-- The Senate Commerce Committee approved the confirmation of Julius Genachowski as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The committee also approved a second term for Commissioner Robert McDowell. (Reuters)

-- After more than 20 years of publications, Jazz Times has suspended publications as it attempts to find a buyer for its assets. The magazine's website says print publishing will resume once a sale is closed. (Gazette.com)

-- How can you determine how passionate fans are for a certain group? One way is to calculate the quotient of plays divided by users at a music service. Such a calculation is possible if the data is available, as Echo Nest data is to the author of one blog post on the subject. Of the 1,000 most popular artists, the top five in the "passion index" are In Flames, the Beatles, Radiohead, Die Ärzte and Mindless Self Indulgence. The blog post author suggests incorporating the passion index into recommendation engines. Here's another: sell the information to labels that want to estimate the price sensitivity of certain songs and certain artists. Artists and songs with high passion index quotients may be more suitable for price increases, and those with low passion index quotients may be better for lower or stable prices. (Music Machinery)

-- Here's the word on Nokia's Comes With Music and its plan to ditch DRM, straight from the company: "There currently aren't any plans to get rid of DRM when it comes to Comes With Music." Reports that Nokia plans to drop DRM from its fledgling mobile music service spread like wildfire after a post at Mobile Entertainment claimed sources at Nokia believed Comes With Music would be DRM-free by 2010. With licensing deals in place for a DRM-based subscription service, and with product pricing based on those costs and that particular offering, a move to MP3 doesn't seem like a likely. The trend these days is definitely away from DRM. Nokia may have misjudged the direction of the market. And if you've seen the early version of Spotify's mobile app, which uses a cache to play music offline, Comes With Music probably seems even further away from where the market is headed. (Hint: It's not toward expensive services that shackle downloads with DRM. Consumers want unlimited choice, but they obviously don't need an unlimited collection.) (Digital Music News)

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