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A digital brain courtesy of Microsoft, post-Napster music and guess who can't get broadband...

A mini-round-up...
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

A mini-round-up...

Ever had problems remembering things or locating important documents? Or perhaps you suffer intermittently from bouts of clinical amnesia? Well, Microsoft may soon be coming to your aid. Currently the software firm is working on a project which will enable you to store the entire contents of your brain on your hard drive. From photos of the kids and videos of family holidays, to important work documents and private email conversations, you will be able to save everything onto your PC (see http://www.silicon.com/a56498 for more). Then, whenever you need to find something you can search the contents of this digital brain with ease. While most people still store such things in dusty shoeboxes, the process of ploughing through box loads of photographs just to find a picture of your youngest son on the potty with which you embarrass him in front his new girlfriend can take hours. Not so with MyLifeBits. Red-faced embarrassment should be achievable within seconds. Just type 'potty' or the poor child's name into the search tool and it will return any appropriate results in a thrice, assuming you added the right keywords or notes when saving the file originally. Speaking of putting things online. Vivendi today announced plans to put its entire back catalogue online. Napster did it a couple of years ago, but it seems that wasn't enough for Vivendi, which is thinking of something a whole lot more legitimate (see http://www.silicon.com/a56495 for more). The record label claims this is the first time such an extensive catalogue of music has been made available, even promising to give up the most profitable studs in its stable - such as peroxide potty-mouth Eminem and Irish rock ban U2. Which is nice - but far from generous, as the company will be charging $0.99 per song - or approximately $15 for an album-worth of tracks (U2 and Eminem's last albums boasted a mighty 17 and 20 tracks respectively) which, when you take out the slice of the pie claimed by the likes of HMV, and the physical distribution and manufacturing costs associated with 'old fashioned' CDs, it looks like a good source of profits. And to think the major labels used to run scared from the web. One person who presumably won't be downloading tracks from Vivendi is UK E-envoy Andrew Pinder who has publicly bemoaned the fact that even he can't get broadband (see http://www.silicon.com/a56489 for more) at home despite being charged with encouraging the rest of the country to embrace the high-speed web. Life just isn't fair is it? But at least with a little help from Microsoft you'll soon be able to record just how unfair it is.
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