Thursday, September 11, 2008

Run Windows Apps 100% Seamlessly on Ubuntu!

I know that most of us Linux user usually cringe whenever we need to *god forbid* use a Microsoft WIndows machine. So we created applications like Wine in an effort minimize the contact with that horrid machine. With Wine a big percentage of Windows only apps could run on Linux, which more or less takes Windows out of the equation and lets us interact directly with our favorite App. Another solution of course would be installing Windows on a virtual machine.

But running an app on a virtual machine doesn’t eliminate Windows from the equation. Right? So I will show you now how to run Windows apps 100% seamlessly on Ubuntu. You know something like this:


  1. Windows installed on Vmware. ( I assume you have one or know how to create one)
  2. rdesktop, you can grab that from apt-get or directly download it from their site
  3. SeamlessRDP, download it an extract it in your Windows VM in c:/seamless

What to do:

In Windows VM

  1. In the Windows VM, get the local IP address of that machine using the Ipconfig command in DOS.
  2. Also give that machine a static IP (Not DHCP). This will help you later when invoking the launch command, you won’t need to change the IP everytime
  3. Create a new Windows admin user, let’s call it Linux for now (Password:123123)
  4. Finally, we want to make Windows launch without a Desktop. So launch your registry editor (regedit in run) and navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer. Once there create a new DWORD entry and call it “NoDesktop” and then change it’s value to 1.

On Ubuntu Linux

Right click on your desktop and choose “create launcher”. In type, keep it as is (application), for name name it whatever you please (I named it Windows-VM), and in command type in “rdesktop -A -s ‘c:\seamless\seamlessrdpshell.exe c:\windows\explorer.exe’ -u linux -p 123123?. Of course you will need to change the IP to your IP and the password (123123) to whatever password you chose. Thats it! Double click on the launcher and you will shortly get a the Windows taskbar on the bottom. Of course if you want to totally get rid of MS nuisance, just enable the autohide option ;)

Original here

The Jaunty Jackalope Hops Aboard Ubuntu’s Ark

Microsoft has spent years battling an Apple. Now it must go up against a Jaunty Jackalope as well.

The Jaunty Jackalope moniker is the latest animal-themed name used by Canonical, a maker of open source software, to describe an upcoming version of Ubuntu, its flavor of the Linux operating system. Other names used for previous releases of Ubuntu have included Hardy Heron, Dapper Drake and Breezy Badger. While the names may seem silly, they reflect part of the culture that has helped Ubuntu become a legitimate player in both the desktop and server operating system markets.

The geek elite use Linux, which is an operating system built with open source software that serves the same basic functions as Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X. Of late, members of that geek elite have tended to choose Ubuntu as their favorite version of Linux. (There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on Linux, each with their own collections of applications and features.)

In December, Google will host a developer conference around Ubuntu at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. One of the main topics of discussion should be Jaunty Jackalope, which will likely ship next April in final form.

Canonical expects this version of the operating system to boast improvements in the speed at which the software boots up. “Let’s see if we can make booting or resuming Ubuntu blindingly quick,” wrote Canonical’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth, in a note to developers.

In addition, Canonical plans on catering to the “cloud,” where users tap applications stored on central servers rather than firing up something like Microsoft Office right on their desktop. Shuttleworth was very vague about how Canonical intends to ride the cloud but said the company is after “weblications.”

The rabid interest in Ubuntu by both software developers and technology managers has helped the operating system come out of nowhere to rival long-standing Linux operating systems built by Red Hat and Novell.

To be sure, Red Hat remains the dominant version of Linux picked up by large companies. But the grass-roots interest in Ubuntu has opened some doors for the operating system. For example, Google uses a customized version of the software called Goobuntu for internal operations. In addition, PC giant Dell now offers Ubuntu as an option on some desktop and laptop machines.

Besides Ubuntu’s popularity with the tech crowd, the South African-born Shuttleworth is a big reason for the software’s success.

In 1999, VeriSign bought Shuttleworth’s company, Thawte (pronounced “thought”), for $575 million. (Shuttleworth used $20 million of that money to purchase a trip to the International Space Station in 2002.)

With Shuttleworth’s fortune backing Canonical, the company can battle against giants such as Microsoft and Apple without fearing for its near-term survival.

Shuttleworth concedes that the goofy names — a jackalope, after all is a mythical creature — are a personal indulgence.

“No excuse, I’m afraid,” he said in an interview conducted via e-mail. “I deserve the blame for this. The buck / drake / eft / fawn / heron / ibex / jackalope stops here, so to speak. We learned a while ago that our sanity depended on making the names alphabetical, so the next one will be the K* K* but beyond that, it’s not a sophisticated process.”

“K,” he added, “is going to be very, very hard.”

Beyond keeping the Canonical folks sane, you can argue that the names help separate Ubuntu from the crowd.

“I think anything that’s remotely entertaining keeps people interested,” said Dave Rosenberg, the co-founder of another oddly named open source player, MuleSource.

Canonical is expected to release a version of Ubuntu called Intrepid Ibex next month.

