insidious_plots
aka christopher, aka zane
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Name:insidious_plots
Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Wednesday, December 31
  two news bits

[moved from my LiveJournal]

FREE IBM PCs FOR ALL OF UK
via Nybble

Nobody in the UK need ever pay for a personal computer again - from this week new IBM models will be delivered free of charge to any home that wants one.

US computing giant IBM is working with British start-up company Metronomy to supply a free IBM PC, which would otherwise retail for around #800, to every household in Britain. It is anticipated that around two million of the computers will be given away over the next three years, with an initial 200,000 being shipped in the first few months of 2004. The only catch is that users will be subjected to one minute of TV-style ads coming on to their screens every 20 minutes. If the user wishes, the ad break can be delayed by a maximum of five minutes to allow completion of another operation such as a secure online purchase of an airline ticket.

Initial advertisers include Churchill Insurance, part of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is using its TV ads to sell to the PC user market. In order to continue to access the new PCs, users will have to install a CD each month to update the advertising content. This will enable advertisers such as Churchill to trial a variety of ads with different types of customer. Future free software could also include the kind of bGsoftphoneb application that enables computer users to make free international telephone calls over the Internet.




and Yahoo Photos news

Paul Festa
CNET News.com
December 24, 2003, 10:25 GMT


Yahoo has eliminated storage limits on its photo site, but cut the ability to store very high-resolution pictures for free

Changes to Yahoo's photo and storage sites have elicited cries of bait-and-switch from users, even as the portal giant opens its photo site to unlimited storage capacity.


In its ongoing effort to balance its free and paid services, Yahoo this month divided its Briefcase file storage service and its Photos storage and retail site, adjusted storage limits and restricted some downloads to paying subscribers. Previously, Yahoo lumped picture files and other files under the same storage system.
As part of that change, Yahoo eliminated its 30MB storage limit but restricted users of its free service from retrieving what it termed "really high-resolution" images -- or anything above 480 by 360 pixels -- unless they paid for the SBC Yahoo Internet service or Yahoo's premium Plus service.
That restriction has riled some users, who say their only
high-resolution copies of some photos are stored on Yahoo's servers.
"I would say I lost about 70 full-sizes images," said Henri Dubois-Ferriere, a Yahoo subscriber in Lausanne, Switzerland. "The original versions have now been 'kidnapped' by Yahoo... Converting previously free services into paid services is one thing, but this is worse, because a previously free service is withdrawn with no warning, in a manner that makes users lose data they had entrusted to Yahoo."
Yahoo countered that it had warned users of its Briefcase and Photos service changes by running top-of-the-page banner advertisements directing them to an informational page.
Those banners started running in August, Yahoo said. The company has been implementing the changes over the course of this month.
Subscribers like Dubois-Ferriere who may have missed those banners still do have a free workaround for getting their pictures back -- a 60-day free trial of Yahoo Plus.
Yahoo has been tinkering with charging for its Web-based services for years. The recent elimination of the 30MB limit for photographs is the result of company research that showed that the limit was stunting use of the service, as digital photography becomes more mainstream and higher-resolution cameras come down in price.




i THINK that is good news for us, considering the panic over PSO screenshots and such that we had to go through...


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