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The special grants that let users copy and otherwise copyrighted material could be responsible for nearly a sixth of the entire US gross domestic product, claims a study from the Computer and Communications Industry Association. The open-market group estimates that about $4.5 trillion of the revenue generated in the US, or 18 percent, rely on the fair use exceptions of 1976 that allow copies in certain circumstances. This could include anything from personal backups of music and software to educational and reporting purposes, such as capturing a TV show for a classroom or playing a song in the news. Even the music and movie industries also depend on fair use as they need the ability to copy rough edits of songs and videos, according to the study.
A recent patch issued by Microsoft, described by some as an unwanted "secret" update, was connected to Windows Update, the company has explained. The controversy stems from the patch being forcibly installed on Windows XP and Vista computers, despite many users having disabled automatic updating; this led to complaints in forums and the media, arguing that no company should be able to update a computer without consent. Without automatic updating, people must normally visit the Windows Update website and select which patches to install if any.
A Dutch website appears to not only have learned more about Samsung's P520, but suggested a new direction for the product's marketing. It will purportedly be released as the "Armani Phone," named after the famous Italian suit designer; this would make it an obvious competitor to LG's Prada phone, which also banks on the recognition of a fashion brand. The Armani Phone should similarly attempt to emulate its namesake style, partly through a leather case, but also by relying on a finger touchscreen as the primary interface.
Motorola will already have an upgrade to the RIZR Z8 before the end of the year, says an image allegedly found briefly on British cell provider O2's Coming Soon page. The Z10 would drop the neon green accents of its predecessor in favor of a more muted silver tone. Its camera would be the largest upgrade with a jump from two to 3.2 megapixels, though whether this would affect video capture resolution is unknown. Claims in the spec sheet would also continue the 30 frames per second video playback and 3G Internet access over HSDPA.
AT&T today publicly revealed first details for its version of the Motorola Q9h. Under the American carrier's service, he smartphone will be known as the Moto Q Global and should provide the faster 3G access over HSDPA of the reference model as well as its microSDHC support for as much as 32GB of extra storage. Unlike the stock version, however, the AT&T Q will add BlackBerry Connect for access to "push" e-mail from RIM's network as well as the existing Exchange e-mail inherent to Windows Mobile 6. Assisted GPS through TeleNav will be optional.
AOL's next version of WinAmp is built to draw users away from iTunes, according to advance information supplied to Wired. Version 5.5 beta (link active by 4PM Eastern) will reportedly feature a look much closer to the Apple player to ease newcomers into the software while still allowing the skins and other customizable visual elements that have defined WinAmp since its release in the 1990s. It should also sync and manage music for iPods without requiring a plug-in, though like any non-Apple software the AOL jukebox won't play or transfer protected FairPlay songs due to Apple's access limits.
Virgin America has announced a deal with AirCell, a data and voice provider for aviation, to bring broadband Internet to all of the former's aircraft sometime in 2008. The access will primarily be delivered via Virgin's Red entertainment system, and allow users to check e-mail, browse the web, or even connect to an office network. Crucially for some travellers, Internet will also be accessible from any device that supports the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, such as laptops and cellphones.
Wacom today brought its Bamboo line of computer tablets from Japan to the US, hoping to spread pen input to a wider audience. The Bamboo Fun is a new addition targeted explicitly at home users who might previously have avoided tablets but now want one for sketching or editing photos; the device comes with four large, friendly programmable buttons and ships in softer colors like blue and white as well as the more conservative black and silver. Small and medium versions will also be available depending on the need, Wacom says.
Nikon has announced that its upcoming COOLPIX S51c camera, due later this month, will come with a special subscription offer to promote its wireless functions. Users will be able sign up for a free six-month period of T-Mobile's HotSpot, a series of about 8,500 Wi-Fi points located in places such as airports, Borders, Kinko's and Starbucks. This will then allow people to send photos and video directly from the camera, using Nikon's my Picturetown service to guide the photos towards e-mail, websites like Flickr, or owners of BlackBerry phones.
A new mobile shopping service has been launched by Sprint Nextel, going beyond the convention of selling downloads like music and ringtones. Simply dubbed Mobile Shopper, Sprint has lined up over 30 online stores to provide stock, such as eBags, Target and Shoes.com. These companies are selling their normal physical products, which are ordered via cellphone, but delivered via mail.
To use Mobile Shopper, users must visit the website and associate a credit card and shipping address with PIN and phone numbers; only the latter two are then needed to make a purchase. Notably, Sprint is imposing no other costs on the service other than regular data fees. Any revenue Sprint receives will come from the stores it has partnered with.
Amazon's widely expected Kindle reader (pictured) could have a fixed release date and a service to match, according to a claim from French newspaper Les Echos. The trade publication backs earlier claims that Amazon will offer an eBook store in the US by October 15th that will sell both traditional eBooks and at least some newspapers, suggesting a simultaneous release of the increasingly likely Amazon device. No confirmation has been made of the expected subscription service, though the business model "isn't any different" from Les Echos' physical newspaper model, according to the report.
The second collaboration between Samsung and Danish electronics firm Bang & Olufsen is due in just over two weeks, according to a new teaser site. The Serenata, also known as the F310, is set to be launched by approximately October 1st. Samsung's lone preview image also suggests information hinted by a previously leaked product shot, including the rounded slider design and an iPod-like scroll wheel that hints at a music focus different from the original Serene, which was intended almost exclusively for calls.
SanDisk on Thursday expanded its storage options with its first ExpressCard flash drives. Simply titled the Express series, the new cards are designed to shuttle data at the speeds needed for high-end HD video and still cameras where SD and even CompactFlash would be too slow. It should be the first card to meet the jointly-developed SxS rating from SanDisk and Sony that guarantees high transfer speeds for video, according to the former company. Sony's
Alltel today began carrying the RAZR2 V9m, becoming the third to carry the CDMA-based phone in the US. The provider's version of the phone is unique through its support of Alltel's Celltop interface, which lets users constantly check news, weather, and other information through widgets built into a centralized interface. Ten widgets are included with the RAZR2 with more downloadable afterwards, Alltel says. The specialized version of Motorola's clamshell also uses the relatively fast EVDO Internet connection to stream XM's online radio and combine with the phone itself for assisted GPS through a TeleNav subscription.
The recent iPhone price drop won't have a significant effect on any of Apple's rivals in the cellphone industry, according to HTC chief finance officer Hui-ming Cheng. While the cut was significant, the reality was that Apple's $399 price was still $100 to $200 more than many of its rivals after factoring in carrier subsidies, Cheng said. The executive made the remark in advance of the release of multiple high-profile phones from HTC which are likely to match or beat the iPhone in terms of price after discounts, such as Sprint and possible T-Mobile editions of the Touch. The touchscreen device has often been described as the most direct challenger to the iPhone given its touchscreen emphasis and a worldwide release.
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