Original here

5 Best Free and Open-source Real-time Strategy Games for Linux

StarCraft and Red Alert are two of my favorite real-time strategy (RTS) games. Though these games are closed-source, they are still playable in Linux through Wine. Recently, I have tried a few free and open-source RTS games and was really impressed with some of them. The best thing is that I can play them instantly on my Linux box without the need for Wine and without having to spend a single dime.

If you are into real-time strategy gaming, I highly recommend you check out these Free and Open-source RTS games:

Warzone 2100 was originally released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation. In 2004, the source code and most of its data was released under the GNU General Public License, thereby making it a free game. Warzone 2100 can now be played in Linux and is available in most distro package repositories. The game is developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive.

Although Warzone 2100 is comparable to Earth 2150 in many significant respects, it does contain certain unique aspects that clearly differentiate the two, including various radar technologies, a greater focus on artillery and counter-battery technology, more frequent in-game cinematic updates as gameplay progresses, and customizable vehicle designs.

Visit game website HERE

Glest is a free 3D real-time cross-platform customizable strategy game created by a team that is based in Spain. The game is set in a period reminiscent of the Middle Ages and contains two playable and customizable factions, Magic and Tech. Since the release of version 2.0 there have been many changes, including new units, upgrades, and an overall expansion of the game. Version 3.0 added online play over LAN/Internet. Glest has a fairly large community, with custom maps, units, and mods.

Visit game website HERE

Bos Wars
Bos Wars (formerly known as Battle of Survival) is a futuristic real time strategy game (RTS). Bos Wars is a free real-time cross-platform strategy game. Project was started by Tina Petersenand in the year 2004 and the current project leader is François Beerten. The game is written in C++ and Lua and it uses the SDL library.

Bos Wars has a dynamic rate based economy. Energy is produced by power plants and magma gets pumped from hot spots. Buildings and mobile units are also built at a continuous rate. Control of larger parts of the map creates the potential to increase your economy throughput. Holding key points like roads and passages allow for different strategies. Bos Wars create a completely original and fun open source RTS game.

Visit game website HERE

Globulation 2 is an innovative Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game which reduces micro-management by automatically assigning tasks to units. Globulation 2 brings a new type of gameplay to RTS games. The player chooses the number of units to assign to various tasks, and the units do their best to satisfy the requests. This allows players to manage more units and focus on strategy rather than on micro-management. Globulation 2 also features AI, allowing single-player games or any possible combination of human-computer teams. The game also includes a scripting language for versatile gameplay or tutorials and an integrated map editor. You can play Globulation 2 in single player mode, through your local network, or over the Internet with Ysagoon Online Gaming (or YOG for short).

Visit game website HERE

Spring (formerly known as TA Spring or Total Annihilation: Spring), is a full 3D free/open source RTS game engine originally created by the Swedish Yankspankers, intended to bring the gameplay experience of Total Annihilation (TA) into three dimensions. Games are played using one of a number of mods. The standard installation comes with a range of prepackaged mods, some which requires that one own a copy of TA to legally play them, and other Free Content mods which may be used free of charge without owning a copy of TA. Spring’s core game engine is licensed under the GNU GPL.

The game is mainly focused around multiplayer games over the Internet or a LAN connection. There are currently a few single player missions, built on the basic support for this through Lua scripting. There are also many skirmish AIs, allowing for offline play or extra players in an online game.

Ubuntu In Popular Culture

Yesterday we watched “Berlin am Meer” - not a world-changing, but nice movie filmed in Berlin. As in all other modern movies which happen to be shot in Berlin, I enjoy the sensation of recognising where the scene happened (”Nice, that’s like 5 minutes from here.” or “We’ve been at that spot last weekend.”) The movie did not disappoint us in that regard, lots of scenes were shot in Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Treptow.

In addition to that, I was pleased to see they used Ubuntu in a short scene. (The supposed best friend of the leading character copies files from his laptop without him knowing.)

(There’s no “In Popular Culture” section on the Ubuntu article yet…… :-))

Original here

E-Mail Addiction: Five Signs You Need Help

Quick: When's the last time you checked your e-mail? If you're like most Americans, the answer is likely within the last 15 minutes -- even if you're not at work. And if you carry a PDA in your pocket, your problem is probably far worse. Some doctors estimate more than 11 million people have e-mail habits that interfere with their lives. Are you one of them?

Forming a deep relationship with your inbox can eat away at your real-life relationships -- you know, the ones with your friends, kids, or significant other...those people you used to converse with face-to-face.

The good news, though, is spotting an e-addiction and correcting it isn't too tough. First, recognize the signs:

  1. You check your e-mail more than once an hour, even when you aren't on the clock.
  2. You look at every message that comes in, as it comes in, either at or away from the office.
  3. You feel the need to respond to messages instantly or within minutes of when they arrive.
  4. You interrupt real, in-person activities on a regular basis to deal with e-mail.
  5. E-mail has, in some way, interfered with your regular life -- be it in the form of sleep loss, relationship troubles, stress, or any other noticeable effect.

