We posted recently about a drive to save internet radio from bankruptcy due to a demand for backdated royalties for music. According to Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, two new bills in Congress are owing to the huge support of the American public. "Congress is calling this the grassroots
campaign of the year," Westergren told Gizmodo. "Office staffers say they have never
received this many emails and inquiries on any issue in their
congressional careers. The whole fax infrastructure of Capitol Hill was
jammed for two days." You can get informed and show your support at Savenetradio.org.
Criticism erupted after the Army released a new set of restrictive guidelines for "milbloggers" — blogs written by active duty military personnel. Claiming concerns over security, the regulations stated that all blog posts, emails, and other electronic communication had to be approved before they could be published. In response to the criticism, the Army issued a press-release which included a lighter take on the new regulations, noting that they may not be fully enforced. Critics say that this only leads to further confusion, and could still result in the censoring of first-person military blogs.
For anyone who caught an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 during its 11-season run in the 90’s, you realized pretty quickly that you either got it or you didn’t. The premise of a man and his robot pals confined to a spaceship and forced to watch horrible B-movies managed to be the stuff of genius when their constant witty commentary made an intolerably bad movie into a comic classic. Due to royalty fees, the crew was never able to take on some of the most deserved Hollywood fluff from recent decades, but now the group is back in a new form using the Internet. Rifftrax.com features downloadable episodes from Mike Nelson and co. as they riff on Lord of the Rings, Terminator 3, Star Wars, Top Gun, and others. The audio-only files are meant to be played alongside the film for the full MST3K experience.
According to a report released by Google, a growing security threat is coming from actual webpages that download and install malicious code onto a user’s computer. In the past, users were warned not to download email attachments or other files from the internet which could contain unwanted software. Increasingly, however, just visiting a webpage exposes your computer to spyware and can even turn your PC into a spam server, according to the search engine. Google is starting to note potentially dangerous websites in their search results — the sites themselves could have been victims of a malicious code installation — and also warns that users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are at the highest risk.
Tech Video of the Week The Encyclopedia of Life is on its way: “Over the next 10 years, the Encyclopedia of Life will create Internet pages for all 1.8 million species currently named. It will expedite the classification of the millions of species yet to be discovered and catalogued as well. The pages, housed at EOL, will provide written information and, when available, photographs, video, sound, location maps, and other multimedia information on each species. Built on the scientific integrity of thousands of experts around the globe, the Encyclopedia will be a moderated wiki-style environment, freely available to all users everywhere.”
TowleTech is written by TR correspondent Daniel Williford.