meaWhen facing a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, you may feel anxious, but there are some natural ways to find relief that you may try. Even if you don’t feel pain in all your joints, you should protect them from heavy physical activities. Your joints will be safe and later you will see the benefits of this protection. This is only one type help with rheumatoid arthritis, but there are other methods you can try. There is a lot of rheumatoid arthritis experts out there, but here are some tips from us. One of them is mild exercise. You do not have to run fast or go to the gym often. In your condition, it will be enough to have light but regular physical activity. You can go for a walk or swim for half an hour. If you practice that every second they or twice a week, you will feel not only relaxed but be in better mood, since physical activity helps us to be happier. If you own a bike, you may go for a ride every day. This type of training will help your body to be active. If you are not sure what type of activity you may perform, consult with your doctor. Swimming is usually allowed at such health problems, so prepare yourself a towel and a swimming suit.

Being Treated With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Rheumatoid arthritis is usually related to age and elderly people often suffer from a disease. But that is not the rule because there are younger people who may have rheumatoid arthritis being diagnosed. It is not a pleasant situation, but if it happens, a person should find the best way of helping oneself. Many patients consider taking a rheumatoid arthritis diet in order to reduce the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The symptoms are pain in joints, fatigue, stiffness in hands and similar. The anxiety often follows this disease because a patient may feel emotionally hurt since he or she can’t work physically as good as before. But some experts say that the certain diet may help. For instance, food rich in omega-3 fatty acids is advisable by many. These acids can be found in fatty fish like tuna, salmon or herring. A patient may take fish oil as well. But if the person is a vegan or does not like eating fish because of the smell, then it is good to eat more nuts. Almonds and walnuts are good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, flax seeds should be added to food. Flax seeds are great when added to cereals, smoothies or yogurts.

Berries That Will Help You With Rheumatoid Arthritis

When spring comes, our bodies often need some time to adjust to the rhythm of nature. During that process, we may feel tired and our immune system gets weak, so we become vulnerable and often catch a cold or some infection. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you may also feel the change since your body is more sensitive. To ease the pain and other consequences this disease have, you may change your diet. Include eating food with many antioxidants into your spring rheumatoid arthritis treatments. To prevent the inflammation, eat berries that will help you. You may drink juices as well. Consume them on a daily basis. Nutritionists agree that berries like cranberries, blueberries and aronia have many nutrients. It is important to choose organic berries and high quality juices without sugars and water added. You may make juices by yourself and that is, actually, the best way to consume the berries. When drinking a juice, the nutrients will be kept there and by consuming it, you will get the best of fruits. Aronia berries are very popular these days thanks to promotion. But other berries may serve good as well. Aronia is often mentioned because it is the most efficient.


ynhdrRAID repair is often necessary when the hard drive array system is corrupted. RAID means redundant array of independent disks and this works together in order to minimize data loss. Sometimes, RAID can also give the computer system additional processing speed. But overall, this is designed in order to duplicate the files that are saved in order to reduce its loss. Data like business databases, pictures, music, movies, and many others can be saved with a RAID. However, if this is not working properly, it is recommended to perform a professional RAID repair immediately.

Attempting a repair without appropriate knowledge is not advised by experts. This is because the more mistakes you committed, the greater the chances of not bringing back the lost files. Hence, whenever there are catastrophic calamities going on and the RAID is affected, seek professional help as soon as possible and never press any button that might complicate the process. Once you press the button, there will be some commands needed to continuously retrieve the lost files and if you fail on this, your chances of retrieving everything are gone. Therefore, RAID repair is necessarily done by an expert computer technician who can successfully repair the damages of these hard drives.

Is There An Alternate Solution For File Recovery Other Than RAID 5 Recovery?

With RAID 5 recovery, they say you can recover the corrupted files by using this system but according to other users, it is not helpful as they advertise it is. Some say that you have to go through a long and a lot of process before you can create a backup folder. Another frustrating thing about creating a backup folder is it will consume a part of your hard drive’s memory with a possibility that it might be also infected with virus. Aside from the time consuming and the possibility that the virus might infest your backup folder as well, something more frustrating is how half of the hard drive’s memory will be the backup folder.

Some say that the RAID 5 recovery is a bit useless since it has more liabilities than assets. According to the users, using online storage applications are way more safer than using the recovery system for RAID 5 since with online services, even though you are paying for it, you are actually getting good services out of what you paid for. The online storage actually lets you keep all kind of files and you can easily share it to people instead of carrying your hard drive and laptop to places.


