News Roundup: EU Probes iTunes Pricing, Doing the Anti-DRM Happy Dance, and More

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News Roundup: EU Probes iTunes Pricing, Doing the Anti-DRM Happy Dance, and More

EU keeps stern eye on Apple: The ever-vigilant consumer watchdog across the pond, the EU, is accusing Apple (and the record labels it partners with) of price gouging for charging European customers different prices on the iTunes Store depending on what country they live in. The inquiry is partially a result of complaints from the UK, where iTunes Store customers pay about 1.16 euros to download a song compared to 99 euro cents paid by French and German customers. The EU doesn’t like the fact that Apple forces European customers to buy from the iTunes Store that corresponds to their country of residence.

 

Sing a happy iTune: But in sunnier iTunes-related news, companies like Sonos that make streaming audio devices are clinking glasses of bubbly over the news that broke yesterday about EMI offering its catalog on iTunes free of DRM protection. Who else hailed the deal? Well, anti-DRM activists, of course, including the entire country of Norway. Microsoft probably isn't too thrilled, though. And one very negative Nelly says the deal represents nothing more than the "content mafiaa [sic]" winning another round against us "dumb sheep" consumers. To that we say, Baaaaaaa!

 

P.S. Just don't expect Apple to get behind removing DRM from video files any time soon.

 

Not easy not being green: One-man environmental movement Al Gore is getting pressured by environmental groups to put more heat on his pal Steve Jobs to focus on making Apple greener. About 70 environmental groups signed a letter to Gore protesting his opposition shareholder resolutions that ask the computer maker to take greater responsibility for its environmental impact. But, as we all know, Steve doesn't like being told what to do. Let's just hope he wakes up on this issue and realizes that leading (rather than trailing) the environmental "race" can only help his company.

 

For the love of the list: Apple products took seven spots in PC World's list of the 50 Best Tech Products of All Time: The Apple II hit the list at No. 2 (after Netscape Navigator, which snagged the top spot), followed by the iPod (6), the Mac Plus (14), iTunes 4 (21), Mac OS X (30), AirPort Base Station (34), and HyperCard (41). By comparison, Microsoft products garnered just two spots: Windows 95 (20) and Excel (49).

 

And Apple made another list: USA Today's top 25 most memorable quotes. Steve Jobs's "One more thing" hits the list at No. 17.

 

Remember when: Dell sold iPods? Apple's software maintenance program made sense? A gallon of gas cost 72 cents? Yeah, we do too. Sigh.

 

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Ken

My favorite town in Luxemburg (Esch-sur-Alzette) isn't shown either, but on this scale, neither Esch nor Luxemburg should show. However, the map also shows Yugoslavia, which no longer exists. Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia aren't there.

I don't think all the people who live in those countries think this is a trivial matter.

Would your map of the US show the Louisiana Territory as part of France?

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Tony

Hey, and Luxeumbourg isn't shown! Neither is Monaco! And that great weisswursten place I used to hang out on the marienplatz in Munich isn't highlighted! Get with it, guys!!

More seriously, some complainers can't tell an illustration from a technical drawing.

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Ken

You are using a pre-1989 map for the European Union. It shows the German Democratic Republic ("East Germany"), which went out of existence that year and was never a member of the EU. In fact, that map predates every web site in existence.

So what's with your graphics person?

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