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The Internet

MPAA Chief Dodd Hints At Talks To Revive SOPA 279

Posted by samzenpus
from the they're-back dept.
suraj.sun writes "Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the MPAA, hasn't given up on his dream of censoring the Internet. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he said that Hollywood and the technology industry 'need to come to an understanding' about new copyright legislation. Dodd said that there were 'conversations going on now,' about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was 'not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.' Asked whether the White House's decision to oppose SOPA had created tensions with Hollywood, Dodd insisted that he was 'not going to revisit the events of last winter,' but said he hoped the president would use his 'good relationships' with both Hollywood and the technology industry to broker a deal."
Businesses

Pirate Bay Promotion Attracts Over 5000 Artists 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-it-yourself-promotion dept.
redletterdave writes "While the movie and music industries would have you think that torrents are a threat to their business, thousands of independent artists heartily disagree. That's why more than 5,000 musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers and artists have signed up to be promoted by The Pirate Bay, the world's largest torrent site. Earlier this year, following the seizures of many popular file-sharing domains like MegaUpload, The Pirate Bay introduced a new promotion platform for artists called 'The Promo Bay,' which let independent artists reach tens of millions of people by offering favorable advertising spots on the The Pirate Bay's homepage. The response to The Pirate Bay's promotion platform has been overwhelming: the company announced on Thursday that it has already received more than 5,000 applications, and has managed to be a quality platform for driving significant interest to independent artists."
Censorship

Egypt Banned Porn, But How Much of the Internet Is That? 316

Posted by timothy
from the phrase-your-answer-in-fluid-ounces dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "The recent web pornography ban in Egypt has raised questions about the evils of censorship (and porn) and the changing tide of popular attitude of Egyptians. It perhaps reflects the emerging influence of more conservative Muslim elements in government, a shift. Apparently the same ban was passed 3 years ago but was not enforced because their filtering system was not effective. But porn bans are nothing new. Other countries with strict censorship laws like China and Saudi Arabia have successfully implemented bans that restrict pornography along with anything else they deem inappropriate for public viewing. In 2010 the UK discussed a ban that would require users to specifically request access to pornographic material from their internet service providers. And porn-banning rhetoric has even stomped through the U.S. news media over the last few months, thanks to GOP also-ran Rick Santorum claiming President Obama is failing to enforce pornography laws. (There have also been some awesomely ridiculous pornography PSAs.)"
Music

RIP, Electric Amplifier Inventor Jim Marshall, 'Father of Loud' 166

Posted by timothy
from the stackering-accomplishment dept.
asavin writes "The founder of Marshall Amplification, Jim Marshall OBE, has died at the age of 88. A tribute to the man known as the Father of Loud was posted on his official website, praising the man whose name became iconic for electric guitarists." Reader LizardKing points to the Guardian's coverage of Marshall's passing, and adds : "A former drummer, Jim Marshall initially became involved with guitar amplification as an importer of Fender equipment, until he eventually decided to branch out and make his own amps. The trademark Marshall sound evolved alongside the requirements of such luminaries as Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. The Marshall stack has since become a ubiquitous symbol of live rock music in particular — so much so that some bands perform in front of veritable walls of Marshall branded speakers. In addition to his lead guitar amplifiers, Jim will also be remembered for his great bass amps (as used by Lemmy Kilmister in particular) and the much sought after Guv'nor distortion pedal."
The Almighty Buck

MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030 816

Posted by timothy
from the that's-nothing-we-can-beat-it-by-collapsing-faster dept.
suraj.sun writes "A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from 'global economic collapse' and 'precipitous population decline' if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace. The study's researchers created a computing model to forecast different scenarios based on the current models of population growth and global resource consumption, different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control and environmental protection efforts. Most of the computer scenarios found population and economic growth continuing at a steady rate until about 2030. But without 'drastic measures for environmental protection,' the scenarios predict the likelihood of a population and economic crash."
Android

SJVN Tells How Reporting on Linux Has Changed in the Last 10 Years (Video) 79

Posted by Roblimo
from the first-they-ignore-you-then-they-ridicule-you dept.
SJVN is, of course, the well-known nickname and abbreviation for Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, who has been covering technology as a journalist since... since longer than he cares to admit... and has been covering Linux and FOSS since the 1990s. This was basically a one-question interview: "How has reporting on Linux changed in the last 10 years?" After that, except for a couple of words requesting clarifications, we just let the webcam roll. (Note: if you know someone who would make a good Slashdot video interview victim, please put us in touch with them. Thanks.)
Television

Millions of Subscribers Leaving Cable TV for Streaming Services 380

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-an-age dept.
suraj.sun writes "Netflix and Hulu are convincing millions of cable, satellite and telco subscribers to cut the cord and dive into video streaming. That's the conclusion of a new report released this week by the Convergence Consulting Group, which finds that 2.65 million Americans canceled TV subscriptions between 2008-2011 in favor of lower-cost internet subscription services or video platforms. Though Convergence co-founder Brahm Eiley projects that the number of people opting out of TV subscription services will begin to slow in 2012 and 2013. Part of the problem, Eiley argues, may be the rising price tag for streaming rights to programming which could cause fiscal fits for Netflix."
Canada

