Saturday, October 04, 2003


Tapwave Zodiac 1 (32MB) - Handhelds - CNET Reviews  

Tapwave Zodiac 1 (32MB) - Handhelds - CNET Reviews: "Tapwave Zodiac 1 (32MB)

CNET First Take

By John P. Falcone
(October 1, 2003)

The Tapwave Zodiac 1 handheld is designed for maximum portable-gaming performance. The device is also a fully functional Palm OS PDA with strong multimedia features. It's scheduled to ship in late October.
Upside: The Zodiac has a high-resolution (480x320 pixels), 65,000-color landscape screen; an analog joystick; a 200MHz Motorola i.MX1 ARM9 processor; and Yamaha stereo speakers--specs that induce drooling in Game Boy users. Dual SDIO expansion slots, built-in Bluetooth, and a gaming-optimized version of Palm OS 5.2 make the Zodiac a formidable PDA and media player, as well. "

Given that this thing is no more expensive than the primary offerings from Dell (the Axim line), it could urn out to be VERY popular.

CRN : Daily Archives : Microsoft 'Project Green' Now Aligned With Longhorn : 12:55 PM EST Fri., Oct. 03, 2003  

CRN : Daily Archives : Microsoft 'Project Green' Now Aligned With Longhorn : 12:55 PM EST Fri., Oct. 03, 2003: "Microsoft 'Project Green' Now Aligned With Longhorn

By Barbara Darrow, CRN

12:55 PM EST Fri., Oct. 03, 2003
Microsoft's ambitious next-generation business applications are now due out in the 'Longhorn' time frame, according to a top Microsoft executive.
The upcoming product line, dubbed Project Green, will be built on what Microsoft Senior Vice President Doug Burgum calls a new 'global' code base.
Atop that foundation will come functionality now found in Microsoft Business Solutions' Great Plains, Navision, and Solomon business applications, the company has said. (See related story.) "

Interesting. It really looks like Microsoft has got tired of supporting 'business as usual' software and is going for the fresh start approach. I can't say that I don't like the idea. Windows, and a lot of the software that runs under it, has a 20-year load of baggage behind it. The urge to start over and do things right (read: with security, functionality, and stability as the three top items on the list) must be just about overpowering. I'm thinking that the huge daily grind of trying to keep Windows in general from falling apart is getting so big that Microsoft is now willing to do what we all thought would never happen: start over from the ground up. Looking at the job they've set themselves, it wouldn't be a killer of a shock to find the expected second to third quarter 2005 release date slipping into first quarter 2006, but they are hard at work and that's a good sign. They're currently well past build 4000 of Longhorn. Based on my personal experiece of Microsoft software, it means that they actually started development in early 2002. I wish them luck. They'll need it.

InformationWeek > Intellectual Property > Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally > October 2, 2003  

InformationWeek > Intellectual Property > Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally > October 2, 2003: "Get Your Movies And Music Online, Legally Oct. 2, 2003

Industry executives say getting a subscription model that works will be key to growing legit services.
By Tony Kontzer

Movie and music executives staunchly believe that subscriptions will be the primary model by which they'll deliver films, TV shows, and music to consumers online, but they say it's going to take time to transition from the a la carte approach that's still dominant. At the Digital Hollywood conference in Los Angeles this week, they said the key element that's holding up this evolution is not technology, or even economics, but rather consumer education. In other words, if consumers don't even know that legitimate services such as Movielink or Rhapsody are delivering movies and music now, it's tough to turn them into paying customers. "

With the price of most movies listed on MovieLink at $4.99 for 24 hours of viewing, it's not hard to see why this scheme is not going to do a land-office business. The backers (the movie studios) have deep pockets, but eventually this will fade away. When potential customers can trot down to their local BlockBuster and pay $1.99-$3.99 for 5 days of viewing time, the high price alone will stop most people from bothering with this service.

