Tuesday’s sexy tech trifecta

(iStock/Sonya Rosas)So sue us: When RealNetworks Inc (the folks who brought you the RealPlayer) released a new software Tuesday that allows consumers to make copies of DVDs easily using their PC, the Motion Picture Association of America promptly sued the company, and now RealNetworks is suing the organization in turn.

The movie industry is calling RealDVD “Steal DVD” and claiming the product “violates the law.” However, as quoted in Wired, RealNetworks argues (if somewhat idealistically) that instead of “trying to shut down advances in technology” the movie industry should embrace “changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases.” Fair enough–consumers are increasingly likely to do what they want with their content anyway.

At risk for the movie industry is piles of cash–DVDs are one of the few ways that Hollywood is still making money. Understandable they’d be grumpy about RealNetworks’ product. Now the courts will have to decide whether copying DVDs for personal use should be legal. In the meantime, RealNetworks’ $29.99 download will get you the software to copy DVDs, save them on your harddrive and transfer to as many as five computers.

How to tell when politicians and celebs are lying: Well, it’s never been that hard, but a new site called RealScoop claims to use voice-analysis technology to power its “Believability Meter.” It’s sort of like YouTube hooked up to a lie-detector. Whether or not it’s for real is another matter, but I took it for a spin and quite enjoyed the Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson clips.

According to the site’s website, the Believability Meter analyzes 100 vocal elements while performing 1000 calculations per second to “provide our community with the information needed to see through the talking points, prepared statements, PR handlers and general blah blah that floats over the airwaves and the Internet…Our ultimate vision is to help create a world where our cherished leaders and celebrities say what they mean and mean what they say.” Wow–that’s pretty ambitious, RealScoop, let us know how that goes.

Tech Crunch reports the site will cover the VP candidate debates on Thursday to see if Sarah Palin or Joe Biden stand up to its Believability Meter.

WSJ’s 2008 Technology Innovation Awards: Always fun to see a round up of the best and brightest new tech finds. This year, the Journal’s selections included winners in energy, transportation, biotech, internet and medical fields, among others. My favorites were the $2500 four-seat automobile, a life-saving needle that can drill into bones, and inexpensive solar panels. Check out the complete list of winners at WSJ.