Episode 126

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GLENN’S SHOWNOTES

 Facebook users force ‘copyright’ plan U-turn | Australian IT

Facebook users force ‘copyright’ plan U-turn

 

FACEBOOK has withdrawn controversial changes to its terms of service after receiving a storm of complaints from users of the social networking website.

Tens of thousands of posters protested after an unannounced change seemed to grant Facebook the right to control and use the information posted by account holders on the site for ever, even if they had cancelled their accounts.

Users feared that the new terms gave Facebook the right in perpetuity to use their photos, messages and other content for marketing or to sell to advertisers.

Facebook announced last night that it was reverting immediately to the old terms of service, which included the crucial sentence: “You may remove your user content from the site at any time. If you choose to remove your user content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the company may retain archived copies of your user content.”

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook , wrote on a blog:  “We think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective.”

Mobile phone chargers go universal | Australian IT
Mobile phone chargers go universal

 

GLOBAL handset makers and telecommunications providers, including Telstra, have banded together to develop a universal charger for mobile phones by January 2012.

The charger would work on any brand of mobile phone, meaning users would only need one charger for any handset purchased.

Apple and Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry devices, are not part of the initiative

Micro-USB will be the common universal charging interface

Telstra welcomed the initiative, which would eventually lead to cost savings.

“Given the estimated eight million handsets sold in Australia every year, moving to a standard, universal charger for mobile phones has the potential to dramatically reduce duplication and waste,” Ross Fielding, Telstra executive director, said.

Need to unlock the phones after contract so they can be shared around

Microsoft, Nokia hit back at Apple with virtual stores | Australian IT
Microsoft, Nokia hit back at Apple with virtual stores

 The applications will only be available for high-end mobile phones, known in the business as smart phones, which are more like mini computers than traditional mobile phones with their large memories and high processing power

Microsoft does not manufacture handsets itself, but it is looking to establish its operating system for mobile phones as the industry standard in the same way as it dominates the market for personal computers.

It has therefore decided to open up to outside developers to allow them to improve the core Windows product and encourage handset manufacturers to install Windows instead of rival operating systems.

Sydney man faces DVD piracy charges | Australian IT
Sydney man faces DVD piracy charges

 

A MAN has been charged with a string of copyright offences after he was allegedly found recording new-release movies with a video camera at a western Sydney drive-in.

The 26-year-old man was arrested at his home in Broad Street, Prospect at about 4.45pm (AEDT) on Friday, police said.

Police allege that on numerous occasions over the past five months, the man recorded several new release movies at the drive-in.

He then allegedly uploaded them to the internet for others to download illegally.

The movies allegedly included Beverly Hills Chihuahua, High School Musical 3, Bedtime Stories, Yes Man, Valkyrie, Marley And Me and He’s Just Not That Into You.

Police said the recordings had been positively linked to DVDs being sold in Australia, as well as other countries including the US and Britain.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) said the man’s arrest was the result of an intensive investigation by AFACT investigators using digital watermarking technology.

The watermarks identify the cinemas where movies are illegally recorded.

Microsoft offers to just ‘Fix it’ | Beyond Binary – CNET News
Microsoft offers to just ‘Fix it’

 

When people encounter a problem with their PC, they often go to the Web and do a search to see if others have had the problem. If they are lucky, someone has found a fix and listed the steps on either a support document or within a user forum.

Now, they may have an even better option.

Over the past six weeks, Microsoft has quietly added a “Fix it” button to a few of the thousands of help documents on its Web site. When clicked, the computer then takes all the recommended steps automatically.

An example of the “Fix it” button that has started showing up in some Microsoft help documents, offering users a one-click solution.

(Credit: CNET News)

“If we know what those 15 steps are why shouldn’t we just script it,” said Lori Brownell, Microsoft’s general manager of product quality and online support

The “Fix it” option is still fairly rare, showing up in around 100 different help documents. The effort is growing rapidly, though, up from just four such fixes when the program quietly began in December.

Microsoft continues to offer users the option of doing things on their own if they either don’t trust Microsoft or just like being in control.

“We’re not trying to hide anything,” she said.