As for Rhapsody, it represents a HUGE rip-off, in my opinion. Why? Because you're paying through the nose for music you don't get to keep without paying MORE. Look at the pricing- you pay $9.95 a month just for the privilege of accessing their network. This does not guarantee that you'll find music you like available there, but given the fairly broad choice, you have a decent shot at it. That's where you run into the first brick wall- if you DON'T keep paying that $9.95 a month, all the music you've tagged disappears, leaving you 30-second clips of each song on your system. Oh, you say you'll just burn the songs to CD and listen to them offline? Nope. Downloading the music you want costs ANOTHER 99 cents a song. So, you pay $10 a month for nothing concrete and another $10-$25 (considering the number of tracks on a CD) if you want to KEEP the music. Pretty rich for music you can get from your local Wal-Mart for $5-$20 a CD, hmm?

If you take a peek at the article referenced above, you'll find that the bigshots in Hollywood had to have a 'conference' about it and STILL can't tell that they're never going to make money based on the above models. Their stupidity practically ensures that there will always be pirating.

Manageability Kit  

Manageability Kit: "Microsoft® Windows Platform Management
Microsoft management solutions offer enterprises the technologies, processes, and tools that allow your IT staff to build and maintain an efficient and agile Windows infrastructure.

Please select from the following options.
Microsoft Windows Platform Manageability Kit

Inside this Kit, you will find 120-day Trial CDs to help you evaluate these products:
Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 - delivers comprehensive management for servers, networks and Windows-based desktops
Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 feature pack - provides hardware and software inventory, critical patch management and software distribution, and remote troubleshooting
Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 - provides event consolidation, performance monitoring, alerting and reporting services
Microsoft Application Center 2000 - enhances application management and simplifies deployment of Web Applications
SQL Server™ 2000 - provides the enterprise data management platform your organization needs to adapt quickly in a fast-changing environment
A Resource CD is also included containing the following:
Evaluation Guides
Deployment Guides
Technical White Papers
Case Studies
Demonstrations "

For the price (free) it's hard to see how you can beat this!

QHosts targets Microsoft's browser  

QHosts targets Microsoft's browser: "QHosts targets Microsoft's browser
Microsoft Corp.'s Internet-browser software is being targeted by a program named QHosts that tries to take control of a computer's ability to look up Web addresses, anti-virus software companies said."

I'm going to take a guess that this little exploit was the subject of today's IE patch download.

Friday, October 03, 2003



iTNews: "Microsoft Linux chief urges channel to resist

By Paula Rooney, CRN
Friday, October 03, 2003


Microsoft's chief Linux strategist, Martin Taylor, advised the company's partners not to be seduced by the higher-margin service opportunities offered by commercial Linux platforms because they won't last.
Faced with the impending launch by Red Hat and SuSE of major upgrades to their distributions in October -- and their increasingly avid efforts to entice channel partners -- Taylor came out swinging during a meeting with CRN and sister publication VARBusiness at Microsoft headquarters in the US. "

As if their recent deal with Phoenix wasn't bad enough, now we can see what's on Microsoft's mind in more concrete terms. What grinds MY beans is the mention, further down in the article, that dear old Microsoft is selling the Windows OS for as little as $2.50 in some nations. Now you know what their OS is really worth :).

ZDNet UK - News - Microsoft moves to integrate Windows with BIOS  

ZDNet UK - News - Microsoft moves to integrate Windows with BIOS: "Microsoft moves to integrate Windows with BIOS

Matthew Broersma
October 03, 2003, 17:25 BST

A deal with BIOS maker Phoenix Technologies would allow the operating system to directly control hardware. It also raises concerns over who controls the software in PCs

Microsoft has expanded its relationship with BIOS maker Phoenix Technologies in a deal designed to more closely integrate the basic building blocks of the PC with the Windows operating system.

The relationship, announced this week, is designed to make PCs simpler and more reliable, the companies said."

Bull. Pure unmitigated Bull. If anyone believes THAT, I have a bridge in New York City that I'd be happy to let go cheap, since I could use a few bucks.

No, my friends, the operative word here is NOT 'simpler and more reliable', the operative word here is 'Linux'. How else do you stop an apparently unstoppable OS that's eating your bottom line for lunch? Why, you get some BIOS maker to put part of your newest OS in their BIOS chips. Let's see someone buy one of those systems and try to run Linux!

