THE DEFINITION OF IRONY ...
Judge's number was on the list.
According to AP, the judge who ruled that the National Do Not Call Registry was "unconstitutional," had indeed PLACED HIS OWN NUMBER ON THE REGISTRY!
Like E-R recently said ... now it's just getting fun.
Saturday, September 27, 2003
THE DEFINITION OF IRONY ...
JUSTICE DELAYED ISN'T ALWAYS JUSTICE DENIED
Appeals Court likely to reverse recent decision on DO NOT CALL
Now it's just plain getting fun. Much like the drama that erupted in California over the judicial challenges to the Recall, another defeat was levied on telemarketers today.
Reuters is reporting that a U.S. appeals court said on Friday it would likely approve the DO NOT CALL LIST/REGISTRY even though two lower courts had blocked it.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied a request by telemarketers to halt the federal government's "do not call" list and said it would likely rule in favor of the measure hen it soon hears the case.
"The telemarketers have failed to establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits," a three-judge panel said.
The Reuters report goes on to say:
The appeals panel said that while telemarketers will be harmed by the no-call list, which would deny them millions of sales prospects, that concern is outweighed by the privacy interests of the tens of millions of Americans.
SPAM WARS ESCALATE
AntiSpam website suffer internet attacks
Reuters reports that the war against SPAM has escalated as web sites that provide spam blocking lists have shut down as a result of crippling Internet attacks in what experts believe are being perpetrated by spammers who don't want these blocking lists to succeed.
California recently passed the toughest anti-spam law in the country, allowing people to sue spammers for $1,000 per unsolicited e-mail and up to $1 million for a spam campaign.
And with Congress on the heals of passing legislation providing for heavy fines on spam, one wonders if who's next?
Friday, September 26, 2003
THAT'S GOTTA HURT!
All Segway's get recalled
YAHOO/AP is reporting that the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Friday of all 6,000 scooters that have been sold. Apparently, when the batteries get low — riders have a tendency to fall off and become injured.
PAY FOR PLAY
E-Rs MP3 Downloading recommendations
While E-R takes issue with the big, bad RIAA in it's terror campaign against grannies and kids, we do recognize and support their right to protect copyright.
But, because of our mandate to cover the cool, cutting-edge of electrnonica, we love the ability to download music for all to enjoy.
JUST DO IT LEGALLY.
As such, thanks to TECHTV, we offer a list of where you can download mp3s for a price:
Apple iTunes Music Store: .99 per song
(note: Mac only - PC version promised end of the year)
EMusic - http://www.emusic.com
MP3.com - http://www.mp3.com
IUMA - http://www.iuma.com
BUYMUSIC.COM - http://www.buymusic.com
So listen up! and pay for it.
A SuperComputer that Thinks Differently
WIRED has a cool story about Virginia Tech's Terascale Computing Facility building a lightening fast superComputer on the cheap ... with MACs?!
"Usually you assume that you'll pay a premium for Apple machines, but they will be easier to set up and work with. But in this case it seems that the Macs were cheap, but challenging."
The Lab took 1100 G5s and networked them together.
Hmmm, let's see, at $1999, x 1100 ...
ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN
Do Not Call List gets another Hack down
Less than another 24 hours has passed, and yet another out-of-control federal judge with a King George complex has declared the National Do Not Call Registry, the list of phone numbers which will fine up to $11,000 for each violation by telemarketers, unconstitutional, before it can be implemented next week.
The Washington Post reports that U.S. District Judge of Denver, Edward W. Nottingham was announced minutes after Congress, with lightening bipartisan resolve, voted to grant the FTC the authority that another federal judge claimed it didn't have.
Nottingham, ruled that the Registry was unconstitutional on freedom-of-speech grounds because it would have allowed telemarketers for charitable organizations to continue to call numbers on the list even though commercial firms would be barred from doing so.
"By exempting charitable solicitations, the FTC "has imposed a content-based limitation on what the consumer may ban from his home . . . thereby entangling the government in deciding what speech consumers should hear."
MEMO TO THE LORD HIGH JUDGE NOTTINGHAM - I can "ban" from my home any damn thing I want.
The ruling also sets up a showdown in the Supreme Court who is the final arbiter of all things "constitutional."
Meanwhile, sales for this item should be rising in the near future.
BIG BAD BLINKS
Dismisses Granny lawsuit in wake of PR nightmare
SFGate is reporting that in the wake of a slieu of nightmarish PR disasters, the big bad Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has bowed out of a lawsuit against a 65-year-old Massachusetts grandmother accused of illegally sharing thousands of songs, including many hip-hop hits. The retired educator claims she didn't even know about file-sharing until she was served in the dead of night by an RIAA hack. The RIAA said it had gathered evidence showing Ward had used Kazaa to share more than 2,000 songs, including hip-hop hits like Trick Daddy's "I'm a Thug.'' (Hip-hop granny? yeah, right. my dad was listening to Mario Lanza at 58!)
The RIAA can file lawsuits and seek up to $150,000 in damages per violation pursuant to the provisions in the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Granny's name and address was pried lose from Comcast Corp, Granny's ISP, after they were sued for the information.
The RIAA said that even though they are choosing to "give her the benefit of the doubt," they were reserving the right to refile the lawsuit later. One has to wonder if the RIAA is merely waiting until the heat dies down as the decision comes on the heals of several high profile lawsuits against children and elderly computer users which have prompted Senators Norm Coleman (R - Mn) and Sam Brownback (R - Ks) to hold hearings to investigate whether the RIAA has misused their ability to file civil subpeonas.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation will be watching this case closely as they are on the forefront of protecting computer users digital rights. Their mission is to be vigilant over rampant abuse of powers under the DMCA.
