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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Associated Press and Drudge Retort Settle Content Dispute

The Associated Press (AP) and blogger Rogers Cadenhead (Drudge Retort) have settled their differences over fair use of AP content in a number of Cadenhead's blog posts, according to an AP article published at the The settlement is specific to the excerpts published in the Drudge Retort and does not address AP's overall views on acceptable use. “I think it would be helpful for bloggers and users of social news sites to know what the AP believes to be fair use of their copyrighted work,” said Cadenhead's lawyer, Wade Duchene. “I hope that any guidelines that are issued are not interpreted as an agreed definition of fair use” under copyright law, he added.

Hold on, it will be interesting to see where this goes...

Bell Ordered To Show Proof Of Congestion In Defense Of Throttling

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) told Bell Canada Inc. on Thursday that it has until June 23rd to make public data that it had marked confidential in it's filing to the commission on May 29th regarding it's traffic throttling practices. At the time of the filing Bell argued that the data, which details it's level of internet traffic, must remain secret for competitive reasons. The CRTC director general of competition, costing and tariffs Paul Godin told Bell in a letter "Commission staff has determined, based on all the material before it, that no specific direct harm would likely result from disclosure, or that the public interest in disclosure outweighs any specific direct harm that might result from disclosure," Mark Langton, a spokesman for Bell, said "Our folks are still looking at it, but I see no issue with complying," The story has sparked quite alot of debate in the comments section on the CBC's website.

Friday, June 20, 2008

UK Game Firms Losing Jobs To Canadian Counterparts

Lacking employees with the proper tool sets and a government will to succeed, the British video game industry is having a hard time these days. Industry lobby group "Games Up?" says that there are 81 video games degree courses at British universities, but only 4 are accredited by the government body which monitors such courses. David Braben, a spokesman for "Games Up?", says "95% of video gaming degrees are simply not fit for purpose. Without some sort of common standard, like Skillset accreditation, these degrees are a waste of time for all concerned." To complicate the matter the gaming industry in Canada is flourishing in part due to Canadian government support, vaulting Canada past the U.K. into third place amongst leading nations for games development. According to the BBC, thousands of jobs are now moving from Britain to Canada as the result.

One Red Paperclip House Up For Trade

Kyle MacDonald, the one red paperclip guy, is offering the house he traded up to 2 years ago for, what else, trade. If you are interested in acquiring the house, complete with the "worlds largest red paperclip", you've got until 5:00 PM on Friday July 11th to make your trade offer. Kyle's blog post of Tuesday June 17th says that he's really interested in trading with someone who:
-Plans to live or operate a business in the house.
-Understands the house is a tourist attraction in Kipling, and important to the community.
-Also, if you know who these guys are, it will come in handy in a tie-breaker situation. -- Watch this video!.

Watch the video and you'll get the feeling that Kyle is up to old tricks, no doubt he's getting a lot of attention with the media over this new quest. I think he certainly has a knack for creating a buzz online and in the media.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parents Vigilance Leads To Arrest Of Preditor

RCMP Const. Francine Hiebert said Wednesday that the vigilance of the parents of an Airdrie, Alberta child in their monitoring of internet use lead to the discovery of "concerning" material on the child's computer and a call to police. Their actions and an investigation by RCMP led to the arrest of a 51 year old Airdrie man on Tuesday, charged with using the internet to lure a child under the age of 16 for the purpose of facilitating a sexual offence. The RCMP offer these warning signs for parents:
  • Your child spends lots of time online, especially at night.
  • He or she receives phone calls long distance or from numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Your child receives mail, gifts or packages from a stranger.
  • Your child turns off the monitor or quickly changes what is on the screen when you enter the room.
  • There is pornography on your child’s computer.
CBC story here.

Best Buy To Sell Used Video Games

Best Buy is going to test the sales of used video games in six Future Shop stores in Calgary but hopes to be selling second-hand games from all 133 Future Shop outlets by late summer. "The used games market has been very lucrative in the United States and I'm not surprised that it's making its way into Canada," said Jason Kee, director of policy for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada. According to the Globe and Mail's Report on Business, EB Games is the only major retailer in Canada currently selling second hand games, "It makes economic sense for the retailer," said Humphrey Kadaner, president of music retailer HMV. "It may be why other retailers eventually have to get into it."

