Here are some of todays tech stories.
This is How We Catch You Downloading Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company?s techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed ?forensic quality? evidence for use in court cases.
Joost: It’s The Metadata, Stupid! Now those are all valid points, but the real key to Joost’s success may be something else: A metadata framework that might just revolutionize the way we watch television.
Apple WiFi iPod due Q3 2007? Let’s not bet the farm Perennial Apple rumor-ist DigiTimes has come out with a biggie today, predicting a non-iPhone, WiFi-connected iPod in Q3 this year.
Apple’s iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays Apple plans to release an iPod with Wifi in the second half of 2007.
Can LeapTag Capture The Magic Of StumbleUpon? It?s a good way to keep track of websites that you like using tags, and it?s also useful for serendipitous discovery of new sites you might like, based on the things you?ve already bookmarked.
Microsoft addresses speed issues in Outlook update Latency issues led to irate users even before November launch.
Is This Google’s Achilles Heel? To summarize, it looks like Matt wants people to report to Google when they see paid links, because they want more “data” on the issue of paid links. Oh, its also the third post in a single day on paid links.
Live Internet Video Stream New experiment from Chris Pirillo.
More news about windows vista.
Microsoft makes copying Vista a monster task With Windows XP, antipiracy measures were a bit of an afterthought. But with Windows Vista, Microsoft had pirates in its sights from the get-go.
Apple Adds Vista Support to Boot Camp Apple on Wednesday pushed an update to its Boot Camp dual booting feature, providing support for the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, as well as updated drivers for various hardware included with Intel Macs.
Update on Microsoft Security Advisory 935423 Little more info from Microsoft on the Windows animated cursor vulnerability, how long they have known, time of the first attack, how they are fixing it, etc.
Microsoft: Rise in attacks on Vista loophole Just a day after release, the vulnerability in the ani files has caused hackers to pick up the pace on their attacks on some versions of Windows.
3 reasons Vista lets down gamers Hardware incompatibilities, backward incompatibility and lack of directX 10 games, visit the site for details.
3rd Party Patches Critical Windows Flaw Not content to wait for Microsoft to remedy the issue, independent security firm eEye released a temporary patch for a critical flaw affecting Windows that can lead to a crash-restart-crash loop. But Microsoft does not recommend such third-party patches.
Windows Vista ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver Denial of Service A weakness has been reported in Windows Vista, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).
Living With Vista: First 30 Days With the new version of Windows finally out, early users say they’re bedeviled by hardware and software problems–but some love the OS anyway.
The MASTER of marketing, Steve Jobs of Apple has put out a call to the big four music companies to allow them to sell DRM free music in the iStore. I have not heard a truer statement in awhile than this one, “So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.” It is completely ridiculous that the music companies require all online music stores to “protect” the music with a DRM, these stores would be perfect without it, as you could buy one or two songs from a CD instead of buying the whole CD. This is how it should be and I bet the increase in the number of songs purchased to increase dramatically.
The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.
Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.
In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system. Source: Thoughts on Music
It will be interesting to see how the music companies, Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, respond to this call for action, if anyone can get people talking about something, it is Steve Jobs. Take a look at the picture below, it is a screenshot of Techmeme, an online news aggregator that tracks news stories. Usually when a post is featured on the site it only has a few sites talking about it, some big stories will have 20 or 30 sites talking about it. This post by Steve Jobs has probably three times that many sites discussing it.
It’s easy to go on record and make sure everyone remembers that the music companies are the bad guys, hehe, Bill Gates has already gone on record as hating DRM, and the music companies are probably going to do it anyway, and they have already made billions with DRM. Plus, he reinforces the view that he and Apple are the cool people, sticking it to the man. However you look at it, no DRM sounds really good to me.
No DRM! No DRM! No DRM!
After taking much criticism of their latest product, the Zune Media Player, this week Microsoft spoke up about some of their plans for Zune and how this year is just a beachhead, or first landing, so to speak. They expect to sell 1 million players be the end of the fiscal year, June 2007, which would give them somewhere between 10 to 20 percent of the market currently enjoyed by the Apple iPod, which is not too bad of a first year. They also mention that some of the features that they don’t have compared to the iPod are ones that most users don’t use much, and are ones that they will be adding as time goes on.
