Thursday, September 04, 2003


Quote of the Day :)  

This one should bounce around for a while-

Blogs are the Internet of the mind

Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse  

Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

Very much of a study in irony- one of the biggies in assisting the public in violating music copyrights gets all huffy about someone violating THEIR copyright. It's a kind of poetic justice.

NASA Plans Space Commute Craft  

WASHINGTON -- In just five years, astronauts may journey to the International Space Station in a stripped-down four-seater instead of the mammoth -- and aging -- space shuttle. In effect, NASA hopes to commute to orbit in a sleek sedan instead of an 18-wheeler.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe announced plans for the Orbital Space Plane before space shuttle Columbia came apart over Texas and killed seven astronauts on Feb. 1. But the tragedy has added a powerful incentive to find a cheaper, simpler and more dependable way to ferry astronauts between the space station and Earth.

I wonder how their design will compete against Burt Rutan's X Competition entry? I will simply add my voice to that of so many others: we MUST go to space. This planet will not support human beings, in the manner to which they've become accustomed, forever. If we make it through the next hundred years without running out of resources and collapsing into anarchy and poverty, it will be a miracle. Each and every day, there are more mouths to feed and bodies to clothe. And less resources available to do it with. We have to support the development of space travel BEFORE WE ARE TOO POOR TO AFFORD IT. Politics as usual can kill us all.

Universal to Cut Prices of Its CD's  

Universal to Cut Prices of Its CD's: "Universal to Cut Prices of Its CD's

attered by online piracy, the Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, said yesterday that it would cut prices on compact discs by as much as 30 percent in an aggressive attempt to lure consumers back into record stores."

'Let the music be free'...

Well, I doubt if it would ever get to that point, but this is a long-overdue thing and I hope that other copmpanies follow suit.

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors  

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors: "IBM Recalls Computer Monitors
POSTED: 2:36 p.m. EDT September 2, 2003
CLEVELAND -- IBM is extending a recall of 63,000 computer monitors, NewsChannel5 reported.

G-51 and G-51T monitors made by Lite On and sold by IBM can overheat and possibly catch fire.

Consumers should stop using the monitors immediately and contact IBM's repair center at (866) 644-3155 for refund and return information. "

Not a good thing for IBM after the DeskStar hard drive fiasco...

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors  

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors: "IBM Recalls Computer Monitors
POSTED: 2:36 p.m. EDT September 2, 2003
CLEVELAND -- IBM is extending a recall of 63,000 computer monitors, NewsChannel5 reported.

G-51 and G-51T monitors made by Lite On and sold by IBM can overheat and possibly catch fire.

Consumers should stop using the monitors immediately and contact IBM's repair center at (866) 644-3155 for refund and return information. "

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors  

newsnet5.com - Consumer - IBM Recalls Computer Monitors: "IBM Recalls Computer Monitors
POSTED: 2:36 p.m. EDT September 2, 2003
CLEVELAND -- IBM is extending a recall of 63,000 computer monitors, NewsChannel5 reported.

G-51 and G-51T monitors made by Lite On and sold by IBM can overheat and possibly catch fire.

Consumers should stop using the monitors immediately and contact IBM's repair center at (866) 644-3155 for refund and return information. "

Apple may buy Universal Music | CNET News.com  

Apple may buy Universal Music | CNET News.com: "Apple may buy Universal Music

By Ian Fried and Evan Hansen
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
April 11, 2003, 3:21 PM PT

update Shares of Apple Computer fell Friday after a report that the company was in talks to buy the music company of Vivendi Universal for as much as $6 billion.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Apple has been in talks for months with Vivendi, with recent discussions centering on Apple acquiring the music business outright. With annual sales of about $6 billion, Universal Music Group is the largest of the five major record companies, commanding roughly a quarter of the worldwide market.
A source familiar with the situation confirmed with CNET News.com that there have been discussions between the two companies, but stressed that the exchanges are still at a 'very preliminary' stage. 'There has been interest expressed,' the source said. 'There have been talks.' "

I might have titled this one 'Apple Wants to Call the Tune' :). I guess iTunes is running a littel thin, hmm?

