12/24/2006

A first peek at the Venice Project

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

GigaOM scored a nice Christmas scoop with first-ever screenshots of the much-hyped Venice Project. The screenshots of the P2P streaming video service and the accompanying mini-review reveal a fairly polished beta of a project that could potentially do for cable TV what Skype has done for long distance; i.e., create a whole lot of smoke among pundits and tech journalists and just enough fire among users to suggest that the “disruptive technology” buzzword, though premature, may not be completely inapt.

Skype’s founders place a premium on usability, and Malik reports that this value is apparent in the Venice Project’s installation and overall interface design. The screenshots show a pleasant-enough interface that lets users customize their content selection via “channels” and features a number of social options that are sure to be fleshed out in the future. The service’s live TV offerings are allegedly clear and hiccup-free, but they’re currently pretty sparse, which is why Venice’s founders are aggressively courting Hollywood for content.

Source: arstechnica

Japan to launch another spy satellite

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Japan will launch a radar satellite on Feb 15 next year that will complete its four-satellite system for intelligence gathering with full global coverage, the government said Friday.

If the launch from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture proves successful, the satellites will enable photographing any point on the Earth once per day, according to government officials.

Source: Japan Today

Adobe goes interplanetary in document viewer war

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

With Windows Vista set for consumer release next month, millions of desktops will soon come with support for Microsoft’s new XML-based XPS document exchange format built in. In an effort to preempt this move, Adobe is now testing a set of XML extensions to its own PDF document format. The new format, called “Mars,” is supported by a plugin that works with existing copies of Adobe Acrobat 8 (both the professional document creation versions and the free Reader).

The Mars format consists of a single file with a .MARS extension. This file is actually a .ZIP compressed archive containing multiple files inside it. The text of the document is contained in human-readable .XML files; bitmaps are stored in the .PNG format, and scalable vector graphics are saved in Adobe’s .SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format. Additional files in the package include metadata information, color maps, and optional file attachments.

Source: arstechnica

Judge: music labels have to prove sharing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The beat goes on in the world of file-sharing litigation. Earlier this week, the case against Patti Santangelo was dismissed without prejudice and refiled, this time naming two of her children as defendants. In another closely followed case, UMG v. Lindor, a federal judge has ruled that the RIAA will have to show that Lindor actually shared music, a higher burden than demonstrating that she made the files available for download.

Judge David G. Trager ruled that when the case goes to trial, “plaintiffs will have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant did indeed infringe plaintiff’s copyrights by convincing the fact-finder, based on the evidence plaintiffs have gathered, that defendant actually shared sound files belonging to plaintiffs.”

Source: arstechnica

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