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Labels deny deals on file sharing

50°
337w ago - Three major record labels have denied signing deals allowing their music to feature on a new file-sharing service offering unlimited free downloads.

The service, Qtrax, boasted it would carry up to 30 million tracks from "all the major labels".

But Warner, EMI and Universal all say they have not licensed their music.

Qtrax said it expected an agreement to be reached with Warner and that terms had been agreed with the others even if deals had not been formally signed.

Discussions ongoing

Qtrax aims to allow users to download music from the major labels for free, with advertising revenue used to pay licensing fees.

But Warner says it "has not authorised the use of our content on Qtrax's recently-announced service".

And Universal and EMI said discussions with Qtrax were still ongoing but that licensing deals were not in place.

A spokesman for Sony BMG - the other "big four" record label - was not available for comment.

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Qtrax president Allan Klepfisz said that, while a deal with Warner had not been signed, he expected terms to be agreed "shortly".

"With everyone else, we have agreed on all terms," he said.

In some cases, deals had not been formally signed,...
 

Estonia fines man for 'cyber war'

50°
337w ago - A 20-year-old ethnic Russian man is the first person to be convicted for taking part in a "cyber war" against Estonia.

Dmitri Galushkevich was fined 17,500 kroons (£830) for an attack which blocked the website of the Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

The assault, between 25 April and 4 May 2007, was one of a series by hackers on Estonian institutions and businesses.

At the time, Estonia accused the Russian government of orchestrating the attacks. Moscow denied any involvement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC in May 2007 that the allegations were "completely untrue".

Minority attacks

The attacks took place against a backdrop of riots by ethnic Russian Estonians prompted by the removal of a Soviet war memorial from the centre of Tallinn.

During the unrest, one person was killed and more than 150 injured.

Moving the so-called Bronze Soldier was seen as an affront to the memory of Russian soldiers who died during World War II.

Prosecutors said Mr Galushkevich, a student, had claimed the attack was an act of protest against Mr Ansip, who became a hate figure for Estonia's Russian minority.

Ethnic Russians make up about a quarter of Estonia's population of 1.3 million.

Other...
 

Reeves reveals 1 million consoles were sold in PAL regions in December

50°
337w ago - Sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 are on course to overtake Microsoft's Xbox 360 in Europe by the summer of this year, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's president and CEO David Reeves.

According to Reeves the console is already outselling its rival in France, Spain, Germany and Italy, and over 1 million units were sold across the continent in the December build-up to Christmas last year.

On top of that, the latest numbers show Sony with a three-to-one advantage over the 360 in sales last week.

Reeves, talking to MCV, also explained that around a fifth of that number was down to the UK alone: "We're very happy with the performance of PS3 in the UK," he said.

He added that his company's console now had a higher cumulative installed base in some regions.

"It has not yet reached that in the UK. But the team here expect to overtake the installed base of Xbox 360 across all PAL territories in late summer.

"It's also worth mentioning that last week we outsold Xbox 360 in PAL territories by a ratio of three-to-one."

Momentum seems to be building for Sony's flagship console following a torrid time last year, as the effects of the price cut and increasing popularity of Blu-ray continue to kick in.
 

Sony Corp boss believes his business is holding up well, but worried about currency

50°
337w ago - The chief executive of Sony Corporation, Sir Howard Stringer, has revealed that he believes the company is performing well, but has expressed concern about the impact a strengthening yen could have on the business.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, he admitted: "There is always an impact on exports. The yen is volatile...We watch it with some anxiety," reports Reuters.

Because a significant proportion of the company's goods are exported for sale overseas, a rise in the strength of the native currency automatically makes its goods more expensive for other countries to import.

But despite that, he said, the consumer electronics arm is holding up well so far, buoyed by a better performance in the last month or so by the PlayStation division.

"PlayStation 3 has now gone past Xbox on the Christmas market. It's moving into its own as it gets into higher bandwidth...PS3 is out of the woods and beginning to hold its own," he said.

His comments echo others made separately by SCEE boss David Reeves, who earlier revealed the extent of sales in Europe, and claimed that the PS3 would outsell the Microsoft machine by the summer.
 

Why the PS3 still isn't hacked

400°
337w ago - "Why isn't the PS3 broken already?" We hear this every day. Someone somewhere thinks they can write a better media player with HD support. A guy wants to release his game but needs the RSX for the amazing graphics it can generate. Why can't we just tear open the PS3 solder a few wires and be done with it? The answer is both simpler and more complicated than you might expect.

The PSP, the Wii, even the Xbox 360 have all been hacked and can run homebrew applications so everybody thinks "the PS3 should be just as easy." The PS3 in some ways is as easy, in fact easier. No other console let you install Linux and run anything you want to. Sure Linux on the PS3 is great. You can write your own code and use it. You have the largest collection of applications anywhere (thats right, WAY more than Windows). It's all free (or at a very low cost).

But it's limited. You can't touch the RSX (The very powerful graphics chip in the PS3), you can't use the full hard drive, and nothing is really optimized for the PS3's fantastic Cell processor, this means that what should be fast and easy tends to be slow and cumbersome. In fact, DVD playing which can be done on any modern computer is a monumental task in PS3 Linux.

The major problem is that the PS3 isn't any other console. The PS3 is different...
 
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