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March 31, 2006

Licensing a Catalog [4:52 pm]

Courtney & Nirvana: Smells Like a Sellout [pdf]

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–coming soon to a soap ad near you?

So far Courtney Love is ruling that out, but chances are we’ll be hearing more of the seminal grunge band’s music in unexpected places now that Kurt Cobain’s cash-strapped widow has agreed to sell off a 25 percent stake in the Nirvana song catalog in a deal valued at $50 million, per Rolling Stone.

[...] To preemptively squelch backlash from fans worried about the over-commercialization of a decidedly anticorporate band, Love sought to assure the Nirvana faithful that the music won’t simply be licensed to the highest bidder.

“We’re going to remain very tasteful, and we’re going to [retain] the spirit of Nirvana and take Nirvana places it’s never been before,” Love told the magazine.

[...] Following her husband’s 1994 suicide, Love became the primary benefactor of Cobain’s estate, which included ownership rights of more than 98 percent of Nirvana’s song catalog. The other two former members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, own the remainder–slightly less than 2 percent split between them. The new deal does not affect their portion.

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Engineering Around A Patent [4:47 pm]

What, that’s not what Eolas wanted?  Interesting what market power affords a software developer, isn’t it?  Eolas: Changing IE User Experience a Shame

Reacting to news that the next cumulative IE security update will require an extra mouse-click to interact with certain embedded multimedia content, Eolas Chief Operating Officer Mark Swords called on the software maker to purchase a patent license instead of worsening the browsing experience.

In an interview with eWEEK, Swords declined to respond to questions regarding the ongoing litigation, which is wending its way through an appeals process, but insisted that the Chicago-based company is open to negotiating a settlement that allows Microsoft to license its technology.

[...] He said the IE modifications spelled out by Microsoft, which will reportedly disrupt the way online advertising and streaming media content is delivered over the Internet, is an inconvenience users could do without.

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Living in a Material World [8:21 am]

But there’s hope for the orthodox: ‘Kosher’ Phone Merges Technology, Faith [pdf]

The phones _ carrying the seal of approval from Israel’s rabbinical authorities _ have been one of the most successful mergers of technology and centuries-old tradition in the ultra-Orthodox community, which is most widely recognized by the men’s black garb based on the dress of 19th century European Jews.

The kosher phone is stripped down to its original function: making and receiving calls. There’s no text messaging, no Internet access, no video options, no camera. More than 10,000 numbers for phone sex, dating services and other offerings are blocked. A team of rabbinical overseers makes sure the list is up to date.

These are the same rabbis who have told followers to scorn television and radio. But mobile phones are considered just too essential in one of the world’s most tech-friendly nations. The ultra-Orthodox account for about 7 percent of Israel’s 7 million people.

Datapoints for, or inspiration from, Genevieve Bell?

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