The first fixes included a number of common issues, including restoring a missing Internet Explorer icon to the desktop, how to enable the DVD library in Vista’s Windows Media Center as well as what to do when encountering the error message in Street & Trips 2008 that “Construction information for routes could not be downloaded”

For now, Microsoft is having to go back and search its archives to see which of its problem solving tips can be automated. Eventually, it hopes to create the automated fixes at the same time the help articles are created

PMSBuddy.com – The free online PMS reminder
Welcome to PMSBuddy.com!

 

PMSBuddy.com is a free service created with a single goal in mind: to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, or any other women in your life are closing in on “that time of the month” – when things can get intense for what may seem to be no reason at all.

For women, this is a great way to give people in your life a heads-up of when you might be feeling a bit irritable without having an awkward conversation.

What’s more, we will not only keep you informed, but will give you some free advice on what to do about it. With PMSBuddy.com, there is no reason to ever be blindsided by PMS again.

PMSBuddy.com – Saving relationships, one month at a time!

Samsung brings solar powered cell-phone: When will iPhone, Nokia follow? | Startup Meme – Technology
Samsung brings solar powered cell-phone: When will iPhone, Nokia follow?

image-thumb125 Samsung brings solar powered cell-phone: When will iPhone, Nokia follow?

Solar powered calculators, watches sound ancient enough, well Samsung is bringing the same to its cell phones. Samsung revealed Blue Earth that would keep the Earth green as it released its device that is like a flat and well rounded pebble. The phone generates its power from sunlight and its body has been made from recycled plastic; PCM coming from water bottles. The set is completely eco-friendly and even its charger is free from emitting harmful substances (Beryllium and the likes).  If you are worried how long the battery lasts if you use features like, Bluetooth, etc, just switch over to the eco-mode to make it energy efficient. Let’s see what else the device has in offer, we will update as news arrives.

10 Ways Microsoft’s Retail Stores Will Differ From Apple Stores – PC World
10 Ways Microsoft’s Retail Stores Will Differ From Apple Stores

Microsoft plans to open its own retail stores to “transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience,” the company said Wednesday as it hired an executive to run the retail operation.

The stores will help Microsoft engage more deeply with consumers and learn firsthand about what they want to buy and how, according to a Microsoft press release. Deciding where the stores will be located and what they’ll look like will be the first order of business for David Porter, who will report to work on Monday as corporate vice president of Retail Stores.

MARK’S SHOWNOTES 

 

Bill Gates helps bring mobile banking to the poor – Technology
Bill Gates helps bring mobile banking to the poor

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has agreed to help fund a massive rollout of projects enabling poor mobile phone users to transfer money using their handsets, an industry body announced on Tuesday.

The GSM Association, which represents 750 mobile phone networks in the world, said a grant of $US12.5 million ($A19.25 million) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would help fund 20 initiatives in Asia, Africa and South America.

Money transfer via mobile phone is seen as a potential area of growth for network operators in developing countries, where millions are without access to the banking system.

“There’s 1.7 billion people in the emerging markets who don’t have a bank account but do have a mobile phone, so they could use their mobile phone to conduct financial transactions,” explained Michael O’Hara, marketing director or the GSMA.

“The target is to reach 20 million additionnal unbanked people with the service by 2012,” he added.

Current – Buy an Xbox 360, get Halo Wars for free
Buy an Xbox 360, get Halo Wars for free

 

SYDNEY: Microsoft has this morning announced that it will be giving away the new Halo Wars game with every purchase of an Xbox 360 device.

This offer applies to the all Xbox 360 devices, which range from RRP $299 for the Arcade model to $549 for the Elite model. The game itself is valued at RRP $99.

This promotion will commence on Thursday 26 February and continue until 26 March.

“The highly anticipated Halo Wars is a must for all Xbox owners. It’s perfect for both curious real-time-strategy fans looking to explore the genre on the console platform and for those looking to get their hands on the latest Halo game,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

“The Halo series has captured millions of fans worldwide, becoming a popular culture phenomenon. Halo Wars will give fans a different perspective of the Halo universe and add a new chapter to the famous Halo franchise.”

What is unclear, however, is how this promotion, which is sure to be a success, will affect retailers. The dramatic drops in gaming console prices have resulted in the category becoming an out-and-proud loss leader. Margins that are not made selling the console are made later with the purchase of over-priced and expensive games. If Halo Wars is as anticipated as Microsoft claims, isn’t giving it away robbing savvy retailers of the chance to upsell customers at the point of purchase?