Symantec on alert as global DNS activty jumps: ZDNet Australia: News & Tech: Security  

Symantec on alert as global DNS activty jumps: ZDNet Australia: News & Tech: Security: "Symantec on alert as global DNS activty jumps
By Andrew Colley, ZDNet Australia
03 October 2003

Symantec's security service has been placed on alert in response to a substantial jump in domain name server-related activity across the globe.

The computer security specialist has stepped-up efforts to monitor network ports associated with domain name servers. Vincent Weafer, senior director of U.S.-based Symantec Security Response, said the company's DeepSight firewall sensors had begun reporting an unusually large volume of networks events commonly associated with DNS-activity. "

Did anyone mention the name 'VeriSign' to them?

Because It's Good For You  

I know that phrase has hit your ears a few times over the years. It usually accompanies something that's painful or tastes bad. I'm including this open letter because, while it may be painful in a minor way, it is certainly NOT in bad taste.

I think that anyone who has gotten as far as reading my blog will be familiar with the concept of the open source software world. Any number of common and useful programs are freeware of this sort. Even Linux, itself, is part of the open source list of champions. In this world, there are a few web sites that have made the hosting and support of open source software their life's work. SourceForge is one of these. I won't be repetitive, as the letter expains what they do better than I could, so I'll simply copy it below. The bottom line is that, while not desparate for money, they could use new funds to expand their offerings and provide new tools for authors and the users who depend on them.

Trust me- it really is good for you!

Dear SourceForge.net User

SourceForge.net is approaching its 4-year birthday. Forty-six months
ago the site started off with only a handful of second-hand computers,
two megabits of bandwidth, a few hundred projects, and a goal. The
goal was, and continues to be, to create a place for Open Source
projects and the Open Source community to thrive and be successful.
When we launched the site, we never dreamed that it would be so
successful, or that its growth rate would be so high. Today, we host
nearly 70,000 projects on 85 computers. The amount of bandwidth we
consume at any one time, including the mirrors, is approximately 225
megabits. We continue to add about 700 new users and 70 new projects
per day. In fact, we just crossed our 700,000 registered user

Since SF.net's inception, we have offered and continue to offer all of our
services for free. This is something that we are very proud of, and
something we will continue to do.

The site itself, as you can imagine, is very expensive to run. We
just purchased a lot of additional equipment to manage the growth, and
have hired addititiojnal SF.net programmers to code new
features/functionality that you will see shortly.

If you like what we are doing on SourceForge.net, and you want to help
out the site, here is your chance. To help cover the costs we have
added a 'donate' link on our site navigation system.

If you do help us and make a donation, we'll place an icon next to
your user name signifying that you helped cover the cost of running
SF.NET. In addition, your user name will be listed on our donation
page, which will be linked from the front page.

The link is http://sourceforge.net/donate

Thank you in advance.

BTW: Since I know people will ask: No, we are not doing this to try to
'save' SourceForge.net. The site is not in financial trouble, nor is it
going away. Our parent company, if you read our quarterly financial
statements, continues to show steady improvement. We are adding this
donation feature because the site is very expensive to operate and we
want to continue to add features and functionality that we know you
want. If you like what we are doing for your project, if you like what
we are doing for the Open Source community, now you can make a donation
and help us out. Thank you.

Microsoft Measured for a Brand New Suit (TechNews.com)  

Microsoft Measured for a Brand New Suit (TechNews.com): "Microsoft Measured for a Brand New Suit

By Cynthia L. Webb
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Friday, October 3, 2003; 9:40 AM
Microsoft Corp. is no courthouse newbie, but one consumer's lawsuit just might be abrasive enough to scrape off some of the software giant's Teflon coating.
A Los Angeles woman claims that Microsoft, under a new California law, has an obligation to bolster the security of its products."

Microsoft in trouble again...

I have to admit that I'm almost sorry for the Redmond Gang. I'd say that it's near impossible to write a program that some other person can't abuse and operating systems are at the top of that heap. Microsoft is a bigger target than anyone else simply because Windows is so widespread. I also think that the constant load of lawsuits is their own fault. I'm quite sure that if they had shown a different attitude over the years in customer relations and the EULA's they've done their best to shove down our throats, then they'd be facing a lot less criticism.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


The Register  

The Register: "Media Center Windows not AMD64 native
By Tony Smith
Posted: 02/10/2003 at 10:09 GMT

AMD announced earlier this week that Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 runs on its AMD64-based processors, such as the Athlon XP.

