Buy it, burn it, return it
Scotti’s Record Shops chain in northern New Jersey, US, actively encourages ‘piracy’ . Are CD rentals the way forward? How long can a forward thinking approach like this survive?
Customers can return a new or used CD in 10 days for 70% of purchase price
Interestingly, much of the reduction in sales is due to online retailers like Amazon and mall stores like Abercrombie & Fitch; rather than piracy.
Scotti’s are now in discussions with the RIAA, and may revoke the policy
Record industry Rothweiler starts to bite
Digital File Check is a piece of software released by the IFPI, the international equivalent of the RIAA; which…
“..helps to remove or block any of the unwanted “file-sharing” programmes commonly used to distribute copyrighted files illegally. It also allows the user to delete copyrighted music and video files from the “shared folders” of the computer from where they are commonly swapped illegally on the internet.”
Strongly (and wrongly) implying that file sharing is illegal, that it has no legitamate purposes, and that users do not have the right to share their media and run their choice of software.
From the site..
Digital File Check will:
1. Identify and easily uninstall or block unwanted 'file-sharing'- or 'peer-to-peer' (p2p) - software on your computer. Some p2p software can slow or damage your PC and can be used to illegally trade files. 2. Search your computer and remove any music, film or image files that may have been copied or distributed without your permission or that of the copyright holders. 3. Go through a simple inventory of all music, movie and picture files on your computer.
The IFPI claim this soft ware will not report back on users media.
This in the same week that an IFPI representative from Iceland says playing music on the platform of your choice is ‘a privilege, not a right’ 
. Interesting attitude from an industry who’s entire business is built on technology they didn’t invent, and art they themselves don’t create.
Browsing hots up
With one of the worlds most standard complient, quickest and most feature rich browsers now free ; and the rate of Firefox exploits appearing heats up are firefox’s days as a media darling over? 
Is Opera better than Firefox?  Are Firefox’s customisable extension enough to push it beyond Opera features like..
Fast load and render time
IRC, email and news
Image on off toggle
Dynamic style sheet changes – like greasemonkey
Voice activation and text to speach
Improved tabbed browsing (heavily influenced by Mozilla
No integrated RSS aggregator
Some pages don’t render properly (eg: technolotics.com!)
How safe are your credit card details
Credit card companies in the US fight for the right not to inform customers their details have been stolen. 
SCL the commerical propaganda / ‘psy ops’ company 
He’s lucky he didn’t end up in Guantanamo Bay
One mans report in the Guardian; detailing his arrest and detainment for ‘looking suspicious’ in a tube station. 
He was guilty of suspicious behaviour like carrying a rucksack, looking at the people on the platform, and taking papers from his rucksack.
He was DNA tested, finger printed, arrested, and his flat is searched.
Despite working and living in London, and having no known ties to terrorism, he is detained till 4am the next day.
Would he have recieved the same relatively polite treatment from homeland security agents?
Reporters without borders (group part funded by the French government) advises how to blog from repressive regiemes, and anonymously use the internet to enable dissent.
Reporters without borders suggest that Chinese companies operating abroad are probably peddling their censorship and surveilence tools – but many of these tools were developed by Western corporations.
e.g.: ‘Great Chinese Firewall’ developed by Cisco.
e.g.: Google not only blocks ‘controvercial’ keyword searches, like ‘democracy’, it temporarily shuts down when too many are performed.
Reporters without borders alledge china is creating a new kind of internet ‘not based on the free circulation of information but on market information’
ISPs are state controlled
30,000 telecoms works are employeed monitoring net access
A climate exists where search engines and portals self censor. Removing non-conformist ‘false information’
Totalitarian observation like this is developing in the West too (e.g.: failed carnivore programme). And is exactly why we need technologies like Tor , Privoxy , and Stephen Clarks Freenet 
The War on Porn
This week it’s porn . Forget crime, prescription drug addiction, obesity, natural disasters, or even terrorism. According to the FBI, the real danger facing Americans is Porn.
A new 8 man anti-obsenity squad is being formed to gather evidence against “manufacturers and purveyors” of porn, for prosecution under obsenitiy laws.
Controversial Bush appointee, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, is making pornography (sold to, and made by and for consenting adults) one of his top priorities.
Gonzalez is well know for his role in..
Placing limits on the freedom of information act
Describing articles of the Geneva convention as quaint, and suggesting they did not apply to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay
Issuing a memo stating that laws prohibiting torture did not apply to the detention and interogation of enemy suspects; unless they led to serious injury or death
Authorising the trial by military court of ‘terror suspects’