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October 10, 2003
[ News: Emusic Scales Back ]

 Emusic.com, the pioneer among online music sites, has been sold, and, more importantly, is scaling back its service. It's still the only service offering downloads in the standard MP3 format, still has the best selection of independent labels, but is now owned by Dimensional Associates LLC, a private equity group, but has limited its main subscriber base, paying $10 a month, to no more than 40 downloads a month.
 
Now, those wanting more -- up to 300 tracks per month (approximately 25 albums) -- will have to pay a monthly charge of $50. Sad, but inevitable. And it's still cheaper than most online music services.

October 7, 2003
[ Update: The Logitech Pen Goes Further ]

 Folks, this blog won't be updated as regularly as usual as I'm on the road. But here's something for those of you who either bought the Logitech io digital pen, or were thinking about it: a free software update that includes handwriting recognition, meaning you can search through everything you write -- before you could do so only through text that you had entered into fiddly little boxes. You can also convert handwritten stuff to digital text.
 
I haven't tried this out yet, but existing users can download it for free.
  

October 5, 2003
[ News: USB 2.0: Not Always As Zippy As It Should Be ]

 AP is reporting that not all products that flaunt the latest version, USB 2.0, are as speedy as consumers might expect. It turns out that while a growing number of devices feature USB 2.0, some actually transfer data at the slower speed of its predecessors -- i.e. 40 times slower than they should. Also, there's a significant difference between "full-speed" and "hi-speed" USB 2.0.
 
 
An industry group behind the USB standard is partly to blame for the muddled jargon, AP says, though it is trying to clear up confusion by issuing official logos and labeling guidelines for manufacturers. These are only guidelines, however. Ultimately, the labeling and any fine print that either informs or misleads the public is still up to individual companies. No guidance offered to users in the article, but obviously if you feel your devices are not working faster, complain loudly.
 
 

about loose wire
musings, snippets, grievances and links on personal technology by dow jones columnist jeremy wagstaff. I want to hear from users -- technology-related stories, complaints, thoughts, ideas, brickbats -- so please email me

my columns appear in
The Far Eastern Economic Review and
The Wall Street Journal Online.
both are owned by Dow Jones.

see below for subscription links -- sorry, but the columns are only available to subscribers.

companies, PR agencies etc, please send relevant news, pitches, product review requests here. happy to hear from you, but I stress the word 'relevant'.

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My wild night with Deep Purple

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