A small light at the end of the tunnel

 

 

Some of whom I include have been encouraged by the definitive announcement that EMI is going to suppress the DRM from its online music catalog.

EMI has announced more quality in the songs – it goes from 128 to 256 kbps – and without DRM, a set of anticopy restrictions that prevent the buyer from making certain uses of the works that include it.

iTunes, Apple, will be the first store to take this new measure, although it will not be the only one and in a short time they will join him more. The songs will be offered in WMA, MP3 and AAC format .

The candy has become somewhat bitter to discover that the price of the songs has also changed, from the current 0.99 cents to 1.29 euros per song. We’re supposed to pay that difference every time we download a song for the quality increase and the fact that it goes without the absurd ‘Digital Rights Managements’. The fact that the purchase of full albums remains at the same price with and without DRM can be a step forward, but it is a relatively small step, as is the case with videos.

The fact that this label suppresses the DRM is a beginning, although it is still far from understanding the expectations of the user who buys music through the internet. It seems to come to say: I remove the DRM from the songs (something that basically gives me a little bit the same), but to me pay me 30% more for each song.

In the end, what could have been great news has been partly tarnished. A great announcement for the press but a small step for the user.

Cultural terrorism reaches libraries

A new plan for the promotion of libraries in our country is approaching. They will have more budget, they will acquire more works, those of always and those of more novice authors. Well, no. In this country every time you will read less in public libraries, or fewer authors. This is what emerges from the new Book Law, the new canon for library loan, a law tailored to the copyright management societies, in this case CEDRO.

The Committee on Culture of the Congress has approved the opinion on the draft of the Law of the Book, which will be debated during the week. The new canon establishes a fee for each book to lend 0.20 euros.

Prestamo Users in principle are calm because the cost of all loans is borne by the Ministry of Culture and the Autonomous Communities, but the problem goes one step beyond who pays and who receives. On the one hand, the authors who sell the most do not need that income. On the other, it is foreseeable that authors who sell less disappear from libraries, since they will have less money to invest in the purchase of copies (they are likely to see their budget reduced) and, consequently, they will choose those who know that they are a ‘safe rent’. Sad, very sad.

The “No to the payment loan” campaign was launched a long time ago. The authors who are part of this campaign are not crazy or, of course, are idiots. They consider that the entry into force of the “payment loan” means paying twice for the same product. If the libraries already pay royalties every time they buy a copy with legal deposit, the collection of an added fee is not justified.

In 2004, CEDRO obtained a net profit of 26 million euros (data from Josep Puig de Bellacasa, president of Cedro, Newsletter nº 46). This new canon will have to start adding the increase that is the (also) new canon on multifunction devices, and that does come directly from our pocket.

Hunting for the result

The search engine sector has been in turmoil in recent days. Google and Microsoft, irreconcilable enemies in this market, reach agreements, buy, diversify, position themselves definitively before one of the most lucrative businesses of the Network.

Microsoft is offering to compensate in different ways companies that get their employees to perform their searches through your search engine. On the other hand, just as Google has an agreement with Dell that their computers include pre-installed search bar , Microsoft has closed a similar agreement with Lenovo (the world’s third largest computer manufacturer) by which the home page of the machines of this manufacturer will be Live.com.

Given the unstoppable growth of Google, as you remember in News.com, is not the first time that the software giant offers to compensate in some way to people who use their search engine. Last year Microsoft already carried out a campaign called “Search with MSN and win”. Subscriptions to magazines or gifts ranging from a digital camera to a plasma screen were some of the prizes.

As usually happens in this type of offers, we talk about incentives and not about payments , compensation and not compensation. Both Yahoo and Microsoft are aware that they have to start doing something so they do not keep losing their quota. According to data from Nielsen / NetRatings, Google has about 54% of the market, followed by 24% of Yahoo and 8% of Microsoft.

On the other hand, Google is still immersed in its purchasing process. It recently announced the acquisition of Adscape Media, a company specializing in videogame advertising . In this case Google follows the steps of Microsoft, which did the same with Massive last year. Neither of the two giants wants to miss the one that will most likely be one of the most successful businesses in the coming years.

Going back to the obligatory search engines, the experts already talk about that this type of agreements could provoke an adverse reaction among employees forced to use Live.com by their companies. Be that as it may, we will have to wait until we see the number of companies that subscribe to this program. So far, searching the internet is free, but does it have a price?

Does Apple succeed when it disqualifies PCs?

