In an attempt to try to get people to download music legitimately a range of companies and organisations to do with the music industry have come up with ?Digital Download Day?. The European day starts today and allows users to sign up until the 15th of April. Once signed up the user can access ?3 worth of music in 3 different ways:
1. Download up to 30 tracks. (store able for 1 month)
2. Stream 300 tracks.
3. Burn 3 tracks to CD.
A choice of 170,000 tracks from over 7,500 artists is on offer. Bands and artists include Christina Aguilera, Linkin? Park, Norah Jones, Eminem, Coldplay, Miss Dynamite, Robbie Williams, Jennifer Lopez, The Streets, The Coral, Michael Jackson, The Raveonettes and Gareth Gates.
The idea of the day is to try to promote awareness of legitimate music subscription services however how effective do they expect it to be? With free services such as Kazaa becoming increasingly popular how do they expect people to stop downloading music when they can get it easily and free.
As soon as restrictions such as a making the tracks available on your PC for 1 month only are put onto music people would much rather download the MP3 rather then some strange format.
?Currently an estimated 4.5 million people are accessing a total of almost 1 billion pirated tracks at any one time. But the tracks are often of dubious quality and contain viruses. ?
From the organisers press release. I would just like to point out the point about viruses and how this is not true, the MP3 is made so it cannot contain viruses. I'm not too sure what they are trying to say with this point. As for the tracks being pirated is another point not proved either.
The fact is that the music industry is in a mess and in my view digital download day does not give the end user any real reason to stop using free sharing programs and use subscription services. Until people have a good enough reason to need to change to legitimate services why should they?
Microsoft's Hotmail receives and sends some of the largest amount of spam by email on the web. In a fight back against this Microsoft is setting a limit of sending 100 emails a day. For many users it says this wont matter as most users only send a few emails a day but this will stop the big spammers from using Hotmail.
Many ISP's already have similar limits to stop people from flooding their networks with emails. Experts think that spam has risen by 500% in the past 18 months and for a company with over 120million users this has been many more emails.
MSN is having an overall clamp down over spam. In the past month, it sued in federal court to learn the identities of some spammers, and it has promised to pursue similar lawsuits. Both AOL and EarthLink have won monetary damages in suits against spammers.
Many Hotmail users welcome any moves to try to stop the amount of spam coming into their inbox's however Microsoft is still not tackling the bigger problems of spam coming in from outside its network. This for many people is a bigger problem then from emails coming from other hotmail users.
One thing is for sure is that we will be seeing more and more email providers taking up law suits against spammers to try to cut down the amount of unwanted emails on the net.
More and more good software is becoming open source and OpenOffice.org is no exception. OpenOffice is very similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint apart from it doesn't cost ?600. OpenOffice is based on Star Office 5.2 distributed by Sun Microsystems, the aim of OpenOffice is to continually develop an office suite that will work on any operating system and is free, unlike Microsoft Office.
I decided to test OpenOffice 1.0.1 on Windows and Linux to see if and how it contended against Microsoft Office. The first thing I tested was how the program installed, the windows installation was very easy, the Linux installation was slightly harder, however this is normally expected in Linux, this may be made easier if more rpm's were available. Overall for installation it was very easy and did not come up with any errors on either Windows 2000 or SuSE 8.
It looks similar to Microsoft Word, and has many of the features MS Word has. It took a while to get used to the new layout and to find where everything was, for instance word count is not just in tools, you have to go file > properties > statistics. Also inserting tables is different but in some ways easier.
There were a few extra features that I thought made OpenOffice better in some ways such as predictive writing, which if you have words that you type often it would automatically put this word up for you, If you didn't want the word you kept typing the word you wanted otherwise if you hit return you got the predicted word. This I found very useful however you had to be careful that you weren't using the same adjectives in the same sentence too often.
This worked very similar to excel and I could do many of the graphs and work that I would normally do in a spreadsheet. It did maybe lack a few of the very advanced features but as I didn't really need these features it didn't bother me. I do not do a lot of work in spreadsheets however I found OpenOffice very easy and nice to use.
The first thing I noticed when starting a presentation was that there were no nice background templates such as you would find in Powerpoint that make your presentation look nice even when the content is ****. The animation was very easy to do and i made a short slide show in very little time at all.
One feature of MS office I didn't miss at all was the paper clip that pops up and does general annoying stuff, this is one thing OpenOffice does without and it does it well! Another handy feature I found was that when I installed OpenOffice for Windows it put an icon in the system tray, I thought originally that it would get in the way but it was actually a really good feature for easy access to work and creating documents.