YouTube – 500 Impressions (in 2 Minutes)
500 Impressions (in 2 Minutes)

YouTube – Amazing physics
Amazing physics

YouTube – Whale Shark Poo, Natural World, First time on TV
Whale Shark Poo, Natural World, First time on TV

BBC NEWS | Technology | Judge dismisses Google lawsuit
Judge dismisses Google lawsuit

 

A legal claim by a Pittsburgh couple that Google’s Street View feature violated their privacy has been thrown out by a federal judge.

Christine and Aaron Boring sued the search giant after photos of their home appeared on the free mapping program.

The couple accused Google of privacy violation, negligence, trespassing and unjust enrichment.

In her ruling, Judge Amy Reynolds Hay said the Borings “failed to state a claim under any count”.

“We are pleased the judge agreed the suit was without merit,” said Google in a statement to the BBC.

Street View displays street level, 360-degree photographs of areas taken by specially equipped Google vehicles.

Shift Scrolling On Mac – Google Search
Mouse: Horizontal mouse scroll for Mac

Current – Harvey Norman unfairly ridiculed on Media Watch
Harvey Norman unfairly ridiculed on Media Watch

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman was last night the subject of ridicule as Media Watch lambasted the Launceston Examiner for running an insensitive advertisement on its front page. Harvey Norman was promoting its range of retail air conditioners; unfortunately, this was positioned below the Examiner’s detailed coverage of the Victorian bushfires.

The advertisement’s copy, which reads “…getting warmer, warmer, very warm, now you’re getting really hot…,” and later, “Escape the heat at Harvey Norman,” was directly below bushfire related newspaper banners including “It’s mass murder, says Kevin Rudd”, “700 homes destroyed” and “Death toll hits 135”.

Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes rightly attacked the newspaper, and not Harvey Norman, for this insensitive front page, saying on the ABC programme last night, “Did nobody at the Launceston Examiner actually look at their own front page before they sent it to the presses late last Monday night?”.

For Harvey Norman, this is more a case of bad luck than bad management. Advertisements such as this are written and booked well before the agency and the media buyers know what news stories will dominate headlines.

Regardless, it is not Harvey Norman’s responsibility to lay out newspapers in which they advertise; that is the remit of the newspaper staff. In this example, Harvey Norman is the unfortunate lame duck of its error of judgment.

Whisper campaigns exposed: pay per lie on YouTube – BizTech – Technology
Whisper campaigns exposed: pay per lie on YouTube

One of Australia’s most popular YouTube users has admitted being paid to spruik Ten’s new show Lie To Me surreptitiously in the latest example of marketers invading the popular video sharing site.

Amateur video maker Hugh Thomas, 26, from Bondi, said he was asked by a mystery third party to create a video blog on Lie To Me and publish it on his popular YouTube channel, in return for payment from 20th Century Fox.

He would not give more details of the whisper campaign, saying he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement.

‘Arsonist’ online threats taken down – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
‘Arsonist’ online threats taken down

Facebook has begun removing postings and groups that threaten violence against accused arsonist Brendan Sokaluk, while his MySpace page has been suspended following requests from Victoria Police.

Yesterday it was revealed that thousands of Facebook vigilantes, frustrated at a court order protecting Sokaluk, published his photograph and address on the site and made numerous threats to his life.

The move potentially breached an order suppressing his image and address amid fears of a violent backlash by angry victims. Lawyers warned that people responsible for the postings could face criminal charges, while the messages could force a mistrial as they jeopardised the accused’s right to a fair trial.

Sokaluk’s lawyer, Julian McMahon, said threats were made against his client’s family as a result of the online posts.

“There have been … threats made to one other family member at least that I’m aware of,” he said.

“Not only is there the understandable community anger, which suddenly has a focus point, there’s also vicious hatred appearing in another kind of medium.”

But after Victoria Police said yesterday it was investigating the legal ramifications of the online postings, Facebook has removed the worst postings calling for Sokaluk to be tortured.

An image of Sokaluk has also been removed from one of the groups, although it can still be found on another profile that appears to have been set up by an online prankster.

Some inflammatory postings remain, including: “String him up by the neck and set the bastard on fire.”