If you're still here and haven't toggled windows to check your inbox, here are some tips to help curb your electronic enslavement:

1. Remember, there's no such thing as an e-mail emergency. Remind yourself that no e-mail is going to self-destruct if you don't read it right away. If something is incredibly urgent, the sender will call, text, or otherwise reach you.

2. Give yourself a curfew. Treat yourself like a teenager. Decide on a specific cut-off time for sending and reading messages, and stick to it. If you get home at 6, commit to shutting down the computer at 7. You'll thank yourself in a year when your real life has returned.

3. Schedule e-mail times. Set specific times during which you'll deal with e-mail, and don't do it outside of those windows. Maybe it's 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 mid-afternoon. Stick to it and watch your day suddenly open up with extra time.

4. Set aside a "NO E-MAIL" day. A bigger break from the ol' send-and-receive might just be the best thing to cure your compulsion. A once a week change in routine can help you keep things in perspective, both psychologically and biologically. "Response prevention is the thing that's most helpful," Dr. Robert Gore, a Beverly Hills psychologist specializing in addiction, explains. "You don't do the thing that you find compulsively appealing. Once people learn that, their brains actually change on a biological level." If you can't cope with taking a full day off, try only checking your e-mail for five minutes Saturday morning -- then leaving the rest of the day e-free.

5. Take a vacation. Once you're ready to really kick things up a notch, schedule yourself a full week away from electronics. It's just what the doctor ordered. "I think most people in the world could really benefit by having a day that's completely free of any electronic mediation -- to sort of get back to things that are more natural, more deeply fulfilling than all these electronic gadgets," Gore says.

The final step may be the toughest of all, but it could make a world of difference: Put the damned Blackberry down. Turn your PDA off when you get home, or at least disable the instant e-mail checking function. Your messages will wait. Your life will not.

Thoughts? Questions? Shoot me an e-mail. Odds are, I'll respond within two minutes...regardless of the time or day.

Original here

BitTorrent Tracker Admin Jailed for 18 Months

Written by Ernesto

The fallout from the FBI raid on EliteTorrents in 2005 continues. Today, 26 year-old Daniel Dove has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $20,000 fine for the work he put in on the private BitTorrent tracker Elitetorrents.

During 2005, Federal Agents assisted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), first infiltrated and then shutdown EliteTorrents, a BitTorrent tracker with more than 130,000 members. In a May they took down the server and left this message, which was viewed more than 500,000 times in the week following the raid.


Daniel Dove, one of the arrested administrators of the Elitetorrents tracker initially opted for a ‘not guilty’ plea, but his gamble didn’t pay off. The jury was told that Dove was responsible for managing and recruiting the crucial ‘uploaders’ on the site (original seeders) and that he also operated a server which was used to distribute pirate material.

The jury believed this version of events and found Dove guilty on one count each of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement. Today, Dove has was sentenced to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.

Dove is the only administrator of Elitetorrents to plead “not guilty”. In 2006, Scott McCausland pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement for his uploading of Star Wars: Episode III.

McCausland received jail time and home confinement and on his release told TorrentFreak: “After 5 months in prison, and another 5 months on home confinement, I have just one obstacle left: my 1.5 years left of probation.”

Fellow site admin Grant Stanley, then aged 23, pleaded guilty to the same offenses as Scott and received the same sentence with the addition of a $3,000 fine. Other admins and uploaders who pleaded guilty include Sam Kuonen, then aged 24, 22 year old Scott D. Harvanek and An Duc Do, aged 25.

Dove’s sentence is the eighth resulting from Operation D-Elite but this federal crackdown didn’t end up causing a decrease in overall private BitTorrent tracker availability. Instead, soon after the raids the Elitetorrents members spread out to other trackers, the major difference is that most of them are now hosted outside the US.

Original here

Investigation into lost bacteria collection raises concerns about biobanks

Destruction of specimens leaves legislators worried about biological research collections.

LegionellaLegionella is the bacterium that causes a deadly form of pneumonia called Legionnaires' Disease.CDC/James Gathany

A US congressional investigation into the destruction of more than 10,000 bacterial samples from an infectious disease laboratory has led to a call for uniform guidelines governing federally funded biobanks.

At a subcommittee hearing of the House Committee on Science and Technology on Tuesday 9 September, representatives expressed their dismay at the destruction of specimens maintained by researchers then at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After the Special Pathogens Laboratory there was closed in 2006, administrators decided to destroy the samples without warning, even as researchers prepared to transfer the collection to the nearby University of Pittsburgh.

Loss of the specimens prompted an outcry from the microbiology community and nearly 250 researchers signed a petition calling for an independent inquiry into the matter (see Researchers protest destruction of bacteria collection)1. The science committee launched an investigation after the matter was brought to light by Nature News.

Investigators concluded that the motivation to destroy the collection stemmed from personal conflicts between the researchers and hospital administration. But congressman Brad Miller (Democrat, North Carolina) noted that the lack of clear guidelines at the medical centre left the collection vulnerable, allowing it to become a pawn in personal disputes.