Whether it’s caused by a disaster like a fire or flood, by malicious corruption, or purely by accident, magnetic data can often be retrieved. It takes an expert using sophisticated, state-of-the art technology, but data recovery specialist firms claim success rates of more than 90%.

“If the data is there, we can get it back,” asserts Jeffrey McDonald, UK business development manager for the U.S.-based Hard Disk Recovery Services. It’s only when it isn’t there, for example when a [SAVE command] has not worked, that we have to tell the client we can’t do it.”

Not all “drive failures” are real, however. Often, they are just file system issues. Sites like GraphicsPapers.com, Tom’s Hardware, Refresh Software and HDD Guru offer great tips on recovering from these file disasters.

Similarly, Torstein Engen, product manager for Norwegian data recovery specialist, IBAS Laboratories, claims that data that seems to have been irretrievably lost can be recovered almost every time with the right equipment and skills.

Contained environments like this clean room are the safest place for failed drives.

Contained environments like this clean room are the safest place for failed drives.

Mechanical failures are a fact of life. Increasing demand for speed and capacity have forced disk vendors to design smaller and smaller components that operate in hair-splitting distances from one another. Head crashes-when read/write heads collide with storage platters, damaging themselves and the magnetic layer-are serious. But, they’re not always fatal. For around $250 to $300 dollars, a data recovery company will analyze the damage and tell you how much data can be retrieved.

It takes recovery specialists anywhere from a few hours up to a couple of days to diagnosis a disk after a disaster. “Most people get an answer in 24 hours, on our standard service,” says McDonald. A preliminary diagnosis usually makes it possible to estimate the proportion of data recoverable to within 5%, he says. It’s then up to the user to decide whether the cost of the recovery procedure is worthwhile.

If the diagnosis is hopeful and a user decides to go ahead with recovery, the experts proceed to retrieve the data, which could take a further three days or more. Sometimes, however, if even just part of the data is irrecoverable, it may not be worthwhile. A single missing bit can sometimes wreck an entire database.

Granted, not all computer data is valuable, and most systems are backed up. But for those times when your backup fails or is also damaged in a disaster, or when a disgruntled employee throws his laptop off a bridle-along, with last month’s sales orders-data recovery may be worth the price.


When a wave of error messages and unpleasant noises signal a head crash and warn you to switch off the power, do it.  Trying to fix the problem yourself may cause further damage.

Many disks will react to a head crash by switching themselves off and locking the user out, sometimes reallocating data to an undamaged segment. Experts with special equipment can get around this barrier and find the missing data.

“When it happens, turn off the computer,” says Engen. “Don’t try to access the data with utilities. They could harm the logical structure of the data which is left.”

Recovering data from a head crash is complicated. The disk must be removed to a clean room that meets the U.S. and international Class 100 standard for a sterile environment. The air in a clean room is about 50,000 times cleaner than the air we breathe. HDRA provides such facilities at its headquarters in Irvine, CA. IBAS has clean rooms that meet S10 as well as the S100 classification.

Opening a hard disk, except in a clean atmosphere, can let in dust particles that can do even more damage than the crash. Also, fingerprints left on a disk can prevent it from working.

In most cases, it’s up to the user to supply disk to the data recovery company’s premises for analysis and treatment. However, in some cases-for example, where the disks are simply not allowed to leave the user’s site-it may be possible to carry out a diagnosis and even a full recovery over a network using special software tools. “Every case is different,” says McDonald. “We would not make any promises on this, but it can sometimes be done.”

The average recovery time is three to five days, says Engen. Even this could mean a catastrophic loss of business if the system involved is mission critical. In the worst case, recovery could take a month to six weeks.

So long a time without critical data can put an organization out of business. It’s important to run a parallel system or some form of fault tolerance for your data whenever you can, advise data recovery specialists. If backup exists, restoration will probably be successful. Unfortunately, many users never test the restore function of their backup systems and find they are unable to access their data when they try to restore during a crisis (see “Patrolling Database Backups, November 15, 1995). Even if they can restore the data, a time lag usually exists between the backup and the failure. Restoration can’t recover data entered during the delay.