That prompted more than a few AMD fanboys to leapt on the statement as a sign that the Microsoft operating system supports AMD64 technology.

Sorry, guys, but it doesn't. MCE 2004 is a 32-bit OS that runs (very happily, we're sure) in the Athlon 64's backward compatibility mode - a point AMD confirmed when we asked it.

So, you're not going to get an AMD64-native version of Windows before 64-bit Windows XP ships early next year. "

Too bad. On the other hand, I don't see a whole lot of people screaming that their Athlon64 doesn't have a native OS, yet.

It will happen, but I think that AMD's timing in releasing the chip NOW is pretty good. It will allow us to see mature chipsets and motherboards before we have to worry about the perils of a '1.0' 64 bit OS.

Headlines Powered by Business Wire  

Headlines Powered by Business Wire: "Microsoft Taps Maxxar Corporation for Participation in Its Joint Development Program

DETROIT--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2003--
Partnership Enables Maxxar to Participate in the Early Stages of Development for Microsoft's Speech Server and Speech Application SDK

Maxxar Corporation, a Microsoft Certified Partner and an ISO 9001 certified company specializing in interactive information solutions and the development and distribution of products providing computer telephony integration, has been selected from the industry elite to participate in the Microsoft Speech Technologies Joint Development Program (JDP) for the Microsoft Speech Server and Speech Application SDK. The JDP gives companies the opportunity to participate in the design and feature set of a Microsoft product by evaluating early versions of Microsoft's speech development software and runtime platform. "

I see. Microsoft tags this Maxxar company to help them develop server and client environments for developing speech-enabled software. Can you say "Smart Phone"?

China's Leader Calls for 'Democratic' Changes  

China's Leader Calls for 'Democratic' Changes: "China's Leader Calls for 'Democratic' Changes

Published: October 2, 2003

EIJING, Oct. 1 — President Hu Jintao has made a vague but insistent call for more democracy in China on the eve of the country's National Day holiday, raising expectations that he may support introducing greater pluralism in the one-party state.
In an address to the governing Politburo delivered Tuesday and released by China's official news service on Wednesday, Mr. Hu said the Communist Party must undertake a 'sweeping systemic project' to increase public participation in government and enforce the rule of law. He repeatedly emphasized the need for democracy."

Let's see. I read this article, with it's reference to lessening the gap between rich and poor, to mean that the Chinese government has seen their control over the basic population eroding due to capitalism and their power base eroding over the way the populace has been able to see democracy working in other countries. To give them credit, they are trying to ease into the cold water of a new day, rather than just holding their noses and jumping in. I wish them luck. The surest sign that their "Communist" government is showing cracks is in the phrase "gap between rich and poor". In a communist form of government, there IS NO SUCH THING AS RICH AND POOR. That's the whole basis of communism.

Well, it's not like there has ever been a real communist society on a large scale. Still and all, it's interesting.

Microsoft the Next to Go?  

MICROSOFT to open IT academy in Jharkhand
Hindustan Times, India
IT giant Microsoft has agreed to set up a Microsoft Centre for Excellence
and Academy in Jharkhand and is likely to sign a memorandum of understanding
(MoU ...

Will Microsoft be the next company to can American workers in favor of cheaper off-shore help? It sure looks like it when you see stories like this...

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


SCO to yank SGI's Unix license | CNET News.com  

SCO to yank SGI's Unix license | CNET News.com: "SCO to yank SGI's Unix license
Last modified: October 1, 2003, 2:54 PM PDT
By David Becker
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

update High-end computer maker Silicon Graphics Inc. is in line to become the next target of Linux opponent SCO Group, with the controversial software seller threatening to revoke SGI's Unix license. "

Well. Intersting. SCO seems bent on building up more ill-will than Microsoft in a fraction of the time. Speaking of whom, what very large computer software company would benefit from the untimely death of Linux?

On the other hand, what loud-mouthed, pushy software company will fold up like a cheap suitcase when everyone totally abandons the version of Linux that is purported to have infringing code in it?

