FredDC writes: Lately it seems that every day I read one or more stories about someone saying DRM is bad. I think the question no longer is if DRM is bad or not. Everyone, or most anyway, involved seem to agree on that by now.
The real question is, what is being done to get rid of DRM? So far, not alot! The problem is that noone is willing to take the first step... What can we, the consumer, do to push those involved into getting rid of DRM? To get someone to take the first step!
MacGod writes "From BBC News comes a story about a Jupiter Research survey conducted before Steve Jobs's anti-DRM essay, indicating that most music industry execs see DRM-free music as a way to expand sales on digital tracks. The survey covered large and small record labels, rights bodies, digital stores, and technology providers. To summarize: 54% of music execs think that current DRM is too restrictive and 62% think selling unencumbered music would be a way to boost sales. Even limiting the survey to the record labels themselves, 48% believe this. Yet, many also believe it's not going to happen without significant governmental intervention — even though most insiders think DRM is harmful, the labels are keen to stick with it. Is this yet another sign of the typical media industry 'head in the sand, refuse to change' approach, or might we be seeing the early stages or some actual change?"
markmcb writes: "Few may know, but there is a new way to increase your refund when you submit your 2006 return: the 'Telephone Tax Refund.' Essentially, the federal government realized it was improperly taxing Americans on their long distance phone service and now it's giving those taxes back. The difficulty, however, is determining how much to give back. The government claims it has taken the work out of it for you by offering a standard refund amount based on the number of exemptions claimed, but this article describes how taking the alternative route of actually calculating the amount paid can significantly increase your refund. Read on if you like money... or if you just don't like being 'tricked by Uncle Sam' (as the article puts it)."
I am not a writer so Ill leave the blurb to you guys, but a interesting little story about the worldwide total electrical cost of data centers as studied by AMD and some scientists as a few national labs in the US."
DeadManCoding writes: "Seems that the Bush administration has found conclusive evidence that the Iranians are assisting Shiite fighters in Iraq. Oddly enough, the administration used the excuse that Hussein had weapsons of mass destruction to invade Iraq. Now Iran is helping insurgent forces in Iraq. So does history normally repeat itself so quickly? Story available at NY Times."
inode_buddha writes: "Microsoft is accusing IBM of a large-scale campaign to limit users choices in Office formats. The article goes on to explain that IBM is pushing ODF via several standards bodies, while Microsoft tries to fast-track OOXML through the ECMA.
Microsoft seems to feel that the competition is unfair, according to TFA at El Reg, including quotes from a letter at MS InterOp. Pot, meet Kettle?"
DECS writes: Apple is leveraging the power of open source development in a new effort to directly target Microsoft Exchange Server. The new standards based, open source Calendar Server will debut this year with Leopard Server; the source itself is already available at MacOSForge.org under the Apache 2.0 license. Rather than trying to copy Microsoft's tools, Apple is building its own vision of collaborative workgroup services. Why Apple is offering a calendar server might come as a surprise. Apple's Open Calendar Server vs Exchange Server puts Apple's efforts in the context of existing collaboration software, from IBM's Lotus Notes, to Novell's GroupWise, Microsoft's Exchange, MeetingMaker and others.
alphamugwump writes: Substitute teacher Julie Amero faces up to 40 years in prison for exposing kids to porn using a classroom computer.
From the Arstechnica article:
Amero was substituting for a middle-school English class and asked the regular teacher permission to use the computer to e-mail her husband. The teacher granted her permission, and asked her not to log him out of the computer. Amero, the self-professed techno-noob, then left the room to use the restroom, and upon her return says that she found several students gathered around the machine looking at a web site. A series of unfortunate events occurred from this point on, resulting in a slew of pornographic pop-ups appearing on the screen. The onslaught continued despite Amero's attempts to close the windows.
When the students told their parents what had happened, they told the administration, who vowed that Julie would never work in the classroom again. But they went further. The 40-year-old substitute teacher was arrested, indicted, tried and here is the kicker on January 5, 2007, she was convicted of four counts of risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child (Conn. Gen. Stat. 53-21). Indeed, she was originally charged with exposing 10 children in the seventh grade class to the materials on the internet, but six of the charges were dropped.
from the think-of-the-children dept.
dropgoal writes "Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas (and GOP presidential candidate) has reintroduced the Truth in Ratings Act. Like the previous version that failed to pass last year, Sen. Brownback's bill would make the FTC responsible for overseeing the video game ratings system and possibly result in a unified ratings system for games, movies, and TV. The ESRB would also have to review all game footage before issuing a rating. Currently, the ESRB hands out ratings after viewing a reel with representative content prepared by the developers. Sen. Brownback thinks that's not enough. 'Video game reviewers should be required to review the entire content of a game to ensure the accuracy of the rating. The current video game ratings system is not as accurate as it could be because reviewers do not see the full content of games and do not even play the games they rate', he said."
_peter writes: As of sometime today, Charter internet customers, at least in the St. Louis area, got their own version of SiteFinder. I just finished talking to their tech support for about an hour, and have verified that it is intentional, and the only way to ``opt-out'' is to let them set a cookie in your browser. Obviously this doesn't work for connections that aren't browser-based. When I asked to be transferred to account services to cancel, the very nice representative begged for a day to look into the issue. Perhaps any other Charter customers might want to check to see if they've received this feature as well.
"Head of Sega Racing Studio and Producer of the Colin McRae Rally series Guy Wilday commented in the latest PSM3 magazine (due out today) on the possibility of tilt-pad controls being implemented in the upcoming version of Sega Rally for the PS3. Wilday bluntly said "The whole tilt control thing is rubbish." He then discussed the lack of rumble."
The full interview, which will include Wilday's thoughts on programming for the PS3, will be in this month's PSM3 magazine, due out today."