Apple has made a surprising advertising campaign that, at least in the videos, is not based on explaining the benefits of their Mac on the PC world. The videos have been circulating on the Internet for some time, but it has now been when Spanish users subscribed to Apple’s news have received access to the video in Spanish.

With a clear parallel to the campaign that appeared in his day highlighting the Wii console on the PlayStation 3, Apple tries to convince that, since it is likely that users have to buy a new computer to use Windows Vista, take the opportunity to migrate to Mac .

Surprisingly, the campaign is not based on the power of the machines or the stability of the operating system but on the fact that the Mac is “easier to use, safer and much more fun “.

MacvsPC

Some users consider it ingenious , while others see it as an insult that resorts to arguments that have nothing to do with the essence of information technology. At the moment, the published information indicates that the campaign has had negative repercussions on the image of Apple, at least in the United Kingdom

The statements that Bill Gates made in his day in front of a similar campaign speak for themselves, and could also apply to these:

“I do not think that about 90% of the population that uses Windows PCs sees themselves as stunned, or the kind of clumsy that some are trying to say they are. And I do not know why Apple behaves as if it were superior. What are you trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you are really cool, can you lie when you feel like it? “

 

What do you think? Do you think Apple hits with this type of campaign? Should he focus on trying to objectively demonstrate the superiority of his system?

 

Wikipedia, the most widely used encyclopedia of the Internet and one of the best collaborative inventions that the Network has provided since its inception, will have to revise its policy by which it chooses its administrators , that is, those who supervise the content edited by them. users

This encyclopedia made by Internet users bases its success on the fact that all users who wish to do so can create new entries and modify existing ones (with the exception of the most controversial articles). Above those people who contribute their knowledge are another series of people who validate whether the entries made are valid or not , moderate discussions, manage contentious content, etc.

It has recently been discovered that one of these editors had lied about his identity. He was not a religion professor with experience in law and law as he claimed in his curriculum but a 24-year-old university student.

The young man assured that he decided to acquire this invented identity to protect himself against the reprisals he might receive for the items he supervised. Be that as it may, the discovery of this fraud has caused the detractors of Wikipedia to have a new weapon to use in their accusations.

Its founder, Jimmy Wales, has stated that it will encourage publishers to demonstrate their true identity in some way, so that if someone claims to be a PhD in Chemistry, it really is.

The answer of the users of the Wikipedia has not been made wait. While some applaud the determination of Wales, as well as the fact of expelling the impostor immediately, others defend anonymity arguing that they do not need to know who the author is or the editor of the information they are reading.

The editors promote the good functioning of the popular online encyclopedia and are essential. Except in a few exceptions, that’s the way it is. Beyond that Wales introduce new rules to verify the true identity of their editors, this fact does not seem as important as the commendable work they do every day.

What they call ‘target’

A bank has had to arrive to confirm what videogame professionals have been saying for many years: that consoles and their games are increasingly successful among adults and that manufacturers that make platforms and content are defining most of their ‘ target ‘as an adult between 18 and 35 years old .

MandoPS3 Banesto, aware of the expectation generated by the launch of the PlayStation 3 on March 23, did not want to miss the opportunity to attract new customers who, obviously for a matter of money , are not children. In an unprecedented promotion in Spain (a bank had never opened its offices to deliver consoles at midnight), Banesto will offer a PS3 for 350 euros (its market price is 600) in exchange for domiciling the payroll, a couple of receipts and sign a 25-month tenure contract.

It is possible that some parents resort to this offer to solve the whim of their children but neither Xbox 360 nor PS3 are consoles oriented to the smallest, for its price, possibilities and catalog. The target audience of video games is growing, and, luckily, the image of this form of entertainment is maturing.

In the USA UU There are already 45.7 million households that have a console, but more important than the number is to be aware of the changes that are taking place. Those who seek to open new business modes are already.

Reproduction Encyclopedia: how to merge a Sim with a Mii

That Electronic Arts found a reef with the development of little creatures called Sims is not a great revelation. Since then, these characters coexist, open businesses, have life stories, pets, party, have glamor, are night owls, end a career, become magicians, and so on until completing more than twenty activities.

The video game The Sims became a social phenomenon at the time considering it a stunning title among the female audience. However, what originally was original, little by little was falling into monotony : many accessories and new scenarios but always the same underlying story.

It seems that with this MySims for Wii and DS, still in development, Electronic Arts has been renewed . The result of the copulation between a Sim and a Mii are these new characters of the video, some beings close to the Animal Crossing videogame that no doubt expect to repeat success from the last quarter of this year.

