After weeks of leaks and speculation, Canada’s reigning Conservative government outlined its plans to amend the ageing Copyright Act. According to the outline, anyone convicted of bypassing the DRM of a given media format — even if legally purchased — will be subject to a fine of up to $5,000. But if the circumvention of DRM is done for profit, then the fine is raised to $1 million. Convicted downloaders of copyrighted materials will face significantly weaker penalties with a fine of $5,000, down from the present day maximum of $20,000. Canadians will also be allowed to use copyrighted materials to create mashup videos for sites such as YouTube, and the law books will finally acknowledge that commonplace activities such as recording TV, radio and internet broadcasts are okay. The same applies for backing media for personal use or archival purposes, but so long as DRM is not tampered with. Cellphone unlocking was not mentioned, although Heritage Minister Tony Clement said that it is currently legal to unlock phones so long as that phone is not currently under contract from a carrier. In an editorial co-autored with Heritage Minister James Moore published in The National Post on Wednesday, Clement argued that “Canada’s Copyright Act is more than 80 years old and has not been significantly modified for many years” and needs a serious overhaul in order to protect the interests of Canadians and the rights of content creators. The legislation is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday. More →
The BBC has released an interesting analysis of the world’s supercomputing prowess based on the June 2010 TOP500 Supercomputing list. The report shows, unsurprisingly, that Linux is the king of supercomputing OS’ by an extremely large margin. Other fun facts from this months report include: the U.S. houses the most supercomputers (as well as the fastest), IBM is the largest manufacturer of supercomputing systems (HP is second), Intel is the most popular processor used in supercomputers (AMD is second), and the most widely used function for supercomputers is “research.” The fastest beast of the bunch, the Jaguar supercomputer, located in the U.S. at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been clocked at 1.759 petaflops; only two other machines on the list are clocked using petaflops. We’ve got all BBC article, complete with infographics, all queued up for you. More →
Here it is, folks. Motorola has gotten around to announcing the FLIPOUT, aka that strange and square Motorola smartphone. The big news here apart from its strange, swivel design and 67mm square body and Android 2.1, are the enhancements made to MOTOBLUR. In a nutshell, you’re going to be able to resize widgets, implement filters in your Happenings and Messages widgets, and have access to corporate email. Apart from the modern Android staples of digital compass, Wi-Fi, GPS and 7.2Mbps HSDPA, the FLIPOUT has to its name a 2.8″ QVGA display, 3 megapixel camera and 512MB internal memory. We’re trying to find out processor powers this thing, but we imagine it won’t be anything too special. The Motorola FLIPOUT will be available in Europe sometime this quarter. Hit up the break to check out a trio of videos which show off the FLIPOUT and the changes made to MOTOBLUR. More →
As many of you have noticed the comment rating system has been down for about a week, so, in the spirit of mindless customer service lines you usually hear, allow us to formally say: “We’re aware of the issue and working just as fast as we can to get it resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience and value your business.” Okay, now seriously…here’s what happened. As you may, or may not, have heard we were acquired by our new best friends over at MMC. After we exchanged friendship rings with MMC, and made our very own secret handshake, our new BFF decided to give us some space on their sexy server farm that BGR.com now lives on. During the porting process the rating system was, how do you say, “adversely affected.” It will be back up soon, but in the meantime…try and get along with one another. Sharing is caring after all.
Our second and final HTC Droid Incredible contest saw so many hopefuls send in pics of their horribly dilapidated hardware that we had to take a break to down a stiff drink or two during the evaluation process. But in the end, we regained our composure long enough to pick three winners. So let’s have a round of applause for Jody P., Mark V., and Nick M.! We’re pretty bummed out we couldn’t pick more people because there were so many great entries to choose from, but fear not: Your pals at BGR are already planning the next giveaway.
Hit up the jump to check out the winning entries! More →
Nokia and Yahoo! have announced the formation of a strategic partnership — on a global scale — that will, “leverage each others’ strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services, to provide consumers with access to world-class experiences on both PC and mobile devices.” The newly formed alliance will work to meld the strengths of each company:
- Nokia will be the exclusive, global provider of Yahoo!’s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, branded as “powered by Ovi.”
- Yahoo! will become the exclusive, global provider of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services branded as “Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!”
- Nokia and Yahoo! plan to work on ID federation between their services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user IDs across select Yahoo! properties to easily access the online content and services they need.
Co-branded services are expected to show up in the second half of 2010 and globally in 2011. What do you think? Will the move make Yahoo! and Nokia more capable of fighting off other companies who are gaining momentum in their respective spaces *cough* Google *cough*? We’ve got the full release all lined up for you. More →
The deed is done…Apple has finally killed off the “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Nowhere to be found on its website, all of the roads that once led to the ads featuring Justin Long and John Hodgman redirect visitors to a page entitled “Why You’ll Love a Mac.” Curiously enough, the “Why You’ll Love a Mac” pages feature basically the same talking points that the TV spots went over ad nauseum. What Apple has planned next is unclear, but let’s hope it actually shows the product in use and doesn’t just go over tired old clichés that only appeal to smug Apple fanboys that suffer from confirmation bias.