Buying the most modem technology does not remove the risk of system failure, but it can help. RAID technology, for example, provides some fault-tolerant storage. Data recovery specialists argue that some investment in RAID is advisable for systems on which users depend heavily. The sharp drop in disk prices has made RAID a feasible option for many more organizations.


Methods for lost data retrieval are wholly proprietary, and the few companies that have developed them are extremely reluctant to discuss how they do it. Some software packages suitable for recovering data in different situations are commercially available, but they are not the sort of highly sophisticated software required to cope with head crashes or other major upsets.

Data recovery specialists use special software tools that enable them to override normal data deletion procedures; they also manufacture some of their own hardware for these processes. We have hundreds of instruments that assist us in this task, many of them developed in house,” says HDRA’s chairman and chief executive officer Tony Weathers. “It is a matter of applying our understanding of drives and their operating systems to identify the problem and, having recovered the data, to transfer it to a new medium for the user.”

Engen explains that the magnetic media has to be removed from the disk and put into a special machine to rotate it so that the data signals can be read. The very weak magnetic flux changes of the analog data signals, which form the physical basis of data storage and are unavailable to the user, can be copied to a new hard disk, and their logical structures can be rebuilt using proprietary software tools.

HDRA claims to be two to three years ahead of its competition in developing this complex recovery technology and is therefore unwilling to jeopardize its position by talking about it publicly. “The technologies are trade secrets,” says Weathers. But he does say that the techniques are built on HDRA’s experience in data storage dating from its founding in 1985 by three engineers who were formerly with Control Data, which was a leading disk manufacturer in the 1980s.

Privileged relationships with many of the leading disk drive manufacturers, including Conner, Digital, Maxtor, Quantum, Samsung, Seagate, and Toshiba, allow HDRA and IBAS to break seals without invalidating product warranties. Contracts with these companies also inhibit the data recovery specialists from disclosing their retrieval techniques. But should you need their services, data recovery companies offer high success rates. They support most operating environments, and their services are offered worldwide.


HDRA’s charges are determined by the amount of data stored and time involved. McDonald says recovery of a disk containing 300 to 600MB costs from $450 to $1,350. Bigger disks could cost a lot more, of course. Against this he points out that a gigabyte of sales and marketing data could be worth $20,000 or more to the user.

IBAS’s Engen says a job involving a day or a day and a half’s work might cost $1,500, while one that takes two weeks to a month could cost $15,000 or more. He adds that he’d rarely promise a user 100% or even 99% recovery of data, because the proportion could be calculated in various different ways. However, it is not unusual to be able to reclaim over 90% of lost data, he says, adding that estimates given at the diagnosis stage are usually very accurate.

HDRA and other firms also offer emergency service, which, of course, is more expensive, since engineers may have to work through nights, weekends, and holidays to get the data back as soon as possible.


Looking at patents and the way technology companies have been able to thrive is what this site is about, but the patent law tends to be dry, while the technologies themselves are often revolutionary. The field of hyperspectral imaging, as an example, is an interesting one that has a lot of promise going forward. Not sure what hyperspectral imaging is? Well, it is a process where a hyperspectral imaging system (like this, as an example) collects and processes a wide variety of information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. What is interesting about this is that while the eye only sees visible light in a total of three bands, spectral imaging can divide this spectrum into many more bands, which allows for much better analysis.

To the naked eye, not much. But to hyperspectral imagers, more than you'd think!

To the naked eye, not much. But to hyperspectral imagers, more than you’d think!

The applications for this technology are quite widespread. There are military uses, of course, as the ability to gather more data via electromagnetic radiation is clearly a great addition to visual and infrared data. The US Military are quickly becoming a major user of hyperspectral imaging, and other national defense departments are working with it as well. This remains a key focus for the sector, if only because of the fact that the technology tends to be very expensive. Not only is the expense very high, but the current best focus for it tends to be in airborne applications, where large amounts of data can be collected over large areas.

With bleeding edge technologies like this, there are always going to be superb industrial applications. In many cases, we’re talking about a situation where this kind of spectral imaging may be helpful in a lot of detection/analysis type sectors, and it is just a matter of time until those opportunities are exploited. Medical applications with multispectral imaging, as an example, are just getting started. But certainly this technology has a huge future there, as the ability to detect diseases and illnesses early is huge for healthcare systems, as prevention becomes a huge focus for universal and single-payer systems. Again, we are dealing with something in its nascent stages, so while in 2014 there are not as many applications as you might hope, in five years this technology could be used on a daily basis in a wide variety of ways.