They're a couple of interesting questions. The final count is not in, so it's a little early to start handing out bandages and bosy bags. One thing seems certain: SCO salesmen are going to be as popular as an RIAA audit at a music piracy convention.

President of Tucows in Response to SiteFinder  

President of Tucows in Response to SiteFinder: "President of Tucows in Response to SiteFinder
Sep 26, 2003
By Elliot Noss | Add+Read Comments

Stewardship...One who manages another's property, finances, or other affairs.

I have been thinking a lot about stewardship lately in my role as CEO of Tucows and how that relates to employees, a board of directors and investors. Where I've got to, which is not necessarily relevant for this post, is that stewardship needs to exist at EVERY level of a company and a life.

With the recent dustup created by Verisign's new Sitefinder service it has crystallized for me what has always bothered me about the .com/.net registry and the way Verisign has approached it. "

So begins a long and thoughtful article on the VeriSign attempted hijacking of the way the web operates by the man at the helm of Tucows (one of the prime shareware outlets on the web). It's rambling and full of off-site links, but if you spend some time with it, you'll have a complete understanding of just what VeriSign tried to do and how people feel about it.

Stop Verisign DNS Abuse Petition  

Stop Verisign DNS Abuse Petition: "Stop Verisign DNS Abuse

16,753 signatures so far

We internet users, who either own domain names or have an interest in the domain name system, wish to object to the Verisign Sitefinder system. We believe that the system:

1. breaks technical standards, by rewriting the expected error codes to instead point to Verisign's pay-per-click web directory, and threatens the security and stability of the Internet;

2. breaks technical standards affecting email services, and other internet systems;

3. is anti-competitive, providing Verisign with 20 million eyeballs per day for 'free', while not paying for the domains they are resolving. All other market participants pay at least $6 per domain per year (wholesale);

4. violates trademark rights of domain holders, by typosquatting on their .com and .net domains; and

5. violates the authoritative nature of DNS, turning it instead into a 'best guess' system filled with uncertainty, thereby destroying the coherence of the DNS for Verisign's own short-term profit. "

There's more, but that covers the high points. I urge you all to click your way to the website and sign. For your own protection.

Seagate Proves That Bigger is Better  

Seagate Announces World's Highest Areal Density Hard Drive

Now you can store more data than you ever thought possible.
On September 16th, 2003, Seagate introduced the world’s first hard drive to store 100 Gbytes of data on a single 3.5-inch platter. This new addition to the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 family achieves a 200-Gbyte capacity using only two platters, and offers the choice of a Parallel ATA (PATA) or native Serial ATA (SATA) interface. Shipments are scheduled to begin in November. More

I don't think that Seagate went to all this trouble to piddle around with a 200 GB hard drive. You can walk down to any corner computer store and buy one of those today. Nope, I thkn they're going to start with 500 gigs and go up from there. Considering the voracious appetite for disk space of today's apps (AND music, And videos, AND...), it only makes sense to me.

Exclusive: Former @stake CTO Dan Geer on Microsoft report, firing - Computerworld  

Exclusive: Former @stake CTO Dan Geer on Microsoft report, firing - Computerworld: "Exclusive: Former @stake CTO Dan Geer on Microsoft report, firing

Exclusive: Former @stake CTO Dan Geer on Microsoft report, firing

Geer was fired abruptly after the report, critical of Microsoft, came out

Q&A by Dan Verton

OCTOBER 01, 2003 ( COMPUTERWORLD ) - Dan Geer, the former chief technology officer at @stake Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., was fired last week as a result of his participation in an independent study of the security implications of Microsoft Corp.'s monopoly hold on the software industry (see story). He spoke to Computerworld's Dan Verton yesterday in an exclusive interview from his home in Massachusetts. "

Now, if there were ever a reason NOT to fire someone, this news story is a prime example. Oh, sure, Geer may have p****d off some hard-noses at Microsoft, but @stake made the whole situation a major fiasco by firing him. Now, they have to deal with the public perception that the people who run @stake are more interested in keeping major clients happy than they are in supplying quality goods and services to THEIR customers. If I had any of their stock, I'd dump it in a hurry! You heard it here first :).

