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Now Hear Me Roar


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iCAN’T BELIEVE THE REFUND
I can’t remember the last time Apple dropped the price of an existing product, but dropped it they have. It discontinuing the $499, 4-gig iPhone and dropping the $599 8-gig version $200, merely two months after it hit the shelves. Meanwhile, they’ve released the iTouch, the new iPod, which is basically the iPhone without the phone. Slated to roll off the line next is the iRide, a new car with no wheels, and the iPresident, also called George W. Bush…

…And by the way, when was the last time you went to a store and bought something, only to see it go on sale soon after? How about 60 days later? Would you expect the store to refund any part of the difference? Me neither. Good show, Steve Jobs, for giving $100 of store credit to everyone who purchased the iPhone prior to the price drop. Good show, indeed.

IT’S ALL WORKING OUT, RIGHT?
Mi2n.com reports, “Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the U.S. music performing right organization, announced that it will distribute more than $732 million in royalties for its 2006-07 fiscal year to the songwriters, composers and copyright owners it represents, an 8 percent increase over the prior fiscal year.

“BMI attributed the rise in revenues to its robust music catalog, the successful licensing of music across a diverse range
of media.”

Meanwhile, Wired Magazine reports, “According to BigChampagne.com, an online measuring service, the number of peer-to-peer users unlawfully trading goods has nearly tripled since 2003, when there were 3.8 million file sharers trading over the Internet at a given time. Now, the group has measured a record 9 million so-called ‘simultaneous’ users trading at the same time.” Huh. Gosh, the RIAA would have us believe these two phenomena to be mutually inexclusive events.

That’s why they’re suing 20,000 people, right? To save the artists’ money, right?

YES, THE VIEW IS STILL ON TV
So, “The View” now has Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd on staff, rounding out the complete fivesome for the first time in more than a year. In related news, still, no one gives a damn.

WALKING A THIN LINE
Biometrics are definitely a good means to insure against identity theft. But what about the invasion of privacy they bring with them? The Cincinnati Post reported last month that a local Catholic school had installed fingerprint scanners for their children to use to buy food—not too mention, keeping records of what’s purchased. Makes sense for parents, who rightfully want to know that their kids are eating well. But how hard is it to make this leap: Health insurance companies requiring the use of similar means to track what people are buying at the grocery store? Follow that to its logical conclusion, and you have personal, identifiable record keeping for every single purchase someone makes. And with memory costs plummeting, that means indefinite storage. Think about that one for a while, folks.

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