The iPhone firmware can be downloaded here.
If you want to check how much of OS X is in there…
Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.
New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.
The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.
This is simply meant to give the police more latitude in harassing photographers who are operating from open, public spaces. From the text:
Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules.
The motivation for this proposal is the recent cases of people being arrested for filming the police. There is a serious danger that abusive officers of the Law will be caught on camera, and the best way of stopping this, is to have an excuse to confiscate the media for being potentially “unlicensed”.
This was implemented very successfully in Soviet times. The excuse was “National Security”, but, of course, no secrets will be revealed by taking a photograph of a random government building (and anyone with enough skill to cause trouble there will conceal his camera anyway). In fact, what was important was to hide the truth about what goes on, and you do that by only licensing people who reveal your version of the truth.
Let Freedom reign!
Banks in New Zealand are seeking access to customer PCs used for online banking transactions to verify whether they have enough security protection.
Under the terms of a new banking Code of Practice, banks may request access in the event of a disputed transaction to see if security protection in is place and up to date.
The code, issued by the Bankers’ Association last week after lengthy drafting and consultation, now has a new section dealing with Internet banking.
Liability for any loss resulting from unauthorized Internet banking transactions rests with the customer if they have “used a computer or device that does not have appropriate protective software and operating system installed and up-to-date, [or] failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the protective systems, such as virus scanning, firewall, antispyware, operating system and antispam software on [the] computer, are up-to-date.”
The code also adds: “We reserve the right to request access to your computer or device in order to verify that you have taken all reasonable steps to protect your computer or device and safeguard your secure information in accordance with this code.
“If you refuse our request for access then we may refuse your claim.”
Whatever happened to the word “subpoena”? The banks can already get access, if they manage to convince a judge they need it. These new rules are only there to make it easier to deny any claim and force the customer to sue instead.
So, if they’re allowed to inspect my computer, may I inspect their server? No? I probably know better how to secure such a server than they know how to secure my Mac.
I’m picking a few quotes from news articles about the car bombs yesterday:
British intelligence sources say the police did not have any advanced warnings about the threat of car bombs.
So how did they find the cars?
The first car:
Events yesterday unfolded when police were called to Haymarket, south of Piccadilly Circus, after a man fell at the nightclub Tiger Tiger, injuring his head, prompting a call for an ambulance about 1:30 a.m. yesterday.
When crews arrived, they noticed smoke coming from a green Mercedes parked in front of a club, Clarke said.
The second car:
Police announced tonight they had found similar explosives in a second car. The blue Mercedes 280E model “was issued with a parking ticket about 2:30 this morning” in the Haymarket area, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said, then impounded and taken to a garage near Hyde Park an hour later.
So old-fashioned solid police footwork did the job. None of the crap that took away all our liberties for the last few years made any difference. In fact, if you look at all the arrests made with the new laws, they were all pretty much bullshit, arresting people who weren’t actually doing anything. So, to the police officers who found the car bombs I say “Good work, guys! You set an excellent example!” and I hope they get a big commendation from their superiors for it.
And all those camera’s? Do they make you “safer”? Well, they’re going to be used to find the drivers:
They also had the benefit of footage from closed-circuit TV cameras, and hoped the surveillance network that covers much of central London will help them track down the driver of the Mercedes.
But if the bombs had gone off, you’d be just as dead as without them, so their benefit is limited.
As some of the biggest figures in the music business weighed in on the future of music this week, there were very mixed views on its future.
“If Ford’s revenues were down 40 per cent, the shareholders would be revolting,” said Tim Clark, former Island Records MD and co-founder of management company IE Music, whose roster includes Robbie Williams.
The latest CD revenue figures suggest 40 per cent declines in some markets. “Their model is fucked. It is. Physical revenues are going down like nobody’s business and it’s cataclysmic,” Clark told a panel at the London Calling music expo at Earl’s Court.
Clark hears the sound of pigeons are coming home to roost, and outlined a post-major label future that would be a lot more flexible.
“Deals have been struck with ISPs, but I’ve yet to hear of a single penny going back to an artist. Leaving aside the black boxes, is it anybody’s surprise that an artist doesn’t trust the record company?” he asked.
“Record companies deserve to be attacked for many of the things they’ve done,” he added. “There are great A&R people and great marketeers at these companies, but they haven’t been serving artists [or] fans over the years.”
Industry veteran Clive Rich, making one of his first panel appearances since leaving Sony BMG, cited one big label practice that wouldn’t be mourned: bonuses.
“These bonuses are for their mates. It’s a little club passing around these moneys. It’s amazing that their shareholders allow it – it wouldn’t happen in any other business,” said Rich. “Except maybe the film business.”