Google Seeking Hackers? Really?  

Hot off the wire comes this interesting little tidbit from the Yahoo Google-friends group-

* Is your C++ A+? Try Google's Code Jam programming contest

Google is proud to sponsor the Google Code Jam programming
contest for those who excel at the hacking arts. Prizes include
free trips to the GooglePlex in Mountain View, California, substantial
cash awards and possible employment with Google's engineering
department. The competition is powered by TopCoder, with
registration opening October 1, 2003.

Details and entry information can be found at:
-> http://www.google.com/codejam/

10 Big Myths about copyright explained  

10 Big Myths about copyright explained: "
10 Big Myths about copyright explained
An attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication.
- by Brad Templeton

Note that this is an essay about copyright myths. It assumes you know at least what copyright is -- basically the legal exclusive right of the author of a creative work to control the copying of that work. If you didn't know that, check out my own brief introduction to copyright for more information. Feel free to link to this document, no need to ask me. Really, NO need to ask. "

Others have posted this in their blogs, so you might wonder why I bother. First off, you might not have come across one of those other links. With so much content out there, most of which receives no promotion outside of word-of-mouth, there are probably tens of thousands of worthwhile blogs that no-one but the author and his buddies has ever read.

Thoe other reason is because in this world of 'sue your neighbor at the drop of a hat' anythig that educates us on how to stay OUT of court deserves all the press it can get.

Such is the case with Brad's web page on copyright myths. Copyrights have been much in the news, lately, and there is so much information and misinformation out there, that we desparately need someone, ANYone, to tell us what we can and can't legally do. Now, you're not going to get me to believe that people downloading pirated music don't know what they're doing, save some pre-teen offenders, but where does that leave people who think nothing of taping a favorite TV show or song off the radio? I'm not saying anything is right OR wrong at this point. I'm saying that some major revamp of the whole system needs to be done NOW, rather than later. Things, as they stand, are just too contradictory for any of us to feel safe doing ANYTHING involving copyrighted material.

It's not easy being afraid all the time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Small, Isolated Elephants Follow Own Evolutionary Path  

Small, Isolated Elephants Follow Own Evolutionary Path: " Small, Isolated Elephants Follow Own Evolutionary Path

Published: September 30, 2003"

"he small Borneo elephant represents the last remnant of an ancient lineage, a team of international biologists has determined. The finding, based on DNA samples, overturns a long-held prevailing theory of the animals' origins: that they were descended from domesticated elephants that reverted to the wild.

Instead, the elephant, isolated in the tropical rain forests of northeastern Borneo, has followed an independent evolutionary path for at least 18,000 years, and probably longer, the scientists conclude."

Ah, but have they cross-checked their DNA with that of the pygmy Mastodons found near Antarctica? Sounds suspiciously similar, to me.

'Smart' Power Grid?  

'Smart' Electricity Grid Under Study

NEW YORK (UPI) -- America's existing electricity grid cannot handle the expected three-fold increase expected by 2050, particularly when solar sources and wind farms are added.

Columbia University researchers say they've assembled a national team of scientists, technologists, security and intelligence experts to spearhead development of a "Smart Electric Grid" -- one both lean and efficient, that can meet the nation's future energy and security demands.

The North American economy's demand for electricity is expected to triple from the current 7 terrawatts to as much as 20 terrawatts by 2050.

Columbia's Roger Anderson told SpaceDaily.com vast new renewable energy sources from wind, solar, and geothermal power generation must be added to present gas, coal, hydroelectric and nuclear sources. Using new computer controls, all the new sources must move smoothly across vast distances.

Anderson said the new "Smart Electric Grid" must improve efficiency by 50 percent or more in order for the new technology to prove affordable.

The trouble is that this new grid control will be designed by the same old 'Stupid' humans. Oh, well, at least the thing will be newer than the current 50-100 year old grid and its controls, which has to be straining to keep up. It does seem, after reading the reports, that they are facing some of the same problems that face things like the New York Stock Exchange. It consists of dealing with a huge amount of real-time data and displaying it in a meaningfull way, so that problems can be spotted before they become critical.

