3/26/2008

Oracle offers clustering for Linux

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle is breaking out the Linux clustering component of its Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters) package and offering it to customers of its Unbreakable Linux support program for Linux users.

Called Oracle Clusterware for Oracle Unbreakable Linux, the software is offered at no additional cost to subscribers of Unbreakable Linux, which supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Enterprise Linux. The announcement is being made at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Shakespeare goes digital

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A U.S. and British library plan to reproduce online all 75 editions of William Shakespeare’s plays printed in the quarto format before the year 1641.

The Bodleian Library in Oxford and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC have joined forces to download their collections, building on the work of the British Library which digitized its collection of quarto editions in 2004.

“There are no surviving manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays in his handwriting so the quartos are the closest we can get to what Shakespeare really wanted,” said Bodleian spokeswoman Oana Romocea.

“Some quartos do, however, have his annotations around the printed text.”

The project is designed to make all of the earliest printed versions of Shakespeare’s plays, many of which are only accessible to scholars, available to the wider public.

Motorola to Split in Two

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Motorola will split into two companies, one making mobile devices and the other making network infrastructure, the company announced Wednesday.

Japanese Mobile System Hits 250M bps

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

NTT DoCoMo has achieved a download speed of 250M bps (bits per second) in trials of a future 3G cellular technology.

The speed was attained in outdoor tests near the carrier’s research and development laboratory in Yokosuka, Japan, in February this year and is the latest step NTT DoCoMo has taken towards a possible commercial launch of the technology early in the next decade.

Dubbed “Super 3G” by NTT DoCoMo, it is one of a number of systems that is included under the “Long Term Evolution” banner of the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), the standards setting body for 3G cellular systems, said Shuichiro Ichikoshi, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo in Tokyo.

DoCoMo stared working on Super 3G in July 2006 as a stepping stone technology to bridge the gap between current HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) technology and 4G cellular systems.

Netflix will credit customers for outage

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online DVD rental leader Netflix Inc. said Wednesday it will provide a 5 percent credit on the monthly bills of customers whose shipments were delayed by its Monday outage.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey would not disclose the number of customers affected, saying only that “it was not a majority” of the company’s 7.5 million members. He also would not reveal the total amount credited to customers, saying the credit will not have a material impact on the company’s financial operations.

Amazon takes on Apple with copy-protection-free music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon’s MP3 store - which sells only songs without copy protection - has quietly become No. 2 in digital sales since opening nearly six months ago. That’s even though Apple dominates digital music with its iTunes Store (the second-largest music retailer in the world, after Wal-Mart) (WMT) and its hugely popular iPod.

The push for copy-protection-free music began nearly a year ago, when Apple and major label EMI shocked the industry by announcing a landmark arrangement to sell 150,000 songs without digital rights management (DRM) software. It was the first time a major label had agreed to such terms.

Amazon’s arrival “removed some of the stranglehold iTunes had on the market,” says Ted Cohen, a former EMI Music executive and managing partner of the Tag Strategic consulting firm.

Apple originally sold each DRM-free song for a premium, $1.29, compared with 99 cents for a song with copy protection. But Apple was forced to lower the price to 99 cents when Amazon launched its MP3 download store at that price.

Pete Baltaxe, Amazon’s director of digital music, won’t say how many songs Amazon has sold but will say that consumers love the experience.

“What we hear a lot is, ‘Thank you.’ They appreciate that everything is DRM-free and so comprehensive,” he says.

Syria Tightens Controls on Internet Use

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Syria is cracking down more on Internet use, imposing tighter monitoring of citizens who link to the Web, as well as jailing bloggers who criticize the government and blocking YouTube and other Web sites deemed harmful to state security.

The tighter hand is coming even as Syrian officials show off a press center with fast Internet access and wireless technology for journalists covering this weekend’s Arab League summit. The clampdown doesn’t appear to be tied to the summit.

In recent days, authorities extended restrictions on Web use by requiring owners of Internet cafes to keep detailed logs of their customers, apparently to make it easier to track down anyone deemed to be a threat.

The rules, conveyed orally by security agents, require Internet cafes to record a client’s full name, ID or passport number, the computer used and the amount of time spent on the device. The logs must be available to show to security agents upon demand.

“It’s a new form of psychological pressure and part of the state’s systematic intimidation of Internet users,” said Mazen Darwish, a journalist who heads the independent Syrian Media Center.

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