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Hardware

Submission + - Could Amazon Be Planning An iPod Killer? (thinq.co.uk)

Stoobalou writes: Amazon.com has registered the domain name AmazonMusicPlayer.com, suggesting to some that the company may be planning to branch out into the portable media player market currently dominated by Apple.

Speculation about Amazon launching a music player goes back over four years, when a Wall Street Journal article incorrectly reported that the company was planning to rival the iPod.

Open Source

Submission + - Saga of Ryzom goes AGPL

SBFCOblivion writes: Saga of Ryzom announced the full release of their source code and artwork today. The world data is not being released so you will first have to develop your own world if you wish to run a server. Unfortunately the world creation process relies on proprietary 3-D modeling software; but there is work already underway to enable the use of free software alternatives such as Blender. They're also partnering with the FSF who will be hosting the game's artistic assets. Brett Smith over at the FSF has a writeup with some additional details.
Open Source

Submission + - Ryzom MMO becomes Free Software (ryzom.com)

traldar writes: Ryzom has just been released as Free Software by Winch Gate. In a recognition to the efforts of people that proposed donations to open Ryzom, back in 2006. The whole source code of Ryzom (client, server and tools) is now under the GNU AGPLv3 Open Source license.But they've gone further! They have made available all the Ryzom art (textures, 3D objects, animations, particle effects) under the Creative Common Attribution-Share Alike license.

Submission + - MMORPG Ryzom Released Under the Terms of the AGPL

scottmaccal writes: Winch Gate Properties Ltd, has announced that it will be releasing the MMORPG Ryzom under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU Affero General Public License.

I'm excited by the prospects of more free and open source software MMORPG creations as a result of this source code release.
The Courts

Submission + - FSF Helps Jammie Thomas Get Expert vs. RIAA (blogspot.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "With a $3000 grant in hand from the Expert Witness Defense Fund administered by the Free Software Foundation to help defendants in RIAA lawsuits, Jammie Thomas has asked the Court for an extension of time for discovery to enable her to retain an expert witness. The first time around, in her October, 2007, trial, she was unable to afford an expert. That verdict has since been set aside, and a new trial scheduled for March 9th of this year. This will be the second case in which the FSF has lent a hand, the first being UMG Recordings v. Lindor, where it contributed $2046.92 for the expert and $750.00 for the tech consultant. FSF's executive director Peter Brown told p2pnet today that 'Our concern was how the RIAA is trying to use this sledge-hammer against the poorest people in society to set precedents in copyright' and that 'the FSF still needs contributions so the fund can be used to help other people'."
Image

Top 10 Most Memorable Tech Super Bowl Ads Screenshot-sm 179

theodp writes "From 1977's lovable Xeroxing Monk to 2007's smug-and-rich SalesGenie pitch man, Valleywag has rounded up videos for its Top 10 most memorable tech-oriented Super Bowl commercials. The commercials are: Apple (1984), Monster (1999), CareerBuilder (2005), GoDaddy (2005), Xerox (1977), E*Trade (1999), Pets.com (2000), Computer.com (2000), SalesGenie.com (2007) and OurBeginning (2000). This year's ads are coming soon." I've always been a fan of the Outpost.com gerbil cannon spot.
Idle

Nasa Beams Beatles' Song Into Space 4

Monday will be the 40th anniversary of the day the Beatles recorded the song, Across the Universe. To mark this random achievement and because there is evidently nothing much to do at NASA, the song will be beamed into space towards the North Star. Lead engineers, Sgt. Pepper, Mr. Moonlight and Doctor Robert say the plan was met with some skepticism. "When they asked, How do you do it? I answered, If we can come together, we can work it out with a little help from my friends." Sgt. Pepper said. After a hard day's night the engineers plan on joining the magical mystery tour and work back in the U.S.S.R.
Music

Submission + - Multiformat Listening Test at 64kbps

Anonymous writes: The Hydrogenaudio community is conducting a "Public, Multiformat Listening Test" (http://www.listening-tests.info/mf-64-1/) to see which codecs (AAC, WMA Pro and Vorbis) provide the best sound quality when compressing samples at 64kbps.

This test is open until the 5th of August and seems to be much, much harder than what one would expect, even for experienced developers of sound codecs, at bitrates that the public would find "too little", as the comments on the thread at the discussion forums (see: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?show topic=56397).

Do you think that you have good ears? That 64kbps is "too little"? Then try it for yourself and participate. Your participation will help us improve the codecs so that they are even closer to being "transparent" at such "low" bitrates.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Free Media Comedy by Ford Motor Company (wherearethejoneses.com)

David Bausola writes: "Ford have funded the first Free Media comedy called Where are the Joneses? using the web as a platform. The scripts are written by the audience and 5minutes of video is published daily.

Using various Web services (Wordpress, Wikidot, Youtube, Yahoo!Pipes, Dapper, Twitter, Flickr) it's the first comedy built on RSS feeds. All media produced and submitted is under Creative Commons licence BY-SA 3.0. There are no commercial restrictions on reuse. Video downloads are via the Internet Archive (see link below)

The audience write the script ideas in the project wiki, the production team (BabyCow — owned by Steve 'Alan Partridge' Coogan) work through the ideas and add to the narrative arc.

The on the road team (yes — they really are in Europe filming and uploading video via 3G) are the 2 actors (Emma Fryer and Neil Edmound), the director Sam Lief, 1 Producer and 1 sound man. It's a small agile team pushing out over 40 minutes of comedy a week.

The project launch on June 15 and will run for it's first season for 3 months. At the end of this periods, the project will have 6 hours of broadcast quality comedy for the audience to play with. We're planning on showing the 6 hour epic in cinemas later this year.

The main narrative arc is: Dawn discovers that her real father is a sperm donor and armed with a list of 27 siblings she begins to hunt them down across Europe so that the whole family can be united. The first sibling she finds is Ian, and together they try to find their brothers and sisters.

The project is produced by Imagination for Ford as an experiment in marketing.

As Broadcasters and Publishers fret about piracy, Ford have become the first organisation to embrace Free Media, contributing to culture through audience participation.

— From a gift economy point of view, you contribute a joke and you get back a TV series.
— From a rights point of view, this is Freedom Defined free / Stallman free, although the rights of the actors and any trademarks will affect this as usual.
— This is the Free Culture project equivalent of IBM paying for a Free Software product that runs on their hardware, they lose no money on it because they'd have to pay for it anyway, it helps sales of their hardware, and they may even gain value from outside involvement.
— To relate this to existing models, it's a sitcom with a sponsor remade as Free Culture to take advantage of the realities of the Internet rather than trying to fight them.
— Product placement and sponsorship are standard, this isn't anywhere near as bad as the average Hollywood blockbuster or broadcast TV comedy, and there are no ad breaks.

Some links: —

Main URI: http://www.wherearethejoneses.com/

Project wiki: http://wherearethejoneses.wikidot.com/

Technorati (for responses) http://www.technorati.com/blogs/wherearethejoneses .com

YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/user/wherearethejoneses

Internet Archive for video files: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=where%20ar e%20the%20joneses

And the obvious Facebook channel: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2410987655"

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