XM Radio Gets Voice Control, Video And Parking Locator

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

XM Satellite Radio, will unveil the XM Advanced Services vehicle, a concept car featuring in-car video, voice command, weather alerts, parking space locator, and other exciting new innovations next week at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The XM Advanced Services vehicle is a specially-equipped 2006 Lexus LX 470 to be displayed at CES January 5 - 8 in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall at the XM Satellite Radio booth (Booth #4606).

The XM Advanced Services vehicle will showcase in-car video with XM’s partner On2 Technologies (Amex: ONT), as well as a vast array of other new technologies, all of which can be delivered directly to the automobile by XM’s network of satellites and ground repeaters, the same satellite delivery system that XM employs to broadcast its 160 channels of commercial-free music and premier sports, news, and talk radio.

Microsoft offers cash incentives for HD-DVD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft is offering cash incentives called coupons to computer makers that sell personal computers with HD-DVD drives, a next-generation DVD format the software behemoth is supporting over rival Blu-ray disk, Electronic Engineering Times reported Monday.

Microsoft declined to comment in the EE Times report, which cited as evidence of Microsoft’s success Hewlett-Packard’s decision to back HD-DVD as well where it previously exclusively supported Blu-ray. An HP executive also said Microsoft’s forthcoming Vista version of Windows will include HD-DVD support for free, whereas PC makers must pay about $30 per drive in Blu-ray royalties.

Source: News.com

Sony settles class action lawsuit over DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The record label has agreed to offer US customers money and free downloads to encourage them to replace CDs that secretly install rootkit software.

Sony BMG has struck a deal with the plaintiffs involved in a class action lawsuit over copy-restriction software it used in music CDs, according to a settlement document filed at a New York court on Wednesday.

The record label has agreed to compensate buyers of CDs that contained the XCP and MediaMax DRM programs, and to provide software utilities to allow consumers to uninstall both types of software from their computer.

Source: ZDnet

Kansas Lottery Computer Picks The Same Numbers 3 Days

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It appears the third time’s the charm for some Kansas lottery players. The same “Pick Three” numbers hit three days in a row — making a lot of people winners.

If 5-0-9 are your lucky numbers, the Kansas lottery has been good to you. On Dec. 16, 17 and 18, the Kansas lottery computer picked those numbers in the same order for the Pick Three drawing.

That has some local players wondering whether there’s a glitch in the system. Lottery officials say their phones have been busy with both customers and retailers wondering how a lottery computer can pick the same three numbers in the exact order three nights in a row.

Kansas lottery security audited the machine’s functions and determined it was performing normally. The three numbers just came up through the random-number generator, according to lottery officials.

Normally, the odds of winning the lottery are one in 1,000. The probability that the numbers will be the same three nights in a row are a staggering one in a billion.

Source: ABC News

Court case examines music download prices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The cost of downloading music from the internet, using services such as Napster, iTunes and TescoDownloads may be reduced if a price fixing case being brought against the major music labels in New York by Eliot Spitzer, the state attorney general, is proved.

Investigators acting on Mr Spitzer’s behalf have summoned several music publishers in a preliminary inquiry as to whether they have colluded in price fixing.

A spokesman for Mr Spitzer said his office was seeking information on wholesale prices charged by companies including Warner Music, Sony BMG, Vivendi Universal and the London-based EMI.

In September, Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, labelled music publishers as “greedy? and blamed them for high prices on their iTunes service. Apple are also under investigation for alleged price fixing by the European Commission.

Should the New York investigation demonstrate price fixing, publishers may be forced to reduce the wholesale prices offered to download websites.

Source: timesonline

China says winning war on Internet pornography

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

China is winning the war on Internet pornography but it will be hard to eradicate entirely as many Web sites are based outside of the country, a senior police official said on Thursday.

China routinely blocks access to Internet sites on sensitive subjects such as self-ruled Taiwan, which China regards as its own, and the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations, which were crushed by the military with heavy loss of life.

Regulations also target sites that publish fabricated information and content deemed to harm national security.

“The spread of Web sites that involve pornography has been bought under effective control,” Zhao Shiqiang, vice head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Internet security and supervision bureau, told a news conference.

Police had detained 221 people and shut down almost 600 domestic pornographic Web sites as of the end of November, Zhao said.

