January

CD CLASS ACTION CLAIMS

Here’s an odd web site that you might want to visit. A class action lawsuit against CD distributors was settled and a fund has been set up with 67 million dollars in it. Anyone filing a claim before March 3 might get a check up to twenty dollars. Or it might be less, or it might be nothing. […] continued “CD CLASS ACTION CLAIMS”

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BROBECK COMMITS SUICIDE

Lawyers are probably aware that mega-firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison announced yesterday that it’s closing its doors. Here’s an interesting analysis of the firm’s rise and fall.

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FANS OUTRAGED AT ADDITION OF NEW CHARACTER TO THE RETURN OF THE KING

A recently leaked trailer for The Return of the King has Tolkien fans outraged over the apparent addition of a new character – Jar-Jaromir, the half-brother of Boromir and Faramir. Here’s an article with a photo of the new character – well worth a look if you’re a fan of the first two Lord of the Rings movies. […] continued “FANS OUTRAGED AT ADDITION OF NEW CHARACTER TO THE RETURN OF THE KING”

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ANOTHER REASON TO HATE REAL ONE PLAYER

Learn to live without Real One Player. You won’t be able to play some audio and video streams – but your computer will thank you.

Real Networks has earned a special place for its devious behavior – installing flashing icons down by the clock, popping up incessant pitches for money, concealing the checked boxes during installation that cause you to start receiving volumes of junk mail, and lots more. […] continued “ANOTHER REASON TO HATE REAL ONE PLAYER”

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BACKUP PROGRAM FOR WINDOWS XP HOME

Windows XP Professional includes a backup program – reasonably good, although not as flexible as my favorite, BackupMyPC. It’s not installed by default with Windows XP Home Edition, but you’ve had it all along – it’s just hidden away. Here’s how to install it if you have Windows XP Home Edition:

– Put your Windows XP Home Edition installation CD into the CD drive.

[…] continued “BACKUP PROGRAM FOR WINDOWS XP HOME” Read more

CNET RADIO GOING OFF THE AIR

CNET Radio (AM 910) has been my constant companion for the last year or more. It’s delivered technology news and talk all day, every day – and now it’s closing up the radio station on January 31. Sad news for anyone who had stumbled on its wonderful programming in the San Francisco area, or nationwide on XM Radio. […] continued “CNET RADIO GOING OFF THE AIR”

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KAZAA COUNTERSTRIKE

Kazaa decided if it was going to be dragged into US federal courts, it would go in with guns blazing. It filed its own lawsuit yesterday against the major record labels and movie studios, alleging that they have colluded to drive potential online rivals out of business and they should be precluded from being able to defend their copyrights in court. […] continued “KAZAA COUNTERSTRIKE”

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RIAA v. VERIZON

The federal court decision in RIAA vs. Verizon on Tuesday was a very bad thing.

Legal background: the DMCA has a very unusual provision, allowing copyright owners to obtain a federal court subpoena requiring ISPs to identify users who the copyright owner accuses of copyright infringement, without the copyright owner having to file a lawsuit. […] continued “RIAA v. VERIZON”

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WORM ATTACK SLOWS ENTIRE INTERNET

Worldwide Internet traffic suddenly slowed down dramatically for hours on Saturday, after a fast-spreading computer worm clogged major servers.

Experts called it the most damaging attack on the Internet in 18 months as networks across Asia, Europe and America were effectively shut down.

Even though the worst of the disruptions appeared to have passed by Saturday afternoon, some network disruption was likely to continue until Monday when businesses return to work. […] continued “WORM ATTACK SLOWS ENTIRE INTERNET”

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HILARY ROSEN STEPPING DOWN AS RIAA CHIEF

At the end of the year Hilary Rosen will step down as chief of the Recording Industry Association of America. She bears a great deal of responsibility for its reign of terror, but there’s no particular reason to think that it will behave itself any more after she’s gone. Here’s the Register’s typical pithy take on her departure:

”The Recording Industry Association of America’s chief Hilary Rosen is to step down after five calamitous years shilling for the music distribution cartel.

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IOMEGA AS A TAKEOVER TARGET

Iomega never recovered from the double blow of manufacturing defective Zip drives and failing to foresee the world of cheap, ubiquitous recordable CDs. It has no growth products and no new ideas.

Apparently it’s been hoarding cash and cutting costs. According to this article, it has $454 million dollars in cash, and a stock value of $483 million. […] continued “IOMEGA AS A TAKEOVER TARGET”

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COPYRIGHT UPDATES

If you’re interested in the ongoing intellectual property turmoil, pick up this month’s issue of Wired Magazine – an interview with RIAA chief Hilary Rosen, an article with a fascinating description of Kazaa’s structure and its plans, and a marvelous discussion of the tension inside Sony – a hardware arm trying to make devices that move entertainment files around freely, and movie and recording divisions fighting to lock down copyrighted material. […] continued “COPYRIGHT UPDATES”

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SBC TELEMARKETING

It took me a while to figure out what the recording meant when calling Pacific Bell – the one where they asked permission to “access your records.” Most people reacted the way I did – you’re calling for something related to your account, of course they can access your records. Turns out they were asking permission to pitch advertising to you. […] continued “SBC TELEMARKETING”

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APPLE MYTHS, CONTINUED

An interesting comment today from Paul Thurrott in the Windows Magazine newsletter:

”Because Steve Jobs gave his Macworld address just days before Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates presented his 2003 International Computer Electronics Show (CES) keynote address, not comparing the two events is impossible. The most obvious difference is support: Apple appears to be interested in going it alone, even to the extent of creating applications that don’t break new ground or introduce new product categories but instead compete with existing third-party applications.

[…] continued “APPLE MYTHS, CONTINUED” Read more

COPYRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS, GOOD AND BAD

The bad news is that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Congress did not exceed its authority when it extended existing copyrights for another twenty years. (See my news item on October 13.) The majority opinion seems uncomfortable with the idea that corporate copyright holders are being protected at the expense of creativity, but in the end the Court could not act courageously. […] continued “COPYRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS, GOOD AND BAD”

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