[Via Mac Rumors] More →
The timing could not be better worse. In the middle of a privacy crisis which has seen countless users delete their accounts, a script for an upcoming movie based on the youthful exploits of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has leaked out. Produced by Kevin Spacey, “The Social Network” portrays Zuckerberg (played by 26-year old Jesse Eisenberg) as a drunk satyriatic whose creation of the popular social networking site was spurred on by heartbreak after his girlfriend dumped him at the age of 19. The film also alleges that Zuckerberg was heavily motived by sexual insecurity. After hitting rock bottom and dropping out of Harvard, the film sees Zuckerberg move to the Silicon Valley with where he “indulge his fantasies with a stream of ‘groupies’” while his partner and Napster co-founder Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) watches after the site. The Social Network is scheduled for release this October. More →
It is a sad day for torrent lovers. A few days ago, an injunction was granted to several Hollywood movie studios that prohibited CB3ROB — thepiratebay.org’s hosting company — from connecting the site to the internet. Torrent Freak is reporting that CB3ROB director, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, has decided to “stop routing The Pirate Bay’s traffic until his lawyers have carefully read and reviewed the legal documents.” The report goes on to say the torrent site has, “already set the backup process in motion which will bring the site back online. The Pirate Bay’s servers are untouched and getting the site up and running only requires the routing (IP-tunnel) to go through another provider.” At time of publishing thepiratebay.org was down. More →
We’ve known for quite some time that AT&T was planning to step up its 3G network in a big way over the coming months, but we didn’t exactly think it would be as big of an improvement as Engadget and Gizmodo are reporting. Apparently AT&T’s Operations CEO John Stankey was at a Reuters event in New York City and mentioned AT&T is going to more than double the speeds of its current 7.2Mbps 3G network by the time we’re all chucking out our 2010 calendars. AT&T’s made great strides in fixing its network in the past few months, and while we don’t expect it to be anything like T-Mobile’s 21Mbps network, but we’d be pretty happy if it meant that all of the 250 million people Stankey had a network with theoretical speeds hovering around 14.4Mbps.
Level with us — for all the complaining you do about your carrier not offering an affordable unlimited talk plan, how many minutes do you actually spend yapping on your cell phone per month? If you’re anything like the average person, you’re not doing it all that much. In fact, your use of data and texts far outweighs the voice minutes you log on a monthly basis, and what calls you do make are shorter. Since 2008, the CTIA has said voice calls are quickly going the way of the Dodo, with the average call length dropping over 20% from 2008 to 2009 alone. This comes at a time where the use of text messages alone increased 50% year-over-year, with half of America’s teens said to be sending more than 1,500 texts per month. So why is it that people are talking less? For starters, there’s convenience. Shooting someone a text, IM or email is far faster and less obtrusive than a phone call, allowing the recipients to carry on with their daily activities and respond at their leisure. Then there’s social customs. As rude as some might think it is to fire off a text in the company of others, we cannot imagine anyone who would prefer to sit in awkward silence as their friend carries out a 2 minute conversation about what’s happened on last night’s episode of The Hills. Not only that, but according to NPD analyst Ross Rubin, “handset design has become far less cheek-friendly” in recent years with most feature and smartphones requiring users to go through a multi-step process before initiating a simple phone call. So what does the future hold for the wireless industry? In lieu of the traditional charge for voice minutes, industry analysts are predicting that carriers will instead charge for the amount of data used…and we’re not sure that is going to be better.
Today, in a bizarre — but not entirely unexpected — move, Adobe launched an advertising campaign designed to garner support for its ongoing battle against Apple and their anti-Flash crusade. Flash-based banners are starting to appear all over the web going on about Adobe’s love (“<3″ actually) of: Web, Flash, HTML5, Authoring Code Only Once, All Devices and Platforms, Our 3 Million Developers, and Freedom of Choice. Adobe founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock even found the time to pose for a very creepy picture and co-author an op-ed piece entitled “Our thoughts on open markets.” The piece more or less goes over all of the pro-Flash arguments we’ve heard countless times throughout this ordeal, and proves that they’re much warmer and fuzzier men than Apple’s — more specifically Steve Jobs — by repeatedly using words like: believe, freedom, create, innovation, and express. It’s all very touching, and is sure to get a lot of people fired up, but peace, love, and harmony? Very quaint Adobe…however, when you’re dealing with Apple you best put on your boxing gloves. More →
This morning, the crazy 16-month ride is over, as the ASUS Eee Keyboard has begun shipping via Amazon. Originally slated to be released in June of 2009, the Eee Keyboard was delayed until August, then October, and then fell off the face of the Earth until pre-orders finally kicked off last month. Running Windows XP, the Eee Keyboard packs an entire computer — complete with an Intel Atom N270 processor at 1.6 GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD, Wi-Fi b/g/n, HDMI out, built-in 5″ WVGA multitouch display and a battery rated for 4 hours — into the pretty tiny frame of a keyboard. Want in? That’ll be $599.
Thanks to our tipsters! More →