The Tip Of The Hyperspectral Iceberg

Mining, oil drilling, underwater exploration and agriculture are other sectors where this technology is already being used, although not with the kind of fervor you might expect. Many companies are adopting a “wait and see” attitude with regards to hyperspectral imaging, and that is to be expected. But, as the imaging spectrometer technology contained within the devices get smaller and easier to manufacture, expect that it will be a revelation for the industry.

Simply put – if the industry involves some kind of detection, expect hyperspectral imaging cameras to have an application.




cyrtIf you were to practice deep breathing as a key relaxation technique for anxiety, you only need to find a quiet corner. It can be a challenge to find such a quiet corner if you are in the middle of chaos and among too many people. In fact, that alone may be causing you anxiety. Excuse yourself from the mayhem and find a corner where you can sit by yourself for a few minutes.

Make sure you are dressed comfortably and everything about your body is in a state of relax. With any relaxation technique for anxiety it is important to ensure that your body is perfectly comfortable and at ease. Even tight clothing may be restrictive to deep breathing exercises. Obviously, you cannot always find a mat or bed or even enough floor space to stretch out fully. A comfortable chair or the floor might do just as well. The focus here is comfort for every part of your body from head to toe. Once you settle down in such a manner, you can start concentrate on your breathing. Inhaling alone needs total focus. Paying attention to your lungs as you breathe can be done if you concentrate. Following the same focused approach as you exhale ought to be easy to do. As in anything worth doing, practice will make it perfect as you learn to reach deep within you to stay centered and breathe deeply. This may be only one of the relaxation techniques for anxiety; but it can be vital to reducing your levels of anxiety.

Home Remedies That Get Rid Of Panic Attacks

Did you know that there are home remedies including herbs that can help cure anxiety attacks? In fact, it is considered that these are certainly the most effective ways to get rid of panic attacks. For one thing, there are no side effects. Naturally, there are just as many pills in the market that are prescribed by physicians if you seek their help with your anxiety attacks. But, is that the way you want to handle things? Only you can decide. These pills may only offer a short-term cure and you cannot spend a life time on similar prescriptions. However, a steady and regular supply of herbal remedies might just be the answer to the question of how to get rid of panic attacks.

Chamomile is one such herb that can be used in the form of a tea. This ensures that you do not add too many stimulants to your daily diet. When you are already suffering from anxiety a stimulant might not be a good idea. Anxiety is usually only a step away from fully blown panic attacks. These can occur at any time and in the most unexpected manner. Learning how to get rid of panic attacks should be an elementary step to curing you of it permanently.


usmSnoring is one of the inconvenient things many people suffer from especially at a certain stage of life. The soft tissues behind the back end of the throat are involved in causing snoring disorders. Sleeping on back assists fallback jaws, causing block of the air passage and finally, snoring. Therefore, keeping jaws in right place while sleeping makes you snoreless. In order to keep the jaws in right place during the sleep you can use snoring mouthpiece. Reading few authentic snoring mouthpiece reviews can help you choose the best one as your requirements.

Though different remedies are used in treating snoring disorder, the last one is surgery. It is well known that any surgery costs much compared to other options available. In addition, there are risks of adverse side effects. The most dangerous risk is that enough scar tissue could form within the throat as a result of the incisions to make the airway narrower than it was prior to surgery. So it is better to use snoring mouthpiece which has no side effects. It can be molded desirably and used very conveniently. This device holds the jaws firmly positioned forward. This helps to breathe normally through the nose and ultimately snoring can be prevented. Click this link: http://www.stopsnoringmouthpiecereviews.org/

Learning More On Anti-Snoring Devices

Probably the most popular anti-snoring device today is the mouthpiece. The reasons for that usually hide in its safety, simplicity, and good price comparing to similar devices. However, not every mouthpiece works the same, so before one starts looking for answers with a Good Morning Snore Solution review, it is recommended to learn more on two main types of mouthpiece.

