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Loaded: Saving Net radioCongress is focused on more than just the economy: an Internet-radio bill passes the House. Plus, iTunes becomes more accessible for the blind, and Wal-Mart ditches DRM music.
>> The government bailed out internet radio broadcasters over the weekend, Wal-Mart dishes DRM music, and iTunes becomes more accessible for the blind. It's Monday, September 29th, I'm Natali Del Conte and it's time to get Loaded. ^M00:00:12 [ Music ] ^M00:00:16 >> Natali: If you bought digital music from Wal-Mart that had DRM attached to it, you better hurry up and back it up. That's because Wal-Mart if pulling the plug on its DRM server, so the company will no longer support any music that isn't DRM-free. A notice was sent out to consumers over the weekend. If you don't back up your DRM music from Wal-Mart's digital store it will be stuck wherever it lives as of October 9th. Wal-Mart is framing this as a good thing, that they're becoming an exclusive DRM place, but why would they punish users who legitimately bought these songs, why not just replace the DRM versions with the DRM-free versions and call it a day? Pandora and other internet radio stations have bought themselves some more time. The Webcasters Settlement Act was passed in the House this weekend. The bill gives internet radio stations an extension with which to negotiate a fair royalty rate with the record labels. Law makers said that this bill was unanimously supported largely because the public out-cry was so overwhelming. No matter what your politics I think we can all agree that this is at least one good thing to come out of Washington this weekend. You can now up-load up to 10 videos at a time to YouTube, although I'm not sure I'm suggesting that. The company has said that they can get between 10 and 13 hours of video per minute. Don't know that we need more, but nevertheless that is possible now with the company's new video up-loader page. This is a Beta and Napa [assumed spelling] default up-load page but if you use it, it accepts videos in any format up to 1 Gig in size. Apple has decided to offer the iPhone unlocked in Hong Kong. Previously users were forced to use Hutchison Telecom but now they can purchase an open phone and choose their carrier, which is a privilege that we here in the US covet, or at least I do. iTunes will be more accessible to the blind by the end of the year. Apple reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office and the National Federation of the Blind that requires iTunes You to be fully accessible to the blind by the end of the year. The rest of the program will have to be accessible by June 30th of 2009. Apple will do this by using software that converts the information on the screen to brail or speech. AT&T has signed a deal with DirecTV. The 2 companies will offer service together once AT&T's deal with Dish Network dries up in January. AT&T will offer a DirecTV satellite service along side its AT&T user service starting January 31st 2009. Both Nokia and Samsung look to have new touch-screen phones on the way this week. The Nokia's called the Tube and it will launch in the UK on Thursday. It will run a touch-screen version of Simian F60 and be a music phone, meaning it will likely have -- comes with music, which is the company's limitless down-load service. The Samsung will be called the Pixon and in addition to being touch-screen it will have a 8 megapixel camera with auto-focus, twin LED flash, face detection, and shake reduction. Those are all the details we'll have until this Thursday, so sit tight. And Gadget had an article this weekend about cameras in our phones and soon we will not have to settle for 2 and 3 megapixels in our phones. This Samsung is just one example of the 8 and 9 megapixel cameras we're starting to see. We may even see 10 megapixels in our phones soon. I'm really excited about that, we just have to convince American carriers to start offering them, we want them. Zune users hurry up and update your down-loads because the Zune network will be down for 48 hours starting today. Microsoft said that the adage would start at noon Pacific today, Monday and may stay down for up to 2 days. Microsoft didn't say specifically why this would happen but they did say it wasn't a security patch. That means you won't be able to access the Zune Social, Zune dot Net Forums, or Zune Marketplace for a while so hurry up and down-load enough content to hold you over for a while. We have a new entrant into the Netbook game, LG. The company launched a new laptop in Korea late last week and it's called the LG Xnote Mini. It's a 10 inch laptop with an Intel atom processor and 160 Gig hard drive. It is also one of the lightest Netbooks weighing in at only 2 point 6 pounds. Like the Packard Bell Dot, we can't be sure if or when it'll come to the US but we can hope. Speaking of Netbooks, the pioneer in this category the Aces has added some compelling updates to the EPC. The first is the addition of 3G starting in October all 901 models of the EPC will have 3G. That means you'll have another option to getting on-line when you're on the go without having to depend finding and accessing a WiFi network. There's also an esthetic update, the 901A and the 900A now come in blue or gold. I do like the blue, the white EPC's look a little cheap to me. The pictures that I've seen of the blue ones look a lot more chic. I'm not a fan of the gold but I'm really not a fan of any gold electronics, or teeth for that matter. We're expecting a TiVo software update later on today that will turn your PC into a DVR. We can't confirm details just yet but the word on the street is that TiVo will release a software kit that will let you use your Window's PC like a DVR, recording programs to your laptop. Of course, this isn't the first time we've had the ability to record programs to our PC's, but it's the first time that the TiVo interface and experience is legitimately coming to a PC, which is what a lot of people want including myself. The kit is supposed to cost $199.00 and be available on October 15th. Those are all your headlines for today but I will see you tomorrow bright and early. Thanks for watching. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET TV and you've just been Loaded. ^M00:05:20 [ Music ]