Weekend tech reading: Portugal considers a 'Terabyte Tax'

By on April 15, 2012, 3:45 PM

Portugal considers 'Terabyte Tax' In what legislators are calling an attempt to "bring old legislation into the 21st century," the Portuguese parliament is considering taxation on storage devices, in an attempt to protect copyright holders. According to one local media outlet, Exame Informatica, the 'minor' legislative update proposed by the Portuguese Socialist Party (currently in the opposition) in Portugal, would have consumers forking out for a new tax on storage devices, all in the name of copyright protection -- yet all but killing off HDD sales in the country. TechEye

Death to Word Nearly two decades and several text-handling paradigms ago, I was an editorial assistant at a weekly newspaper, where a few freelancers still submitted their work on typewritten pages. Stories would come in over the fax machine. If the printout was clear enough, and if our giant flatbed scanner was in the mood, someone would scan the pages in, a text-recognition program would decipher the letters, and we would comb the resulting electronic file for nonsense and typos. If the scanner wasn't in the mood, we would prop up the hard copy beside a computer and retype the whole thing. Technology was changing fast, and some people were a few steps slow. You couldn't blame them, really, but for those of us who were fully in the computer age, those dead-tree sheets meant tedious extra work. Nowadays, I get the same feeling of dread when I open an email to see a Microsoft Word document attached. Slate

Valve reveals mystery hardware project: wearable computing This morning, Valve set the world of gaming news abuzz by attempting to hire hardware engineers. Now, Valve developer Michael Abrash has revealed what kind of hardware the company is prototyping: computer technology you can wear. It's certainly an important time to admit such a thing, considering how Google's Project Glass heads-up display generated so much interest last week, but Abrash cautions that you shouldn't expect a product out of Valve anytime soon, if at all... The Verge

How a geek grills a burger Since cashing out of Microsoft, software genius Nathan Myhrvold has lived a nerd fantasy -- digging up T. rexes, dabbling in Formula One, and creating a cooking bible only a mad scientist could love. As usual, Nathan Myhrvold has to get the dinosaur question out of the way first: Is it true, asks a saucer-eyed brunette with cleavage bursting through her zip-front denim jumpsuit, that he has a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in a glass solarium in his massive Bellevue, Washington, home? "Hahahahaha!" Myhrvold guffaws. Sigh. "Yeah." Men's Journal

Comments are bad business for online media I’m in an interesting position. I’m currently in the process of overhauling this whole ANIMAL thing, from the basics of our site content, to building out plans to expand in the future, how to make money, etc. We’re taking a real stab at turning this little blog into a big ol’ thing. (Blessedly, I am surrounded by ultra-competent people who excel at disciplines I do not.) One of the sort of generic checkboxes I’ve been asked to tick as the new Managing Editor -- or at least think about moving forward -- is "building community." Animal

Windows 3.1: Twenty years later Imagine a world without the Start button. No, I'm not talking about Windows 8. Dig deep into your memory, and you may recall a time when Windows 3.1 ruled the Earth. Twenty years ago this month, Microsoft released version 3.1 of its MS-DOS graphical-shell-turned-operating-system. Windows 3.1 became the first version of Windows to be widely distributed with new PCs, cementing the dominance of Microsoft's OS on the IBM PC platform and signaling the dawn of the Golden Age of Windows. PCWorld

Shades of 1984 emerge in broadcast TV copyright flap In 1984, Hollywood was arguing that the VCR and home taping would kill its business and wanted the Supreme Court to outlaw the devices from Americans’ living rooms. Luckily for Americans and Hollywood, the Supreme Court recognized the power of innovation and the limits of copyright in a 5-4 decision that helped unleash a revolution in home entertainment that included a multi-billion-dollar market in videotape and DVD sales and rentals. Wired

Digital differences When the Pew Internet Project first began writing about the role of the internet in American life in 2000, there were stark differences between those who were using the internet and those who were not.1 Today, differences in internet access still exist among different demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. Among the main findings about the state of digital access... Pew Internet

Apple under fire for backing off IPv6 support Apple Computer came under fire for back-pedaling on its support for IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol, at a gathering of experts held in Denver this week. Presenters at the North American IPv6 Summit expressed annoyance that the latest version of Apple's AirPort Utility, Version 6.0, is no longer compatible with IPv6. The previous Version, 5.6, offered IPv6 service by default. Network World

Is Facebook making us lonelySocial media -- from Facebook to Twitter -- have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic) -- and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society. The Atlantic

What Amazon's ebook strategy means It seems to me that a lot of folks in the previous discussion don't really understand quite what makes Amazon so interesting -- and threatening, for that matter -- to the publishing industry. So I'm going to take a stab at explaining. Amazon was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. And today it's the world's largest online retailer. Charlie Stross' blog

