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Comment Re:Idiotic bureaucrats (Score 2, Insightful) 619

This is idiotic; what would stop someone from driving to AZ, NV or Oregon and buy a TV from another state?

Well, given that the two largest population centers (SF Bay, LA) are not a 20 minute drive to the border, how much money would be saved driving out of state? The cost of gas to drive to and from the border would outweigh the savings on a cheaper, less-efficient set. On top of that, the energy bill for the TV will be higher over its lifetime. If you are going to be buying a huge TV, then you'll need an SUV or a big truck, and that doesn't sound like a cheap tank of gas.

Comment Re:Whiners of all countries, unite! (Score 2, Insightful) 170

There are several points to Twitter, but not all or none of them may apply to you. The one that has the most value to me is search. If there is an earthquake or some other breaking news story, you'll read about it online soonest via Twitter search.

Twitter content is like content on the web: some of it is valuable, but most of it is garbage. If you have a good search tool, you can more quickly get to the real value and out of the noise. Don't be distracted by the mindless chatter. And, if it turns out to be a fad, it will be gone soon enough.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 212

You are correct in that if you have the mp3 files in your possession that you can listen to them should Lala go under. But Lala doesn't take away your files. All Lala does is allow you to listen to them through a web browser if you upload them to us. Then, this whole "network DRM" thing does is really make sure that you can listen to your own bytes. It's really just authentication.

On top of that feature, though, Lala also lets you listen to songs you don't own. The first listen of any song is free, at least. So this "network DRM" just prevents someone from grabbing the URL to one song and then posting that URL around. Some files are your own bytes that only you should have access to, and some files are in the catalog that anyone can potentially listen to.

Now, the 10-cent price-point for a streaming-only song comes with the limitation of being web-based. Some people like this product, others don't. If you don't, that's fine, and that's your option to not pay for a more limited product. But some people appreciate the much lower cost for "web songs", especially since they can apply those 10 cents toward an mp3 purchase if they decide to actually buy the DRM-free mp3. I like it (but I'm clearly biased) because I work at a computer all day with headphones and then listen to music through my computer at home. I'd rather not spend $0.99 per track, and I'm too lazy to use BT that often.

The article mischaracterizes the company and our product. There is a hefty chunk of FUD in there. Lala is like the Amazon mp3 store with two major additions: the 10-cent stream-only product, and an online collection. It is that straight-forward at its foundation.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 212

People like you (or the vast majority of /. users) can grab the stream, sure. We know that, and the labels know that, too. We just don't want to make it dead simple. Plus, if you don't want to spend any money on music then don't. Use BT instead. You can get higher-quality rips from BT than a 128kbps file meant for streaming on a site. A sound-card loopback is amateur, and the packet-sniffing is overkill. There are easier ways.

The company may flop in the end, but the numbers don't show that at the moment.

Again, the whole point of the "network DRM" is just to prevent people from casually grabbing the file that we stream. You can call that DRM or call it one-time URLs and authentication.

And it's spelled "moron".

Comment Re:Lala - Hilarious Clowns (Score 4, Informative) 212

As an employee of Lala I can tell you that we're definitely not evil. At least I don't think so.

Yes, we have a scanner. Downloading it and running it is completely optional. The only thing we do with it is to grant access to allow you to stream the music you already own. It's not a conspiracy, seriously. It ties in directly to the concept of putting your music collection online. If we can get people to use Lala like some people use iTunes (which requires all your music to have people use it regularly), then we'll have more opportunities to sell them DRM-free mp3s.

But we also have a 10-cent price-point for unlimited streaming of a song. You pay 10 cents and you can then stream that song on the website as much as you want. It goes into your online collection. That is there to help us cover our licensing costs that we pay to the labels. Will it work? Some people like it. Are they fools to buy it? Depends on your perspective, but there is always the risk that Lala goes out of business, sure.

So you combine the 10-cent "web song" which lives in your online collection with the music you already own (we don't care where you got the files), and now there is only one place to go to access your music, and that is Lala. That's the concept, at least.

Yeah, we got investment from a music label. They are not a controlling interest, and they have never approached us with any evil demand for info on what people upload. They agreed to this feature (after having sued others over the same concept years earlier) because they have learned lessons of the past. They have a long way to go, though. They're slowing learning.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 2, Informative) 212

As a Lala employee, I recommend you try the site out. Michael Robertson likes to mischaracterize our product because his competing product isn't doing too well. This network DRM thing is what it is, but basically it means that we don't make it easy to just download the mp3 that gets streamed. If it weren't called DRM you wouldn't thing of it that way. You'd probably just think of it as trying to prevent leechers. We sell mp3s, and those are just plain mp3s, nothing special, no DRM. It's just the streaming part of it where we put in some safeguards. We know (and the labels, too) that people who don't want to pay for music won't pay. But it's a snap to build a tool that will let you grab any stream. The point, again, is to make it annoying enough to try to grab the stream that it isn't worth trying to get it from us.

Submission + - Netscape's Last Windows-only Version Released

Juha-Matti Laurio writes: "After more than a half year Netscape Communications has released its version 8.1.3 of Netscape Browser. This update includes nine security patches. According to Heise Security Netscape states that it has now updated its browser to the level of Firefox — the current version is, however. The upcoming Netscape 9 is planned to be a multi-platform browser."

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