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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 6 accepted (13 total, 46.15% accepted)

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Submission + - Japanese Telco Near Deal To Purchase 75% Stake in Sprint (nytimes.com)

milbournosphere writes: Sprint has confirmed that it is in talks with the Japanese Telco Softbank to sell off a reported 75% stake in the company. If the deal goes through it could add substantial monetary backing to Sprint's US business, and add the Japanese company an entry into the US market. From the article:

Buying Sprint would give Softbank an entry into the American market, one of the largest and most profitable in the world. The Japanese company has steadily surpassed rivals in its home country, in large part through acquisitions. Earlier this month, it agreed to buy a smaller competitor, eAccess, to become the second-biggest service provider in Japan.

Sprint's stock is currently up around 17% on the news.


Submission + - On Wall Street, the Rising Cost of Faster Trades (nytimes.com)

milbournosphere writes: It appears the benefits of high speed stock trading are starting to level or even move backwards. The New York Times has posted an article talking about data showing that the yeilds of millisecond trading are starting to decline, and perhaps disappear. From the article:
"Research from the broker Abel/Noser indicates that the total cost for an investor to get into and out of a single share of stock fell by more than half between 2000 and 2010, to 3.5 cents. Since then, though, the cost has leveled off and then ticked up in the most recent quarter to 3.8 cents, confirming a trend that has also been visible in recent data from Credit Suisse Trading Strategy and from Celent, a consulting firm specializing in financial markets. "
This data comes as digital high speed trading is under increased scrutiny after Knight Capital lost $440 million in under an hour due to faulty software.


Submission + - Judge Rules IP Addresses Are Insufficient Evidence To Identify Pirates (geekosystem.com)

milbournosphere writes: New York Judge Gary Brown has found that IP addresses don't provide enough evidence to identify pirates, and wrote an extensive argument explaining his reasoning. A quote from the judge's order:

        'While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of US homes now have wireless access. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals.

        Different family members, or even visitors, could have performed the alleged downloads. Unless the wireless router has been appropriately secured (and in some cases, even if it has been secured), neighbors or passersby could access the Internet using the IP address assigned to a particular subscriber and download the plaintiff’s film.'

Perhaps this will help to stem the tide of frivolous mass lawsuits being brought by the RIAA and other rights-holders where IP addresses are the bulk of the 'evidence' suggested.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Steve Jobs' Idea for an Ad-Supported OS (macrumors.com)

milbournosphere writes: It looks like Steve drew up an idea for an ad-supported OS. A patent was filed back in 2009 detailing how it was done. From the article:
Rather than charge the normal upgrade price, which in those days was $99, he was thinking of shipping a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free — but would be supported instead by advertising. The theory was that this would pull in a ton of people who didn't normally upgrade because of the price, but Apple would still generate income through the advertising. And any time an owner of the free version wanted to get rid of the advertising, he or she could simply pay for the ad-free version. Steve's team had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound.


Submission + - 24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense (xiph.org)

milbournosphere writes: Here's an interesting article going into some reasoning as to why 24bit/192kHz mixes are unnecessary. The article goes into some of the science behind the idea. A very good, rather technical, read. From TFA:

Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago. Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space. There are a few real problems with the audio quality and 'experience' of digitally distributed music today. 24/192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we're not going to see any actual improvement.


Submission + - Joint Russian/NASA Moon Colony in the Works (theregister.co.uk)

milbournosphere writes: Russia and NASA are reportedly in talks to create a colony on the moon. They're looking to create either a base on the moon itself or a permanent space station in orbit around the moon.
"We don’t want the man to just step on the Moon,” agency chief Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview with Vesti FM radio station. “Today, we know enough about it. We know that there is water in its polar areas," he added. "We are now discussing how to begin [the Moon’s] exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Publi (wired.com)

