Miscellaneous Monday-Morning Updates
Some news about recent topics of this blog:
Internet radio royalties: Last week, Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) introduced a bill, the Internet Equality Radio Act (PDF text), that would bring commercial Webcasters under the same simple royalty system as satellite radio--they could pay 7.5 percent of their revenues or 33 cents per "listener-hour" of music. Sounds like a good idea to me--now write your reps and tell them to get behind it.
Doing your taxes: One of the comments on this post praised Virginia's free online-filing site; having recently used that to do my own state taxes, I'm pleased to second the recommendation. It was a pleasure not to have to choose between paying an e-filing fee or stuffing an envelope with forms--thanks, Virginia!
Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts: Business Week tech columnist Steve Wildstrom finds Microsoft's "Windows Genuine Advantage" is even more annoying than previously thought: It can also serve as an advertising-delivery tool for Microsoft.
HD Radio: The selection of HD Radio-compatible hardware has recently broadened, but only a little. In August, Onkyo will start selling what will be, by my count, only the second home-theater receiver with an HD Radio tuner--pity it will cost $2,099 (!). My wait for an HD Radio-compatible receiver has officially become excruciating... if I can get this technology in a $100 clock radio, why isn't it an option in audio hardware that costs 5 times as much?
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