Toronto Police Use Facebook Picture in Online Lineup 227

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-your-privacy-settings dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 28-year-old woman was recently accused of assault and arrested based on a thumbnail photo from her profile pic on Facebook. Artist Lizz Aston was identified in a lineup after police used a picture from her Facebook profile. From the article: 'In an interview she said, "I told the officer I was at an art opening for a friend, then went home with my boyfriend because he injured his knee. We stayed in for the rest of the night and I did research on the computer for an art installation I was working on. The officer didn't care ... I don't think the police looked into it further." Aston said, the officer "read me my rights. I was searched, finger printed and processed."'"
Businesses

Yahoo Layoffs Begin, CEO Sends Employees Apologetic Letter 138

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-aufwiedersehn-goodbye dept.
redletterdave writes "As expected, Yahoo began laying off more than 2,000 employees on Wednesday morning — roughly 14 percent of the company's total workforce — in its effort to slim down and pivot its focus in a new direction. The mass layoff marks the sixth time in four years — and under three different CEOs, no less — that Yahoo has dumped employees, but this one will the company's biggest in its 17-year history. Scott Thompson, Yahoo's CEO, sent an apologetic letter to all his employees this morning explaining the changes."
The Media

NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call 1005

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that NBC has completed its investigation into the Today show's mishandling of the police dispatcher's conversation with George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case with a finding of error, plus an apology. The apology addresses the show's failure to accurately abridge the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher in this high-profile case. This is how the program portrayed a segment of that conversation: Zimmerman: 'This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black' Here what was actually said: Zimmerman: 'This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.' Dispatcher: 'OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?' Zimmerman: 'He looks black.' In an appearance on Fox News's Hannity, Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, called this omission on the part of Today an 'all-out falsehood' — not just a distortion or misrepresentation. 'On the good front, [NBC] acknowledges the mistake and apologizes to viewers for the bad editing. It's a forthright correction and spares us any excuses about the faulty portrayal. On the bad front, the statement is skimpy on the details on just how the mistake unfolded,' writes Erik Wemple. 'In light of all that's happened, Zimmerman may be a tough person for a news network to apologize to, but that's just the point: Apologies are hard.'"
Canada

Canadians Protest Wind Turbines 533

Posted by samzenpus
from the blowing-in-the-wind dept.
NIK282000 writes "Ontario farmers rallied in downtown Toronto to protest the subsidization of wind turbines. Several of the protesters stated that they fear for the the health of their families and that they refuse to live near wind turbines. Others fear that the value of their property will be reduced significantly by the presence of turbines. With the cost of gas and oil on its way up it's a wonder that any one would be against the use of renewable energy sources."
Businesses

Google Strikes Deal With Paramount 105

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-have-bad-taste-in-film dept.
redletterdave writes about more movies being made available on Youtube's rental service. From the article: "Google announced a new deal with Paramount Pictures on Tuesday, which will make more than 500 movie titles available for rental on YouTube and the new Google Play platform. The deal was made even though Google is still embroiled in a four-year-old legal battle over copyrights with Paramount's parent company, Viacom. The latest deal means Google has rental deals with five of the six major Hollywood studios, including Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal Pictures, and Sony Pictures. The lone exception is 20th Century Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Google will only make these titles available for rent; the search giant has not yet made a decision to sell any movies it licenses, despite pressure from major Hollywood studios looking to compensate for poor DVD sales."
The Almighty Buck

Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers 351

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the play-board-games-instead dept.
MojoKid writes "The rumor mill is still churning out quite a bit of information on new consoles this week, including new data on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U. According to unnamed developers, the Wii U actually isn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PS3, despite boasting HD graphics and significantly improved hardware. Meanwhile, the Xbox 720, codenamed Durango, is reportedly targeting the holiday season of 2013 as a launch window. Rumors are floating about of a required always-on internet connection and of locking out the used game market. What this discussion truly highlights is just how dysfunctional the entire console industry is and how skewed its profits are. Profits on hardware sales are so small, game shops can't survive on console sales alone. $60 MSRPs are subsidized by exchange and trade-in programs. Kicking Gamestop in the teeth may occasionally sound like fun, but the idea of killing the used games market doesn't make much sense. If used title values collapse and MSRPs stay the same or rise, the entire industry could hamstring itself in the name of higher profits."
Government

Federal Court Tosses Colorado's Amazon Tax 229

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the respect-my-federal-commerce-clause dept.
suraj.sun writes, quoting the Denver Post: "A federal court has thrown out a 2010 Colorado law, which had already been temporarily blocked in federal court last year, meant to spur online retailers like Amazon to collect state sales tax. 'I conclude that the veil provided by the words of the act and the regulations is too thin to support the conclusion that the act and the regulations regulate in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly,' U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn wrote in his opinion. The law and the rules to carry it out 'impose an undue burden on interstate commerce' and are unconstitutional, the judge wrote. The tax mainly affected online sales of out-of-state companies that have in-state affiliates, usually generating sales through links on their websites." I wonder what this means for the plethora of similar bills in other states. Will Amazon continue to call for a national Internet sales tax if they are all struck down?
Education

Polish Government To Deliver Free Textbooks For All Kids Grades 4-6 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-a-book-grzegorz dept.
rekrutacja writes "Today the Polish government started a Digital School pilot program, which includes distributing e-textbooks. This came after a years-long effort by the Open Education Coalition and its members to persuade policy makers, that Open Educational Resources are the future of education. The last few months have been especially eventful, as the free textbooks part of the program was dropped by the Ministry of Education and reinstated again by the Prime Minister Office."

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