Good morning readers, I hope all is well. Our resident mobility editor Barry Gerber seems to have attracted the ire of the Mac crowd with his "Who designed this crap ?" op-ed about Ipods (he’s making me capitalise the I, I swear...) It seems to be the usual trend with anything Apple - you either take a pot shot at or support them fully, and you get the fan boys for PC and Apple coming out of the woodwork. All rather spirited, and particularly the discussion down in our forums, which jumped from 150 to 193 posts overnight. I don’t dare to quote any.
First up this morning and my sinking feelings with regards to Sony’s PlayStation 3 seem to be getting more and more Titanic in their proportions. George Fornay, who is Sony’s man in France and a top dog of their European circuit, has said that he expects the delayed console to cost between €499 and €599 when released. To put this into context, the premium Xbox 360 package, with all the bells and whistles on, currently goes for €399, and the cheaper package (for which I suppose the €499 PS3 will emulate) isn’t worth your money in the long run. So serious gamers will have to wait until the end of the year to shell out at least €200 more to get their hands on a PS3 (not counting on Xbox 360 price cuts, which Microsoft may not even have to bother with). The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (we prefer IFPI to stay sane) seems to be making a packet in Western countries these days, ignoring the harder-to-charge Eastern European pirates who are doing most of the business in favour of easier to target Westerners. It is having greater luck with getting injunctions to cut off the internet access of people they claim are pirates, and then charging them a settlement of an average €2,633 each to go away and leave them alone. The British Phonographic Industry is getting on the same wagon which raised eyebrows earlier in the week with the American industry body advising students to drop out of college to pay their settlements in order to save themselves an expensive trial which they may or may not win. And you thought you were being fleeced on the high street...
Blogging can, these days, get you fired from your job, not hired into a job and, apparently, now get you evicted from your apartment. Not if you live in Ontario, mind you, where a Housing Tribunal has ruled that a housing company cannot evict a tenant for something he or she has said in their blog. Sarah Dawe had apparently been blogging about a series of disputes she had been having with Homestead Land Holdings, one of Ontario’s largest property companies, and they went around to her ISP to have the blog taken down, which it was, and then served an eviction notice. Apparently the housing tribunal was having none of it, and handed down a "terse" ruling against the order. Still, probably best not to comment on workmates, eh ?
The Encyclopaedia Britannica is flying up the flagpole to beat the journal Nature over the head with big, hefty copies of the "F" and "O" volumes for an article written in the journal sizing up Wikipedia to Britannica and claiming that in certain areas, Wikipedia matches. Volumes "B" and "S" seems to cover that, says five editors of Britannia in the open letter, published in advertisements in The Times and The New York Times. It’s a rather public and, some might say, uncivilized row for two respected institutions, but the claims in Nature are rather central to Britannica’s raison d’être. Personally, I trust Wikipedia for very little beyond some tech stuff
The EC doesn’t like Spain’s penchant for Intel chips, and is sending a warning letter to remind the Spaniards that they may be breaking EU competition regulations when they specifically mention a brand or clock speed when going to tender. Apparently in Spain, as well as a couple of other EU countries which have already received their notice, purchase requests from central, regional and local Spanish bodies have been specifically asking for Intel chips. This obviously cuts out AMD and doesn’t allow for full competition, goes the thinking of the EU law. Which makes sense, one might think
A survey by consumer group Which ? suggests that awareness of the switchover to digital TV by 2012 is very low, with 38 percent of people not knowing anything at all of the governments intention to switch off the analogue signal. Only 7 percent knew by when the switchover is due to be completed (2012). A massive £200 million campaign to edumacate the masses is due to kick off this year, with the first limited trial switch to digital due to happen in 2008. Don’t be late
And finally, the (British) editor of The National Enquirer (no, not The Inquirer) has been fired. The US tabloid of tabloids has been using Brit journalists of late to give it that extra edge, but despite a lot of "exclusives" over the past 18 months (we like to call them "Gross invasions of privacy" round this end) the sales have been falling, and the shake up by the owners has seen the ed axed. Apparently he had no idea it was coming either. Things like this always prompt a nervous shuffling of feet
Coming up today we have a server review and more confessions of a serial HTPC builder. Stay tuned...