While looking around Google’s website, I found a link to a beta Linux version of Google Picasa. Some months ago Google hired Codeweavers, famous for the Wine project, to do a Linux port of Google’s much heralded picture management software. What this means is the application runs in Linux with the help of Wine’s open-source implementation of the Windows API. It looks like a win-win scenario because Google has released over 200 patches back to Wine and Linux users get a great program. The FAQ has a list of supported distros and a lot of other useful information. Will this product offer enough features for users to switch from current photo management software like digikam?
After being sold and remaining offline for nearly two months, tvnzb.com came back up two days ago. The RSS feeds are working as well. Although I am not a lawyer, I suspect tvnzb.com should be safe from lawsuits for the time being because it is hosted outside of the United States.
Overall I find this development to be interesting because contrary to “industry” expectations, the scene has not been affected by MPAA lawsuits filed against NZB and torrent sites around the same time tvnzb.com went down. Maybe it is time the industry moved in a direction that makes sharing of copyrighted material financially irrelevant. This doesn’t mean the threat of lawsuits but offering high quality episodes (i.e. DVD or HDTV) for purchase via iTunes or some other electronic store within hours of the broadcast. A season-long subscription with an ability to burn our own DVDs and print cover art within a reasonable pricing model would almost eliminate casual copyright infringement. I’m going to expand on this idea in a post in the near future (hopefully).
SkypeOut calling is now free within the United States and Canada until December 31, 2006. According to the press release:
Yes. It is really very, very free. There’s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing.
I just tried it and it works perfectly. As an added tip, I use my Bluetooth headset with Skype for wireless calling via an excellent plug-in called Vitaero.