The Mandibular Advancement devices are mostly used for moderate sleep apnea problems, and they connect the upper and lower teeth, preventing the tissues from collapsing. Considering the fact that these devices can cost up to $3500, and no one can guarantee they can help, it is better to start with some simpler ones. The tongue retaining mouthpieces do just that; place the tongue in one position so it does not stop the airflow. Nonetheless, there are too many products of this type on the market, and most of them are not effective, or they are extremely uncomfortable to wear. Luckily, the Good Morning Snore Solution is the rare mouthpiece with high efficiency, and it is even FDA approved. Looking through Good Morning Snore Solution review, one can see how satisfied the customers are, and how their life finally got back to normal thanks to this device.


ecOverlooked in the euphoric rush to embrace electronic commerce are the consequences it will have on existing conventions. Not only will e- commerce blaze new trails in the legal profession, it threatens long-standing commerce practices.

The victims–the so-called dis-intermediated–will be numerous. If you think e-commerce won’t have a debilitating effect on bricks-and-mortar retailing, then I have news for you. It will. Much of the estimated $7 billion or so spent online last year was siphoned from the coffers of retailers. Independent bookstores, auto dealers, first-class mail providers and even drug stores could be radically reshaped or downsized as the tentacles of e-commerce touch more industry segments.

How would you like to never run out of toothpaste, shaving cream or aspirin again? You could simply arrange to have it arrive on a regular basis at your home. I pay my bills by computer. Why do I still get snail mail invoices in inefficient paper form when I pay those bills by computer? You get my drift. Adapt or expire.

With those dire predictions, I want to reassure you that we have not all taken leave of our senses. The Estee Lauder case breaks new legal ground, but the outcome should be in the plaintiff’s favor.

Key to establishing a healthy presence on the Web or anywhere is developing a strong brand. That two companies, but not you, can benefit from the strength of your brand name is simply not right. Does the Internet throw open the whole idea of trademark protection, or is the defendants’ behavior a clear-cut abuse? I argue the latter.

I remember feeling sympathy for certain musical groups that had been barred from using their original names because the names had been sold. Legally, they were out of luck. They did not have trademarks.

Sure, there are powerfully generic and untrademarked terms that farsighted companies grabbed early on in the evolution of the Internet. But even though you may be the best at what was described by those names, you’ll have to pay to get the name if you don’t already own it. For instance, First Mortgage Network just paid another company for the name “mortgage.com.” Terms such as “drugs,” “auto,” “furniture” and “news” were taken long ago. That’s a practice we’ve come to accept and understand. The early birds got the worms. Seems fair enough.

However, Fragrance Counter’s and Excite’s use of “Estee Lauder” subverts Estee Lauder’s trademark, in my opinion. It’s like an entity other than General Motors legally grabbing the domain name GeneralMotors.com. Trademarks bar this abuse from occurring, although knowing the Web, I’m sure someone has tried something like this.

Fragrance Counter says the suit is “novel” and “without merit.” That’s the usual knee-jerk legal response. Not by a long shot is the case “novel” or “without merit.” Fragrance Counter and Excite are benefiting from the name “Estee Lauder,” and Estee Lauder has every right to protect itself. As currently concocted on Excite, the customer using the search term “Estee Lauder” could think Estee Lauder had changed its name to Fragrance Counter.

But this is an ad that Fragrance Counter paid for, you argue. And the searcher will look at the content, not necessarily the ad. So what? Any room for confusion constitutes trademark violation in my nonlegal mind.

If Estee Lauder threatens the business of using search words as links, so be it. E-commerce will smash long-held traditions, but common sense should escape without a scratch.


cd-rNews that the levy on CD-Recordables (CD-R) and digital audio tapes DAT) would be suspended temporarily came as a pleasant surprise to IT managers who spent the first two weeks of the year scrounging for backup media. The saga, however, has only gotten more complicated.

The Canadian Copyright Board isn’t expected to decide on the details of the levy until this spring, which meant that importers and manufacturers had to raise their prices for the worst-case scenario. However, on Jan.18, the Canadian Private Copying Collective, an organization set up by the Canadian recording industry to collect the funds, announced that it will wait for the board’s decision rather than collect the levy retroactively.

Whatever the Copyright Board’s ultimate decision on the issue, Paul Audley, the CPCC representative responsible for the copyright case, says that his organization “is confident it will make an appropriate ruling.”

Some members of the CPCC , however, aren’t quite so sure. In late January, one of the CPCC’s member organizations, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers, expressed concern that the board has not had a chairman since 1994, though the 1997 Copyright Act has made the body more important.

Moreover, the board’s two current members have come under fire from the Bloc Quebecois for lacking experience in copyright law.

