Serial Internet pirates could find themselves in big trouble, gaming lawsuits are hopping, and is a music delivery technology from the '80s poised for a comeback? Let's wrap up the week in news!
ISPs to Disrupt Internet Access of Copyright Offenders: Under an agreement between the motion picture and music industries and the U.S.'s major ISPs, subscribers caught downloading illegally more than four times will have "mitigation measures" taken against them, which may include having their Internet speeds slowed down. (This does not mean they will be cut off from access entirely). The measure does not require ISPs to filter copyrighted material that travels through peer-to-peer programs (though the entertainment industry has advocated that). While not the total affront to net freedom some have feared, it's definitely a warning to be very, very careful with this sort of thing (that means you people who download material to create music videos).
How to Deal With the Loss of Your Unlimited Data Plan: An FAQ for Verizon subscribers, especially those who rely on their phones heavily for business, who are suddenly facing usage caps. Meanwhile, some are saying Verizon's move may be the boost that Sprint needs, considering that their data is still unlimited.
iPhone Users Spend Fourteen Hours a Month Gaming: These are the findings of a new study by Nielsen – yes, the TV ratings people. As if anyone needed any more proof that smartphones are now the gaming platform of choice for an awful lot of people.
Cassettes Return For An Encore: Once thought to be extinct, the tape cassette is suddenly becoming the new, hip way for indie bands to get their music across. (Vinyl, it seems, is soooo 2009). Music types may want to take note of what might be an emerging trend.
Former Sony Employee Sues Nintendo Over 3Ds Screen Tech: Tomita Technologies alleges in a lawsuit filed in a New York district court last month that Nintendo is violating a patent for glasses-free 3-D technology which was filed for in 2003 by Seijiro Tomita, formerly of Sony, and issued in August 2008. Business as usual for Nintendo, really – they've been sued for several Wii components and games, including the Wiimote and Wii Fit.
Square Enix Sues 15 Over Game Leak: Deus Ex: Human Revolution doesn't come out until August, but a version was leaked online prior to E3. Apparently, someone hacked into the Steam account of an Italian gaming journalist who was given a preview of the game and started posting it around. Another example of how important anti-hacker detectives are to the gaming industry, especially as more and more of these previews are going to be shared with insiders by methods like Steam.
1Up's Essential Books About Gaming Culture: Among them are The Ultimate History of Video Games, considered the definitive words on the subject, and Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life. We're not saying this list is the be-all and end-all, but it's a good place to start if you want to learn a little about the history of the industry before diving into it.
Japanese Pop Culture
Design a Vocaloid Contest Held: New People and Piapro.jp are having a contest to design a North American version of Hatsune Miku, the character that personifies Crypton Future Media's voice synthesizer software. Grand prize is a trip to San Francisco (or a "special prize" if the winner already lives in the Bay Area). Art types, you have until August 1 to enter.
YouTube Launches Experimental Redesign: Called Cosmic Panda, it's being described as “a new experimental experience for videos, playlists and channels.” It features a redesigned interface for channels and playlists, and the play bar now disappears completely while the user is watching a video. Sounds like it's being given just a test drive right now, but we'll see how it performs with the public. (It's definitely a prong in Google's rebranding strategy).
News of the World Shuts Down: The veteran British tabloid had been embroiled in scandal lately, as its reporters allegedly hacked the cell phone records of a missing teenager in order to grab story leads. (They also deleted messages from the phone, giving the mother false hope that her daughter was still alive and somehow using the account – unfortunately, her body was found later). Their story is a big, fat what not to do when it comes to journalism – chasing a scoop is one thing, but bending or breaking the law in order to do it? Not cool, not legal, not ethical.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is Sprint going to gain a major bounce from the end of Verizon's unlimited data plan? Or does Verizon have enough brand loyalty that it won't make a difference? – Bonnie