"Collections should not be subject to similar mishandling simply at the caprice of a powerful administrator," Miller said. "It is time for the Office of Science and Technology Policy to start an interagency effort to create a core set of policies for the handling, maintenance and disposition of such specimens."

Personality clashes

The Special Pathogens Laboratory had specialized in testing environmental and patient samples for Legionella, the bacterium that causes a deadly pneumonia called Legionnaires' Disease. The lab was instrumental in establishing the connection between the disease and contaminated drinking water, and over the course of 25 years had amassed more than 10,000 samples containing Legionella and other infectious pathogens.

Administrators at the medical centre maintain that they destroyed the collection because specimens were poorly labeled. Cheryl Wanzie, chief technologist at the centre, reported that several specimens were uncapped and in broken glass tubes. Given that the lab handled infectious pathogens that posed a potential hazard, the decision was made to dispose of such samples, testified Mona Melhem, associate chief of staff at the medical centre.

But Janet Stout, former director of the laboratory, provided investigators with a catalogue of the lab's research specimens, and said that the list had been available to hospital administrators. Meanwhile, medical centre officials never informed Stout that destruction of the collection was a possibility.

After interviewing administrators and researchers, investigators concluded that the decision to destroy the collection was likely motivated by personality conflicts. Microbiologist Victor Yu, who also ran the laboratory, took his protests over the lab's closure to the VA Central Office. "People get miffed at the fact that their authority has been challenged in some way," said congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Republican, California). "I can sense the personality problems that arose."

Blanket regulations

Meanwhile, Miller said the incident in Pittsburgh was a sign that federally funded biological collections need a system of regulations to govern what happens when a researcher leaves an institution. "It appears that many laboratories do not necessarily have written protocols," he said, adding that instead, laboratories rely on common sense to determine a course of action when a lab closes.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute testified that their laboratories already have regulations in place. "I think there are already good policies in place to handle most of these kinds of situations," said Jim Vaught, deputy director of the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research at the National Cancer Institute. But Vaught acknowledged that he could only speak for his own institute, and was not familiar with VA policies.

A governmental working group has already been tasked with developing guidelines for scientific collections. But those guidelines would cover biological repositories as well as specimens such as NASA's moon rock collection, and historical artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition. In their report on the Pittsburgh incident, committee investigators recommended the formation of policies specific to biological specimens.

For Stout, there is no way to recover the samples that were lost. "What I'm heartened by is the work that the chairman and committee will do to ensure this will not happen again," she told the committee.

Original here

A New Addiction: Internet Junkies

While compulsive gambling is only beginning to be addressed by mental health professionals, they must now face a new affliction: Internet addiction.

"The problem isn't widespread but we know of serious cases in which teenagers don't leave the house, don't have interpersonal relationships, and have been isolated in front of their computer screen for the past two or three years, and only speak in the language of the characters they play with in network video games," says Louise Nadeau, a professor at the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychology.

"In a few years we'll have couples in therapy because the Internet will have become their main occupation."

Nadeau is director of the new university institute on addiction. It was created last year by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The mandate of the institute is to conduct epidemiological studies on addiction, evaluate the services available to patients, guarantee state-of-the-art practices, and document new forms of addiction.

There is no lack of data on compulsive gambling and alcoholism. But there is a vacuum when it comes to Internet addiction. "There is no reliable study or clinical data on the issue," says Nadeau. "We are starting from scratch."

A survey conducted in the Quebec health network concluded that hundreds of patients have consulted a professional about this issue. Researchers hope to further develop this data and determine the clinical threshold of addiction, establish how the disease evolves and elaborate intervention techniques.

To better communicate their findings the institute will use a knowledge broker. "It's like a journalist for a research team but the public is made up of clinicians," explains Nadeau. "The broker must communicate the data in accessible terms and make sure it is targeted to the needs of practitioners."

Original here

OiNK Admin Charged With Conspiracy to Defraud

Written by Ernesto

During October 2007, the popular BitTorrent tracker OiNK was shut down in a joint effort by Dutch and British law enforcement. Today, OiNK admin Alan Ellis has been charged with conspiracy to defraud. Charges against four OiNK uploaders will follow later today.

oinkAfter extending the bail date 5 times, Cleveland police has announced the charges against OiNK administrator Alan Ellis.

Cleveland police initially stated that the charges against Alan would be announced during December 2007, but this was soon postponed for two months due to a lack of evidence, only to be postponed another 4 times.

Interestingly, the charges against Ellis are not related to copyright offenses. Instead, he has been charged with “conspiracy to defraud”, further details about the charges are not available at the moment, but are likely to be released in the coming days. On 24th September, the case will he heard at a magistrates court.

Later today there will be more news regarding the charges (if there are any) against the four OiNK uploaders. Initially, six uploaders were arrested on suspicion of “Conspiracy to Defraud the Music Industry”, and other copyright offenses. However, two uploaders were released from further investigation in July.

The OiNK shutdown was an international operation, named “Operation Ark Royal”, and both British and Dutch police were involved. The police acted upon information fed to them by the IFPI and the BPI, two well known anti-piracy organizations who claimed that OiNK was a money machine.