Audley flatly denies rumours that the CPCC came under pressure from Industry Canada to hold off on imposing the levy until the Copyright Board’s decision. “If there had been any kind of interference, I would have heard of it, and I didn’t,” he says. “We recognized that this isn’t a normal case before the Copyright Board, and it’s not clear what revenues the levies will apply to. The collectives were prepared to listen before Christmas. But it was a very difficult decision. We had to balance that with the fact that we will lose six months of revenue.”

That has left IT managers breathing a sigh of relief, at least for now. Canadian libraries, which make extensive use of CD-Rs and other media for back-up and storage, and to provide access to their collections, were particularly hard-hit by the price increase. “As soon as things start costing more, libraries have to start cutting back on services,” says Vicki Whitmell, executive director of the Canadian Libraries Association.

“They’re on tight budgets as it is, and they don’t have the funds to absorb the added costs.”

Nevertheless, Whitmell believes that the recording industry’s about- face is an indication that, when the Copyright Board begins hearings, the CPCC will consider changes to the tariffs that will take non-music- related uses into account. “I hope this is a good sign,” she says. “I hope that the number of reactions to the levy will cause them to stop and take notice. Maybe now they’ll sit back, think about the effects of the levy and reconsider.”

Indeed, at least one opponent of the levy believes that the CPCC’s decision was in the cards from the beginning.

“It was the only reasonable response,” says Katie Wreford, operator of a Kitchener, Ont.-based recording studio, and one of the levy’s harshest critics. “They were jumping the gun. They just wanted to prove to everyone that they were serious about the personal copying issue.”

But that may not satisfy the media manufacturers and importers. The confusion over when the levy would be applied and what it would apply to threw the industry into chaos. Many companies raised their prices to meet the levies. At least one importer, Compact Data Inc. of Calgary, simply withdrew from the CD-R business. Though he’s happy the CPCC has given his company a reprieve, Compact Data president Glenn Sanderse says the levy has already damaged his business. “I spent two weeks telling customers to go away, and now I have to call them all up and tell them that we’ll sell them CD-Rs – for now,” he says. “I have to deal with the fact that a lot of our customers already bought six-month supplies. I should have been making arrangements for January buying in June. It hasn’t left me in a very advantageous pricing position, and it put a lot of our business expansion plans up in the air.”


caCopyright law continues to evolve as it struggles to protect creativity in the face of technological advance and globalization. The last six months have seen developments on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border which show how the struggle continues and how copyright law is adapting.

This past October, the U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Among the Act’s most notable features for the IT world is the creation of a “safe harbour” from copyright infringement for online service providers.

Before the DMCA, online service providers could in theory be liable for copyright infringement if some third party posted infringing materials on their site, even if the provider did not actually know that the material was infringing. Under the DMCA, the definition of a service provider is very broad. However, if a provider follows the Act’s detailed rules, it can avoid liability for infringing material.

Prior to the DMCA, in certain cases a computer repairer could be liable for copyright infringement merely by turning on a machine, since that resulted in a copy of the software being loaded into memory.

Blank Media Levy

In 1997, the Canadian government amended the Copyright Act to introduce a levy on blank audio recording media – the so-called “blank tape levy.”

However, the levy may be imposed on any media capable of being used to record audio, including recordable CDs (CD-Rs), even though the vast majority of them are used for data, rather than audio material. Ottawa designed the levy to respond to illegal private copying of sound recordings, e.g. from radio broadcasts or from tapes or CDs. The new regime will impose a levy on blank media, on the implied assumption that they are used for illegal copying, in return for declaring that “home taping” is no longer illegal.

The levy will be paid by everyone who manufactures in Canada or imports into Canada blank audio recording media “for the purpose of trade.” While the regime became effective on Jan. 1, the Copyright Board has not yet held a hearing to determine what the size and structure of the levy should be and is unlikely to set the levy until late this year.

This delay has caused serious disruption for blank media importers and manufacturers.

Blame it on Rio

According to Oasis’ recording company boss Alan McGee, the music industry is facing a global recession. Music sales are falling off, and global consolidation in the industry has meant that conglomerates have cut hundreds of small bands from company lists.

The turmoil is also being fed by a concern that advancing digital technologies and the Internet may develop into a way for bands to reach their audience directly, without the middlemen of the recording industry.