Man facing drive-in movie piracy charge – BizTech – Technology
Man facing drive-in movie piracy charge

 

A man has been charged with a string of copyright offences after he was allegedly found recording new-release movies with a video camera at a western Sydney drive-in.

The 26-year-old man was arrested at his home in Broad Street, Prospect at about 4.45pm (AEDT) on Friday, police said.

Police allege that on numerous occasions over the past five months, the man recorded several new release movies at the drive-in.

He then allegedly uploaded them to the internet for others to download illegally.

The movies allegedly included Beverly Hills Chihuahua, High School Musical 3, Bedtime Stories, Yes Man, Valkyrie, Marley And Me and He’s Just Not That Into You.

Police said the recordings had been positively linked to DVDs being sold in Australia, as well as other countries including the US and the UK.

The man has been charged with 18 offences, including possessing a device with intent to make an infringing copy, possessing an infringing copy for distribution, and distributing infringing copies.

He has been bailed to appear in Blacktown Local Court on March 12.

Maximum penalties for copyright offences include a $60,500 fine and/or five years imprisonment per offence.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) said the man’s arrest was the result of an intensive investigation by AFACT investigators using digital watermarking technology.

The watermarks identify the cinemas where movies are illegally recorded.

“The importance of preventing the illegal camcording of movies during their cinematic release cannot be overstated,” AFACT operations director Neil Gane said.

“Over 90 per cent of pirated movies that first hit the global internet or are sold on streets around the world originate from professional ‘cammers’ making illegal recordings in cinemas,” he said.

“Anyone thinking of illegally camcording a movie should be aware that the technology exists to identify them, track them down and take them to court on criminal copyright charges.”

In response to an increase in pirated movie recordings coming out of Australia, movie studios last year began providing night-vision scopes to cinema ushers across the country and trained them in how to spot people illegally taping films using camcorders and even mobile phones.

Twitter experiments with money-making schemes – BizTech – Technology
Twitter experiments with money-making schemes

Twitter has spawned a new way to communicate by limiting messages to 140 keystrokes. So here’s a way to describe the internet’s latest craze within Twitter’s space restrictions:

It’s a potluck of pithy self-expression simmering with whimsy, narcissism, voyeurism, hucksterism, tedium and sometimes useful information.

One vital ingredient has been missing from the mix so far – revenue. That raises questions about whether the nearly three-year-old service can make the leap from intriguing fad to sustainable business.

Twitter intends to start testing ways to make money this year. And co-founder Evan Williams promises it won’t drive away the more than 6 million people who have set up accounts on the unconventional communications network.

“We don’t see any reason why this can’t be a very large and profitable entity,” said Williams, the San Francisco-based company’s chief executive. “We have enough traffic on our website that we could put ads on there and maybe we could make enough to pay our bills, but that’s not the most interesting thing we can do.”

Williams, 36, won’t say what he has in mind besides selling ads, but he and the handful of other people who own privately held Twitter seem confident the mystery strategy will pay off – even as a devastating recession destroys much-larger companies.

Just three months ago, Twitter rejected a $US500 million takeover offer from an even bigger phenomenon, Facebook, the owner of the world’s largest online hangout.

Although shooing away Facebook was risky, Twitter still isn’t under immense pressure to generate revenue. The 29-employee company has already raised $US55 million, including a $US35 million round recently completed with Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.

Like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other communal websites that have become internet sensations, Twitter gives people a stage where they can express themselves and connect with kindred spirits.

Twitter’s twist is a more succinct approach, which has been likened to the 21st-century version of a telegraph.

Here’s how Twitter works: After setting up a free account, people are encouraged to post frequent updates about what they are doing, seeing and feeling. The messages, known as “tweets,” must be limited to 140 characters and can be sent from a mobile phone or a computer.

Although the updates are available for anyone to see, Twitter users usually set up their accounts to monitor the tweets of people they know or admire. These “followers” are automatically fed tweets from the people they are shadowing.

With more than 265,000 people tracking his messages, President Barack Obama has the most Twitter followers even though neither he nor his staff have tweeted since he moved into the White House last month.

Many other politicians and celebrities, such as basketball star Shaquille O’Neal (more than 72,000 followers) and former rap music sensation MC Hammer (more than 55,000) regularly share tweets.

Twitter also has become a way to peek at dramas unfolding behind closed doors.