“The iPod is one of the biggest problems we have in monetizing our music,” she said.
Both agreed that the iPod had encouraged people to dig into their record collections, and reinvigorated interest in music.
“People are re-familiarising themselves with their old record collections and not buying new music,” said Kennedy. “I hope there will come a time when people say, ‘enough old music, how about some new music?’”
Prince is launching his new Planet Earth album as a free giveaway with a national Sunday newspaper in a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from music retailers.
The 10-track CD will be available free with an “imminent” edition of the newspaper. Planet Earth will then go on sale on July 24.
“It’s all about giving music for the masses and he believes in spreading the music he produces to as many people as possible,” said Mail on Sunday managing director Stephen Miron.
And the record companies comments stop just short of threatening to break his legs…
A new 3G (European) version of the iPhone will be launched Monday in the UK by Apple – in a joint promotion with Vodafone, T-Mobile of Germany, and Carphone Warehouse. It should answer the disappointment with the US version of the iPhone which has been widely slammed for its poor performance as a phone.
Hints of the European launch emerged yesterday when Bill Condie of the London Evening Standard tipped Vodafone to be the official carrier, which will be confirmed Monday. But Voda is just part of the picture, with Apple going for a three-pronged European strategy with carriers – again, responding to disappointment in America with the exclusive deal with AT&T/Cingular.
Shipment date is still unknown, but “on course” for the year-end date predicted last October by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
The US has capitulated to EU demands that its use of European data in counter-terrorism operations should be subject to foreign scrutiny.
The two sides finally compromised this week on their long-running disagreements over the US requisition of personal data about European citizens from passenger name records (PNR) held by airlines, and their financial transactions processed by Swift, a Belgian mediator of international financial transactions.
In both sets of negotiations the EU had insisted that it appoint people in Washington to oversee the US use of European data. It believed that US privacy laws would not protect European citizens’ data from being abused. The US had maintained as a point of principle that European oversight would be a violation of its sovereignty, said EU sources. But both deals have given the EU the power to inspect US investigators.
“The optimistic view is that this is a victory for the EU,” said Gus Hossein, a director of Privacy International. However, he and EU officials said the jury was out until the details of the oversight arrangements had been agreed. And the EU had won only limited oversight over the US use of PNR data.
What’s the point of getting this kind of oversight in a country where a congressional subpoena can safely be ignored?
Does it seem as if every time the Senate is poised to consider an important measure, Republicans launch a filibuster? That the party that whined incessantly about Democratic “obstructionism” for the last several years is blocking everything that moves, hypocrisy be damned?
I knew it was bad; I didn’t know it was this bad.
* Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate — even ones with wide bipartisan support.
* So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed — each one wasting days of Senate time. (110th Congress, Roll Call Votes #44, 51, 53, 74, 129, 132, 133, 162, 173, 207, 208, 227, and 228)
* In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed.
For literally years, Republicans, with a 55-seat majority, cried like young children if Dems even considered a procedural hurdle. They said voters would punish obstructionists. They said it was borderline unconstitutional. They said to stand in the way of majority rule was to undermine a basic principle of our democratic system.
And wouldn’t you know it; the shameless hypocrites didn’t mean a word of it.
Why hasn’t the Democratic Congress had greater success passing legislation in its first six months? Because 239 separate pieces of legislation have passed the House, only to find Senate Republicans “objecting to just about every major piece of legislation” that Harry Reid has tried to bring to the floor.
It’s not only shameless, it’s cynical. Republicans expect to get away with this nonsense because they assume most Americans don’t even know what a filibuster is. They figure, the more they obstruct, the worse Congress looks — and with a Democratic majority, that means the GOP will blame Dems for the Republicans’ delay tactics.
Indeed, it’s quite a vicious cycle. Dems bring up a bill … Republicans block the bill … Dems tell voters to be patient … Republicans blame Dems for failing to deliver on their policy agenda. And if Americans aren’t paying attention, they fall for the con.
It’s quite a record the Senate minority has assembled.
Every 9.62 days, there is an equivalent amount of casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan as September 11th.
There are 9.65 Virginia Tech shootings in Iraq & Afghanistan everyday.
There are 1.61 Madrid bombings in Iraq & Afghanistan everyday.
Sony Ericsson’s long-suffering smartphone users are spitting mad at a decision by the company not to issue any more firmware updates to their phones. The policy was confirmed on Tuesday, and affects owners of the P990i smartphone, M600i communicator and W950 music phone.
When the P990i first reached market, it was in a barely usable state – but many loyal buyers were confident that successive firmware upgrades would remove serious problems, as they had with earlier models. However, to this day the phone exhibits serious shortcomings, particularly with memory leaks.
As I said before, simply don’t buy any Sony product.
