Tech Briefs: iPod quiets down, drones 'R' US, more

Apparently heeding warnings that portable audio players can cause hearing damage if turned up too loud, Apple is including a volume-limiting feature in its latest software upgrade for the iPod. Owners can download iPod Software Update 1.1.1, which allows the user to pick the preferred maximum volume, and even lets parents lock the setting with a password. The upgrade is available only for the fifth-generation (video-playing) iPod and iPod nano.… The U.S. military is in love with unmanned drones and plans to spend about $2.4 billion on them every year over the next five years — up from $300 million in 2001. Unmanned aircraft have proven indispensable in Iraq, where drones such as the Predator can spy on targets or destroy them with bombs without risking pilots' lives.… YouTube, one of the Web's prime sites for streaming video, is limiting the length of user-uploaded videos to 10 minutes in an effort to reduce the number of copyrighted works illegally appearing on the site. Users that want to upload legal videos that last longer than 10 minutes now have to obtain a Premium account before they can post their works.