Unless you've been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard about Google's legal battle with the Justice Department even if not from here. Just to recap though, the Government wants a random sampling of Google's search data to help build a case to renew the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The chain of appeals has brought the case to District Judge James Ware, and it appears that he wants to give a limited amount of anonymous data to the Feds. He wants to just give them entries from Google's search index rather than the search terms, and Google's programmers will be compensated for their time (yeah, that's what Google needs, a few thousand bucks). It's clear that a compromise must be reached, because this is an extremely fragile situation. If he rules in favor of the Justice Department, then it could open up Google to be bombarded with requests from other law enforcement agencies and professors conducting studies, but if he cedes to Google then it could create an impediment for prosecutors in the future because of the precedent. I think it's funny how the Justice Department brings up how quickly Microsoft and Yahoo bent over as part of their case. I think the judge is doing a good job of trying to be fair, but I don't think Google will be happy unless they completely win. Google's solution is to refer them to Alexa instead, but I'm sure that that's not the data the Department is looking for. I'm still rooting for Google here because I can't imagine this not leading to search queries, which should be kept private, being subpoenaed more in the future. Expect more from this case in the very near future.
AOL has recently released a new web site called In2TV through which you can watch whole episodes of old television shows like Growing Pains and Histeria, both of which were near and dear to me as a child. This could be the start of something big, going along with my IPTV-centered post yesterday, and you can actually expect a post from me tomorrow about one such set-top box provider. Remember that Disney Channel movie that strangely popped up on iTunes? Well it was taken down and then reappeared at a higher price: $9.99. It appears that Jobs is going for a pay-to-own model and is being stalled by talks with some studios, but $10 seems a bit steep unless it's offered in higher quality. Sony had a briefing today to talk about the PS3 and PSP, and they've announced that the PS3 will be released worldwide this November. That took them way too long to admit, but they also said that their revamped online service will have a basic tier for free (with many Xbox Live like capabilities), developers are being told to expect to use an HD (though no word on if it's in the box), and all games will be on Blu-ray discs (though it will be fully backwards compatible). A fake news story I chose not to report on yesterday (and for good reason, in the end) fooled everyone, including Google News. Don't believe everything you read online unless it has a credible source behind it! Amazon is planning to unroll a service called S3 to provide an infinitely large hard drive for developers at a flat rate of $0.15 per GB per month. This is Amazon crying out that it's more than just retail, and with the kind of resources they have, no one should really be surprised. Lastly, I thought I'd use this article about the declining CD market to make the point that CDs are better quality than mp3s! A friend of mine mocked me for not just buying songs from iTunes, but he's really paying the same price as me for worse quality. It really shouldn't be in decline, but I guess it is.
I'm going to be seeing V for Vendetta tomorrow at 10 (which will mean an earlier post), and so should you. To entice you further, IGN put up some more video interviews. JoBlo has a pretty good interview with Natalie Portman as well, or you can just catch tomorrow's reruns of tonight's Daily Show. Tomorrow will also bear witness to a new MI:3 trailer, which will premiere on MTV even before its theatrical premiere with V for Vendetta. I expect for it to be even cooler than its current trailer, so let's hope for the best! It looks like Kanye West, in the vein of artists like Mos Def and Eminem, is trying to make his way onto the big screen, except that he's commissioned several writers and directors to create their own shorts. They'll then be intertwined with West's music playing, which will make for one unique movie, but I have my reservations as to whether they'll really mix well together. AICN seems to hold a high opinion of Hard Candy, which if you'll recall is about a pedophilic photographer who lures a young teenage girl to his studio for some debauchery. I figured that this movie would be pretty cool and creepy, possibly in the way of Requiem for a Dream (to a lesser extent though). Lastly, IGN got a few words from Robin Tunney about the upcoming continuation of Prison Break's first season, and she sounds like a very humble actress.
Now for the Wednesday Mind Hump:
1. What's your favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow shape? And do you ever eat the cereal part of it too?
I'd have to say the pots of gold. No idea why, it just is. I always eat them with the cereal though (otherwise it's way too sweet), and I think it creates a well balanced flavor with the oats. Ah the magic of cereal.
2. How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
Try to wear green and that's about it. I'll probably celebrate a bit differently in just a couple of years, so give me some time ;)
3. What's your favorite Irish or Celtic song or artist?
There are Irish-specific artists? I guess I have none then.
4. Corned beef - ya got beef, but where's the corn? What is the deal? (inspired by Jerry Seinfeld)
Maybe they feed the cows a lot of corn? Or maybe it's cooked with corn, and then the corn is later removed? Or maybe this is just a misnomer gone wrong?