Former server exec gets new role at HP | CNET News.com  

Former server exec gets new role at HP | CNET News.com: "The company is also seeking to return to profits--a year after completing its merger with Compaq. Although widely praised for its early integration efforts, HP has come under fire after missing sales and earnings expectations last month. The company briefly returned its PC unit to profitability and had narrowed the loss in its high-end computing group, but both businesses posted hefty losses last quarter.
In response, HP has cut more jobs, particularly in the unit that sells servers, software and storage, and has said it will reach its goal of returning that unit to profitability this quarter. On the PC side, HP said it was hurt by reducing prices too much. Even with the lower prices, Dell grew market share at a faster clip."

Can you say "Gee...you don't think it might be due to quality issues and support, do ya?"

Details emerge in AOL-MSN outage | CNET News.com  

Details emerge in AOL-MSN outage | CNET News.com: "Details emerge in AOL-MSN outage

By Jim Hu
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
September 3, 2003, 7:35 PM PT

AOL Time Warner on Wednesday said full service had been temporarily restored for Road Runner and America Online subscribers locked out of Microsoft Web sites, as more details emerged about a glitch that inconvenienced millions of Web surfers for nearly two days.
'In the interest of our mutual consumers, AOL has stepped forward and proactively restored network connectivity strictly on a short-term interim basis,' AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said. 'We will continue to work with Microsoft and other providers toward a long-term solution.'
Connectivity issues between MSN and AOL surfaced Tuesday when some Road Runner users complained they could not access a number of Microsoft sites, such as Hotmail and MSN. A Road Runner representative said at that time the outage occurred when its technicians were updating routing tables and as Microsoft was doing routine maintenance. By Wednesday AOL confirmed that some of its members could not access MSN sites and that the problems were related. "

I'm not sure that the term 'glitch' quite describes the situation. It sounds more like 'minor skirmish in an ongoing war'.

newsnet5.com - Technology - Blaster Suspect Says Government Exaggerating Case  

newsnet5.com - Technology - Blaster Suspect Says Government Exaggerating Case: "Blaster Suspect Says Government Exaggerating Case
POSTED: 10:27 a.m. EDT September 3, 2003
MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis teenager charged in an Internet worm attack says the government has exaggerated its case against him.

Jeffrey Parson also said media coverage that has indicated he is a computer-savvy loner is incorrect.

Parson told MSNBC in an off-camera interview that he has a 'close group of friends.' He also said he is not reckless and that the reports about him have been hurtful.
His parents, Bob and Rita Parson, said he is a good kid who has never been in trouble with the law.
Authorities say Parson has admitted that he modified the original Blaster infection that made computers attack the Microsoft Web site last month.
Prosecutors say Parson's worm affected at least 7,000 computers. He is facing a single count of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer. If convicted, he could get up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Parsons said he's convinced the government is going to make an example out of him but that he's 'not the one they need to get.' "

I'm sure that anyone whose inbox has been buried in worm-generated e-mail will disagree with him :)

Romanian arrested in new MSBlast strain | CNET News.com  

Romanian arrested in new MSBlast strain | CNET News.com: "Romanian arrested in new MSBlast strain

By Reuters
September 3, 2003, 2:50 PM PT

A Romanian antivirus company said Wednesday that it helped police identify a 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of releasing a new version of the MSBlast Internet worm, the second arrest of a copycat-virus writer in the past week.
Meanwhile, the culprit behind the original MSBlast remains at large. The original worm, which also goes by the names Blaster and Lovsan, surfaced last month, infecting hundreds of thousands of computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system.
Romanian security company BitDefender said Romanian authorities arrested Dan Dumitru Ciobanu from the northern Romanian city of Iasi on suspicion of creating and distributing MSBlast.F, the latest version of the worm.

According to information posted by U.S. antivirus company Symantec, MSBlast.F was released Sept. 1 and has achieved minimal distribution to date. The offshoot's main difference from the original worm is that it renames some files with Romanian words and attempts to launch a denial-of-service attack against an apparently defunct Romanian Web site. "

Another one bites the dust...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Emergency Rooms Get Eased Rules on Patient Care  

Emergency Rooms Get Eased Rules on Patient Care: "Emergency Rooms Get Eased Rules on Patient Care

ASHINGTON, Sept. 2 — The Bush administration is relaxing rules that say hospitals have to examine and treat people who require emergency medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.
Under the new rule, which takes effect on Nov. 10, patients might find it more difficult to obtain certain types of emergency care at some hospitals or clinics that hospitals own and operate."