THEN, we have to deal with the human factor. It's obvious that operators were trying to deal with the problem locally, while the real problem went untouched. Simply because people don't want other people to think that they can't handle problems. Somehow, we have to remove that factor. If we don't, we'll be no better off than we are with the current system.

Monday, September 29, 2003


It Looks Good on Paper  

Moving Pictures Coming to E-paper Near You

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- Dutch researchers have taken the concept of replacing traditional ink and paper with thin, flexible, reusable electronic displays a step further. They have developed a technique that may permit movie fans to watch videos on their cell phones, personal digital assistants or even articles of clothing.

Unlike other emerging technologies of its genre, the novel system can switch rapidly from one color to the next, setting the stage for the development of a new generation of "electronic paper" that one day might serve as a screen for moving images, the scientists speculated.

In contrast to the traditional, wasteful wood-pulp staple of publishing that requires an additional supply for every reprinting, the reusable Digital Age version employs electronics embedded in a flexible, paper-thin piece of glass or plastic connected to a mobile phone or other wireless power source that provides a constant, uninterrupted flow of information on the same display.

This sounds good, but it's early in the development cycle, and so many things that look good in the lab never make it to the light of day.

Elia Kazan, Influential Director, Is Dead at 94  

Elia Kazan, Influential Director, Is Dead at 94: "Elia Kazan, Influential Director, Is Dead at 94

Published: September 29, 2003

Elia Kazan, the immigrant child of a Greek rug merchant who became one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 94. Mr. Kazan's achievements in theater and cinema helped define the American experience for more than a generation. For Broadway, his legendary productions included 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Death of a Salesman".

Well, that's number three.. First we had Robert Palmer, then George Plimpton, and now Kazan. The old guard (and some of the new) are passing. Where does it leave us? I don't know. There was such a vacuum in the 70's and 80's, at a time when the next great generation should have come to power, that it's left us in a bad way. Not that we don't have some very fine directors and producers, but one look at the majority of Hollywood output these days and it becomes obvious that the good ones can only do so much. I really hope that there are some talented newcomers out there hiding in the corners.

Sunday, September 28, 2003


Studios Moving to Block Piracy of Films Online  

Studios Moving to Block Piracy of Films Online: "Studios Moving to Block Piracy of Films Online

Published: September 25, 2003

OS ANGELES, Sept. 24 — If Hollywood executives have learned anything watching their peers in the music business grapple with online file sharing, it is how not to handle a technological revolution.
While the major labels in the music industry squabbled among themselves about how best to deal with Internet piracy and failed to develop consumer-friendly ways to buy music online, the movie industry has gone on a coordinated offensive to thwart the free downloading of films before it spins out of control."

I'd say that the chances of totally stopping file swapping are about as good as those of the Dodo to stop extinction. Oh! Wait! The Dodo is already extinct! Oops!

Microsoft Product Communities: Find a Community for a Microsoft Product or Technology  

Microsoft Product Communities: Find a Community for a Microsoft Product or Technology: "Microsoft Product Communities
Find a Community for a Microsoft Product or Technology
Microsoft.com has a large and growing number of Communities dedicated to specific products and technologies.

Visit these Communities to get access to related newsgroups, technical chats, tips and tricks, and other useful content geared toward helping you address technical issues and learning how to use Microsoft products more effectively."

Here's another gem for those who need the real info. It's the MSN Communities [i.e. online forums] for ALL Microsoft products.

Service Packs  

Service Packs: "Service Packs

Service Packs
Service packs are the means by which product updates are distributed. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, and more. All of these updates are conveniently bundled for easy downloading. For more information about what a particular service pack contains and how to obtain that service pack, click the appropriate link:"

Here's a handy little resource. It's the Microsoft center for unified access to service packs.

Meet the People Who Make Spam So Easy for Richard Colbert  

I've been getting 3-4 e-mailed viruses a day for the past three weeks. Why is this interesting? Because before that time period, I had never gotten ONE, much less three times that every day. That's because I'm fairly careful. You get that way after enough years. Now, the next question you might ask is: what is the source of these virus-laden little packets of annoyance? The answer, in 99 out of 100 cases- Yahoo.