When Yahoo laid off hundreds of workers last year, some of the casualties used Twitter to provide a blow-by-blow account of their final day at the office. Surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit recently gave a rare glimpse inside an operating room by tweeting about the removal of a tumor from a patient’s kidney.

Twitter also has proven to be a valuable source for breaking news, sometimes even beating long-established media outlets to the punch.

When US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing on the Hudson River last month, a picture of the accident scene was quickly posted on Twitter by Janis Krums, a Sarasota, Fla., entrepreneur who was on one of the ferries that rescued passengers from the water. In November, Twitter provided harrowing, first-person accounts of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people.

But Twitter mostly amplifies the humdrum of ordinary folks with apparently nothing better to do but share their monotony. There’s plenty of posts along these lines: “Sitting at Corner Bakery in Frisco, Texas. Lunch was good.” Or, “Another boring day at work, ugh.” Or even, “I really do enjoy picking my nose.” (A widely practiced pastime, based on recent tweets).

Finding out what’s happening on Twitter is getting easier through a search engine called Summize that the company snapped up for an undisclosed amount last summer.

Both Williams and another Twitter founder, Biz Stone, suggested the search technology could emerge as their company’s crown jewel. Its value lies in its ability to quickly sift through a steady stream of tweets to provide almost instantaneous insights about what’s going on around the corner or around the world. Not even Google’s internet-leading search engine can match that now.

Stone relates how he used Twitter’s search engine to ease his anxiety after he recently heard loud noises around his neighborhood. A quick search on Twitter informed him it was just a local celebration down the road.

The search engine will become even more valuable if people keep flocking to Twitter.

The site attracted 2.7 million U.S. visitors in December, a nearly eight-fold rise from the end of 2007, according to Nielsen Online. But Twitter’s traffic increasingly is coming through mobile phones, making its usage more difficult to monitor. Nielsen estimates 666,000 U.S. users accessed Twitter on mobile devices in December.

The service is especially appealing to people between 18 and 34. About one in every five people with Internet access in that age group used Twitter or a similar service to update their status at least once, according to a survey of more than 2,200 adults in November and December by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Meanwhile, usage of Twitter and rivals such as Jaiku, Pownce, FriendFeed and Plurk was seen in just 5 percent of respondents between 45 and 54. Only 2 percent of people older than 65 had tweeted, according to Pew.

This matters for Twitter’s financial future because most younger people don’t make a lot of money, which could make it more difficult for the company to appeal to advertisers.

Even so, corporate America is paying attention.

Several major companies, including JetBlue Airways, have set up Twitter accounts to monitor what people are saying about their brands. The companies sometimes send out tweets offering to address a complaint.

All that chatter could yield a huge moneymaking opportunity if Twitter chooses to mine the data and sell the insights to marketers, said Marita Scarfi, chief operating officer for Organic, an internet advertising agency. “It could be rich vein for brand analysis,” she said.

And though Twitter hasn’t sold any ads yet, it is being used as a marketing tool. Computer maker Dell Inc., for instance, is offering exclusive discounts to its more than 18,000 followers on Twitter after holiday promotions broadcast on the service produced more than $US1 million in sales.

Both Williams and Stone hinted the company is exploring ways to charge for expanded commercial access to Twitter, but emphasised that all personal accounts will remain free.

Online retailer Zappos.com is a big fan of Twitter, using it for promotions and customer feedback. But the Las Vegas-based company won’t necessarily stay on board if Twitter starts imposing fees on businesses, said CEO Tony Hsieh.

“It would depend on what they’re charging for,” said Hsieh, who has attracted more than 58,000 followers since opening his Twitter account about a year ago. “We don’t see it as a marketing channel, but as a relationship channel.”

Comments like that feed the doubts about Twitter’s future. Its prospects are clouded even further by the resistance that Facebook and MySpace have faced as they have tried to inject ads into forums where people primarily goof off or fraternize.

“It’s the same kind of challenge for these sites,” said Peter Daboll, who has studied consumer behavior on the Internet for years, including in his latest job as CEO of Bunchball Inc. “How do they build on their great audiences and keep them engaged, without alienating them with a bunch of crap?”

AP

SPONSORED LINKS

Google phone a tech-lover’s Dream – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au
Google phone a tech-lover’s Dream

 

THE Google Phone, widely touted as the first serious rival to the Apple iPhone, is being launched in Australia today through Optus.

