes and manning the battlements or the same thing could happen to them."
America Online

VLC 1.1 Forced To Drop Shoutcast Due To AOL Anti-OSS Provision 315

The folks over at VideoLAN are in the process of releasing version 1.1.0 of VLC, and one of the major changes is the removal of SHOUTcast, a media-streaming module from AOL-owned Nullsoft. "During the last year, the VLC developers have received several injunctions by e-mail from employees at AOL, asking us to either comply to a license not compatible with free software or remove the SHOUTcast capability in VLC." Within the license is a clause prohibiting the distribution of SHOUTcast with any product whose own license requires that it be "disclosed or distributed in source code form," "licensed for the purpose of making derivative works," or "redistributable at no charge." The license would also force VideoLAN to bundle Nullsoft adware with VLC. Update: 06/22 00:52 GMT by H : The 1.1 release is ready from their site; you can also read up on the release information.
Communications

Making It Hard For Extraterrestrials To Hear Us 374

quaith writes "US astronomer Frank Drake has told scientists at a special SETI meeting in London that earthlings are making it less likely that we will be heard in space. In the past, we used huge ground stations to broadcast radio and television signals which could be picked up relatively easily — according to astronomers' calculations anyway. Now we use satellites that transmit at 75 watts and point toward Earth instead of into space. In addition, we've switched to digital which makes the transmissions even fainter. Drake has concluded that very soon, in space no one will hear us at all. I guess we'd better keep listening."
Television

CBS Refuses To Preserve Jack Benny Footage 323

goosman writes "The president of the International Jack Benny Fan Club had the opportunity to review some holdings of the CBS vaults while assisting them with some transfers. In the vaults she found 25 shows on film that were unreleased, but in the public domain. The IJBFC offered to pay for the digitization and preservation of these shows; they got a letter of enthusiastic support from the Benny estate. CBS has so far refused to allow this preservation to happen." BoingBoing and TechDirt have both covered this act of cultural destruction.
Internet Explorer

YouTube Phasing Out Support For IE6 481

Oracle Goddess sends word that YouTube is presenting IE6 users with a banner exhorting them to upgrade to a modern browser, and TechCrunch is reporting that YouTube will be phasing out support for IE6 soon. This Twitter search reflects the jubilation breaking out all over the Net at the imminent demise of this most despised and non-standards-compliant browser. The market share for IE6 is now well down in the single digits.

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