2003 March 10

(entry last updated: 2003-03-10 17:35:11)

  • Slashdot also reports that the Honest Thief‘s business model is profiled over at USA Today (earlier CNet News piece)

    Plass says his firm has developed software, to be available in the second quarter of this year, enabling file-sharing providers to capitalize on the unused computing power of their members. That in turn would allow them to raise money to compensate artists for the use of their material, he said.

    He said the software, known as ThankYou 2.0, enables a peer-to-peer file-sharing client to turn the computers of digital music fans into a node in a network of computers linked through the Internet.

    By leasing out the unused processor power on those multiple PCs to research facilities — a technology known as “grid computing” — the software, Plass said, could generate revenues that would be distributed back to the musicians.

  • CNN says that Roxio is getting ready to relaunch Napster. – Slashdot discussion

  • HP announces a couple of new Media Center PCs

  • Donna’s got some good links from SXSF and on CIPA.

  • TCS has a provocative piece on a problem the European courts are facing: offering trademark protection to sounds. The title is probably at least an allusion to this piece – well, no, probably not. But what is it that is about associating Jefferson with idiosycratic animals?

  • An interesting profile of the challenges facing college CIOs in today’s Boston Globe.

  • The Times has an editorial calling for the rejection of the CIPA by the Supreme Court.

  • According to the NYTimes, AOL-Time Warner is considering developing a TiVo competitor. (A quick web scour finds this article from last November also discussing the possibilities.) (Slashdot discussion now online)

    The essence of AOL Time Warner’s Mystro TV is a technology that uses a cable system itself to provide viewers capabilities similar to computerized personal video recorders like TiVo: watching programs on their own schedules, with fast-forward and rewind. But it also lets networks set the parameters, dictating which shows users can reschedule, and it also creates ways for networks to insert commercials.

    … But the demonstration also stresses that the Mystro TV system offers networks and studios considerable advantages over in-home personal video recorders such as TiVo or ReplayTV, which is made by Sonicblue . Not only can networks determine the availability of their shows, but Mystro TV prevents consumers from making, storing or sharing copies (something ReplayTV allows). Mystro also does not automatically skip commercials or even include a fast-forward button that leaps past one 30-second commercial at a time (another feature of ReplayTV.)

    While a program is paused or rewinding, networks can insert new commercials during the process or display them around the periphery of the screen. On the CD-ROM demo, for example, a viewer pausing “Charmed” might see a commercial for Special K or Pizza Hut.

  • A different kind of music distribution innovation:

    In a first for the music industry, a major record label will introduce new songs on a new video game, not the radio. The goal is to lure young, male consumers into buying entire CD’s when they are released to stores up to four months later.

  • Declan McCullagh describes the conflicting motives that emerge in the face of the DMCA

    The split highlights a real difference between software and hardware manufacturers. While they may be longtime allies on everything from free trade to mandatory stock option expensing and broadband implementation, software companies are more at risk to Internet piracy than hardware makers. That means they’re more eager to endorse laws that intend to thwart copying, even if their side effects hinder research and punish heretofore-legitimate activity with hefty prison terms.

    …To its credit, Intel has taken a leadership position in Silicon Valley in pointing out the problems with expansive copyright proposals. A year ago, Intel co-founder and Vice President Les Vadasz correctly warned the Senate that a proposal to implant copy-protection technology in nearly everything with a microprocessor would have dire side effects.

  • Off topic – a new Get Your War On installment is up. And today’s Tom Tomorrow is also worth a look.

  • A little less off-topic – the complexities of digital moviemaking and the Oscars is discussed in the NYTimes and on Slashdot.

  • Terribly off-topic, but an interesting look at the dynamics of online commentary (you need to read the comments!), if nothing else – irrespective of your opinion of the news conference last week.