"The recording industry will continue to catch -- and terrify -- innocent people like Sarah Ward in its dragnet as long as these lawsuits continue," added EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz.
And while E-R supports the RIAAs right to protect the copyrights of songers and songwriters, suing granny's and eight-year old little girls is not what we call "fair play."
Thursday, September 25, 2003
SENATE FOLLOWS SUIT
Passes new authority for the FCC
FoxNews is now reporting that fresh on the heals of the House legislation, the Senate has now voted 95-0 to give Federal Trade Commission (FTC) full power to enforce a list of people's phone numbers that telemarketers are not allowed to call while making sales pitches. Violators are fined up to $11,000 per call.
That ought to remove any doubt for Judge West.
EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS
Even a few pennies ... per gallon, that is
Check out http://www.losangelesgasprices.com/.
And tell em JGDeRuvo sent you.
HOUSE APPROVES NEW AUTHORITY TO FTC FOR DO NOT CALL
Takes away Judges reason to block the National Registry
AP/YAHOO reports that the House approved legislation at ensuring the national "do-not-call" list goes into effect as scheduled next week to help consumers block unwanted telemarketing sales pitches. The move less than 24 hours after Federal Judge Lee R. West, who ruled Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission lacked authority to create and operate the registry.
The House voted 412-8 after an hour of debate.
Amazing how quickly Congress can move when it has an interest.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
MSN SAYS NO TO CHAT ROOMS
Curbing pedophilia or cutting costs?
The Financial Times has reported that Microsoft is closing internet chat rooms because SPAM, the proliferation of paedophiles and others is damaging the reputation of its MSN service and the internet as a whole.
Originally free, the Chat service will close worldwide from October 14, apart from in the US, Canada and Japan, where it will become a subscription-only service.
Federal Judge says "No" to "Do Not Call."
Yahoo/Reuters reports that an out-of-control judge has blocked implimentation of the NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY!
Saying that the FCC "overstepped it's authority," setting up the list of over 50 MILLION Americans tired of telemarketers, the judge has prevented the Registry from going into effect on the first of October.
AOL pays for charging after cancellations
THE WASHINGTON POST reports that in an effort to stave off an Federal Trade Commission Probe, America Online has agreed to settle without admittance of guilt FTC charges that it treated subscribers unfairly by avoiding member cancellation requests and continuting to charge monthly fees to member credit cards.
Details of the consent decree include forcing AOL to send written confirmation of a cancellation and prohibits AOL from collecting further charges from subscribers who say they want to drop the service.
One Unwired Day is tomorrow.
Just a reminder that thanks to Intel and it's partners, tomorrow is ONE UNWIRED DAY, where wifi fans can surf the net free at THOUSANDS of hotspots all around the country.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
England Corporation bans use of email in cost cutting move
CNNTECH has a report on a British company, Phones 4u, which has taken the drastic step of BANNING EMAIL in an effort to cut costs and improve productivity.
Believing that up to 3 hours a day is wasted by employees using email, John Caudwell, the multi-millionaire owner estimates the ban will save at least £1 million (pounds) a month in saved time.
"Phones 4u staff have been told to get off the keyboards, get face-to-face or on to the phone to colleagues," said Caldwell, who is of the opinion that customer loyalty will benefit from a better, more personal, service.
Phones 4u can still be contacted via e-mail because only internal mailing had been banned.
We'll see if this catches on. If so, could banning the internet be next in a giant leap backward?
While the RIAA is playing "big bad," BMG is experimenting
If you can't beat em, join em. That's the message BMG is sending this week with the release of a CD that actually encourages consumers to download and copy a limited number of songs.
Touted as a viable alternative to the free trading of music over the Internet, BMG will be selling CDs designed with software built in which would allow the consumer to copy songs from the CD onto either computer and such portable devices as an iPod or other mp3 player. In addition, the will be able to copy the songs on up to three CDs, and even encouraged to share the songs as an e-mail attachment!
The key is it's expiration date. The software encodes a 10-day time frame which users can enjoy music before it stops working.
A music company which is figuring out a way to get it's music out with new technology and yet, still sell it.
Monday, September 22, 2003
DIAL UP ACCELERATION
A marketing ploy to lure you back from broadband?
The Wasington Post has a blurb on the "dial up acceleration" feature that AOL and Earthlink is using as a strategy to lure back customers who defected to broadband. The claim is that for the price of dialup, acceleration can give you near broadband download times.
It goes on to talk about how speed is picked by storing popular websites on their own servers and then downloading them compressed by separate channels other than the conventional line (whatever that is). The software then "stitches" the new stuff into what's already been downloaded onto your computer so that you're not "plowing over the same field" again and again.
However, the compression causes problems with graphics and initially the speed increase is minimal. And when you couple that with AOL charging nearly $25 for dial-up, it's hard to say no to SBCYahoo's offer of $29.95 for the real McCoy.
PIRATES OF THE DISTRIBUTION
As broadband increases, p2p piracy to dog music for awhile
A new report outlined in CNNMoney/Reuters finds that although online sales for music (mail order CDs and downloads) will rise to nearly 4 BILLION by 2008, it will be overshadowed by p2p piracy, which will account for nearly five billion in lost revenue.
There's plenty of bad news to go around as peer-to-peer filesharing will grow in direct proportion to the availability of broadband around the world.
The report goes on to say that "... this one-step-forward-two-steps-back scenario is hardly comforting for the major music labels, which blame Net piracy for triggering a sharp decline in global music sales ... "
No mention that there have been other contributing factors like fewer releases, rising prices, or a marketing strategy which aims at the wrong demographic (those with money!).
Piracy is a major element, that much is certain. But E-R is beginning to wonder if there's a correlation between "lost revenue due to piracy" and the "estimated street value of drug seizures" ...