Trying to scare the blogosphere

Yesterday Julio Alonso, blogger and CEO of Weblogs SL, made public a bureaufax sent to him by SGAE in which he is threatened with legal action if he does not remove an entry he made on his blog in April 2004 called “SGAE = thieves “and all their comments.

Julio Alonso has contacts, he knows people and the first thing he did was (after opening his eyes like dishes, I imagine) talking with Bufete Almeida, specialized in matters of this type. The problem that arises before this type of attitudes of the SGAE is what happens when a blogger ‘anyone’ receives a threatening communication from an entity with resources and their own lawyers such as the SGAE. Then begins a fight of ‘David’ against ‘Goliath’.

But the problem reaches another dimension when it comes to self-censorship . There are many bloggers who now think twice attributed certain adjectives to the SGAE and many more who fear silently that their posts are filled with comments like “SGAE = thieves” , lest the famous society remember them .

With this type of pump-shipments , several things are shown:

1. That the lawyers of the SGAE and the SGAE itself know a lot about sending burofaxes, but little about how the internet works and the blogosphere.

2. That this society wants everyone who talks about them to think about not only what they write but also about what others think on their page.

As Sergio Rodríguez says in his blog, we do not know if the SGAE will also send the corresponding bureaufaxes to the 216,000 pages that are displayed when entering the search “SGAE thieves” in Google, this blog without going any further.

With the fear they intend to impose, the good health of the internet is not favored. Attempting to frighten the entire blogosphere indirectly is not exactly a way of making friends, something that SGAE does not go too much, at least on the Internet.

A laps with the neutrality of the Network

The neutrality of the Network is an old issue that unfortunately comes back to topicality.

Basically, what is being discussed in the US is whether the telecommunications companies have the right to charge an additional toll to certain Internet content.

They intend to create a two-speed internet in which some issues have priority over others depending on whether the companies that house them pass through the operators’ box or not.

The demand of the operators, very smart, is based on the proliferation of certain contents (such as video) that alter the traffic that was usual until now.

His idea is that the companies that host this type of content pay an additional toll so that they in turn can continue investing in improving infrastructure.

Although for the moment this debate is restricted to the US , in case the petition of the American operators goes ahead, it is logical to think that the proposal will not take long to reach Spain, where the Spanish will not miss the opportunity to obtain an income additional In addition, if the proposal is carried out in the US, it will affect the navigation of users around the world.

And you can not discuss the neutrality of the Network. It is a right, more than for the companies themselves, for the user, who must be able to access all the pages of the world with the speed that allows his bandwidth, without restrictions. additional taxes imposed by third parties.

The new strategy against piracy: appealing to fear

Microsoft today unveiled its Windows client protection plan. According to the company, in Spain more than 300,000 ‘illegal’ copies of Windows are installed each year. The striking fact is that, always according to them, 100,000 of these copies have been purchased as originals, so the user, innocent of him, has no idea that he has installed a copy that is not original (ha!).

As I repeat, according to Microsoft, they are very worried about how unstable and unsafe the non-original copies may be, they are going to launch a special program whose purpose is to protect the user. The proposal is the following:

– Windows users should download a small program that will check if their operating system is original or not. For the company, users do not know it (eye, do not suggest at any time that the user is acting in bad faith, it is just a matter of ignorance).

– When the program finishes analyzing the system the user will be able to receive two types of messages : ‘congratulations, nice, your software is original’ or ‘flat, this system is more false than two-euro banknotes’.

– In the latter case, the user is offered the possibility of regularizing their situation by paying for an original copy of Windows.

– But it is possible that the user already paid for that operating system (that is, in the store they played it and charged an original system price giving it a copy). In that case, Microsoft asks to be sent the invoice, the disks and the serial number, to check if it was really cheated in the store or if it is true that it is original but the key is already freely available on the internet.

– There is a third case (less likely for Microsoft, perfectly viable for many of the users): that the user chooses a ‘ I do not care if he is a pirate , I do not think to send anything and I stay as I am’. In this case, Windows will remember every so often (I do not know if each click, every day or every month) that you have an unsafe operating system and that you can have serious security problems .

Firstly, the scrupulous respect with which Microsoft goes to the users of its system, including those who have it “pirate”, is striking. Also how the distinction between what is legal and what is not (a weapon that has already been seen that does not work) has been left aside in the discourse to appeal to fear as a way for users to go through the box. I’m interested to know how many downloads will be made of that authenticity checking program.

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