Original here

Mark Cuban: “When I die, I want to come back as me”

by Mark Hendrickson

To round out the day’s schedule at TechCrunch50, Jason Calacanis interviewed Mark Cuban, the founder, HDNet, and several other companies. He has also been an angel investor for several startups including SlideShare, Goowy, RedSwoosh,, Calacanis’ own Weblogs, Inc and Mahalo.

Below are our notes, which try to capture a fast-paced exchange that included Cuban’s entrepreneurial advice as well as his experience running sports franchises (the notes place emphasis, naturally, on the former).

Jason Calacanis (JS): What is this about? *Plays clip from Dancing with the Stars featuring Mark Cuban from last year*

Mark Cuban (MC): You know, I’ve watched only one of my dances. I was so lucky to get through that.

JS: It was kind of shocking - you were actually good.

MC: I wouldn’t take it that far. So let’s change the subject..You know the one thing I did learn: how to do the ass shake in front of 25 million people

JS: Why did you do Dancing with the Stars anyway?

MC: It was just a challenge. It was something I didn’t know how to do, it was live, and it was athletic. And on top of that, I had just got my hip replaced. So I could either go through rehab or go dancing with my wife Kim

JS: You’ve had a pretty amazing career. Your advice has been extremely pragmatic throughout this conference. You’re not exactly associated with pragmatism, given the size of the deal

MC: You don’t think it was pragmatic to take that deal? Our last quarter was $23M+ per quarter. More than $100M per year. More than YouTube. We got 23 M shares of Yahoo as part of the deal. It was like we got 200 M dollars in real Yahoo stock. People don’t understand that back then we were screaming with over 100 M uniques per day. We had advertising - not only prerolls but inserted advertising. We had a test with a Texas AM football game where we inserted an audio ad. We bought a company called Simple Net that was all about user generated content. We started on the corporate side because the consumer side didn’t have broadband yet. So we sat down with people like Michael Dell and recorded videos for the net. So if I seem like I’m a cynic with web video, it’s because this stuff is all 10 years old. We’re just going through all of it again after the bust

JC: I feel like you get an unfair wrap with all this. People don’t know you had multiple businesses before Broadband

MC: I did, and I “retired” when I was 30. My goal was to drink with as many people in as many countries as possible. I sold a company and all I wanted was a lifetime pass for American Airlines. They had them for $125,000 for two people. I used to go into bars and ask women if they wanted to go on trips. But then, one of my buddies at Goldman said we should start a hedge fund and three years later we sold if for a lot of money. I was still drinking and traveling when I was asked to try streaming Indiana basketball games over the internet. I was reluctant because I already had my FU money but I took a look and put up some of my money. My first business card had Vice President on it because I didnt want to work. Before you could do live streaming, we figured it out and did it from there.

JC: After Broadband, you’ve gotten even more active than before. Why are you doing all this now? Are all these projects for fun? Movies and basketball?

MC: I’m a competitive person. Business is a much more competitive sport than any real sport. It’s 24×7x365. I’m a business adrenaline junky. Once I didn’t have to pay the bills, the best challenges were to come up with stuff that people said couldn’t be done. So when I started HDNet, people thought that it was stupid - HD TVs would never go mainstream. People said that consumers couldn’t tell the difference between HD and regular TVs anyway. So I put my money where my mouth was. And then I took a look at the movie business. I’m not creative but it looked fun and could provide content for HDNet. Plus I thought there was a better way to sell movies. So we decided to make a film for $750,000. I like to look at industries I just know are messed up. Everyone’s looking in one direction and I look in the other. We started Magnolia Pictures for distribution with the idea that we could provide movies where and when people want them. All our DVDs are not copy protected. If you want to copy them, please go out and do that.

JC: So you have all these businesses - a movie production company, a cinema, Magnolia, HDNet. How is it all going?

MC: Landmark, HDNet, and Magnolia are all making money. 2929 Entertainment is not making money yet but will in about a year. In aggregate, making money. I think we’re going to save the independent film business. Right now there are 600+ independent films per year, about 100 get theatrical distribution, about 10 make money. The whole process is broken so why don’t we tweak it even more? We created Ultra VOD that takes buzz around movies and puts it out to cable video on demand before they hit theaters. Why would we do that? There are so many pay-per-view commercials because they work. VOD sales make money and promote a movie. We sell it at a premium and because the cable companies get half, they promote the hell out of them. If we do $0.5M even before it hits theaters, we’re doing well. We recover lots of our costs. All of this is just built for more. On the flip side, the only national theater chain that will play those movies is Landmark. The others refuse because of the prerelease.

JC: What about the festivals? Does it disqualify you to do prerelease?

MC: People say you can’t win Academy Awards with prereleased films but all you do is put it in the theaters once when no one will see it. Then you qualify. The guy who runs the theater association called me a “devil”. Someone else has called my strategy the worst thing to happen to movies. But independent film creators think I have something going.

JC: What do you think when you look at BitTorrent and all the movie downloads there? Any business opportunity there?