Assuming that happens, Zune isn’t a total wash, as the number one non-iPod product in the over-$200 MP3 player market during last year’s holiday season only sold a tiny fraction of that amount. It’s also worth nothing that Zune went from the first whiteboard scribbles to finished product in about 10 months, a monumental feat for a company that isn’t particularly well know for moving quickly.
The key to Microsoft’s decision to make the Zune, I was told, is that while Apple controls 75 to 80 percent of the overall market for MP3 players, Apple completely controls the only parts of the market that make money (i.e. large capacity MP3 players). For all of its work creating the underlying technologies for the PlaysForSure initiative, Microsoft watched as its numerous hardware partners, collectively, managed only to steal tiny amounts of share in the low-end flash memory player part of the business. This is not a sustainable business model, I was told.
This holiday season, then, is a “beachhead” period for Microsoft, during which it is trying to change people’s perceptions of the MP3 market from “Apple and everyone else” to “Apple and Microsoft and everyone else.” From this perspective, the company has been somewhat successful. Despite lukewarm reviews, the Zune is a hotly debated topic among influentials. Looking forward, Microsoft intends for Zune to be profitable in 12 to 24 months. “This is the fuel we need to go after Apple on a long-term basis,” I was told. Source: WindowsITPro
They plan to launch and ship many updates for the Zune player and will be adding new devices with more unique features. They are currently readying the first update for some bug fixes and things current users will appreciate, but this update does not contain any new features, especially the one everyone wants, more WiFi stuff baby.
Microsoft is also readying its first software update for the Zune. The update will allow the Zune to work with Windows Vista, Microsoft’s just-finished operating system, which is now available to businesses and goes on sale to consumers in January.
The Zune software update, which is expected before Christmas, will fix some minor glitches and add some performance and other improvements, Microsoft said. The company won’t include major new features in the release, however. Source: News.com
Bill Gates said they are just going to do media, they are going to do more, and they expect to spend several hundred million dollars to develop and market the Zune Media Player.
Microsoft and Universal have signed an agreement that says Universal gets over $1 per Zune sold in exchange for licensing its recordings to Microsoft’s new digital music service. This is huge. Apple has no deals with recording companies like this, Apple only pays them for songs sold through iTunes. This will definitely affect any future deals they have with these companies, companies like Universal had no idea that billions would be made from the iPod when they signed their deals with Apple, so they will want a cut of anything going forward, and I can’t imagine Apple not having to pony some more money up, if they loose tracks in iTunes, they may loose customers to Microsoft and their Zune player.
Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi, will receive a royalty on the Zune player in exchange for licensing its recordings for Microsoft?s new digital music service, the companies said.
Universal, which releases recordings from acts like U2 and Jay-Z, said it would pay half of what it receives on the device to its artists. The company is expected to receive more than $1 for each $250 device, according to executives who were briefed on the pact. Source: NY Times
“It’s a major change for the industry,” said David Geffen. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”
Sounds like he is saying we are all pirates and they deserve a cut. I say, lots of us pay for the cd’s and expect to be able to do with them what we want, they are our property after all. If the music companies didn’t point as many fingers as they did and sue as many people as they did, maybe everyone would feel a little different about them. I don’t remember recording songs from radio stations being frowned upon, but it is a lot easier nowadays for one song or album to make its way around the world.
Jon Lech Johansen, also known as “DVD Jon,” says he has cracked the playback restrictions put in place by Apple on their iPod mp3 players, and says an unnamed client will soon use his technology so that it’s copy-protected content will be playable on iPods. He says his lawyers have given him the green light to go ahead and that while Apple can give them some trouble, they cannot stop this.
A hacker known for cracking the copy-protection technology in DVDs claims to have unlocked the playback restrictions of Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod and iTunes music products and plans to license his code to others.
Today, songs purchased from Apple’s online iTunes Music Store can’t be played on portable devices made by other companies. Songs purchased from many other online music stores also won’t work on iPods because they similarly use a form of copy-protection that Apple doesn’t support.