Another Brick in the Wall placed with loving care by Our President (Sick)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: The Road to Windows Longhorn 2003  

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: The Road to Windows Longhorn 2003: "How we get there, when it happens
During his WinHEC keynote address on May 7, 2003, Will Poole, the Senior Vice President of the Windows Client Division at Microsoft, revealed the roadmap for Longhorn, setting the final release date of the product firmly in 2005, two years from now."

Exactly what I've been saying! In my case, it was an 'educated guess' :). It's a major Windows kernel change. That kind of thing doesn't happen in a couple of months. In any case, I'm sure that Microsoft wants to wait until the 32/64-bit Athlon64 is firmly entrenched on desktop machines before a new, high-power OS hits the streets. Anything truly revolutionary will likely require massive amounts of CPU horsepower, even if much of the former hoopla was smoke and mirrors. Anything that sets a new mark in user-freindliness will need that power to understand us quirky humans.

Now, given that this will be a new OS "from the ground up", or so it's been claimed by Microsoft, then it gives us some logical ground to build on AND it makes certain things about their current moves become clear. If the new OS won't run any of the current software (which is certainly possible), then we get a VERY CLEAR picture of WHY they went out and bought VirtualPC. When the new OS comes out, it will become the only OS in every supported platform. To ease the pain and to give Mom&Pop developers time to get with the act, they'll package VirtualPC with every copy of Longhorn that goes out the door and call it 'Longhorn' Compatibility Service or some such. Old apps will run inside VPC and be as happy as they could be. Meanwhile, people will have to start migrating to Longhorn native apps, because there won't be XP around forever to run under. Microsoft, if they can pull this off, will be making money like it's going out of style. A whole bunch of big corporations will be FORCED to buy new apps all around, if they want to run the (theoretically) must-have apps and features of the new OS. That's a HUGE amount of software going one way and money going the other. One point I hope Microsoft doesn't stumble over is that for the average consumer to make the jump, they're going to have to be offered some very compelling reasons why, starting with a price no higher than Win XP Home. This is because even if we see a 'Longhorn' Home version, it still means replacing a lot of apps in a short time. The share of the bucks going to this first version of the OS is going to have to be a little on the light side. Of course Microsoft can write the difference off against the gigantic profits from Office 'Longhorn'. You can read this further quote from Paul's article and notice how it confirms my guess-

"The interim version will help companies do away with DOS-based tools dependencies, and work with adding software applications directly into OS images. The next version of Microsoft Office, now known only as Office 12, will use this technology and, I'm told, ship concurrently with Longhorn."

WinFS is designed to deliver new file searching and navigational features to end users. One of the big problems with PCs today is that it often takes longer to find a document on your hard drive than it does to find information on the Web via Google. With WinFS, that will no longer be the case. See my Longhorn Alpha Preview 3: Build 4015 review for information about the new Libraries in WinFS that will help users logically collect related documents and other information.

Integrated DVD burning
As I first reported in WinInfo, Microsoft is supporting more than just the DVD+RW recordable DVD format, and at WinHEC the company formally announced that it would support every recordable DVD format in Longhorn. This means you will be able to use DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, and DVD+MR (Mount Rainier) format recordable DVD media with Longhorn, and not just DVD+R and DVD+RW as reported elsewhere"

About d**n time...

Having WinFS riding atop the file system will make life interesting for us all. I'm not sure how legacy apps will take to this playing fast and loose with the file system, but as it says, it will be atop NTFS, which narrows the field a good bit for utilities that it has to deal with.

The BIG question is: How will the new OS address the things that have deviled PC users since the very beginning- IRQ's, system resources, and ill-behaved apps that want to crash the system? And please don't write to say that the OS has nothing to do with things hardware, like IRQ's. It's a two-way street. If Microsoft says "JUMP", the hardware manufacturers say "How high?". They all want that 'Windows Certified' sticker.

The frames shown from the new AERO UI, whether faked or not, show the usual Microsoft lack of imagination, so they may be real. Imagine, if you will, an orbiting Start button in the shape of a sun, with numerous application 'planets' circling it in space. If the interface is close to that described by Paul, then the future holds a lot of 'Wow' factor for us all. The only thing that makes me cringe is the very real cost of the hardware required to give it to us. We're not only talking a hairy big CPU, but a brand new high definition, wide-screen display (read 'plasma or OLED', I think). The only thing that will let us in the door of this Brave New World will be a massive system upgrade- new hardware AND new software.

