Microsoft is deliberately feeding into the HD disc format wars to ensure that its own downloads succeed where physical copies fail, says movie director Michael Bay in a response to a question posed through his official forums. The producer contends that Microsoft is writing “$100 million dollar checks” to movie studios to ensure HD DVD exclusives that hurt the overall market regardless of the format’s actual merit or its popularity, preventing any one format from gaining a clear upper hand. Bay’s own Transformers is available on disc only in the less popular HD DVD format despite his stated preference for Blu-ray. To the director, this is primarily a stalling tactic while Microsoft refines its own online-only technology.
“What you don’t understand is corporate politics,” he says in the response. “Microsoft [officials] want both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads.”
Do you really think the MPAA’s going to just go “Oh, MS, you saved us! Here, take over this entire market”? You should see how they react to Jobs and Apple…
I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
An inmate at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay slashed his throat with a sharpened fingernail, US officials have confirmed.
The prisoner, described by his lawyer as an Algerian held for six years, required several stitches and spent a week under psychiatric observation.
US officials characterised the incident as an act of “self-harm” rather than a suicide attempt.
Officials would give no details of the man but lawyer Zachary Katznelson said the inmate had been held without charge for nearly six years.
Cmdr Haynes said “self-harm” incidents were a tactic to discredit US forces.
“My opinion hasn’t changed,” Bush said, regarding Iran’s threat to world peace.
Then why the fuck does your country bother creating NIE’s?
Found this image on the Web, do not know if it is a real sculpture, or the photoshopped original.
In 1923, radio was introduced to Australia, complete with a scheme for “analog rights management” that presaged the dumbest anti-copying/anti-use schemes of the modern day. In the early years of Aussie radio, the radios were sold permanently tuned to a single frequency, sealed shut to prevent their owners from changing the channel. Each broadcaster had its own model of radio that it sold to the public, one that could only receive its programmes, and this was how the stations made money. The system lasted less than two years and was a complete failure.
The regulations were approved in July, the first licence was applied for in August and by the end of the year six had been issued. By March 1924 it was widely held that the sealed set system had failed: Less than 1400 listeners bothered to (officially) apply for a subscription.
The scheme was not only unenforceable but it also was not supported by the wireless dealers, therefore the main responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the scheme was placed in the hands of those most likely to undermine it (Counihan, 1992: 14): Of course the dealers weren’t enthusiastic about selling some crippled technology that potentially could receive dozens of stations – and neither were the customers who resorted to ‘piracy’. In short: “It was obvious that the sealed set scheme was doomed from the start” (Harte, 2002: 56).
“The Washington Post is reporting that Wikileaks has released another manual for Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay together with the US military’s rendition operations manual. This release follows from the Wikileaks release of the 2003 SOP Manual as discussed on Slashdot last month. Wikileaks compares the two manuals (2003, 2004) and reveals damning changes in official US detainee policy in exquisite detail. Who knew that diff could be such a powerful political weapon?”
Mobile provider Vodafone has failed to break up a deal giving rival T-Mobile the exclusive rights to distribute Apple’s iPhone in Germany.
A German court overturned a temporary injunction it granted two weeks ago, which forced T-Mobile to sell iPhones that were not tied to a single network.
Vodafone objected to the exclusivity agreement and said customers should be able to choose between networks.
T-Mobile has now promised that at the end of the two year contracts it will unlock the phones at no charge.
Protect our troops – from the womb to the war. What if the fetus you were going to abort would grow up to be a soldier bringing democracy to a godless dictatorship?
Plastic replica of an 11-12 week old fetus, 3″ long, holding a firearm in its precious little hand, with an assortment of other military paraphernalia, encased in a translucent plastic ornament, with a patriotic yellow ribbon on top. Includes a metal ornament hanger. If only a womb were this safe, attractive and reasonably priced!
Show that you support the “culture of life” by buying and proudly displaying one of these patriotic unborn Americans.
Also available in a “Brown” model
Wellington Grey has a great little slideshow about the idiocy of the DMCA’s “anti-circumvention” measures, which prohibit breaking the digital locks off the stuff you own. In it, Grey recounts how offended he was when he bought a TomTom GPS that came with a CD in a sealed envelope, the seal on which read, “By breaking this seal, you agree to our contract,” but the contract itself was on the CD, behind the seal. In other words, the CD said, “By breaking this seal, you agree to a bunch of secret stuff.”
So Grey opted to break extract the CD by slitting the envelope with a pair of scissors, thus evading the abusive “agreement.” Then he goes on to point out that if the DMCA applied to physical objects as well as digital objects, scissors would be illegal.
The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) has been forced to stop distributing its “University Toolkit” online after just one month because it may violate copyright laws.
The attempt to quash movie piracy via BitTorrent was taken offline yesterday.
A suite of open source applications was cobbled together to make colleges spy on their students’ file-sharing habits and encourage blocking. The package was based on Ubuntu, the desktop Linux distribution.
That would have been fine, except that the MPAA did not release the source code or provide a written offer for the code – potentially in violation of the GPL. All modifications to software licenced under the GPL, however minor, must be released.
Transgressing the GPL is a violation of copyright legislation, a fact not lost on Matthew Garrett, a Cambridge (UK) Ubuntu developer who sits on the distribution’s technical board. He and others in the open source community wrote to the MPAA to point out they could be breaking the law.
After his concerns were ignored, Matthew Garrett pursued the matter with the ISP hosting the site universitytoolkit.org. He wrote on his blog: “I did attempt to contact them by email and phone before resorting to the more obnoxious behaviour of contacting the ISP.
“No reply to my email, and the series of friendly receptionists I got bounced between had no idea who would be responsible but promised me someone would call back. No joy there, either.”
He then sent the ISP a DMCA takedown request (before and after shots here).