The World Wide Web s inventor Berners-Lee, who first proposed the Web in 1989, believes that making the Web more useful hinges on getting the players behind the technology to agree on standards. Industry players must avoid the temptation to stymie key technologies by demanding royalty payments, Berners-Lee said Wednesday at a technology conference sponsored by MIT. Berners-Lee envisions a new phase, called the Semantic Web, in which data can more readily interact without human involvement. Rather than merely navigating to information, Web surfers should be able to manipulate it to get more meaning, he said. Consider a Web advertisement for a seminar. Someone planning to attend should be able to register and automatically update their electronic calendars with a single mouse click. Berners-Lee envisions this happening through the encoding of information so computers can talk to one another without human mediation.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed separate legislation this week designed to combat spyware and the illegal online swapping of copyright material. One bill requires people who share movies, videos and recordings on file-sharing services to provide their e-mail or physical addresses, while the other bans unauthorized installation of spyware on individual computers. But questions abound about the enforceability of both. Sponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America, the file-sharing law authorizes fines up to $2,500 and a year in county jail. Under the law, consumers can sue for damages.
The battery life of Apple s iPod has been a hot topic among the faithful since the earliest models began to age. Newer Technology and Other World Computing are introducing the high-capacity 2100mAh iPod replacement battery ($40) that has a capacity 70 percent greater than the original. The company says will add hours to the iPod s original 10 hours of playing time between charges. The battery works with all first- and second-generation models released in 2001 and 2002, and comes with plastic tools to open the iPod. (Doing so voids its warranty, but if your machine is more than a year old the standard warranty has expired anyway.)
For years, sports fans have put radios on top of their TVs so they could listen as breathless, biased hometown radio announcers cheered their teams on in time to the video. Cable and satellite signal delays have frustrated that action. ABC s Monday Night Football is adding a five-second delay this season to head off unexpected surprises like the Janet Jackson costume incident. DelayPlayRadio (www.delayplayradio) is a $140 device that introduces a variable delay of up to 16 seconds in the audio stream from a radio attached to the unit. A slider bar on its face lets you adjust the delay during the game. Input and output jacks on the back connect to an AM/FM receiver, stereo components or headphones.
DUAL SCREEN GAMEBOY
Nintendo said last week that its dual-screen Game Boy player will hit U.S. stores in time for the holidays. The DS, Nintendo s first hand-held player in three years, will be available on Nov. 21 with a suggested retail price of $149.99. The DS s dual-screen format can be used to view games from two angles or to allow two players to go head-to-head via a wireless connection. The DS will be able to play 600 Game Boy Advance titles. Sony s handheld game player the PlayStation Portable has been delayed until March 2005. Nintendo has sold 170 million Game Boy players since the line was introduced in 1989.
Read transcripts from this past week s football chitchats, including Ron Musselman s college football chitchat and the Loose Piggy pro fantasy football chitchat.
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