Ever purchased a CD and been asked if you'd like crack with that? We haven't either, but according to a leaked RIAA training video making the rounds on the web, it happens. Even scarier, the video links music piracy to everything from robbery and homicide, to terrorism (oh my!). This is one you really have to see to believe...
Blu-ray's Next Battle
With Toshiba closing the lights on HD-DVD, Blu-ray backers can finally boast an official victory. They can even celebrate a little, but some analysts warn that the next battle might be right around the corner. According to Mike Gooden from Yanken Group, digital downloads could prove a more formidable adversary. By Yankee Group's estimation, video on demand will eat up 30 to 50 percent of movie rentals and sales, most of which will be high-definition. And Michael Bay, outspoken director of Transformers, will be right there to say 'told you so.' For even more on the topic, read what Maximum PC's Deputy Editor Katherine Stevenson had to say here.
Convert Your Discs
While on the topic of Blu-ray, what are early HD-DVD adopters to do with their high definition discs? You could sell them, throw them away, or expand your coaster collection. Or, you can convert your HD-DVDs to Blu-ray. The process isn't hard, but it is laborious, and likely more expensive than just replacing your collection. Nevertheless, you can read the step-by-step process here.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google might be getting into the hot air balloon business., and they've got their sights set on Space Data Corp. SDC launches 10 balloons every day in the U.S., which provides wireless telecom services to truckers and oil companies. If there's enough interest, Google could end up contracting with the company, or purchasing them outright. Much more to read here.
Sharing is Caring
Forget about monopolistic accusations and potential hostile takeovers, we could be on the verge of a new, kinder Microsoft. Hoping to make life easier on developers, MS vowed today to better share product and technology information. The software giant says it will publish technical information about its high-volume products, and said they won't impose licences, royalties, or other fees on software developers. Furthermore, open-source developers need not fear getting sued for non-commercial products that connect to Microsoft software. Skeptical? You're not alone...
AMD Pushes Mulitcore Development
Microsoft isn't the only one in a sharing mood. Looking to push multicore media application development, AMD made available source code containing image and signal processing routines. Dubbed Framewave, budding developers can download the tool-set on SourceFourge. In addition to Windows, the tools will work with compilers for Linux and Solaris too. AMD promised to continue contributing to the software, and will take outside contributions through the Framewave project.
Programs Affected by SP1
Still mulling whether or not to install Vista's SP1? Before you do, glance over Microsoft's newest knowledgebase article (kb935796) listing programs "known to experience a loss of functionality." Programs are grouped into three categories: Those blocked from starting up, programs that do not run, and and programs that have a loss of functionality. The list is small, but contains a handful of security apps.