milbournosphere writes: It looks like even public domain works aren't safe from copyright legislation. In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that, just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”
In the majority opinion, Justice Ruth Ginsburg said “some restriction on expression is the inherent and intended effect of every grant of copyright.”
The legislation, [dissenting Justice] Breyer wrote, “bestows monetary rewards only on owners of old works in the American public domain. At the same time, the statute inhibits the dissemination of those works, foreign works published abroad after 1923, of which there are many millions, including films, works of art, innumerable photographs, and, of course, books — books that (in the absence of the statute) would assume their rightful places in computer-accessible databases, spreading knowledge throughout the world.”
As an editorial note, I find it interesting that 1923 is also the year the Walt Disney founded his company and started producing his works.


Submission + - FCC Passes CALM act, lowering advertisement volume (engadget.com) 2

milbournosphere writes: The FCC today adopted the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or the CALM act. From the FCC press release:
"The rules adopted today require that commercials have the same average volume as the programs they
accompany. The rules also establish simple, practical ways for stations and MVPDs to demonstrate their
compliance with the rules. They carry out Congress’ mandate to give viewers relief from overloud
commercials while avoiding unnecessary burdens on television stations and MVPDs."
The CALM act will take effect on 13 December, 2012, which gives networks and TV stations one year to become compliant.
Link to FCC press release: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db1213/DOC-311479A1.pdf


Submission + - Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. Dies at Age 92 (latimes.com)

milbournosphere writes: Arthur C. Nielsen passed away Monday at the age of 92. He's known for ratings company holding is name, and has no doubt helped to shape television as we know it.

From the article:

'"If you can put a number on it," Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. said his father once told him, "then you know something."

It was a lesson the younger Nielsen — who died Monday at age 92 — never forgot. His lifelong efforts remade his father's once-obscure Chicago market research firm into a sprawling, worldwide measurement giant with a brand name that, in the U.S. at least, became a household synonym for television ratings.'


Submission + - Steve Jobs Passes Away (npr.org)

milbournosphere writes: It appears that his death is not being exaggerated this time. Apple has confirmed in a press conference that Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56. Rest In Peace. There might have been those who disagreed with his practices and ideologies, but there's no denying that he changed the world he lived in.

Submission + - FCC Finalizes US Net Neutrality Rules (arstechnica.com)

milbournosphere writes: The FCC has finally finalized their proposed rules regarding net neutrality. They go into effect on 20 November, a year after they passed in a 3-2 vote.

FCC's summary of their rules:
"First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic."

It should be noted that some of the language is a little ambiguous; who is to decide what constitutes 'unreasonable discrimination'?


Submission + - Netflix Cracks Down on Concurrent Streaming (stopthecap.com)

milbournosphere writes: Over the Labor Day Holiday, Netflix has started to crack down on concurrent streaming. Unless you have a plan that allows for 2+ DVDs out at a time, you will be limited to watching only one movie at a time:
"Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix ready device at the same time. If you are on the 1 disc out at-a-time plan [or stream-only plan], you may watch only one device at a time. If you are on the 2 discs out at-a-time plan, you may watch on up to two devices at the same time. Members on the 3 disc plan can watch on up to three devices. The maximum is four devices simultaneously, and that is available for members on the 4 or greater discs out at-a-time plans."
It looks like this text has always been in effect, and that Netflix is just now getting around to enforcing it.


Submission + - GameStop Offers $50 Certificate for Coupon Fiasco (arstechnica.com)

milbournosphere writes: It appears that GameStop has a guilty conscience. They are offering a $50 gift certificate to any person who bought the new Deus Ex at GameStop. You may recall that GameStop has admitted to removing the OnLive codes good for one free game from new, unopened copies of the game.

From GameStop's email communication:
"For your inconvenience, we would like to offer you a free $50 GameStop gift card and a Buy 2 Get 1 Free pre-owned purchase. We want to earn back your trust and confidence in the GameStop experience. Please bring in this email and your store receipt or order confirmation from GameStop.com and present it to a Game Advisor."

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