Friday, September 15, 2006

Ass Kicked

Those knights in shining armour for the music industry, the RIAA, have slain another evil dragon. Or rather, a donkey. Metamachine, the people behind Edonkey and Overnet, have agreed to stop distributing the Edonkey software and pay $30 million (around £16 million). Anyone firing up the software will get a message informing the user that the network has shut down, then the prog tries to uninstall itself. On the Edonkey/Overnet website itself there is just the following message:

The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.

If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law. Courts around the world -- including the United States Supreme Court -- have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal downloading. You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.

Your IP address is XX.XXX.XX.XXX and has been logged. (ooooh, scary. Good job I use anonymous surfing software.)

Respect the music, download legally. Goodbye Everyone.

So like BearShare, i2Hub, WinMX, and Grokster, another P2P source bites the dust. But fear not, the crusading lawyers of the RIAA will still be able to put their kids through college, as there are plenty more file sharing networks out there to sue. Networks that now have a couple of million new users with files to share (some of them even legal). Oh goody....

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

See Ya Schumi, it;s been great

So after much speculation we have it from the horse's mouth: Michael Schumacher is retiring at the end of the season. And he couldn't have picked a better time to make the announcement; winning for Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, only two points and three races between him and an eighth F1 championship. It makes for an exciting and interesting future for Ferrari and F1 in general. Besides being an exceptional racer, one of the things that sets Schumi apart is how he has built a team around himself, right the way back to his time at Benetton. He brought some of those people with him to Ferrari, who at the time were one of the grids whipping boys, having just re-entered the F1 circus. With the all the successes, many forget how dreadful those first few years were for the team and for Michael, and how easy it would have been for him to jump ship to a better car. But he stuck with them, accepting the challenge (ok, and the money) and driving them finally to victory. Many dislike him, and he has done some dubious things on the track, but he has always shown his feelings, whether it's his victory jump on the podium, or storming down the pit lane to try and plant a fist on a fellow racer. Whatever you thought of him, it will feel strange not seeing the name M.Schumacher gracing the grid.

Amazonian Invaders

Sorry, but this isn't about strapping women from the Moon, Mars, Xena, Futurama (left) or even Up the Jungle, but about Amazon.Com sticking programmes on your computer without your knowledge part of their new Unbox service. Click on the link for more.....

read more | digg story

And it gets worse, they want to be able to remotely delete stuff you've legitimately paid for!

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 09, 2006

You may scream. There is no shame.....

Awhile ago, I posted the ten steps to better photography. Steps one to four were as follows:

1. Buy the biggest and best latest digital camera with as many buttons as you can find. That surely will help you take better photos won't it?

2. Replace the aforementioned camera with the latest biggest and best digital camera with even more buttons the following month because by then it will surely be out of date. More buttons = better photos?

3. Try to sell your camera from step 1 at half it's original price to go towards the new camera which is already cheaper than the one you intend to replace it with. The more you spend, the better photographer you are. Right?

4. Realise you'll never sell the camera from step 1 unless you half its price again.

If I've had followed that advice I'd been about £400 worse off - before depreciation. Eighteen months ago I bought a Canon 300D. Shortly after, they brought out the 350D. I was miffed, but I'd got a good deal so that cushioned the blow. Now, all those who bought the 350D thinking they'd got the bees knees (where did that saying come from?) will be weeping into their camera bags as they read about the new 400D; which is a 10 megapixel beasty, as opposed to the 350D's 8. It also has a larger display screen and can take more shots before having to write to flash. Bugger.

Tenant Time

Another week, another tenant. This time it's A Yoga Coffee Outlook by a lady called Kelly who's come to stay, so hit that thumbnail and she what she has to say. One of the links she has on her site is a thing called 25peeps, which is an online popularity contest. I hadn't heard of it before, so figured it was something new, until I clicked on the of the peeps and they were bemoaning how the site was soooo last year.... how things move fast on the interweb.....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

To Boldy Go where no man has gone before - in HD

It seems George Lucas is not the only one who wants to indulge in an Orwellian-like revision of history. A news report on states:

"The original 1960s Star Trek series will receive a high-tech makeover and return to broadcast syndication for the first time in 16 years, with digitally remastered episodes, Paramount announced. In honor of the show's 40th anniversary, CBS Domestic Television is releasing all 79 episodes with new special effects and music on 200 stations, beginning Sept. 16. The first batch of episodes will be chosen from a list of fan favorites.
The original special effects will be replaced with computer-generated images, including the exterior of the Starship Enterprise, based on the exact measurements of the original model, now resting in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The main title sequence will also be redone with new effects and a new digital stereo soundtrack re-recorded by an orchestra and a female singer. William Shatner's classic original recording of the 38-word "Space, the final frontier ..." monologue has been remastered and continues to open each episode.
All of the space scenes, alien landscapes and ships—including the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers—will be updated as well. The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a high-definition format, which gives viewers a clearer, crisper, more vibrant picture, even when viewed in standard definition."

There's a little more info here...
This is gonna give purists a heart attack....

And in related news:

"Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series, told Jam Movies that he has been contacted by Paramount about his possible involvement in the upcoming 11th Star Trek film, being directed by J.J. Abrams.
Nimoy told the site: "The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about this project, and they are aware of [William Shanter]'s and my contribution to the franchise, and they'd like us to know they might want some involvement. It was all very, very general. They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But that's just conjecture on my part."
It has been rumored that the film would deal with the first meeting of a young Spock and James T. Kirk at Starfleet Academy, but neither Abrams nor screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orc have confirmed speculation about the premise or storyline of the sequel film."

It seems that after the lack-lustre performance of the last two movies and the Enterprise TV series the powers that be are going back to the original to give the franchise a boost. And the premise of a young Kirk and Spock would certainly generate interest. On the morbid side, the actors aren't getting any younger. We've already lost one the the classic trio with the death in 1999 of DeForrest Kelly, who played "Bones" McCoy", so if there is to be bringing together of Shatner and Nimoy, maybe it had better be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Steve Irwin

It was a real shame to hear about the death of Steve Irwin. I'm not going to go into all the details of his death as there's plenty of sites that have done that already. Infact, it has surprised many just how big the reaction of people all over the world has been. The blogosphere has exploded with items about him, and email inboxes have been filled with mock-ups and jokes, which I hope he would have appreciated. I was always struck by his passion and enthusiasm for what he did. Some have said he exploited the animals he worked with for popularity and money. He certainly was a showman, and his antics certainly made him a celebrity, but I don't think he ever set out to deliberately harm any of the animals he encountered on our behalf. He will be missed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hanging Chad

Just a quick reminder to check out my tenant, The World of Chad. He's only here for a few hours more, so give him a click....

What is your animal personality?

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Random Irritations and Joys No 116

Random Irritations of Life: 5 putting The Shield back an hour for some 80s codswallop the week my DVD recorder packs up ( along with it seems half my other entertainment systems) so I have stay up to watch..... trying to sort out the flat, but being a magpie so my week went something like this:

Random Joys of Life: Murphy's Law (BBC1) - barking but brilliant performances.... discovering new music (well new to me anyway, it's infact a couple of decades old...).... the clips for the new Warhammer 40k game..... can't wait to get my Space Marines wiping out those Necrons and going up against the Tau....