Microsoft and Yahoo are aggressively trying to push people to paid e-mail services by making it harder than ever to rely on free ones. Apple Computer is cutting free e-mail service altogether.Read more
You’ll recall that the recording industry appeared to have won a one-sided mediation to set royalty rates for Internet radio broadcasts. Rates were chosen that were far higher than rates for conventional radio stations – high enough to put virtually all Internet broadcasters out of business.
The Librarian of Congress had final authority to set the rates, and didn’t approve the mediator’s ruling. […] continuedRead more
The days of free e-mail are drawing to a close. Yahoo, Lycos, and Hotmail have all started to change their free e-mail accounts to make it more likely that users will pony up a monthly subscription fee. Today, Hotmail announced it will start charging to retrieve mail from other POP mailboxes – just as Yahoo and Lycos announced earlier this year. […] continuedRead more
On May 2, I wrote about an order due to take effect this week requiring Internet streaming radio stations to pay punishingly high royalties for songs – far higher than comparable royalties for conventional radio stations. It was the result of strongarm tactics by the recording industry to end web broadcasting, since no broadcaster could have afforded to pay the royalties. […] continuedRead more
The death of Internet radio is three weeks away. No fooling.
The recording industry collaborated with the media conglomerates that own virtually all conventional radio stations in the country to close down the Internet radio industry before it has a chance to develop into a true competitor. Congress and the Copyright Office jumped right in to help, under the auspices of the evil Digital Millenium Copyright Act. […] continuedRead more
I had to chuckle (to avoid crying) reading this article about the squabbles between Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia. At first, you’ll be sympathetic to the claims that Orbitz is competing unfairly by obtaining lower prices from its airline owners than are available to Travelocity and Expedia. But keep reading, and it becomes obvious that all three are would-be monopolists who have no interest in consumers, except to figure out the most effective ways to pick our pockets. […] continuedRead more
The music industry’s pay services, RealOne and PressPlay, are worse than you realize. Read the details here, then do what I did – uninstall all the RealNetworks software from your system and ignore the industry’s efforts to provide “legal” sources of music until they come up with something that isn’t insulting. […] continuedRead more
If you’ve got kids and a broadband Web connection, you might want to check out Kick Out The Jammies, a new online radio station for kids. The playlist ranges from “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Purple People Eater,” to Mozart, the Rolling Stones and Steven Sondheim. It stands out a bit because it’s created and operated by David Bowie. […] continuedRead more
If you’ve got a broadband connection (DSL or cable) and you want to listen to some music, don’t overlook AOL Time Warner’s Spinner.com and Microsoft’s MSN Music. Both allow you to choose a channel from a long list of narrowly-targeted choices (Big Band jazz, Dixieland Jazz, Fusion, Ragtime, Smooth Jazz, and a couple of dozen more jazz channels, for example). […] continuedRead more
More and more online merchants are signing up to accept payments through Microsoft’s Passport system. It’s an important part of Microsoft’s long-term goal to take over the Internet and collect fees for every online transaction. I signed up. If you have a Hotmail account, you’re already plugged into the Passport system. […] continuedRead more
If you’re bored, here’s a couple of things worth looking for online (especially if you have a broadband connection):
Five major airlines are working to bring Orbitz.com online next month as a one-stop source for airline reservations. Every other human being connected with the travel industry is screaming bloody murder. The airlines have already squeezed commissions to travel agents and Orbitz looks like an effort to short-circuit the remaining agencies and the online travel services. […] continuedRead more
RealNetworks and three of the five biggest music companies announced a new Net music service yesterday. Notably absent was Universal – the biggest catalog, but also the most vociferous opponent of online music – and Sony, busy developing its own service.
RealNetworks intends to operate the infrastructure and make the entire back catalog from the three companies available for download or streaming into your computer. […] continuedRead more