Browsing articles from "September, 2012"

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom teases new online music service Megabox

Sep 26, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom uploaded a YouTube video promising a new online music service called Megabox. It will reportedly allow artists to sell their own music and earn 90 percent of the revenue generated through those transactions.

In the video posted by the controversial founder of Megaupload, it seems both artists and music fans can create separate profiles. After artists create their profiles, they can share as much of their music as they’d like.

If the video teaser is to be trusted, Dotcom has lined up some impressive musicians to join the service, such as The Black Keys, and Rusko.While his previous project Megaupload (now shut down) also included videos to watch and share, the YouTube clip doesn’t show any videos being uploaded or shared on Megabox.

Dotcom is trying to make a comeback after his previous online giant Megaupload got him in hot water with the FBI and RIAA. He was charged earlier this year with various alleged crimes, including facilitating “massive worldwide online piracy” through his Megaupload cyberlocker.

Dotcom has also been accused of racketeering and money laundering amounting to “more than $500 million in damages and over $175 million in profit,” according to authorities.

But after a judge ruled the Megaupload founder’s home, known as the Dotcom Mansion, wassearched illegally, the case was suspended and now U.S. authorities are working to extradite the German to stand trial for what they have called the biggest case of its kind to date, USA Today writes.

Dotcom has only released scant details about Megabox, but he earlier said “Megabox would feature something called Megakey, a solution allowing artists to earn income even from those users who download music for free. Dotcom hasn’t disclosed any details of the service, but said the Megakey business model was tested with over a million users and it worked,” as this mediareport tells us.

TechCrunch’s Matt Burns is excited about Megabox’s potential: …it’s probably a safe bet that Dotcom and the rest of the Megaupload world are prepping Megabox to be the anti-RIAA and as pro-artist/fans as possible. And that’s awesome.”

This article originally appeared in Digital Journal [Link]

Poll: Record number of Americans distrust mass media

Sep 24, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  4 Comments

by Larry Clifton (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Gallup poll confirmed what, apparently, most of us already knew. Three fifths of Americans “have little or no faith” in the “accuracy” or “fairness” of mainstream news.

Meanwhile, the survey showed a minority of 40% still trust mainstream media.The mistrust in mainstream media is growing. For instance, in 2011, a majority of 55% of Americans mistrusted mainstream or mass media, showing a five point increase in distrust this year.

Even more troubling for media outlets during the heat of the 2012 presidential election is that the divide is politically polarized with most Democrats trusting the press while a large majority of Independents and Republicans do not trust mass media.

A majority or 58% of Democrats trust the press compared with 26% of Republicans and 31% of independents. In total, more Democrats trust the mainstream media than Republicans and Independents combined.Interestingly, more Republicans say they pay attention to the news than Democrats – 48% to 39% respectively. The survey showed 31% of Independents follow the news “very closely.”

The survey shows that Republicans and Independents especially do not trust mainstream media’s presentation of “political news.”

The Gallup poll of 1,017 adults was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Meanwhile, many analysts say the mainstream media is trying to shape the 2012 elections by running far more negative stories against Mitt Romney than Barack Obama.

During an election that could be won by less than two points, many Americans are increasingly troubled by what they perceive as a left-leaning heavy-handed political agenda they say has become cultural in mass media.

Perhaps the clearest decline in trust for mainstream media came in 2004, near the end of a presidential election, when world famous mainstream media icon Dan Rather ended his career with CBS when he allegedly used forged documents to attack a Republican presidential candidate.

Rather, a long-time news anchor for CBS, retired in relative shame after being accused of using forged documents to go after former president George W. Bush over his service as a fighter pilot in the Air Force reserves.Rather became a face for liberal bias in media coverage, and mainstream media continues to perpetuate that perspective according to the latest Gallup poll.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

350,000 U.S. news broadcasts online at searchable index

Sep 20, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by Greta McClain (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

The Library of Congress may be the largest library in the world, containing millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts, but a website is striving to be the world’s largest internet searchable index.

Brewster Kahle, whose stated goal is “Universal access to all knowledge,” has created Internet Archive, an online searchable database inspired by the Library of Alexandria.

The archive, which has already digitized millions of books and is trying to collect everything published on every web page for the last 15 years, is now adding news broadcasts to its database. The archive’s online collection includes more then 350,000 separate news broadcasts, all of which have been produced in the last three years.

Currently there are 20 different news channels represented which encompasses more than 1,000 news series.