Oh, and wasn’t there a competing smart-phone product about to be released? I’m sure I heard a thing or two about it…
The US Senate has issued subpoenas demanding the White House hand over documents relating to its policy of snooping on US citizens without getting warrants or other legal clearance.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy yesterday issued subpoenas to the Department of Justice, the Office of the White House, the Office of the Vice-President and the National Security Council asking for documents relating to the committee’s inquiry into warrantless wiretapping and how such wiretaps were authorised.
Leahy’s letter said: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program. All requests have been rebuffed. Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection.”
I wonder why Leahy thinks a subpoena will get substantially different response.
update Wait, that was faster than I expected:
President Bush, moving toward a constitutional showdown with Congress, asserted executive privilege Thursday and rejected lawmakers’ demands for documents that could shed light on the firings of federal prosecutors.
Bush’s attorney told Congress the White House would not turn over subpoenaed documents for former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor. Congressional panels want the documents for their investigations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ stewardship of the Justice Department.
So what’s next?
Every now and then you come across a link that defies description. Here, go look for yourself
A female undergrad walks up to the desk for help.
“Hi, I’m looking for anal tourism research.” She says.
I could not have heard her correctly.
“Um, what?” I reply.
“I’m looking for anal tourism research.”
Like Thailand and Vegas? “I think there is a typo.” I counter.
“No, my professor was very specific about anal.”
I don’t ask if there was an oral exam. “We can take a look, but I don’t think that’s right.”
“Please? Anal research is important, I need it bad.”
I start searching in the catalogue, typing in ‘annal’ to end this.
“It’s anal, A-N-A-L. Anal was at the top of the list of the things he wanted.”
I bet it was. “We don’t have it under that listing.”
“Well, how can I get Anal Tourism Research?”
Some Barry White, some K-Y, some minor discomfort.
“How about we try some variant spellings?”
“But I want anal.”
“Please trust me on this.” I don’t want my boss to walk over while she shouts “I want anal!” again.
“Here we go, Annals of Tourism Research.”
“Is something very different.”
I could see the dawning in her eyes as she made the connection.
“I, anal, oh my god.”
“Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Even when coeds are begging for me to give them anal, I’m still a professional.
For pub-goers who enjoy a cigarette with their drink, next week’s ban will make England a very different place.
So one landlord has claims to have found a loophole to fight the new law – by declaring his pub to be part of a different country.
The Wellington Arms in Southampton is set to transform itself from a public house into the official embassy for a tiny Caribbean island.
If it is successful, the pub would be classified as “foreign soil”, allowing smokers a haven from the smoking laws covering the rest of the UK.
In theory it would then also be allowed to serve cheaper drinks because the pub would be exempt from VAT.
Earlier this month, the pub was named as the official consulate in Britain for the island of Redonda, which lies 35 miles south west of Antigua in the Caribbean.
The title of “King of Redonda” is hotly disputed, with at least nine known claimants, but the current ruler is King Robert the Bald, who was crowned in 1998 and lives on Antigua.
The 60-year-old Canadian, whose real name is Bob Williamson, writes novels at his Antigua home from where he sails his 72ft yacht St Peter.
On May 31, 1998 Mr Williamson sailed to Redonda with Mr Elder and 60 others and was formally declared to be King Robert the Bald.
Redonda is a one mile square remnant of the cone of an extinct volcano rising almost 970ft from sea level and was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.
Privacy chiefs have given Europe’s banks a September deadline for alerting customers that their financial transactions could be tracked by US security agencies. Customers must be warned that even transactions within Europe could be monitored, they said.
The new rules come from the Article 29 Working Party, a committee of European data protection officials, and it has said that banks must inform customers when there is a danger that transactions could be monitored by authorities in the US.
The recommendation comes in the wake of a controversy over the fact that European inter-bank payment agency SWIFT was found to have allowed US authorities access to transaction details. The US claimed to need access in its counter-terrorism activities following attacks in the US on 11th September 2001. They were given access but account holders were not informed. SWIFT is a consortium owned by its member banks.
So now banks must tell customers when they’re breaking the law. I’m pretty sure there’ll be lawsuits.
You probably want to read this complaint just posted on Recording Industry vs. the People, Andersen v. Atlantic et al [PDF]. I think we may be watching history being made before our eyes. The worm is turning.
Tanya Andersen, the plaintiff here, is the single mother in Oregon that the RIAA prosecuted for the last couple of years and then “on the eve of summary judgment” dropped the lawsuit with prejudice. Her counterclaims remain and are restated here and supplemented. It will soon be joined into a single case. So, what started as Atlantic v. Andersen has now turned around, and it is now Andersen v. Atlantic and the defendants are the music companies making up the RIAA — Atlantic, Priority Records, Capitol Records, UMG and BMG — the RIAA itself, the Settlement Support Center, and SafeNet, formerly known as MediaSentry. She is asserting claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the RICO Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
The RIAA is in big trouble here.
