The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) praised legislators today following an announcement that revisions to Canada’s copyright law will be introduced to Parliament this spring.
“This is terrific news,” comments CRIA President Graham Henderson. “Canada is one step closer to having a copyright law that will reflect the realities of the digital marketplace and allow the music industry a chance to prosper. We want to thank the government and the opposition parties for their support in getting to this stage.”
“We especially extend our sincere appreciation to all members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage: the Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois, Liberals and New Democrats, for keeping copyright reform on the front burner,” he adds.
CRIA has been calling for revisions to Canada’s copyright law for some time.
In a recent address to Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Mr. Henderson commented on the necessity of copyright reform, particularly for continued investment in labels and artists.
“Prospective investors view the music industry as a no fly zone,” Mr. Henderson said then. “This view is echoed particularly by many in the independent label sector who have found raising needed investments almost impossible under the current legal regime.”
“There wasn’t a bank or a venture capitalist that would touch us – despite a business plan that was warmly received,” says Steven Ehrlick, president of The Orange Record Label. “It was because they considered the music industry to be the Wild West – no laws, no marshals and most importantly to them, no profits. I hear the opinion that copyright reform will stifle innovation. That’s ludicrous. Proper laws encourage investment.”
“We launched our music label in 2002,” remarks Grant Dexter, president of Maple Music. “It was a labour of love that was not made any easier by the fact that it was darn near impossible to raise money from the typical sources that entrepreneurs like us look to. We live in a country in which copyright laws do not protect businesses like ours and in which courts and Copyright Boards support the proposition that downloading and uploading of music is legal. It isn’t legal anywhere else that matters. But they say it is here. That makes no sense to me as a business person at all. As a result of this, raising capital to grow our business was almost impossible.”
“Progress on copyright revisions will ensure that Canada’s recording industry and artists can continue to make their mark on the world stage,” concludes Mr. Henderson. “Today’s announcement is a step in that direction.”
The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) promotes the interests of Canadian record companies and artists. CRIA represents the producers, manufacturers and distributors of more than 95 per cent of all records produced and sold in Canada.
Another story you can read: Pulse24
Don’t have check for updates on? Then you may not know last night a new version was released.
+ Auto update RSS feed ( at Add/Edit feed dialog).
+ Add new function max_language_id to get current language.
+ Add new function max_activex(var security_id, string progID) to create activex object without security limitation.
* Fixed search bar magnifier sometimes disappear problem.
* Fixed sometimes cound not popup sidebar under full screen problem.
* Fixed some problems that cause Maxthon stay in memory after close.
* security_id is made more secure.
* Function m2_search_text will need security_id .
* Fixed status bar tooltip misplace problem.
Screenshots: click here
Let’s start with a humble musketeer, who’s role on the battlefield is to stand around long enough to get a few shots off before he’s inevitably blown away by cannonfire. If a musketeer is hit by an enemy musketball, and your 3D card is powerful enough to do it, his torso will deform as he’s running so you can actually see the bullet impact. His hat and backpack and musket are also separate models attached to him that can move around on their own. So, when he’s blown off a cliff — and he will be, often, if I have anything to say about it — his hat flies off and his musket goes whirling away. All of this is powered by real-time physics, which I’ll talk more about in a second.
Lighting is a huge part of the rendering engine, and it’s used to create some spectacular effects. Pottinger explained that the team built the engine so that it has a high dynamic range: it’s capable of simulating very bright lighting, with nifty bloom effects. This all sounds like lip-service until you can see it in action. Pottinger showed two screenshots of a cathedral in a city, one with a low dynamic range and the other with Age III’s higher dynamic range. The difference was striking: the first cathedral was almost completely dark on one side and looked like a model on a computer screen. The second screenshot of the exact same scene had bright, realistic light that spilled over and illuminated details on every side of the building. It looked much more natural, almost photographic, yet still stylized and beautiful.
There’s also bump-mapping, a technology that uses lighting to make models appear to have more surface details than they actually do. I never thought I’d see this technology used in an RTS, but there it was, providing detail for Age of Empires III. The artists used it in subtle ways. Bump-mapping gave cannons extra ridges or added ripples in drifts of snow. These effects are understated, but make a big difference.
Naturally great lighting also involves technology for casting shadows, and here the engine lives up to the task. Every object casts shadows on every other object in the game. So, swaying trees will cast soft dappled shadows on the ground below, shading the soldiers standing nearby, who themselves cast shadows on the ground. The Age team used different tricks to soften the edges of these shadows so that they look convincingly realistic.
Age of Empires III also places a huge emphasis on water and how it’s displayed. It’s another one of those big graphical elements that players end up spending a lot of time staring at. At first the team actually had a real-time dynamic water and waves simulation built into the game, but it was too processor-intensive, and hard to localize on such big giant maps. They ended up finding a way to pre-compute different wave patterns, which may not have the “gee whiz” factor of dynamic water but which look incredible anyways. Water can be rough and choppy or smooth and glassy depending on how the map artists want to render it. Dynamic reflections ripple on smooth water surfaces, a touch that really adds to the overall look.
Rivers in the game flow in the proper direction, with clever little details like little pieces of flotsam that drift with the current. Small rocks might also jut out in the middle of a waterway, with current visibly rippling around them.