Made by Taiwanese electronics company HTC, and dubbed the Dream, it is the first smartphone in the world to use Android, an open-source computer-style operating system built by Google and based on the Linux system.

Optus’s owner, Singapore Telecom, sells it in Singapore and T-mobile sells it in the US and parts of Europe.

The Dream is a quad-band touch-screen GSM 3G phone, fitted with WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS capabilities. It also has a three-megapixel camera. Bundled features include access to YouTube, Google Maps, an MP3 player, instant messaging and email.

It is being sold exclusively in Australia by Optus on plans starting at $59 a month for 24 months, plus a surcharge of $15 to pay for the phone.

YouTube – A woman missed her flight at the boarding gate HKIA
A woman missed her flight at the boarding gate HKIA

Online band’s net recipe for success – Technology – brisbanetimes.com.au

Online band’s net recipe for success

 

In an age when piracy is rampant and record labels have little cash to punt on new bands, Short Stack has proven that the only ingredients necessary for success are talent and an internet connection.

Unable to tour the pub circuit because of their age, the three schoolmates from the NSW Central Coast began publishing tracks on their MySpace page about four years ago.

Now, the indie rock group is touring with bands such as the Veronicas, Good Charlotte and Simple Plan and has almost 40,000 MySpace friends.

The band – consisting of lead singer and guitarist Shaun Diviney, 18, bass player and vocalist Andy Clemmensen, 19, and drummer and keyboardist Bradie Webb, 18 – is believed to be the first Australian group to hit the big time using little more than the internet for marketing.

“We were probably the first band in the country to be considered a MySpace band,” said Diviney, adding the group spent hours every day responding to their online fans.

“The whole pub gig type of mentality has been thrown out the window right now because it’s not really needed. Even though playing live is probably the most important thing you can do, it’s still lost its importance a little bit.”

Short Stack began touring with the Veronicas on February 13 and will support them throughout the entire sold-out national tour, which finishes in Perth on February 28.

In March, Short Stack will headline their own concerts in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Trevor Steel, chief executive officer of the band’s label, Sunday Morning Records, said the big labels now did not have the resources to build bands from the ground up so would increasingly look for groups that had already created momentum using the internet.

“The old model doesn’t work … it’s teenage kids that are showing us the way really to be honest,” Steel said.

About a year ago Short Stack created a TV series on YouTube called Short Stack TV, which the band members use to document their day-to-day lives. Each episode attracts tens of thousands of views and Diviney said it was all about forming a closer bond with fans.

“We’re a lot more easily accessible [than other bands] and kids feel that they’re a lot closer to us,” he said.

“On Short Stack TV we document our lives and they feel like we’re more than a band and they know us in a way.”

That close bond with online fans paid off last year when Short Stack won the Channel [V] Oz Artist of the Year award, receiving more than 400,000 online and mobile votes to beat world-class Australian acts including the Veronicas, ACDC, the Presets and Silverchair.

The hardcore web presence also created a solid fan base of several thousand fans who consistently come to the band’s shows.

“Our fans are very, very rabid and really into what we do. If we ask them to vote for us they’ll do it furiously and really get behind us,” Diviney said.

Short Stack initially sold tracks exclusively online but – thanks to a distribution deal with Universal Music Australia – they released their debut single, Shimmy A Go Go, in September last year. Their next single, Princess, comes out on February 27, while their debut album will be released about May.

Due to Short Stack’s largely younger, tech-savvy fan base, Diviney says that between 80 and 90 per cent of the group’s songs on PCs and iPods were obtained illegally.

He said the band was in a catch-22 position because, although piracy reduces revenues from CD sales, it is also one of the big drivers of Short Stack’s success as it means more people can experience their music.

That has translated into increased earnings from gig ticket sales and merchandise sales.

“It’s great to see people getting into your music and the fact that they want to download it in the first place, that’s very humbling,” Diviney said.

Steel said the label was looking to entice fans to buy CDs by running competitions but there were plenty of other revenue sources.

“If you’re just looking at selling records you’re not going to last very long,” he said.