MC: You can’t really stop it. People with the time will do it but others won’t. Lots of people just download movies and never watch them. People often pay for stuff for the convenience.

JC: How long have you had the Mavericks?

MC: 8 years. I let Dirk Nowitsky do what he wanted to do. It got voted worse franchise in business right before a bought it. It was worth $285M when bought, but now it’s about twice that much. You can beat yourself against the wall and they’re like stop stop stop but now we know I’m right. I’m quieter now because people listen. Before no one would listen. We try to be reasonable with seat prices when we’re both good and bad, because who knows when you’ll suck and fans will revolt.

JC: Let’s talk about the disaster that is the Knicks…

MC: They’ll be better this year

JC: When you look at the franchise, how do…

MC: If there was a template for success in sports, everyone would follow it. You do the best you can and trust the people you trust. I’ve learned the number one job of a pro manager is not to win championships but to keep their job.

JC: The thing you’re probably most notorious for is the whole Steve Nash thing. Looking back on it, was it the wrong move or…?

MC: In hindsight it was the right move but it was sad. We’ve all had situations where we worked with someone and developed emotional relationships, and Steve Nash and I had fun. But thats the way it works, you move on. I was terrified when he left.

JC: Let’s talk about the blog for a second. You were an angel investor in Weblogs. You were one of the first major figures to get into blogging.

MC: You know there’s only so much time for spell checking. It’s either going to be brutal or youre going to do the same thing all the time. Its been 4.5 years since I started.

JC: Theres usually a relationship between how successful someone has been and how quiet they become.

MC: In the past people used to tell me to shut up a bit. But what I believe is to put out your opinion and let everyone else react. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. People are afraid to put our their opinions and get push back.

JC: You invented the word “splogs”..

MC: Yea I wanted to be the one to invent a word.

JC: You do a lot of investing. Two of my companies. How do you do your investments?

MC: I just trust the person. I dont make as many as I did now with the Cubs thing and HDnet. But id say 80 percent of the deals I’ve done I’ve never met the people. Whatever you can say in a meeting you can put in an email. If I have questions, Ill tell you via email. With RedSwoosh, we met once in Las Vegas and never again. Blake Rose from IceRocket, I wouldnt know him if I walked down the street, but I might have emails with him 5-10 emails a day.

JC: People ask me for your phone number and I dont even have it cause we dont talk on the phone

MC: I use a sidekick because of the keyboard

JC: Who’s the entrepreneur you respect most? Current or past?

MC: I guess Bill Gates. Larry Ellison I respect. You know, old school entrepreneurs, it was just diffferent. There was a different crede. I used to want to be profitable every month, before going IPO. But then later I accepted running at a loss. From the Netscape moving on, that’s what has happened since — the whole idea now is to get pageviews and then figure out a revenue model. I think entrepreneurs these days have been cheated because for them, its not about understanding how to make money. But when the money goes dry, you’re shit out of luck. When the bubble burst, 9 out of 10 businesses went away. With weblogs, our mantra was sales cures all. We used to talk about bottom line, not top line. It always came down to what you’re putting into your pocket. I want a cash-in-pocket strategy not an exit strategy.When you walk down these halls, you dont have people making money yet.

JC: I dont know if you’re Democratic, Republican, or Lbertarian, You hate politics, but how screwed up have the last couple of years been? How about the shape of the country?

MC: I dont think the country’s in bad shape because theres all this entrepreneurial spirit here and elsewhere. That’ll never stop. People talk about taxes but thats not relevant to the success and creation of businesses in general. But boy, everyone in Washington - old and proposed - is doing everything they can to screw things up. No one can turn around Yahoo yet alone the country. I’ll probably vote for the person that’ll do the least, stay out of the way.

JC: You see guys like Bloomberg doing a kick ass job. Do they ever approach you for politics?

MC: I think political people are afraid of me. Thats the loose canon thing. There’s a lot to like about Obama but his economic policy is ridiculous. He talks too much about spending until the cows come home.

JC: Whats the best piece of advice you can give a young entrepreneur?

MC: Ill tell you what I learned from Bobby Knight: everybody’s got the will to win but when it comes time to doing something, it’s always about someone else. Not many people have the will to prepare. You got to be willing to know your product and environment better than anybody. No matter what you do there is someone out there trying to kick your ass. You got to be the smartest guy in the room about your product. Then you need to have a revenue source. You need a company with a revenue to make money. Concept, competition, and where the money is — plus something you love doing. I’ve never had a day of work. When I die I want to come back as me.


What do you do to educate yourself?

Pre-internet: stacks of books and magazines. I have PCweek magazines going back 10 years. I would read 2-3 hours per day of regular stuff.

Now online: I need a break because I spend so much time reading. If theres something I get into, I won’t stop. I read a lot of industry trade publications for cable now.

How do people reach you?

Send me an email and in three paragraphs or less, tell me about your business. Dont say you need an NDA or want a call. Just tell me how youre going to make money and how I’m going to add value. Give me a URL if you have a website, I’ll figure it out. 5% of the people will hear back from me.