For bands like the Beastie Boys and Chuck D, the prospects of direct marketing have been liberating.

The fears were theoretical (given the tinny quality of much Web music) until a Silicon Valley multimedia company released a new format for compressing music last year.

The so-called MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) broke onto the news pages when Diamond Multimedia released the Rio PMP300, a portable music player which supports the MP3 format.

CD-quality music could be downloaded from the Web, though it would take hours to download as much as a CD. So threatened was the industry that the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) sued to stop its release.

RIAA failed in a bid in November to get the Rio off the market until the trial took place.

Mickey Mouse Law

In late October, the U.S. Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Despite its title, the Bill does not make immortal the collected works of Sonny and Cher. What it does is show how smoothly Hollywood can muscle lawmakers.

The tale begins back in 1929 when a young cartoonist sketched a figure he called Mortimer Mouse. The doodler was Walt Disney, the mouse became Mickey and the rest is history.

Disney realized that in 2004, U.S. law was scheduled to let the Mouse copyright lapse into the public domain. Similar fears struck those who controlled Bugs Bunny and the song library of George Gershwin.The actual creators had been dead for years, but millions of dollars in royalties came to their families and estates.

In a display of power lobbying, the entertainment industry convinced Congress that the U.S. needed to extend copyright protection for an additional 20 years. The competing interests respectively argued that creation deserves a fair reward, and on the other side, that new creations often grow in the fertile soil of public domain material.

Disney itself has taken the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas and Mulan from the public domain. Despite a vigorous counter-campaign with the New York Times and Washington Post publishing editorials against extension, Disney won and Sonny Bono was remembered in a statute. Creative works would be copyrighted for the life of the author plus 70 years. In doing so, the U.S. was simply playing catch- up with the European Union, which went to similar terms back in 1993.

Canada is now the odd one out. Here the term of copyright protection is still 50 years after the death of the creator. Expect pressure to extend Canadian law soon.


ipsA controversy of sorts is brewing over technology to help transaction- based Web sites manage their loads.

InfoSpinner Inc., maker of ForeSite host-to-Web middleware, claims it holds the rights to the load balancing design used in many Web application servers, but some vendors are questioning the legitimacy of the company’s patent.

The U.S. Patent Office approved in April a patent that shows InfoSpinner, of Richardson, Texas, developed dynamic load balancing and many other Web application server functions pivotal to electronic commerce.

Keith Lowery, InfoSpinner chief technology officer, said the patent covers the process used in generating dynamic Web pages, rather than a specific technology.

“When the browser makes the request to a Web server, the patent covers the notion of redirecting that request to other machines [application servers] within a cluster and having those other machines dynamically produce a response,” Lowery said.

But some Web server vendors questioned the validity of the patent because it covers a process and not an actual technology.

“It’s my belief that it’s not necessarily a legitimate patent because people have been doing distributed processing for a long time now,” said Bob Bickel, senior vice president of products at Bluestone Software Inc., which makes Sapphire/Web.

Although Bluestone does not believe its technology is covered in the patent, the Mount Laurel, N.J., company has contacted its lawyers, Bickel said. “We don’t think their patent applies to us, but there potentially could be other application servers that are affected.”

Over the next few weeks, InfoSpinner officials will begin notifying companies that they may be infringing on the middleware company’s property rights.

“It’s not InfoSpinner’s plan to go out and start filing lawsuits against everybody,” InfoSpinner CEO John Ferguson said. “We will notify people that we have the patent and have them research their technology to see if potentially there is infringement.”

If an agreement cannot be reached with an offending party, Ferguson said, “InfoSpinner will protect its intellectual rights.”

Lowery claimed InfoSpinner was the first to develop this process. “We actually signed an OEM distribution agreement for this kind of technology in February 1996, when NetDynamics [now owned by Sun Microsystems Inc.], Bluestone, Sun and those guys were selling development tools,” he said.

InfoSpinner filed for a patent on the process in April 1996 and made use of the technology in ForeSite 1.0, which shipped three months later, Lowery said.

Lowery acknowledged that a large number of third-party vendors may currently be infringing on the patent.

“Most people who have an infrastructure in place that is designed to handle a large volume of requests that result in dynamically generated [Web] pages [are] potentially walking on the path [of infringement],” he said.

The patent, No. 5,894,554, was written by the Silicon Valley, Calif., firm of Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zaffman.