Johansen said he has developed a way to get around those restrictions. But unlike his previous work, which he usually posts for free, the Norway native plans to capitalize on his efforts through his Redwood Shores-based DoubleTwist Ventures, said the company’s only other employee, managing director Monique Farantzos. Source: CNN
While his lawyers are giving him the green light, he will surely be sued by Apple in an attempt to block it. Fred von Lohmann, a staff attorney at the privacy-advocacy group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Johansen is treading carefully this time, but isn’t necessarily cleared from a legal fight over copy-protection laws. Saying, “There is a lot of untested legal ground surrounding reverse engineering.” Which is an understatement, I’m sure.
Johansen first rose to fame when he wrote DeCSS, to unlock the content scrambling system used by the film industry to prevent copying, he was charged with data break-in but was soon acquitted. He has been a hacker folk hero ever since.
Saw this interesting post on Techcrunch talking about rumor they posted on Crunchgear, that says, if you share a song with your Zune, and that person buys it, you get credit back, which you can then use on the Zune Marketplace. So, if you and all of your friends get a Zune, why not be the first to share the songs and get some credit for spreading the love.
We know that the zinger for the Zune is the social networking/music sharing features. Briefly, it works thusly: if we have a song on my Zune we like, we can send it to your Zune via WiFi. You can listen to the song three times for free within a 3 day window, then it will prompt you to pay for it ($1), lest it disables itself. If you do pay for the song we shared with you, then we would get a credit for turning you onto the song. Once we have enough credits, we can cash them in for free songs or other items from the Zune Marketplace. So it suits us to share, share, share. It?s sort of a backwards pyramid marketing scheme.
No information on how many credits you need to buy a song, but this will surely help Microsoft grab some market share from Apple, these are some features users definitely want, being able to share files on your wireless connection sounds great, to bad it only allows you to play them for three days. I expect some enterprising young individual to crack it and allow you to be able to share all your files for as long as you want, but I have been wrong before.
Clearly the goal here is to create a bit of viral marketing for music and, as an added bonus, drive sales on the IZMS. As we look into the Zune more closely, it seems the MS team might have just hit on the iPod killing factors that most MP3 players have been missing thus far, although we’re still fairly excited about the touch screen iPod rumored for this year. Perhaps a Zune/TouchPod Thunder Dome is in order, with the Zune flinging DRMed pig waste at the iPod while Steve Jobs and Bill Gates act as Master and Blaster, respectively. Melinda can be Aunt Entity.
Nah, I would expect Jobs to be The Road Warrior, Mel Gibson, with Gates hiring Big Sexy Kevin Nash to ride on. Probably wouldn’t end the same as the movie…
If you have lost your well maintained, black, 30gb, iPod, then David Berlind is looking for you.
If this isn’t a test for how the blogosphere can get things done, I’m not sure what is. As a part of this test, if you happen to read this blog entry and you have a blog, please spread the word and let’s see if the viral nature of the blogosphere can help this iPod find its owner. Source: Between the Lines
Check out this little gadget from irecord, you plug it into your audio/video system and record directly to your USB storage device, such as your iPod, or jump drive. So, you could record your favorite TV shows, cd’s or dvd’s straight to your Video iPod. The device is only $199.99.
iRecord is a Personal Media Recorder that records video and audio data onto USB mass storage devices, including iPod and PSP(PlayStationPortable). Simply connect the iRecord device to any analog video or audio source to record video or audio contents. The digitally recorded files can be immediately played back on your iPod, PSP or any other USB mass storage device that plays audio files as MP3 or video files as MP4. The recorded contents can also be taken to other players supporting H.264 video and AAC audio in MP4 file format. Source: irecord
iRecord uses patent-pending compression techniques to give you 3 hours of video/audio recording per Gigabyte of storage using H.264/AVC for video encoding and AAC for audio encoding. Music only recording is supported by MP3 audio compression to be compatible with a wide variety of MP3 players.
According to an article at Wired, its not Steve Jobs, it was a bunch of people, inlcuding Steve jobs.
One of these myths is that the iPod has a father — one man who conceived and nurtured the iconic device. Steve Jobs, of course, is one candidate; but engineer Tony Fadell has also been named the father of the iPod, as has Jon Rubinstein, the former head of Apple’s hardware division. While they all played key roles in the iPod’s development, the iPod was truly a team effort.
Here’s the story:
In 2000, Steve Jobs’ candy-colored iMac was leading the charge for Apple’s comeback, but to further spur sales, the company started asking, “What can we do to make more people buy Macintoshes?” Source: Wired
It’s a good read, a must for Apple fans.