Most of the facts in the case have already been litigated, and the RIAA lost. The counterclaims arise from facts already on the record. And they did a whole range of things ranging from really dumb to possibly criminal.
For the music industry, it was a rare bit of good news: Linkin Park’s new album sold 623,000 copies in its first week this May — the strongest debut of the year. But it wasn’t nearly enough. That same month, the band’s record company, Warner Music Group, announced that it would lay off 400 people, and its stock price lingered at fifty-eight percent of its peak from last June.
Overall CD sales have plummeted sixteen percent for the year so far — and that’s after seven years of near-constant erosion. In the face of widespread piracy, consumers’ growing preference for low-profit-margin digital singles over albums, and other woes, the record business has plunged into a historic decline.
The major labels are struggling to reinvent their business models, even as some wonder whether it’s too late. “The record business is over,” says music attorney Peter Paterno, who represents Metallica and Dr. Dre. “The labels have wonderful assets — they just can’t make any money off them.” One senior music-industry source who requested anonymity went further: “Here we have a business that’s dying. There won’t be any major labels pretty soon.”
“The record companies have created this situation themselves,” says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels’ control — from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs — many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels’ failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. “They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster — that was the moment that the labels killed themselves,” says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. “The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services].”
This is a pirated MP3 of the smallest violin in the world playing for the record industry.
Vandaag in het nieuws:
Boeren mogen geen pesticiden meer gebruiken op grond binnen tien meter vanaf een slootkant, als het aan de commissie milieu van het Europees Parlement ligt.
Over vijf jaar in het nieuws:
de sterke afname van het aantal sloten bij nederlandse landbouwgrond blah blah blah…
Apple and AT&T announced their Service plans:
- $59.99 for 450 voice minutes
- $79.99 for 900 voice minutes
- $99.99 for 1,350 voice minutes
All three plans include unlimited data (email & web), Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll over minutes and unlimited mobile to mobile calling. Plans have a $36 one-time activation fee and are two year contracts.
I have no clue if this is any good, since I don’t know anything about the US mobile market – please comment if you have any insight…
Oh, and look at this…
Sure looks a lot better than “a map of the complex plane to itself in which a point “z” is mapped to a point “w” by w=(az+b)/(cz+d), where a,b,c, and d are complex numbers and ad-bc does not equal zero.”
The first retail-bound volume shipments of Apple Inc.’s hotly anticipated iPhone device arrived successfully in the United States this past weekend, touching down quietly at a handful of drop locations just six days before the device is due to go on sale at nearly 2000 Apple and AT&T retail locations.
People familiar with the matter say the intrinsically valuable freight was carried inbound by a certain Hong Kong-based air courier, which services Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The early arrival is to assure the cargo can clear customs with enough time to handle unexpected delays, those people said.
Awaiting the freight at each location on Sunday were armed personnel, who were reportedly hired by Apple through its courier’s ground handling agent and then cleared by the Transportation Security Administration. Armed guards are extremely unusual for freight coming out of the Asian sector, those familiar with the matter explained, and are typically reserved for shipments containing riches such as gold and diamonds.
Once on the ground, the iPhone shipments were to be broken down under the watch of the armed personnel, who would then observe the loading of the freight onto ground vehicles and become party to its transportation outbound.
It remains unclear where the eagerly sought Apple gadgets will spend the better part of the business week ahead of their planned launch Friday afternoon at 6:00 p.m. local time. It’s possible, however, they could begin turning up in stockrooms of Apple and AT&T retail stores days in advance.
Apple management on Sunday began informing its retail personnel that beginning Monday, no cameras of any kind will be allowed in the back stockrooms of its retail outlets. The ban reportedly spans all cell phones — regardless of whether they contain camera functionality — and all personally owned Apple notebooks that feature built-in iSight video cameras.
I wish I could say something snarky, but I’m just sitting here shaking my head muttering “unbelievable…”
It’s a curious thing that, over the past 10 – 12 days, the news from Iraq refers to the combatants there as “al-Qaida” fighters. When did that happen?
Until a few days ago, the combatants in Iraq were “insurgents” or they were referred to as “Sunni” or “Shia’a” fighters in the Iraq Civil War. Suddenly, without evidence, without proof, without any semblance of fact, the US military command is referring to these combatants as “al-Qaida”.
Welcome to the latest in Iraq propaganda.
What they fail to realize is that The United States is at war with Al Qaeda. The United States has always been at war with Al Qaeda.
A quick look at past Times issues bears this out: