Daily Archives: 04/13/2012

Meet the new NYC Cab

New York City Yellow cabs are as iconic to downtown New York as the lights of Times Square. And while the new cabs aren’t changing their color, they are going to be dramatically changing their shape starting next year.

What you’re looking at is the Nissan NV200, the winner of New York City’s competition to find a new taxi cab. The new design will be officially unveiled today before rolling out in October 2013. As you can see, it’s bright yellow, and it’s vile, even by minivan standards, but it does have quite a few redeeming features. Nissan has fitted charging ports in the back to charge your electronics on the move, and the interior fabric is odor-reducing and anti-microbial. City Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky thinks that the new taxis will be a hit:

“New Yorkers are pragmatic, but they also appreciate quality. This is a higher quality taxi ride than what they’re getting today.”

The new design also improves on the outgoing models with a sliding door for easy access, GPS navigation, and floor lights. The NV200 is set to cost around $29,000, with partitions included, and the current models will be phased out by 2018.

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SOPA is dead so now we get the CCI

After SOPA went down in flames, it appears that the next step in the never-ending battle against copyright piracy is an institution called the Center for Copyright Information, a group headed by members of the RIAA, MPAA as well as various entertainment companies and ISPs. The CCI will oversee the implementation of more gradual measures for clamping down on copyright violation on the web instead of the sledgehammer approach of SOPA.

The ISPs, major record labels, and Hollywood film studios are expected soon to name the person in charge of the CCI. CNET has learned that one of the leading candidates for the job is Jill Lesser, managing director of lobbying and public policy firm The Glover Park Group. She is also a member of the board at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that advocates for free speech on the Web.

According to her bio, Lesser has focused on “copyright, consumer protection, and telecommunications policy issues for clients in the media industry.” She could not be immediately be reached for comment. Spokesmen for the MPAA and RIAA declined to comment. Some of CCI’s duties will include educating the public about copyright law and the potential consequences of violations. Administrators will help evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures, the ability of entertainment companies to accurately identify violators and pitching the graduate response program to non-participating ISPs.

Antipiracy experts at the studios and music labels say that the graduated-response program is vital to protecting movies and music. They believe that since ISPs are the gatekeepers of the Internet, they are in best position to thwart illegal file sharing. A graduated-response program is supposed to begin with the ISPs sending a series of letters to customers who are flagged for allegedly downloading pirated songs or films. The letters will endeavor to educate the accused that downloading unauthorized content is illegal. The ISPs will then gradually begin ratcheting up the pressure for those who are alleged to have committed multiple piracy infractions.

When the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America announced the coming program last July, they said they would eventually create a “Center for Copyright Information,” which would focus on educating subscribers on piracy and the legal ways to obtain movies and music online.

Sources in the entertainment industry say that the center will also try to work as a liaison between the ISPs and the entertainment companies. The ISPs have not come to antipiracy easily. They are wary of alienating customers, and a music-industry source said that people on the entertainment side are worried the ISPs don’t have the stomach for a fight on graduated response.

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