Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Releases - November 20, 2007

best buy:

>one republic - dreaming out loud - $7.99 (tues/wed only)***
>keith urban - greatest hits - $9.99 (tues/wed only)
>nine inch nails - y34rz3ror3mix3d - CD/DVD - $11.99 (tues/wed only)
>fall out boy - infinity on high - $11.99 (tues/wed only) deluxe edition
>amy winehouse - frank - $9.99 (tues/wed only)
>led zeppelin - song remains the same - $17.99 (tues/wed only)
>U2 - joshua tree - deluxe - $19.99 CD/DVD - $39.99 (tues/wed only)
>brit pop - box set - $49.99 (tues/wed only)
>genesis - 1983 -1998 - $59.99 - 5CD/DVD box set (tues/wed only)

the "tues/wed only" must mean that best buy has something going on for friday. check the wed/thurs papers.

*** the best buy ad says that the "one republic" CD comes with a free download of the entire album.

circuit city:

>one republic - $7.99 w/exclusive bonus track
>keith urban - $9.99
>nine inch nails - $12.99
>fall out boy - $9.99 - deluxe edition
>amy winehouse - no mention
>led zeppelin - $15.99
>U2 - no mention
>brit pop - no mention
>genesis - no mention


>one republic - $7.98 w/2 exclusive songs
>keith urban - $9.98 - CD/DVD - $15.98
>nine inch nails - no mention
>fall out boy - no mention
>amy winehouse - $11.98
>led zeppelin - no mention
>U2 - no mention
>brit pop - no mention
>genesis - no mention

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Comcast hit with class-action lawsuit over traffic blocking

Glad to see someone has the balls to sue them. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out. I hope he "wins".....whatever that means.

By Eric Bangeman | Published: November 14, 2007 - 04:57PM CT

Comcast's traffic management practices have landed the cable giant in court. Yesterday, a California resident filed a lawsuit in state court accusing Comcast of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violating the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Related StoriesAdvocacy group to FCC: Comcast's traffic blocking defense is bogus
Once thought dead, net neutrality roars back to center stage
Net neutrality foes back FCC investigation into Comcast traffic blocking
John Hart describes himself as a Comcast customer who has seen performance hits when using "Blocked Applications" targeted by Comcast's traffic management application, Sandvine. In his complaint, Hart says that Comcast severely limits "the speed of certain internet applications such as peer-to-peer file sharing and lotus notes [sic]." Comcast accomplishes this by "transmitting unauthorized hidden messages" to the PCs of those using the applications.

Hart also takes issue with some of Comcast's high-speed advertising. He upgraded his service to the Performance Plus package in order to get faster uploads and downloads, and also to use the "Blocked Applications" referenced in the lawsuit. Comcast, he says, did not adequately disclose its traffic management practices when he signed up for High Speed Internet or when he upgraded.

Some Comcast customers have suspected that the ISP blocks some P2P traffic, but it wasn't until last month that the company was caught in the act. Testing performed by the Associated Press showed conclusively that Comcast was using forged TCP reset packets to block BitTorrent traffic. It then emerged that Comcast's traffic management practices were causing problems for other applications, including groupware client Lotus Notes.

Comcast has steadfastly denied blocking traffic, but its explanations of what exactly it is that the company is doing have been unconvincing. The ISP says that it sometimes "delays" traffic, but that the "delayed" traffic will always eventually make it to its destination. A Comcast spokesperson told me today that, while the company does engage in network management like any other ISP, "we're not blocking anything." As was the case with Threat Level, he referred me to the company's FAQ for more information on what the company does and does not do with P2P traffic.

At the beginning of November, a few public interest groups filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, accusing Comcast of running afoul of the FCC's Internet Policy Statement, and asking the Commission to prevent Comcast from engaging in any future traffic blocking. Hart's complaint also accuses Comcast of violating FCC policy by "impairing" the use of some applications while permitting other applications to operate without hindrance.

Hart is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, damages, a change in the company's advertising to reflect its traffic-shaping practices, and an injunction barring Comcast from further interference with the "Blocked Applications."

A Comcast spokesperson told Ars that the company has not yet been served with the complaint, and therefore had no comment on the lawsuit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams Tour '77 - Release Date December 4th

Shout Factory Announces the release of Carolina Dreams Tour '77 DVD & CD!

Although The Marshall Tucker Band is famous for its live prowess, there has never been a DVD featuring the original lineup of the band—until now. Carolina Dreams Tour ’77 captures MTB onstage performing their biggest hits: “Heard It In A Love Song,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Can’t You See” and many more. In addition to the DVD, this 3-disc set also contains the same concert spread across two CDs. Either way, it’s a wonderful slice of MTB in its early prime.

DISC 1: Fly Like an Eagle, Long Hard Ride, Searchin' for a Rainbow, I Should Have Never Started Lovin' You, Heard It in a Love Song, Take the Highway, Fire on the Mountain, In My Own Way.

DISC 2: Never Trust a Stranger, 24 Hours at a Time, Ramblin', Can't You See, This Ol' Cowboy, Will the Circle Be Unbroken

DISC 3: Carolina Dreams Tour DVD

The release date is December 4th

Monday, November 12, 2007

Vanilla Fudge covering Zeppelin on new CD

I can't imagine this one is worth running out to buy. After their "Then and Now" CD from 2004 which featured remakes of their well known songs and a "bonus" track of "Do You Think I'm Sexy", I would preview this one before you buy.

