Friday, September 05, 2003

Set to offer Anmesty to file-sharers

CNN TECH is reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may be cowering under the shadow of the 800lb. gorilla.

The RIAA, which is facing a possible Senate investigation by Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, is expected to announce next week an amnesty program for people who admit they illegally share music files across the Internet. The RIAA, which currently has targeted over 1600 "Napsters" for copyright violations, will agree not to sue in exchange for an admission and pledge to delete the songs off computers. The offer will not apply to those the RIAA is currently seeking to make an example to those who don't get the message.

Other signs that the RIAA civil strategy may be faltering is the 31% decline in sales over the past year and Universal Music Groups's decision to LOWER CD prices to a price point of what they hope will be about $9.99 each - which they hope will "move listeners away from their computers and into the music stores."

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Scam that won't go away ...

There's a new variant of the Nigerian scam circulating. This time with the subject heading: PARTNERSHIP REQUIRED. The scam works like this. You get an email from someone in an African country asking you to help them move millions of dollars which are trapped in the country since a recent coup. The payoff is the guarantee that you will receive a percentage of the money which you can move through your own bank account. Almost immediately, you will receive requests for sudden "transfer fees" and "payoffs." One user who fell for the scam was actually kidnapped when requested to fly to the African continent with a cashier's check.

If you get the Nigerian Scam via email, forward the email WITH HEADERS to the SECRET SERVICE at:

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Car drives over water

GIBBS TECHNOLOGY has announced a REALLY COOL new car.

The "Aquada" promises to "deliver high speed on both road and water into a reality radically altering the traditional distinction between automotive and marine transportation."

MEMO TO "Q." There's a new car for Commander Bond ...

Does the right to sell what you buy exist in the digital age?

An enterprising auctioner and EFF test case is offering a tune he bought at itunes Apple store up for bid! Currently, the bid is over $350 for a .99 download. It'll be interesting to see if eBay let's him sell it.

It raises a few questions: 1) can you resell a tune you actually buy? 2) how do you transfer it? 3) Does Apple or eBay really have the right to tell you that you can't offer a tune you've purchased up for sale? 3) what's the difference between selling a download you bought and selling a CD you bought?

It may be a deliberate act to push the edge of the legal filesharing evelope, but it does make one wonder ....

[Fri Sep 05, 08:35:35 AM]

UPDATE: eBay mutes iTunes song auction
eBay has canceled the auction saying the attempted sale "violated its listing policies."

So now the question becomes how badly does the auctioneer want to make a point?

Let the games begin.

Filesharing technology may be the harbinger of doom

PCWORD/MACCENTRAL are of the mind that filesharing tech will eventually supplant CDs & DVDs as the prime way people will be getting their entertainment. And they may very well be right.

"Forrester Research claims that new distribution channels like the iTunes Music Store stand to completely replace physical media like CDs and DVDs. "The end of physical media is nearing," said the company.

A new report entitled "From Discs to Downloads" states that 20 percent of Americans participate in some form of music downloading activity, and half of those admit to buying fewer CDs. The report says that in five years' time, a third of all music sales will come from downloads, and video file sharing will increase as well.

Forrester expects that almost 15 percent of the movie rental business will come from on-demand movie services; as it stands now, 20 percent of "young file sharers" has already downloaded a feature film from online services.

Short Sighted?
Forrester principal analyst Josh Bernoff said that "a massive power shift in the entertainment industry" is coming.

"Entertainment executives focused on the short term--fighting piracy--are losing track of the long-term consequences. On-demand services are the future of entertainment delivery. CDs, DVDs, and any other forms of physical media will become obsolete," he said."

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

You can still get added to the list, but you'll have to wait 3 months

The Do-Not-Call list goes into effect on Oct. 1. As of that date, most telemarketers will not be able to call you.

If you have not registered, the deadline to make the Oct. 1 list, was Sunday (Aug. 31). But you can still sign up and get your name will be added to the list three months after you register.

Registration is easy online. You'll find the signup at:

Seeing grades slip due to late nights online causes Mom & Dad to pull the plug

CNN TECH has a report that good parenting means telling their kids get off the computer. Even though the Internet can be a research too that enhances a child's education, kids are spending more time playing online games, downloading music and chatting with friends.

Rapidly replacing the television as the number one way to waste time, being online too long is having detrimental effects on kids health as they lower their outdoor activities, become more overweight, and increasingly isolated from actual human contact. Many kids are even falling asleep in class after too many late nights chatting with friends.

As such, computer experts say that growing numbers of parents are setting limits on how much time their kids can be online. And that's a good thing.

Several tools can help limit kids use of the internet. Programs like "Cyber Sentinel", "CyberSnoop" and "NetNanny" can monitor and limit the time kids spend online. They can also protect them from predatory adult websites and online pervs who seek to lure them into dangerously compromising situations.

Parents who want to know more should get well acquainted with GET NETWISE ( a website devoted to giving parents the tools to protect their child's internet experience.

If you send a chain email, you may be perpetuating SPAM

CNN Tech has an interesting report on chain email. If you have fallen into the trap of forwarding a cute or interesting chain email, you may be unknowingly helping spammers to gather email addresses.

While not as autonomous in it's information gathering as "spiders" which cruise through the information superhighway in search of email addresses, some spammers employ more low-tech ways of collect e-mail usernames - the naivte of unsuspecting newbies on the internet.

"Chain letters are the ideal place to collect addresses. I've seen several hundred on one e-mail. The list went on for pages," said Bill Orvis, who maintains the U.S. Department of Energy's hoax advisory Web site.

So think twice before you forward on that chain letter.