“Due to the specialized nature of Internet technology, there are still some places where pornography exists,” he added. “Harmful information on overseas sites can still be transmitted internally, and a minority of people try to use the Web to carry out illegal activities.”

China has been taking aim at violent Web-based games as well as spam, fraud and gambling.

Source: Reuters

MSN To Broadcast Times Square New Year’s Celebration

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Provides viewers with party coverage, live performances and a number of exclusive online entertainment appearances; real-time experience to be provided by as many as 26 cameras and multiple streams bringing six hours of broadband content directly from Times Square.

New Year’s Eve 2006 revelers from all around the world now have the opportunity to experience nonstop streams covering New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve countdown event in real time via an exclusive webcast from MSN® Video. MSN Video is the exclusive online provider of the official Times Square New Year’s Eve 2006 celebration, and revelers can begin their New Year’s Eve journey now at http://msn.com/newyears.

The live event in Times Square on Dec. 31 begins at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. It will include a multistream, multicamera look at numerous performances and celebrations happening in and around the New York City Times Square location. On the Web site now through Dec. 31, 2005, online visitors can watch exclusive video flashbacks of 2005. This marks the second consecutive year that MSN Video has webcast the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities.

Opera Software chooses Google as search partner

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Norwegian Opera Software has agreed that Google Inc. will be the default partner for its mobile Internet browsers, Opera said on Thursday.

“Google will be the default search partner for the mobile browsers: Opera Mobile and Opera Mini,” Opera Software ASA said in a statement. “Under the one-year contract, Opera will make Google Search a major part of the browsers home screen.”

Oslo-based Opera Software is a tiny competitor of Microsoft in the Internet browser market, but the fast-growing part of its business is in browsers for mobile phones and other mobile electronic devices.

Source: Reuters

Study Shows Differences in Internet Use

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Women are now as likely to use the Internet as men - about two-thirds of both genders - yet a new study shows that gaps remain in what each sex does online.

American men who go online are more likely than women to check the weather, the news, sports, political and financial information, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported Wednesday. They are also more likely to use the Internet to download music and software and to take a class.

Online women, meanwhile, are bigger users of e-mail, and they are also more likely to go online for religious information and support for health or personal problems.

Source: AP


Dead or Alive 4 Goes Live Dec. 29

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Tecmo confirms that its Xbox 360 fighting game will be in major retailers nationwide just in time for New Year’s.

Tecmo always said that Dead or Alive 4 would be in stores during the 2005 holiday season, and now it’s official: The company today announced that the game will ship to major retailers nationwide on Thursday, December 29.

Source: gamespot

European satellite launch challenges GPS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The European Union launched its first Galileo navigation satellite on Wednesday, moving to challenge the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS).

Russian space agency Roskosmos said the 600 kg (1,300 lb) satellite named Giove-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) went into its orbit 23,000 km (15,000 miles) from the earth after its launch on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the middle of Kazakhstan’s steppe.

“The launch of Giove is the proof that Europe can deliver ambitious projects to the benefit of its citizens and companies,” said EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot in a statement.

The 3.6 billion-euro ($4.27-billion) Galileo programme, due to go into service in 2008 and eventually deploy 30 satellites, may end Europe’s reliance on the GPS and offer a commercial alternative to the GPS system run by the U.S. military.

“Radio-navigation based on Galileo will be a feature of everyday life, helping to avoid traffic jams and tracking dangerous cargos,” Barrot said.

The GPS is currently the only worldwide system offering services ranging from driver assistance to search-and-rescue help. Critics say its services for civilians offer less precision than those for military or intelligence purposes.

Galileo’s accuracy in positioning is to be one meter (3 feet) or less, while the GPS’s precision is more than 5 metres.

EU officials also say Galileo would never be switched off for strategic reasons, which might be the case with the GPS.

Source: Reuters

Marriott Lost 206,000 Personal Records With Financial Info

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) this week admitted that data relating to 206,000 of its partners, employees and customers has disappeared. The missing tape storage holds individuals’ credit card account information and Social Security numbers. The likes of Citibank, Bank of America and Time Warner all confessed this year to losing tape drives with crucial data as well.

“We regret this situation has occurred and realize this may cause concern for our associates and customers,? said Stephen Weisz, MVCI’s president. “We have recently mailed notifications to associates, timeshare owners and timeshare customers and are available to answer any questions they may have.?

MVCI has told the affected that it will pay for a credit monitoring service.

Source: The Register

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