I'm back at my favorite record store and I see a guy approach the owner with a proposition: "I want to buy music to put it on my iPod and then resell the disc to you." Intrigued, I jumped into the conversation, egging the guy on. "That's a great idea. Buy new or used DRM-free CDs, burn 'em to iTunes, and what the hell, burn a CD to keep, and resell the disc." The technique won't be cost effective on every title, but say for example you bought a used copy of Smashing … Read more
Excluding Firefox and its 400 million downloads and 120 million regular users, the days of a killer free application dominating hearts and minds are deader than Pets.com. Yet a single malware destroyer is what we're all hoping for, especially since malware and virus threats are as chameleonic as their intentions are devious.
EarthLink said late Wednesday that it is bailing out of a contract to build San Francisco's free Wi-Fi service.
EarthLink backed out of the deal a day after the company announced it was laying off 900 employees--nearly half of its staff. EarthLink, which is trying to get its finances in order, announced earlier this summer that it would not invest in any new citywide Wi-Fi deployments until it came up with a better business model.
But it was assumed the company would fulfill obligations with cities where it had already signed contracts. Now it looks like EarthLink is … Read more
Here's a follow-up to my post about predicting the big tour of 2008, which referenced the upcoming album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band...Bruce has released the first single from the album as a free download. It's available at the Guardian Unlimited site, the music site of the UK's Guardian newspaper. It's also available as a free download on iTunes.
Why's he doing this? Well, in the era where the radio hardly ever plays new songs by established artists, and most people are tuned into their iPod anyway, a free download is … Read more
We do not...agree with Microsoft's characterization of the situation involving GPLv3. Microsoft cannot by any act of anticipatory repudiation divest itself of its obligation to respect others' copyrights. If Microsoft distributes our works licensed under GPLv3, or pays others to distribute them on its behalf, it is bound to do so under the terms of that license. It may not do so under any other terms; it cannot declare itself exempt from the requirements of GPLv3.… Read more
Last week I shouted out seven CNET Download.com staff favorites for small, straightforward software for Windows, Mac, and mobile that perform a single task simply and well. Here are five more fresh picks, suggested by you.… Read more
FreeWebs has officially launched the WYSIWYG Site Builder tool we blogged about last month. In short, it lets anyone build a site without any knowledge of HTML, or having to refresh the page to see changes. The service soft-launched the tool early last week, and I took it for a spin this morning.
Site Builder emulates a desktop app, with a small floating tool bar, and context-sensitive menus that will serve up different actions depending on what tool you're using. For example, if you've inserted an image, the menu will give you options to align it with text, … Read more
Sony just sent me the XDR-S3HD tabletop HD Radio to review. I'm not quite done with it yet--I'm still evaluating the sound quality and reception versus the Polk Audio i-Sonic--but it appears to be a perfectly capable HD Radio. The big advantage of the Sony is that it's the first name-brand tabletop HD Radio that's available for under $200. That edges out the earlier Sangean HDR-1 ($250), as well as the Boston Acoustics Recepter HD and Cambridge SoundWorks 820HD (both $300). (While the Radiosophy HD100 is available for a scant $99, the photos alone don't exactly inspire confidence). The relative advantages and disadvantages of the Sony versus those competing models will be covered in the full review later this week, but the bigger question I keep running into when reviewing these products is this: is the HD Radio format good enough to justify the purchase of a dedicated radio?
HD Radio's extra stations For me, the supposed increase in sound quality just isn't that much of a selling point--you're just hearing those same lame Clear Channel playlists, albeit on a digital rather than an analog band. But the multicast (or HD2) stations are a different story. They're substations that offer alternative programming that's unavailable on the analog dial. For instance, New York's WPLJ offers adult contemporary music on its main station (analog and digital), but has two multicast stations--95.5-2 and 95.5-3--that play '70s and '80s music only, respectively. And because the industry is trying to hook people on HD Radio, these HD2 stations--for the time being, anyway--often broadcast free of commercials.
OK, now we're getting somewhere: there's some exclusive content dispersed throughout the HD Radio dial, so maybe it's got some value after all. But then I remembered something. When Tivoli Audio announced its two new NetWorksGo Wi-Fi radios last June, CEO Tom DeVesto defended their lack of HD Radio reception by saying that it was essentially superfluous: most of the multicast HD2 stations would still be available, just via Internet streaming instead of over the air. So I decided to put DeVesto's claim to the test.