Effects like smoke are also rendered with subtlety and realism using a particle system. There’s even invisible ‘wind’ on every map that blows everything consistently. Curling white trails of smoke from cannons, campfires, or chimneys twists in the wind. Particles go flying whenever there’s an explosion: cannonballs will plow into the ground, kicking up dirt. Or debris will fly into the water, creating great big splashes. Age III programmers were able to create a lot of nice subtle effects with this particle system.
Young children could be watched over by remote control teddy bears with swivelling heads that track every move, thanks to a research project from Microsoft.
‘Teddy’ is a prototype bear of the future being developed in Microsoft’s US laboratories. It has stereovision eyes, built-in Wi-Fi and a microphone.
Motion tracking and facial recognition technologies allows the bear to identify specific children and keep them under surveillance as they move around a room.
“In the future, computers won’t just live in your home office or on your desk at work,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.
“They will take on many different forms: the wall of your living room, your refrigerator door, or even your child’s stuffed animal. You won’t have to click a mouse or type on a keyboard to interact with your new computer; just touching, talking and moving will do the trick.”
The idea is that parents at work could keep a watch over their children remotely and warn them if they are in danger. Microsoft hopes that, as software gets more advanced, the bear could play games with the child as well.
America Online Inc. on Sunday moved to quell public criticism of the terms of service for its AIM service, insisting the controversial privacy clause does not pertain to user-to-user instant messaging communication. A section of the controversial clause, which was first flagged by Weblogs and discussion forums, reads: “Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content.
Microsoft Corp. is to give the U.S. government priority in fixing security holes in Windows and other software, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Under a plan to take effect later this year, Microsoft will give the U.S. Air Force versions of software “patches” to fix serious security vulnerabilities up to a month before they are available to others, the paper said.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will give advance notice of problems to other government agencies and distribute patches to them, the Journal said, citing officials at Microsoft and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
CPU – Xenon’s CPU has three 3.0 GHz PowerPC cores. Each core is capable of two instructions per cycle and has an L1 cache with 32 KB for data and 32 KB for instructions. The three cores share 1 MB of L2 cache. Alpha 2 developer kits currently have two cores instead of three.
GPU – Xenon’s GPU is a generation beyond the ATI X800. Its clock speed is 500 MHz and it supports Shader 3.0. Developers are currently working with an alpha 2 GPU. Beta GPU units are expected by May and the final GPU is slated for a summer release. The final GPU will be more powerful than anything on the market today; in game terms, it would handle a game like Half-Life 2 with ease.
System Memory – Xenon will have 256 MB of system RAM. Keep in mind that this number should not be equated to typical PC RAM. The Xbox has 64 MB of system RAM and is a very capable machine.
Optical Drive – As many have speculated, Xenon will not use Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Games will come on dual-layer DVD-9 discs. While the media is the same as that of the current Xbox, the usable space on each disc is up to 7 GB. The drive is slated to run at 12X.
Memory Units – Xenon will use 64 MB to 1,024 MB memory cards. 8 MB is reserved for system use, leaving a 56 MB to 1,016 MB for user data.
Hard Drive – As many have speculated, Xenon’s hard drive is optional. 2 GB of the drive will be used as game cache. The final drive size is still being determined.
Camera – Xenon will have a USB 2.0 camera. It’s capable of 1.2 megapixel still shots and VGA video. Photos can be used in-game and for gamer profiles. The camera can also be used for video chat. It’s unknown if the Xenon camera will allow for EyeToy-like gameplay. Developers are currently using a simulated camera driver.
Sound Chip – Xenon does not have an audio chip in the traditional sense. Decompression is handled by hardware, while the rest of the chores are handled by software. DirectSound3D has been dropped in favor of X3DAudio. The former was deemed too inflexible.
Consumer electronics giant Sony has unveiled a range of MP3 players which use flash memory to store songs. The devices are pitched into a competitive market recently swelled by the addition of Apple’s iPod shuffle.
Unlike hard disk-based players, flash devices hold fewer songs, using solid state memory rather than a disk.
The Sony line-up includes MP3 players which hold a similar number of songs to the iPod shuffle – about 250 – but the players have much longer battery life.
The new players have up to one gigabyte of storage and depending on which version, cost between $150 and $180.
Sony said the new devices would have 50 hours of battery life – compared to the Shuffle’s 12 – and they also come with a small display screen.
read more for the rest of the story… or go to the source.
source: BBC News
In an effort to boost sales of Windows, Microsoft has its sights set on its nearest competitor.
But it’s not Linux. And sorry, Apple Computer fans, it’s not the Mac.
The biggest rival to Windows sales is Windows itself–or rather pirated copies of the OS. And Microsoft is starting to put its foot down.
In its most serious bid yet to reap revenue from those who’ve been getting Windows without payment to Microsoft, the company plans to require computer owners to verify that their copy of Windows is properly licensed before allowing them to download software from Microsoft’s site. By mid-year, the once voluntary Windows Genuine Advantage program will become mandatory.
The whole Windows Genuine Advantage program is really nothing great, heard it does not even work that well. Go figure. oh well though.
A Russian website offering MP3 tracks for sale has been cleared of breaching copyright laws, say reports.
Last month the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) urged Russian authorities to take action against AllofMP3.com.
source: BBC News