SPONSORED LINKS

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Nintendo DSi: Nintendo DSi Boosts Screen Size, Adds Camera and Audio Player
Nintendo DSi Boosts Screen Size, Adds Camera and Audio Player

Nintendo Announce New DS: The Nintendo DSi
Nintendo Announce New DS: The Nintendo DSi

Thief steals Sol’s secret data | Australian IT

Thief steals Sol’s secret data

 A MOBILE phone loaded with Microsoft’s yet-yo-be-released 6.5 Windows mobile operating system has apparently been stolen.

Thief steals Sol's secret data

Telstra chief Sol Trujillo

Telstra confirmed that the Microsoft mobile phone had gone missing but denied that the phone was in chief executive Sol Trujillo’s possession at the time of the apparent theft.

It is understood that Telstra executive director Ross Fielding, may have been relieved of the device after accidentally leaving it behind at a conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It is understood that Telstra executive director Ross Fielding, may have been relieved of the device after attending a conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Mr Fielding runs strategic planning and operations at Telstra’s product management division.

The theft has left Telstra and Mr Trujillo embarrassed and Microsoft facing an industrial espionage threat.

The phone is believed to be either a HTC Touch Pro2 or the HTC Touch Diamond2 that operates on new Windows Mobile 6.5 software.

A Telstra spokesman yesterday confirmed the phone was given to Mr Trujillo but was in the possession of a senior Telstra executive when the theft occurred.

Facebook users force ‘copyright’ plan U-turn | Australian IT
Facebook users force ‘copyright’ plan U-turn

FACEBOOK has withdrawn controversial changes to its terms of service after receiving a storm of complaints from users of the social networking website. Tens of thousands of posters protested after an unannounced change seemed to grant Facebook the right to control and use the information posted by account holders on the site for ever, even if they had cancelled their accounts.

Users feared that the new terms gave Facebook the right in perpetuity to use their photos, messages and other content for marketing or to sell to advertisers.

Facebook announced last night that it was reverting immediately to the old terms of service, which included the crucial sentence: “You may remove your user content from the site at any time. If you choose to remove your user content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the company may retain archived copies of your user content.”

10 Ways Microsoft’s Retail Stores Will Differ From Apple Stores – PC World

Microsoft announced plans to open retail stores, hoping to boost visibility of many of its products and its brand. The move seems to be an effort to mimic the success that Apple has had with its retail stores. The news is just too tempting not to have some fun with. So here are some yet-to-be-officially-revealed details about the Microsoft stores.

1) Instead of Apple’s sheer walls of glass, Microsoft’s stores will have brushed steel walls dotted with holes — reminiscent of Windows security.

2) The store will have six different entrances: Starter, Basic, Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. While all six doors will lead into the same store, the Ultimate door requires a fee of $100 for no apparent reason.

3) Instead of a “Genius Bar” (as Apple provides) Microsoft will offer an Excuse Bar. It will be staffed by Microsofties trained in the art of evading questions, directing you to complicated and obscure fixes, and explaining it’s a problem with the hardware — not a software bug.

4) The Windows Genuine Advantage team will run storefront security, assuming everybody is a thief until they can prove otherwise.

5) Store hours are undetermined. At any given time the store mysteriously shuts down instantaneously for no apparent reason. (No word yet on what happens to customers inside).

6) Stores will be named Microsoft Live Retail Store with PC Services for Digital Lifestyle Enthusiasts.

7) Fashioned after Microsoft’s User Account Control (UAC) in Vista, sales personnel will ask you whether you’re positive you want to purchase something at least twice.

8) Xbox 360 section of the store will be organized in a ring — which will inexplicably go red occasionally.

9) DreamWorks will design a scary in-store theme park ride called “blue screen of death.”

10) Store emergency exits will be unlocked at all times so people can get in anytime they want even if the front doors are locked.

Mobile phone chargers go universal | Australian IT
Mobile phone chargers go universal

GLOBAL handset makers and telecommunications providers, including Telstra, have banded together to develop a universal charger for mobile phones by January 2012.

The charger would work on any brand of mobile phone, meaning users would only need one charger for any handset purchased.

The move, led by industry group the GSM Association, involves 17 major mobile operators and manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Vodafone.

Apple and Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry devices, are not part of the initiative.

GSMA estimates that between 600 million and 960 million mobile phones sold last year were new handsets — equivalent of up to 82,000 tonnes of replacement chargers every year. The association said around 1.2 billion mobile phones were sold in 2008.

Micro-USB will be the common universal charging interface.

 

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