What are you going to do with the Cubs?

I gotta buy them first. It just keeps getting more and more complicated. We’re in the process of due diligence. I have a group doing basic due diligence.

Can you talk about what’s fullfulling about businesses?

Winning, absorbing the journey and the destination. When all of it comes together, whether it’s something you started or took over, you get to look at yourself and everyone around you. Sports bonds families; different generations can talk together about sports. It’s the same within a business.

How do you pick a team for a startup?

I’ve always been a driver from a tech perspective so it’s been easy to find people who complement me. Finding someone who you trust and who complements you is important. It’s easier to find people you trust who are cheap and can be trained. Believing in the business is important too. The worst place to hire is the Silicon valley because everyone’s a hero in their own mind. There are great people everywhere you can find. The poeple I dont like to work with are people like me. I need people who can compliment my skill set, people who can do the nitty gritty with me. People who will be good verse look good.

What’s the biggest change you’ve made in your life that has changed your career?

Realizing I was a terrible employee. Getting fired for selling on commission rather than cleaning floors. Also, before you have kids and get a mortgage, thats the time to go after it. I cant tell you how many girlriends I’ve had that said “me or the business”, and I said “whats your name?”

How do you narrow down opportunities to the ones you get involved in?

You can drown in opportunity. We all have this aversion to finishing work because once you get into it, it gets mundane. Someone always seems to have a better idea. Unless I really ike something, I dont do it. I’m only ever a strategic investor.

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Slipknot Frontman Says Labels Cause Piracy

Written by enigmax

Slipknot vocalist and frontman Corey Taylor says it’s time for the music industry to stop taking legal action against downloaders. He feels it is the labels themselves who are to blame for online piracy, since the quality of released music is so bad, no-one wants to buy it.

coreySlipknot vocalist and frontman Corey Taylor has launched an attack on recording labels, saying that instead of spending their time chasing downloaders, they should use their resources to find bands that produce better music.

Taylor told Kerrang: “Why would you blame (people who download music)? Half the f**king albums that are out there are s**t. I don’t download, but at the same time, I don’t buy new music ’cause it all sucks. Okay, there’s a handful of bands that I buy, but other than that, I just buy old s**t because old s**t is good. Sorry!”

Taylor, who recently collected a Kerrang award on behalf of the band saying “I just showed up for the booze,” says that it’s not fair to blame the fall in album sales on file-sharers, and lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of the labels:

“People wanna blame the decline of album sales on downloading - I think it’s actually the record companies’ fault.”

Of course, lots of people blame the labels for piracy but Taylor believes they aren’t doing their job properly since they promote acts which aren’t up to standard, resulting in people feeling the acts simply aren’t worth the money.

“I think it’s the quality of the product. If record companies would stop giving any f**king mook (idiot) on the street with a fringe a record deal or their own record label, maybe you would sell more f**king albums, dips**ts.”

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The Mobile Computer: Outpacing the desktop

By Mathieu

2008 will be remembered as the year where the laptops will outsell their desktop counterparts. Now, if you take mobile computers in all their forms: smartphones, UMPC, subnotebook and of course, laptops, they already easily outsell desktops by far.

How’s that?

Over the years, they have overcomed their weakness and have become more conveniant than desktops.

They evolved from the bulky laptop to a variety of products, each one answering specific needs:

  • Weight/Portability: A friend of mine was telling me how she remembers when she had a “portable”, that is, a 30 pounds computer that you were carrying like a suitcase, with an handle.
    UMPC and subnotebooks, weighting from 1.5 to less than 3 pounds, answered that need. I was using the Acer Aspire One last weekend and I could barely feel its weight in my bag when I was using my bike. Now, compare that to my 50 pounds desktop.
  • Lower power consumption/Longer battery life: Subnotebooks are hitting 6-7 hours of battery life with 6-cell batteries and they are likely to get even better when the platform will be improved, as they are using Intel’s old power hungry 945 chipset at the moment. Dell announced a laptop with an optional battery to hit 19 hours of battery life and then just a few days after, HP replied with a 24 hours of battery life laptop. Yes, an entire day of use, withut plugging the laptop in or for normal people like you and me, two days of 12 hours.
  • More power: With the new Montevina 2 platform out and the quad-core Yorkfield processors to go along with it, laptops are getting powerful enough for nearly all users.
  • Price: With prices going down the drain, starting at $299 for the Eee and even as low as $99 for the Dell Mini Inspiron if you buy it along another Dell laptop, prices are no longer a problem for anyone.

What will happen in the next few years?

I predict that desktop computers, as we know them right now, will become a rare specie. They will most likely adapt to replace servers as we know them today, in which case servers would completely replace supercomputers, which are already being replaced by clusters of servers as we speak now.

Why? Currently, the only user who need more processing power are: Gamers, people who do audio/photo/video editing, researchers and modders/overclockers.

Gamers will move to laptops, as they are portable and they can bring it over to their friends to play online together. Why bring a 50 pounds case to a lanparty, no to mention the fear of breaking a part in the moving process, when you can just pack your laptop in your backpack?

