HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!

In 2007, we started to work with Windows Vista, bought lots of handheld devices, and started to move things online – our mail, our photos, our movies.

What will 2008 bring? It will start with lots more of the same. Many of you will get your first Windows Vista computer and discover that it’s quite a nice operating system. […] continued

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DIGITAL MOVIES & DURABLE DATA

The New York Times has a fascinating article comparing the methods used to preserve 35-millimeter movies and digital master records of movies. Conventional film can be stored in a limestone mine for almost nothing and last for decades. Pure digital storage is far more expensive and is likely to be more ephemeral. […] continued

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THE WIRELESS FUTURE

Wireless technology is a blur of confusing acronyms and frequent frustration, but we are making progress and there continues to be hope that more and more wires will disappear in the future.

Wireless Internet connections for our computers are slowly becoming more comprehensible and easier to manage, although the word “wireless” is still used for too many different things. […] continued

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RIAA SUES USENET.COM

The first rule of Usenet is, you don’t talk about Usenet.

Careful observation of that rule has allowed Internet newsgroups to avoid getting involved in the entertainment industry’s freakish litigation war on its customers. Now a new lawsuit suggests that the RIAA can’t stand it any more.

It’s time to talk about Usenet. […] continued

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ADOBE UPDATES PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS

Adobe released Photoshop Elements 6 and Premiere Elements 4 today, giving a facelift to its programs aimed at consumers for image and video editing. They can be purchased individually but work increasingly well together; there’s a discounted update price at the Adobe web site if you own previous versions.

There’s no hands-on reviews yet but there’s a bit to learn from the screenshots and press releases. […] continued

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IT’S AN IPOD WORLD

Apple demonstrated again today that it can run circles around everyone else with its handheld devices. There will be lots of news coverage of the updates to the iPod line – here’s one article, here’s photos, and here’s an exhaustive rundown of all the details.

The updated versions of the existing iPod line are significantly cheaper, include more storage space, and are thinner than the previous generation. […] continued

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MORE COPYRIGHT CRAZINESS

The world of copyright protection is a mess, and each day brings new craziness.

  • A Federal District Court judge granted a ruling for summary judgment against a family that had run Kazaa on a computer with copyrighted material in a shared folder – with no evidence that anyone had ever downloaded those files.
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GOOGLE NEWS

An interesting collection of news about Google projects today.

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VISTA & CONTENT PROTECTION FOLLOWUP

Vista’s implementation of copyright protection for video does its job quietly and effectively. Early claims to the contrary are being debunked.

Let’s be clear. Copyright-protection schemes – “DRM” – are intrusive and unforgivable. You’ll be forced to jump through complicated, frustrating hoops to play high-definition movies on a computer or set up a high-definition TV or DVD player, dealing with acronyms like HDCP and HDMI – and trust me, you’d rather not know about the blur of hardware and cables and incompatible equipment that those acronyms represent. […] continued

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ADOBE vs. MICROSOFT

Adobe and Microsoft each announced new technology for playing back video on your computers, setting up yet another format war. As always there are appealing features promised in the technology, but make no mistake: the goal, the only goal, is to seduce us into watching online videos for the purpose of exposing us to advertising. […] continued

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MEDIA IN THE LIVING ROOM

Here’s an article that describes the struggle to involve a computer in the living room, delivering photos, music and movies. The struggle is not going well. Hewlett Packard just announced that it is ending development of its Digital Entertainment Center line of PCs – the ones designed to look like living room A/V components, plugging directly into the TV and controlling all TV and media functions, using Windows Media Center Edition. […] continued

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ZE FRANK & THE SHOW

Ze Frank has just finished a year of producing The Show, three-minute video monologues that appeared online five days a week. Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and others are writing paeans to a project that blossomed into something unique and special. The audience turned into a community making creative contributions and The Show became a conversation – consistently interesting and frequently hilarious. […] continued

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THE IT CROWD

The IT Crowd is my new favorite TV show. The first season’s six episodes can be downloaded pretty freely – here’s one collection of links to downloadable files, for example. Much of it is available on YouTube if you don’t mind low resolution video – here’s the first part of episode 1. […] continued

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NEW PRODUCT OVERLOAD

The post-holiday lull has ended, Vista is out the door, so we’re back to a nonstop barrage of new products and services. Here’s what stood out in the last week.

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BLU-RAY & HD-DVD SECURITY BROKEN

High definition DVDs have always had two, and only two, purposes: to impose significant new barriers to your free use of the content on them by adding new layers of DRM; and to try to create an incentive for you to replace your DVDs.

The entertainment industry absolutely adored selling us the same content a second time as we converted our collections from LPs to CDs, and from videotapes to DVDs. […] continued

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