Twittering Teddy Ruxpin

The team at My Home 2.0 DIY have decided that Teddy Ruxpin needs a new purpose and to that end they have converted the creepy little teddy bear, Frankenstein style, into a furry twitter reading pal. Check out the how to video that accompanies these instructions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox Goes For The Record

With the release of Firefox 3, Firefox is attempting to set a world record for most downloads in a day. As I type the Spread Firefox site is registering 7,303,823 downloads with a few more hours to go, pretty impressive considering the target was 5 million! CNET news is reporting "Firefox 3 is spreading fast, claiming more than 4 percent of the share of Web browser usage less than 24 hours after its release." Being the curious sort that I am, I wondered what the current record was and to my glee Firefox has had the foresight to guess that I might ask... "This is the first record attempt of its kind so there is no set number. We'd really like to outdo the number of Firefox 2 downloads on its launch day, which was 1.6 million. Let's shoot for 5 million--the sky is the limit!" So when will we know if the record is set? "This will take approximately a week after our attempt date. Our judges and Guinness World Records™ need to review our download logs and validate our record attempt."

UK Hacker Facing Extradition To The US To Face Charges

Gary McKinnon aka "Solo", a Glasgow-born systems analyst is facing extradition to the United States to face charges that he gained access to 97 US military and Nasa computers from his London home in 2001 and 2002. Lawyers working on McKinnon's behalf say that US authorities had warned McKinnon that he faced a life sentence rather than a couple of years in jail unless he agreed to plead guilty and to extradition. McKinnon has never denied accessing the networks saying he was motivated by curiosity. I guess it's not really a question of guilt but rather can he receive a fair trial in a US court? BBC story here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spore Creature Creator

If you are anxiously awaiting the release of Spore, as I am, you may be interested to know that you can get a bit of a leg up on your would be competitors. Electronic Arts has just released the trial version of the Spore Creature Creator tool, it's downloadable on both Mac and PC and enables you to create creatures for use within the game - when it's released in September. Check out this tutorial...

EA is also allowing you to pre-order at a number of retailers or at the EA store.

eBay To Open Up Code To Developers

"We are opening up the eBay site to help developers and sellers make more money, which is what this is all about," Max Mancini, eBay's senior director of Platform and Disruptive Innovation, said in an interview. Following the lead of Facebook with it's 24,000 applications developed outside of the company, eBay is hoping to inject some new life into online auctions and sales. "Rather than having eBay try to build every feature, we should open up the platform and integrate others' work," Mancini said. "We have realized that we need to allow sellers and developers to get together a little bit more easily." The company plans to begin testing the project, dubbed "Project Echo", later this year. More here at

Monday, June 16, 2008

AVG 8 Runnig Up Numbers On The Web

The Register is reporting that the latest edition of AVG's antivirus software is running up page counts all over the Internet. AVG 8 includes a new malware scanning service that checks links returned by search engines and advises users whether or not the site is safe to visit. According to this article, AVG estimates that 20 million machines have upgraded to the new version of the software and those users are racking up a pile of hits, "traffic has spiked as much as 80 per cent on some sites." "A situation like this where there is in effect false traffic, where something is generating what is bogus data, leads to wrong budget decisions and marketing activities," says Barry Parshall, director of product management at WebTrends, a popular web analytics firm. "I completely get the value proposition [of Linkscanner], but it would be responsible of them to identify themselves, with agent code or whatever it might be, so legitimate businesses can serve their customers properly."

The Innoventions Dream Home

Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. unveils it's latest attraction today, the Innoventions Dream Home a collaborative effort by Disneyland, Microsoft, HP, Life|ware and home-builder Taylor Morrison. Located in Tomorrowland, the Dream Home delivers on Walt Disney’s vision for showcasing cutting-edge technologies that make life better and easier. “We’re constantly visualizing how tomorrow’s software will transform how we’ll work, play and communicate,” says Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. “By partnering with Disneyland, we can show people how technology can enrich our lives today, and offer a glimpse of the technologies that will revolutionize homes in the future.”

According to this Microsoft Press Release, the Innoventions Dream Home features such innovations as:

Magic Mirror: A mirror projects different clothes, accessories and hairstyles onto each family member’s image when they stand before it. The clothes not only morph to the contours of the body, but also sway as the person in front of the mirror moves.

Kitchen of Your Dreams: The kitchen recognizes ingredients as a family member sets them on the counter, suggesting recipes for those items and providing instructions once a recipe is selected.

Story Time: Visit the child’s room to be transported to Neverland. Read “Peter Pan” aloud to absorb a full multimedia experience, as cues in the story set off lights, sounds, colors and video.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

RoboGames 2008

Laughing Squid has posted a couple of videos, like the one below, along with some great pics of RoboGames 2008 from San Francisco. RoboGames is, according to the website, "the world's largest open robot competition (even the Guinness Book of World Records says so!) We invite the best minds from around the world to compete in over 70 different events. Combat robots, walking humanoids, soccer bots, sumo bots, and even androids that do kung-fu. Some robots are autonomous, some are remote controlled - but they're all cool! As an open event, anyone can compete - this means you." Of course it's too late for you to get involved this year but put your thinking caps on, 2009 is just around the corner.