New targeted Mac OS X Trojan requires no user interaction Another Mac OS X Trojan has been spotted in the wild; this one exploits Java vulnerabilities just like the Flashback Trojan. Also just like Flashback, this new Trojan requires no user interaction to infect your Apple Mac. Kaspersky refers to it as "Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a" while Sophos calls it at "SX/Sabpab-A." ZDNet

FCC proposes $25,000 fine on Google The Federal Communications Commission proposed a $25,000 fine on Google Inc., accusing the search giant of deliberately obstructing an investigation into whether the company violated federal rules when its street-mapping service collected and stored data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks in 2010. The WSJ




User Comments: 21

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Dear Techspot:

Please, please, please do not turn this site into another social-network wannabe trying to shove Facebook logins down our throats. PLEASE don't sell your soul to Disqus or a similar broken pile of outsourced spyware.

Sincerely,

Most of your users.

ikesmasher said:

Dear guest,

Please create a techspot account so you won't have to worry about facebook being shoved down your throat.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Dear Techspot:

Please, please, please do not turn this site into another social-network wannabe trying to shove Facebook logins down our throats. PLEASE don't sell your soul to Disqus or a similar broken pile of outsourced spyware.

Sincerely,

Most of your users.

(((WTF)))..........don't turn TechSpot into another social networking site? I think it's time to wake up and smell the coffee there pal, for just the very fact that TechSpot supports an open forum system automatically makes it a social networking site! And the Facebook part of your post, (((WTF))).........."logins"........"outsourced spyware"!?!?!?!? The only thing related to Facebook I see here is the option to click on the "thumbs up like button" down there on the bottom left corner of ones screen. I don't see how having that button down there is TechSpot trying to make this place into a social networking site?

And if you have a problem with Matthew injecting a possible conversation piece, by placing such topics in the weekend Tech reading section, then take it up directly with him, "private messaging" format preferred.

Rant over, carry on! o_O

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Dear Techspot:

Please, please, please do not turn this site into another social-network wannabe trying to shove Facebook logins down our throats. PLEASE don't sell your soul to Disqus or a similar broken pile of outsourced spyware.

Sincerely,

Most of your users.

You trippin real hard lol

Nima304 said:

Every Weekend Tech Reading we hear some more bad news that somehow gets us closer to the end of the world.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I loved this part: "Most of your users"

Guest, nothing to be worried about. You can remain anonymous if that fits your bill, though I would prefer if you registered an account and took advantage of the many things our community platform has to offer. But ultimately it's up to you. I believe the Facebook reference was made because we now offer the option to login using your FB account.

ramonsterns said:

I do hate this new comments section.

I have to go into forum mode if I want to reply to someone.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

You mean, if you want to quote him?

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If anything excessive quote and requoting adds the potential to make comments on the main site rather long. It probably helps more than hurts if it is not a function immediately available (though wholly available as a user on the forums). But that's my two cents.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

We will add quoting back very soon. Don't hate, just ask kindly. We are working the best we can. I know you like this place and we love it ourselves.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As far as I've seen "quoting" is already here, no need to add it! If one wants to hit what was once quoting, just hit the "Reply" option, next to the "like" option there towards the right, it does the same thing! I could be wrong, but the reply feature for me works the same as the old quote feature from the now dead and gone forums!

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Zen, they're talking about the front page news entry which is currently missing the quote functionality.

ramonsterns said:

You're right, Julio, my bad. And thanks for the update.

Either way, quoting is needed, and having to spend an extra quarter of a second scrolling past a quote is a necessary evil most people need to deal with so the people actually having a discussion don't have to spend 5 seconds or more looking for which Guest with a controversial opinion someone is replying to.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Zen, they're talking about the front page news entry which is currently missing the quote functionality.

Well I sure feel like a smuck now, misunderstood here I guess! :oops:

Timonius Timonius said:

I really liked the story about the comments. This by the way 'might' be one of my last comments ever.

Does anybody even read all these?

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I read just about all of them heh.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

It bit difficult to understand what's what without a guide/map showing what has been renamed to what.

The popup descriptions are helpful though. Somewhat.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm with Julio, I got a kick out of a Guest signing their misguided plea with "Most of your users" there. In my experience, most of the real "users" here make an effort to identify and take ownership of their comments by creating an account. It also seems that most of the flighty headline skimmers and random visitors fall under the "Guest" category (which is very appropriately named). Of course, I know this is generalizing and is not always accurate, but sure seems to fit.

So, Guest, if you want to have a say in how our community is shaped, maybe actually join it? Just a thought...

Renrew Renrew said:

And it's Schmuck, Zen. lol

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And it's Schmuck, Zen. lol

Great, now I've gone from misunderstanding this darn thing, to a person who can't spell, maybe I should go back to school or something!

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

And it's Schmuck, Zen. lol

Geez, way to kick a guy while he's down haha.

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