Legalizing TPB, Slim PS3, Mobile Office Web Apps, and more

Tech News roundup for August 19, 2009.

  • How The Pirate Bay will be legalized #
  • Sony unveils slim PS3, price-drops #
  • Blogger “strike” in Italy #
  • Office Web Applications will support mobile browsers #
  • Opinion: Why AT&T killed Google Voice #
  • More on my FriendFeed at friendfeed.com/aceontech

How The Pirate Bay will be legalized

The Pirate Bay LogoGGF – the company which is to acquire The Pirate Bay – has laid out its plan on how it thinks it will be able to legalize the notorious torrent sharing site. It proposes, as it had stated before, to start charging for the use of the site. Use of TBP would include downloading as well as uploading (sharing) of files. It’s not yet set in stone how steep the subscription fee will be, but GGF has stated it would grant copyright holders two options if they object to the free sharing of a certain file. The way they hope to ‘legalize’ TBP is to offer either a financial contribution with each download or pull down certain torrents at request. If copyright holders collectively go for the latter, I imagine TBP won’t continue to exist much longer. Also GGF hopes to establish partnerships with the entertainment industry and possibly start offering ‘official’ paid torrents. Source at TorrentFreak.

Sony unveils slim PS3, price-drops

True to Sony’s track-record and business cycle, it will be putting out a slimmer version of the PS3 somewhere in September. It will allegedly take up 33% less space and suck 34% less power. Sony’s also offering the console at lower prices, near to $300 US for the lower-end model and $400 US for the higher end model. Source at NewsWeek.

Blogger “strike” in Italy

Italian FlagBecause of the impending Italian laws that could cause independent bloggers and content creators to have to pay fees if they refuse to pull down content, bloggers decided to have a strike to counter it. The Italian blogosphere went quiet for one day, but one might wonder, is this the way to achieve something? One would rather think it would be more efficient to make more of a raucous instead of plainly shutting up… Source at TechDirt.

Office Web Applications will support mobile browsers

Microsoft’s release of Office 2010 will bring along version 1 of Office Web Applications, the full Office suite for the web, for free. Features will be limited, of course. For only so many features are useful for the web. The surprise here will be that not only all major browsers will be supported, but that mobile browser will also get full support. Microsoft is essentially giving Office away for free to millions of users, including Linux and Mac users alike. Source at ArsTechnica.

Also, read Paul Thurrott’s preview of Office Web Applications 2010.

Opinion: Why AT&T killed Google Voice

AT&T LogoAndy Kessler from WSJ writes: “Telecom operators are yesterday’s business. It’s time for a national data policy that encourages innovation” and opines why AT&T pulled Google Voice for the iPhone. The article also broadens its spectrum (pun) and calls for unifying voice traffic and  cable distribution to become mere data traffic – making matters more neutral and ultimately cheaper. Source at WSJ.

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