Global music sales growing for first time this century

In 2012, global music sales rose by 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion.  This marks the first good year for the music industry since 1999.The music industry’s 21st century renaissance comes down to four factors: Better mobile technology, a growing global middle class, more music-listening options, and an effective crackdown on piracy that is making paid music a more attractive option.




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2012 was a year of expansion for 3D printing

As 3D printing expands its influence into mainstream culture, plenty of amazing things are happening. There are a lot of 3D printing companies expanding and getting more funding, but enterprising designers are finding more and more ways to use the fledgling printing technology. While some of these uses are a bit troubling (like piracy of copyrighted material and firearms), others show that, with enough ingenuity, 3D printing can change lives. Let’s take a look at some of the industry’s bigger stories from this year.



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Legitimate e-book lending site taken down by angry authors

A pack of digital authors ganged up on a useful site that connected e-book consumers and shut them down.

The process of lending an e-book is complicated and much of it is a result of conflicting DRM locks and platforms as well as a reluctance on the part of publishers to allow their books to be loaned. But authors can also be a roadblock when it comes to lending, and we’ve just had a classic example of how that can happen with the brouhaha over LendInk, a service that allowed readers to connect with others in order to share e-books. The site has effectively been put out of business by a virtual lynch mob of authors claiming it breached their rights, even though what it was doing was perfectly legal.



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How Private Is Your DNA?

DNA privacy

How is my DNA NOT private?

Unlike the contents of your inbox, bank statement, or Facebook timeline, your DNA quite literally defines you. It’s strange, then, that in an age where sequencing the genome is becoming trivial, we don’t give a second thought about the privacy issues surrounding the chemicals that make us who we are.

In fact, most states in the US have absolutely no laws whatsoever to govern surreptitious genetic testing. If that surprises you, it gets worse. Back in 2006, the particularly forward-thinking state of Minnesota passed a law demanding that written consent had to be obtained for collection, storage, use, and sharing of genetic information. In 2011, however, the Minnesota Supreme Court judged that the state’s own department of health was in violation of that very law.

So, quite literally millions of US citizen have their DNA records stored on databases, and there are few laws governing what’s done with the data. Something has to be done about that—but it’s not necessarily as easy as it sounds.

Clamp down on DNA privacy…

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Poor Countries Have More Piracy Because Media Costs Too Much — Report

piracy 12413

Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, an academic report on pricing and copyright infringement in poor countries, comes to the conclusion that high media prices (as measured against the average wage in poor countries) are responsible for piracy — that is, when you control for social attitudes towards copying, enforcement differences, and so on, the largest predictor of whether a country will have rampant copyright infringement is whether the media in that country is priced high relative to peoples’ earning power.

To make their point, the authors have released the report under a provocative “Consumer’s Dilemma license” that charges escalating rates depending on whether your IP address is in a rich or poor country.

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Shift in Tactics Give Pirates an Edge as They Prey on Ships Further Out at Sea


Pirates off the Horn of Africa.

Two years after international forces dispatched a flotilla of warships to counter piracy around the Horn of Africa, attacks on merchant ships are rising again.Last year, pirates captured 53 ships in the region, up from 51 in 2009, according to the Combined Maritime Forces, which oversees the operations. There were 160 attempted attacks in 2010, up from 145 the year before.


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‘Sandy Bridge’ – 2nd Generation Intel Chip a Coup for Hollywood


Codenamed “Sandy Bridge,” Intel’s new lineup of microchips promises the biggest-ever leap in processing power.

US chip giant Intel introduced Wednesday a speedy new generation of chips that thwart film piracy and enable quick handling of data-rich video and games.

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