Newton Minow, former FCC chairman had this to say about the archive:

“The Internet Archive’s TV news research service builds upon broadcasters’ public interest obligations. This new service offers citizens exceptional opportunities to assess political campaigns and issues, and to hold powerful public institutions accountable.”

Kahle told the New York Times the archive was not just for researchers. Everyday average citizens make up part of the website’s estimated two million daily visitors.

“We don’t expect this to replace,”

he said.

The intention of the archive is not to replace or compete with the Web outlets owned by the news organizations”. In fact new material would not be added until 24 hours after it was first broadcast.

With news broadcasts currently available from 2009 to the present, Kahle’s plan is to “go back” year by year, slowly adding news video going back to the start of television. That plan will take some innovation, however, since the use of closed-captioning on a regular basis did not start until around 2002. Kahle believes it can be done, but it will prove challenging. He told the New York Times:

“We need some interface that is good enough and doesn’t interrupt commerce enough that they get upset with us.”

Kahle said the service is free to everyone and his ultimate goal is to

“collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans.”

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Google to end support for Internet Explorer 8 in November

Sep 17, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  1 Comment

by Leigh Goessl (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Google has announced its intention to discontinue supporting Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). The latest version of Microsoft’s browser is Explorer 9.

As of Nov. 15, users of this popular, yet older, version of Microsoft’s browser cease to get support, and when using Google will be prompted to update their web browsers.As Microsoft is scheduled to release its newest browser, Internet 10, for general availability on Oct. 26, this means Google intends to phase IE8 out, per its policy.

The search engine giant made the announcement to discontinue IE8 support on Friday in a blog post:
“As we announced last year, we support the latest version of Google Chrome (which automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of the browser is available) as well as the current and prior major release of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis,”Google wrote.

“Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.”

Google noted in its announcement that effective Nov. 15 users accessing from IE8 will receive a message recommending the user do an upgrade.The company has not said if this discontinuation of support will result in compatibility issues remains to be seen, notes PC Magazine. Users who use various Google products, such as Gmail, Google Apps, Calendar, Google Docs will be impacted, ZDNet pointed out.

With its “life support” cut, this could result in some difficulties for IE8 holdouts using the Google products.

PC Magazine had noted IE8 ranks as the second-most-used browser worldwide, and is the latest version that can be run on Windows XP, which still retains a healthy 28.8 percent of the operating system (OS) market. Problem is, Microsoft intends to cut off support for XP on Apr. 8, 2014 (along with Office 2003).

So it looks like the time may be near for Google customers to consider upgrading or changing their browser. Anyone still using XP, a browser upgrade for IE is not possible, and users who want to stick with Microsoft will need an upgrade of Windows OS. Buying a new OS isn’t always feasible, so this could be a dilemma for some users.

ZDNet noted, “Who’s likely to benefit out of this? Microsoft, of all companies — Google’s main competitor in the outsourced communications space — by giving a boost to Windows 7 sales, seen by many as safe middle-ground between Windows Vista and the forthcoming game-changing Windows 8.”

This article was previously published in Digital Journal [link]

Half of Americans think bad weather affects ‘cloud computing’

Sep 13, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  3 Comments

by Darren Weir (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

The survey has found that while many Americans have heard of cloud computing, they don’t really understand what it means. Most believe it can be affected by the weather, while some think it refers to pillows, drugs, toilet paper or a mysterious network.

The survey commissioned by Citrix found that while 54 percent of Americans asked say they don’t use cloud computing, 95 percent of them do use things like online banking, Facebook, Gmail, online gaming, photo or music storage sites and online shopping, all cloud based services.

The survey questioned 1000 American adults last month and found a third of those asked, say they believe the cloud is a thing of the future, even though they are already using it. But despite their confusion, 59 percent believe the “workplace of the future” will exist entirely in the cloud.

About one in five Americans admit that they’ve pretended to know what the cloud is or how it works, 14 percent of them in a job interview. Young Americans are the most likely to fake it (36 percent ages 18-29, 18% ages 30 and older).After learning more about it though, 68 percent say it has economic benefits by lowering costs (35 percent) and encouraging small business growth (32 percent). Among those who hardly ever or never use the cloud, the top three reasons are cost (34 percent), security concerns (32 percent) and privacy concerns (31 percent). 

Digital Journal reported last month that even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is worried about the security of cloud computing.But others see some unexpected benefits of the cloud, like the ability to work from home in their “birthday suit” (40 percent), accessing files from the beach (33 percent) and keeping embarrassing videos off their personal hard drive (25 percent).

This was originally published in Digital Journal [Link]