It’s a brand new year and brand new news.
Macworld Expo takes off this week in San Francisco. CES is on tap in Las Vegas.
On this day in 1920, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. They haven’t won a World Series since. Work began on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933. First FM radio transmission in 1940. Bozo premieres in 1959. The Fellowship of the Rings enters the Mines of Moria.
Happy birthday King Camp Gillette (1855) inventor of the safety razor.
- Two new viruses to kick off the new year. A new virus is spreading rapidly via MSN Messenger. Jitux is non-destructive. Another virus, PE_QUIS.A worm, is destructive. It spreads via an email purporting to be a Christmas screen saver. Among other things it replaces all the ringtone files on your PC with Jingle Bells.
- It’s legal to backup your DVDs in Norway. The Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) has decided not to appeal its case against Jon Johansen, the developer of DeCSS.
- Meanwhile a Belgian group is suing record companies for copy protecting audio CDs.
- Spirit has landed successfully and is sending back images of the Red Planet.
- According to Neilsen//NetRatings, more than three-quarters of Americans access the net using non-browser applications. Top five net apps: Windows Media Player, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and Real Player.
- The number of people using peer-to-peer file sharing to download music continues to drop dramatically. In a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project the percentage of Americans who get their music from the P2P sharing applications dropped to 14% in the four weeks ending December 14. That’s down from 29% in March.
- Anti-Haitian comments in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have prompted a lawsuit by Haitian-Americans demanding the game be banned in the US. RockStar had promised to remove the offensive scenes and made a public apology.
- Radio stations are turning on RDS, a little used feature that can broadcast text along with the music. Many cars have RDS capable receivers, but until recently few stations used the technology. Now stations are turning on RDS to broadcast commercials and that’s got some consumers up in arms.