It’s already happening and the transition will go faster with the release of more powerful laptops, along with more customization available. Think barebone, but for a laptop, along with th possibility of choosing pretty much every part, including the video card.

People who do editing will most likely move to laptops given some time, as the hardware evolves. At one point, it will offer enough performance and it will be more conveniant to have a laptop, especially for photographers who travel, to edit their photos on the go.

Of course, researchers and modders/overclockers are likely to stick with desktops for longer, but for how much longer? Who knows.

The average user, also known as the mainstream, will move massively to mobile computers. Dual cores laptops already offer enough power for them and they will be further improved in the future, by

  • Reducing power consumption, thus increading battery life.
  • Further increasing processing power, with new platforms and cpus.
  • Decreasing the price, as they become more and more mass produced.
  • Offering more options, as customers ask for more and more manufacturers produce mobile computer, which will increase competition and force them to innovate to increase their market share.

Pineview; Atom’s successor:

Perharps “Pineview”, Intel’s successor for the Atom, might be the one that will officially declare the death of the desktop as we know it. According to Intel’s roadmap, it will contain one or two cores, with hyper-threading, so 2 or 4 logical processors, integrated graphics and a built-in single-channel DDR2 memory controller.

Now, I don’t know if this will be an evolution of the Atom, or will it be based on the upcoming Nehalem processor, considering that it will have integrated graphics and memory controller as well.

Along with that, the Nehalem refresh, will also bring integrated graphics and memory controller to “full-size” laptops.

Both the Pineview and the Nehalem refresh architecture are coming to you in Q3 2009, just in time to Christmas and the new decade, Intel might just be the one companie to release the products which will launch us in a new decade of new and powerful mobile computers.

My take on this:

I’ve owned a laptop for 7 months now, I’m loving it and I’m the verge of selling my desktop to buy a subnotebook. I just don’t see the use in my desktop anymore. What about you?

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HP Breaks the 24-Hour Notebook Battery Life Barrier

by Paul Lilly

Holy moly, talk about being charged up! HP claims its new EliteBook 6930p can deliver up to 24 hours of battery runtime, or 5 hours longer than Dell's Latitude E6400, provided it comes equipped with an optional ultra-capacity battery.

“All-day computing has been the holy grail of notebook computing,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, HP. “With the HP EliteBook 6930p, customers no longer have to worry about their notebook battery running out before their work day is over.”

While we can't rule out a dose of voodoo magic as a contributing factor, much of the credit goes to the Intel 80GB SSD drive and 14.1-inch mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display, both of which HP says are required add-ons to make the feat possible. And that's not with a wimpy processor either - the least powerful CPU in the 6930p's lineup is an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400. Toss a spill resistant keyboard and an inner magnesium shell into the mix and HP has one tough mother on its hands.

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The Amazing 150″ Panasonic Life Wall TV Learns Your Preferences

This is the Life Wall by Panasonic. An extremely thin 150″ TV that does amazing things. It has face recognition so that it recognizes the face(s) that watch it and adjusts the display or program to that person’s preferences automatically.

How about having a TV that will move with you as you walk around the living room to keep the display right in front of you? The display would be large or small depending on how far away from the screen you were. It could display a screen saver instead of a black screen when turned off.

Powerful life-size images could dance with you, and videophone linkups would look like the caller was in the same room.

Video games would take on a whole new dimension with endless possibilities. School could be at home while the teacher could be at school. IP cameras would give the feeling of being there. None of this is science fiction. This is all part of Panasonic’s Life Wall TV.

Panasonic says it will go into production in 2009!

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Rumor: Apple MacBook Event on Oct. 14

Yesterday's new iPods were lovely and all, but if you're like me, you wanted something more. Like some notebooks. Not to worry, Daring Fireball's John Gruber says according to the standard "sources familiar with Apple's hardware plans" that its "Let's MacBook" event will happen on Oct. 14.

While he doesn't get specific what the new hardware will be, the heavily favored are new MacBooks clad in aluminum (peace out white), and new MacBook Pros, both long overdue for an overhaul. Also likely is a gut refresh of the MacBook Air, with a faster processor, and as MacRumors points out, the iPod classic's new 120GB HDD is the same kind used in the Air.

An October event also matches up with the date floated for the most pipe dreamy of all MacBook rumors, a MacBook Touch, and Apple's recent warning to retailers to stock up on current inventory. What are you hoping for? [Daring Fireball via MacRumors]

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7 Years of iPod: What You Paid and What You Got

With yesterday's refresh to Apple's iPod line, it was hard not to feel at least a little deja vu. I've been following new iPod announcements—which often come more than once a year—since 2001, when the first iPod showed up in stores for an astronomical $399.

In the iPod's seven years, a sort of price mean has emerged, settling around $249 despite countless claims of "more space," "more battery life," and, err, "more smaller." It's no surprise then that $249 is the price of a new 120GB iPod classic, a few dollars more than a new model 8GB iPod touch and $50 higher than the cost of a 4th Gen 16GB iPod nano. Click the image above for the full keepsake chart. [iPod on Giz]

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