We'd better start saving now!

Such a deal?  

From an ad in the current issue of Lockergnome Daily-

"Need to register or renew a domain? In celebration of a successful Gnomedex 3.0, GnomeDomains.com has a special offer for all Lockergnome subscribers: 2 year domain registration, including name service or forwarding, for only $29"

ONLY $29??? My domains cost me under $8 per year. I don't think that $14.50 a year really qualifies...

Monday, September 01, 2003



EFF: "Linux Users Unite: Stop SCO!

The SCO Group, Inc. recently announced that it plans to sue individual Linux users if they refuse to pay the company a $700 licensing fee, which it threatens to double in the fall. This is an effort designed by SCO to bolster its licensing claims against IBM and Red Hat by beating up on people who can't afford a multimillion-dollar defense. SCO hasn't proven that it has a right to collect this money at all, so its attempt to hold end-users liable is a terrible misuse of the legal system. Tell Congress that SCO's tactics are unacceptable!"

This really makes me wonder why they don't try suing Linus Torvalds, if they have a real case...

Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse  

Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse: "Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement
August 11, 2003
Sender Information:
Sharman Networks
Sent by: [Private]
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
Encino, CA, 94136, USA

Recipient Information:
Customer Support, DMCA Complaints
Google Inc.
Mountain View, CA, 94043, USA

Sent via: Federal Express
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We act on behalf of Sharman Networks, Ltd. (the 'Owner').
As required under Sections 512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §§512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3)), we are instructed to place you on notice that:
1. The Owner is the exclusive owner of the copyrights in and to the Kazaa Media Desktop software (the 'KMD'); and
2. Utilizing the search query, 'kazaa,' at www.google.com, the following search results (the 'Infringing Material') contain unauthorized copies of the KMD or unauthorized derivative works of the KMD which infringe the KMD and the exclusive rights of the Owner:
a. http://www.kazaagold.com
b. http://mp3download.com
c. http://www.kazaalite.tk
d. http://www.kaaza.com
e. http://doa2.host.sk
f. http://www.k-lite.tk
g. http://www.kazaa-file-sharing-downloads.com
h. http://www.kazaalite.nl
i. http://home/hccnet.nl/h.edskes/mirror.htm
j. http://www.kazaa-download.de
k. http://www.zeropaid.com
l. http//www.kazaalite.nl/downloads.htm
m. http://kazaa.infos-du-net.com
n. http://www.kazaa-lite.tk
o. http://www.kkazaa-lite.info

Please immediately remove or disable all access to the Infringing Material.

I have a good faith belief that the use of the Infringing Material is not authorized by the Owner, its agents or the law. The information in this Notice of Copyright Infringement is accurate and under penalty of perjury, I am authorized to act on behalf of the Owner.

Should you require any further information regarding this matter, please contact me at the address, telephone number or email address indicated below:

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
Encino, California 91436
Tel: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Email: [private]@biztechlaw.com"

Well. I guess their next step is to sue Microsoft so that they can remove the ability of IE to navigate to those sites :). Obviously, if their case had any validity at all, then they'd be suing the owners of the sites mentioned above, the offending sites would be offline, and no-one could get to them.

MORE Business as usual...  

"Dell's Software License Policy - Dude, you're getting screwed
Blogged by Kevin Christley @ 01:14PM

More EULA craziness, this time from the folks at Dell. Apparently a buyer from Canada isn't so happy with their unreadable licences, as you have to open the shrinkwrap, in effect agreeing to them before you have had a chance to read them. "

Well, this has only been going on since about 1983. For those of use who have been using computers that long, or longer, the world doesn't hold that many surprises.

Business as usual...  

"As everyone knows, ActiveX controls and the <'OBJECT'> tag has been a big source of security holes in Internet Explorer. However, it looks like support for ActiveX controls is going to be removed from Internet Explorer. A small company called Eolas recently won a $521 million judgment against Microsoft for patent infringement. The Eolas patent covers plugins in Web pages to show multimedia content. "

My comment? Bull. Microsoft will do what it has ALWAYS done in cases like this- they'll negotiate a settlement that either includes the small company licensing its technology to them OR, Microsoft will simply BUY the smaller company (as it did with Stacker) and the small fish will disappear.

Net result? Nothing. Microsoftwill go on about its business as it always has.

Blogged from a message thread at www.securityfocus.com
By Richard M. Smith

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