Consumer Information

Kobo eBook Reader

The Kobo eReader will be released next month in Canada and is available for pre-order from chapters.indigo.ca .

You can also download a FREE Kobo eReading App for your smartphone or tablet! and download Free eBooks at Kobo.

This information and information of the Kindle software is compiled here.

Free Kindle Software

Forgot to mention this last month : Amazon.com and Apple have released free software to read Kindle books on Windows PCs, the Blackberry, the Mac, the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad.

Click Here to download the free PC Kindle reader

Click Here to download the free Mac Kindle reader

To download the iPhone, Ipod Touch and iPad app visit Kindle

The Blackberry reader is not yet available to non-Americans but will be made available shortly via this site.

ACTA Vs Canadian Law

From the 12th to the 16th of this month numerous international government representatives will meet in Wellington, New Zealand to discuss the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

This agreement seeks to enforce measures to control the illegal distribution of copyrighted material internationally ; Measures that include restrictions that could result in extensive searches at the border, prohibitions in regards to the use of devices that circumvent the digital locks on media and intrusive, mandatory policing by internet service providers.

In an email to The Ottawa Citizen, Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan stated “Negotiations are continuing and there is not yet an agreement.” and that the current government would not sign on to the agreement unless it “reflects the best interest of Canadians.”

The proposed measures do not reflect the best interest of Canadians.

Since 1997 Canadians have been able to legally make private copies of audio recordings and the sale of region free DVD or Blu-Ray players have yet to be restricted in Canada.

Canadians have also not been subjected to undue searches at the border over this issue, have not been subjected to copy protection since due to the consumer and legal backlash against rootkit based copy protection, and the attempts to force internet providers to police copyright on their systems failed in federal court.

The proposed measures were also introduced in a manner contradictory to our laws on transparency and may conflict with the conclusions derived from our recent public consultations on copyright reform. Even the EU Commission had been forced to put those issues to a vote this month, to open the Agreement’s process up to the public.

Amendments to our copyright act will be proposed shortly by the Canadian Government in response to the aforementioned public consultations.

Blu-Ray Format Enhancements

In an April 2nd, 2010 Press Release the Blu-Ray Disc Association has released details about the new Blu-Ray formats that will be released this year.

There will be two different format enhancements, BDXL and IH-BD, both of which will add additional features to the Blu-Ray format.

The BDXL discs will either include one to two additional layers, resulting in a 100GB to 128GB capacity, or will be rewritable at 100GB. This format is primarily for professionals that require “a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images”.

On the other hand, the Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc (IH-BD) would instead incorporate a rewritable 25GB layer into the current format for consumers, resulting in a dual layered disc containing both “a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer so as to enable the user to view, but not overwrite, critical published data while providing the flexibility to include relevant personal data on the same physical disc.”

These new format enhancements are not compatible with the current Blu-Ray players because they require a better laser. But the future BDXL and IH-BD compatible equipment will be downward compatible according to the press release, enabling playback of the current 25GB and 50GB Blu-Ray discs. And the Blu-Ray Disc Association expect consumers to access a new consumer version of the BDXL devices in areas where 3D Blu-Ray players or Blu-Ray recorders have gained acceptance.

Foreign CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Listing Added

Now that the Canadian and US dollars are at Par I thought i’d add a
foreign CD/DVD/Blu-ray source listing to this blog, that I will be updating a.s.a.p.

Please note : DVDs and Blu-Ray discs originating from outside North America may not be compatible with your DVD or Blu-Ray disc player. Region 0 NTSC or Region 0 Pal DVDs and Blu-Ray discs may be played on certain North American players but DVDs and Blu-Ray discs other than Regions 0 or 1 will require a region free DVD player or region free Blu-Ray disc player.

Planning a trip to the U.K ?

Then it’s time to update your laptop’s security.

The Digital Economy Bill enables the British government to fine individuals whose computers have been used to download pirated material in the United Kingdom. And this includes computers that have been hacked.

According to Times Online a dozen people have already been served in regards to this law, which is expected to pass and become active on Wednesday.

This means that travelers to the U.K will need to disable their file sharing software on their laptops and use higher wireless security settings, WPA2, to access the internet in the U.K.

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