Vanilla Fudge covering Zeppelin on new CD *UPDATE*
From: VANILLAFUDGE.COM 2007.04.14

An update to a story that was presented back in October 2006, Vanilla Fudge is releasing a new CD in 2007, entitled Out Through the In Door, which is a cover of various Led Zeppelin songs. It was originally slated to be released in February 2007, but has been delayed. Stay tuned.

The track listing is as follows:

Immigrant Song
Ramble On
Trampled Under Foot
Dazed And Confused
Black Mountain Way
Fool In The Rain
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
Dancing Days
Moby Dick
All Of My Love
Rock And Roll
Your Time Is Gonna Come

Net neutrality foes back FCC investigation into Comcast traffic blocking

Anyone want to bet on whether the FCC will actually take any action against Comcast?

Network neutrality advocates and the industry-funded lobby groups that oppose it in Washington rarely agree on issues, especially when those issues involve network filtering or throttling. That's what makes last week's letter from Hands off the Internet (a telco-backed group opposed to government network neutrality regulations) such a surprise. The group told FCC Chairman Kevin Martin that it supported an FCC investigation into Comcast's alleged BitTorrent blocking.

As increased evidence of Comcast's traffic-shaping measures came to light over the last few weeks, a handful of consumer groups complained to the FCC on November 1. The groups argued that Comcast was violating the four principles found in the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy Statement (PDF). The groups then raised the stakes by calling for a $195,000 Comcast fine for every consumer affected by the problem.

Several of the signatories to that letter are also members of pro-network neutrality group, and they saw the incident as a perfect counterweight to claims that neutrality isn't necessary because no company has ever violated it. It's also exactly the sort of complaint that one might expect Hands off the Internet to oppose.

Instead, HOTI's letter reiterated the FCC's four principles and called them "the necessary safety net to protect consumers and the openness and freedom of the Internet." The letter went on to say that "the ball is in your court" and that the FCC has a duty to launch an investigation of Comcast in order to see if the company has violated the principles.

What's going on here? Harold Feld, the senior vice president of the Media Access Project, believes that Comcast's tribulations are a goldmine for the telcos, who want to press their advantage. The entire BitTorrent blocking ("delaying" in Comcast-speak) debacle just shows up a basic weakness of cable's current network architecture: bandwidth is shared by all users on a local node.

"Particularly with applications tolerant of minor delays (like downloading static web pages), it was easy for cable operators to share capacity among their subscribers while claiming a very fast always on speed based on the average user load for the system," says Feld, but notes that the system doesn't work well when users start saturating their links by using high-bandwidth applications.

Because P2P apps in particular can lead to consumer complaints from other subscribers on the local node, Comcast has taken to resetting certain types of traffic to keep the load lighter. In Feld's view, this just shows up problem's with cable's network that the DSL and fiber providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are keen to drive home by keeping this issue in the public eye.

Instead of spending tons of cash to upgrade its hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) network to fiber, Comcast cheaped out and instead bought some Sandvine gear to disrupt certain traffic instead.

"Looked at this way, you can see why the telcos (and therefore their sock-puppet HOTI) would be a shade peeved about Comcast's decision to 'manage' their network in such a 'cost effective' but deceptive manner," writes Feld. "Because if Comcast can keep pretending its network is just as good as FIOS when it isn't, and can even lie when asked about it directly by customers, then Verizon just wasted a couple of bazillion dollars and took a two-year stock beating for NOTHING."

With support both from the telcos and consumer groups, the FCC will certainly have to examine the issue. Its four principles haven't yet faced a good test case, and disrupting subscriber traffic in order to keep overall bandwidth down seems like a good one to start with. If Comcast's actions don't end up violating the FCC's four principles, then those four principles seem to mean little. But the FCC probably has little appetite for slapping huge fines on a company like Comcast, either.

Still, even opening up an investigation would be a win for consumers because it would show that the FCC considers itself to have the authority to act on such issues (and an interest in doing so). That alone should keep other ISPs treading cautiously, even without any new legislation. It could also be a win for the telcos, which would far prefer FCC oversight to Congressional laws.

Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains The Same - Release Date November 20th

This one appears to be more interesting since there are a number of previously (officially) unreleased tracks from the movie. It now contains six songs not included on the original album: "Black Dog," "Over the Hills and Far Away," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Since I've Been Loving You," "The Ocean" and "Heartbreaker." The album and film were recorded during a July 1973 stand at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Here is the track list for "The Song Remains the Same":

Disc One:
"Rock and Roll"
"Celebration Day"
"Black Dog"
"Over the Hills and Far Away"
"Misty Mountain Hop"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"No Quarter"
"The Song Remains the Same"
"The Rain Song"
"The Ocean"

Disc Two:
"Dazed and Confused"
"Stairway to Heaven"
"Moby Dick"
"Whole Lotta Love"

Led Zeppelin - Mothership - Release Date Tuesday November 13th

If you already have the Early Days/Latter Days discs, this may not be of much interest. But for the casual Zep fan or someone just starting to get into them, this is a good career spanning collection.

Disc One:
"Good Times Bad Times"
"Communication Breakdown"
"Dazed and Confused"
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Ramble On"
"Immigrant Song"
"Since I've Been Loving You"
"Rock and Roll"
"Black Dog"
"When the Levee Breaks"
"Stairway to Heaven"

Disc Two:
"The Song Remains the Same"
"Over the Hills and Far Away"
"D'Yer Maker"
"No Quarter"
"Trampled Under Foot"
"Houses of the Holy"
"Nobody's Fault But Mine"
"Achilles Last Stand"
"In the Evening"
"All My Love"