Funny for everybody but Steven, that is.
That's right, Amazon's new DRM-free MP3 store is an awesome alternative to the iTunes Music Store. All files are 256kbit and usually cost 89-99 cents each. This is the same quality as Apple's "iTunes Plus" but at least 30 cents cheaper.
Now we only need this in Europe too (where we are currently paying 99 Euro cents for DRMed and 1.29 for not DRMed songs which, at the current weak dollar rate, is an ugly 1.40 USD and 1.82 USD, respectively).
And I am curious to see how Apple will react to this. Bring it on, Steve!
Off the mediterranean coast of Sicily, Italy, an F4U Corsair aircraft was recently recovered. The plane had gone down in an unknown location at the time (yet not as a result of combat, they say) and was now found when it got caught in a fishing net (nice alternative to tuna, for sure).
Here's some coverage I saw on AFN Europe:
Almost half a billion Euros, which is about 600 million US Dollars, is the fine against which Microsoft fought with an appeal at the European Court of First Instance. Today, they lost: The court ruled that the decision of the European Commission to impose the fine on Microsoft was appropriate.
For almost a decade now, the European Commission has been struggling with Microsoft (to little avail) against their alleged abuse of their significant market power. In the center of the controversy is the hardly uninstallable Microsoft Media Player, which was considered an abuse of the OS monopoly to create another monopoly in the media player market. However, when it comes to monopolists abusing their monopolies, the European Union tends to have little sense of humor (a fact that Microsoft could have known in the first place). And thus, they fined Microsoft in 2004 with 497 million Euros and demanded them opening their APIs so competitors could give the consumer a realistic choice of softwares. Microsoft complained against that at the European Court, and now, only ;) 3 years later, the 248-page ruling was published.
Well, you can almost imagine how it went on in the meantime: After Microsoft still didn't completely comply with the demands after two years, they were fined with another 281 million Euros in 2006. In early 2007, the European Commission complained that Microsoft charged too much money for the API documentation and threatened to fine another 3 million Euros per day (dated back from the 1st of August 2006) if they kept up that practice.
Microsoft's main lawyer said today that they will "analyze" the whole ruling and then decide if they keep going on -- but I have a feeling that this is the amount of money that Microsoft is not happy losing: I assume the judges at the European Court of Justice (the next and last instance) are already waiting for the appeal in the mail.
A teen from New Jersey unlocked the iPhone, so it can be used with non-US phone networks. Nice move.
The hack takes "about two hours and involves some soldering and skill with software" though, the guy says. So, if you don't want to brick your phone, maybe it's not such a good idea after all.
Also, I wonder how long it takes until the companies in question sue the bejesus out of that kid. Or, if they are smart, they just hire him. We'll see.
Rumor has it, GMail's storage may some day soon be cranked up to 10 gigabyte.
That'd be sweet, for sure.
While I am really not (yet) in danger of hitting the limit (at the time of writing it's 2887 Megabytes), I still find myself deleting pictures etc. that I get by email if they are "too big" ever so often. Maybe I am too conservative there, but I still consider mails > 1 MB to be "big" and I tend to delete them if and when I can. It'd be nice if I had a reason to get more 21st-century-ish about it :)
I need to admit though, that GMail and most of its competitors are already beating accounts like my university email by far. I finally stopped using that one when I ran into its ridiculous 50 megabyte limit twice a month.
Update: It's Google's "Shared Storage" Program that made people's GMail storage amount increase. Sadly, they increased the impressive one dollar price for 6 Gigabytes to 20 dollars just shortly after the program was started.
While I may not agree with all of the inclusions or connections (for example, I am unsure why the awfully overrated German weblog "Spreeblick" belongs on there) I think it's an interesting and fun map to look at (rather than an accurate illustration of the current structure of the web).