Another feature I liked was that whether I booted to Windows or Linux I didn't have to worry about getting to know different programs to edit documents, once you had learn't the basics to OpenOffice I could easily carry on with my work where every I was. One feature that I did think needed work on was that of the spell checker, it failed to convert some of my simple mistakes such as changing ?i? to ?I?.
Overall I was surprised at how good OpenOffice is and I would recommend the Windows and Linux version to any home user. For commercial use maybe StarOffice would be a better option for support reasons and at ?30 for a copy its still a lot cheaper then MS Office.
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Buying your next electronic gadget? People make the mistake of buying the so called latest hardware at extra high cost with features that very few people will use. Let's say you want to buy a motorola pda . Make sure you buy what you will use else you are wasting money on that latest pda with pressure sensor that you are not going to use. You are buying yourself a camera from those latest canon digital cameras ? Will you need that many mega pixels? Same is the case with cell phone sets that come with cell phones plans . The company gets its cost from you, select wisely. And off course you can put your favourite cellular ringtones in either medium tech or high tech phones.
In Linux in order for you to access a device such as a CD Drive or Hard Drive you first need to mount it to the file system, though this may sound silly compared to Windows it is actually a very useful way of doing things.
For instance say a device was not working properly you may was to unmount it if it is conflicting with something else, also you may only want certain devices mounted for certain people that use the computer. When you install Linux it will try to mount all your devices for you and store them in a file called fstab that is located in /etc/fstab.
Before you can mount something you need to know what type of file system you are mounting. For instance if you are mounting another Linux partition it is most likely to be ext2 or ext3 but if you are mounting a Windows Partition it is more likely to be vfat(fat32) or ntfs.
The second thing that you need to know is where you want to mount your device to, normally if it is another partition or cdrom drive you can mount it into the /mnt directory. You cannot mount the same device to the same directory so make more directories in /mnt such as /mnt/windows or /mnt/cdrom that way you know what the device was has been mounted.
All of the information about the file system that you want to mount is stored in the directory /dev/ so when mounting a device you usually specify that directory. The /dev/ directory includes information about the drive you wish to mount but when typing the mount command you also need to specify the file system type. Below shows the directory for each device that is usually in the /dev directory.
/dev/hda ? First IDE Hard Drive
/dev/hda1 ? First IDE Hard Drive ? First primary or extended partition
/dev/hda2 ? First IDE Hard Drive ? Second primary or extended partition
/dev/hdb ? Second IDE Hard Drive
/dev/hdb1 ? Second IDE Dard Drive ? First primary or extended partition
/dev/hdb2 ? Second IDE hard drive - Second primary or extended partition
/dev/cdrom ? CDRom Drive
/dev/cdrom1 ? Second CDrom drive
/dev/fd0 ? Floppy Drive
For example to mount devices in the console type:
mount ?t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
This will mount your cdrom to /mnt/cdrom, be careful if you have more then 1 cdrom as it might be /dev/cdrom1 etc. iso9660 is the file system used by cdroms.
Mount ?t vfat /dev/hda2 /mnt/windows
This will mount the windows partition to /mnt/windows. The /dev/hda2 refers to the second partition on the first IDE hard drive.
Mount ?t /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
This will mount the floppy drive to /mnt/floppy , if the floppy is a default linux floppy you do not need to specify a file system.
It?s a well-known fact that I can?t get enough of playing Civilization 3 so when the add on pack Play the World was released it was a must purchase. I had already heard mixed reviews from Gamespy slating the multiplayer features but I thought I would give it a try.
My first impressions were good when taking a quick look through the manual while the game was installing. There seemed to be quite a few new features including new races, new technology and new functions. However once I loaded up the game and started a single player game I was a bit disappointed about the lack of new in game features, there were many changes to units such as workers and there are plenty more scenarios but playing Play the World didn?t seem as much different as I expected from playing Civilization 3.
The next area I tried to was play an online multiplayer game, this took quite a while to connect and establish a game. I thought the interface was nice and the game got going a lot quicker then I expected considering how long it would take you to do a normal civilization 3 game. The game lasted for a couple of hours before my opponent left suddenly, I presume because of a computer crash.
This is a game that is cannot be played on a dialup especially if you get cut off every 2 hours, you also need a lot of patience to get a good game going online. Its still early days for playing Civ 3 online and im sure a lot more people will still want to buy the game.
Overall I thought civ3 needed a lot more features on the single player side however if you like the idea of playing civ3 online then go for the game otherwise spend a few minutes downloading some patches from the net.
[Last edited on December 29, 2002 at 9:43:02pm by epytotorp]