Finally, I got a mite annoyed, as anyone might, that Yahoo didn't seem to give a hoot or yahoo about so much crap flowing our way from the mouth of their sewer. So I complained. In no uncertain terms. I asked them what kind of mickey-mouse operation they were running that just opened the gates and let viruses flood peoples' inboxes. Here, then, is their carefully-crafted-by-lawyers response-



Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

There are many viruses in existence today (often called "worms"), that
propagate when an email attachment containing the virus is sent to an
email address found in an infected user's computer (e.g., address book,
local files, etc.). In cases such as these, Yahoo! users may receive an
email with an attachment that indicates the email has been sent from
their own Yahoo! account, when in reality, it most likely was not.

Yahoo! Mail is a web-based email system. Your email messages, address
book and other account information are stored on Yahoo!'s servers,
rather than on your computer. Because most viruses infect your local
computer, it is very unlikely that the virus would propogate through a
Yahoo! Mail account.

Currently, the most reported virus as described above is the
"W32.Klez.H@mm" virus. If you have received a suspicious email that you
think may contain the Klez virus, please compare the subject line of the
email you have received to those listed at:


Please be aware that because Yahoo! Mail is web-based, simply viewing
your email messages in Yahoo! Mail does not make your computer
vulnerable to computer viruses. In addition, attachments sent along with
email are not a threat to your system if you do not download them.
However, if you choose to download an attachment by either opening it or
saving it to your computer, your computer does then become vulnerable to
computer viruses. The same is true of all files you download to your
computer, whether email attachments or not.

Please note that there is a risk involved whenever downloading email
attachments to your computer or sending email attachments to others. As
stated in the Yahoo! Terms of Service, neither Yahoo! nor its licensors
are responsible for any damages caused by your decision to do so. The
Yahoo! Mail Abuse team recommends that you never download files from an
unknown source.

As a further precaution, we recommend that you choose to scan your
attachments whenever this option is available. Following these
suggestions will greatly reduce your likelihood of experiencing trouble
from computer viruses.

If you believe you have a virus on your system, we recommend that you
install an anti-virus program and contact your computer's user support
group for assistance. You can also search the virus encyclopedia at:


Mass distribution of unsolicited email messages (or "spamming") violates
the Yahoo! Terms of Service (TOS).

Please include the following in your report of email abuse to assist us
in a prompt and full investigation:

1. Original subject line -- Please forward the email with a subject
identical to the original subject.

2. Complete headers -- Email programs often display abbreviated
headers. To learn how to display the full headers in a Yahoo! Mail
account, please visit the Yahoo! Mail Help Desk at:


If you are using a different client to read your email, please consult
your email program's help system for more information on viewing full

3. Complete message body -- Please include the complete, unedited
content of the email message in question. Please do not change or edit
the message in any way.

If reports of email abuse are missing any one of these three items, it
may take longer for the Yahoo! Mail Abuse Team to properly investigate
and take appropriate action. We appreciate your efforts in reporting
this abuse to Yahoo!. At this time, we will need you to forward a copy
of the message, as opposed to sending it as an attachment. Due to
security purposes, our custom messaging system is unable to access

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.


Yahoo! Customer Care

This, then, is their idea of "Customer Care". Thank God I don't have to deal with Yahoo as an ISP. Those snappy TV ads they're running in conjunction with SBC will still have their entertainment value, but they lack something in the way of 'full disclosure'.

Confessions of a Spam King  

Confessions of a Spam King: "Confessions of a Spam King

Published: September 28, 2003

''Click here,'' says my spamming mentor. Hovering over my chair, he points to the computer screen. ''Now click on that file of e-mail addresses there.'' I have been invited by a master for an education in spamming, the practice of blasting millions of unsolicited e-mail messages into the Internet in order to advertise everything from loans with easy terms to women of easy virtue.

''Let's go online and download some software,'' says my guide. His name is Richard Colbert. On the Rokso, or Register of Known Spam Operations (a kind of Most Wanted List for the Internet posted on an antispam Web site called spamhaus.org), Colbert is described plainly: ''Nonstop scam spammer, kicked off so many hosts and I.S.P.s'' -- or Internet service providers -- ''it's hard to count.'' "

Fascinating interview with one of those guys we'd all like to meet in a dark alley.

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