Saturday, October 25, 2003


An Open-Source Challenge to Messrs. Gates & Ballmer (LinuxWorld)  

An Open-Source Challenge to Messrs. Gates & Ballmer (LinuxWorld): "An Open-Source Challenge to Messrs. Gates & Ballmer
Linux developer challenges Bill & Steve to a software coding bake-out
October 25, 2003
From New Zealand, Wesley Parish issues a 'code bake-out' challenge to the top hierarchy of the world's largest software company. . .

By Wesley Parish

Messrs William H. Gates III & Steven Ballmer
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Washington, USA

Dear Sirs
I see you have been active again in making interesting - and to some degree highly amusing - statements about Free/Libre Open Source Software and the many and varied people who make up its community.
I in particular would like to thank Mr Ballmer for your entertaining expose of Linux's deepest, darkest secret - that it can seriously worry the senior executive of a convicted predatory monopoly, without that ever having been the intention of its principal software designer and initial developer.
I would also like to thank you for humming and hawing around the question of the release of source code to people who can use it, in the light of the new MVP source code entitlement program. Well, are they deserving members of the Windows development team or not?
In relation to your comments, Mr Ballmer, on Linux's 'road map,' I will refrain from expounding on Linus Torvalds' comment on the cover of one of Bill Gates' books, showing him standing in the middle of an empty road. It's not nice to make jokes like that, is it, Your Billness? Road kill is no joke, even if some enterprising chef has written a book about it.
No, I have something else on my mind, something much "

An interesting idea and a fun challenge. I doubt if anyone seriously expects Microsoft to take note of it, except in a negative way. They have too much invested in their products and their ideas and attitudes to make such a change in their m.o.

Intel, AMD to trim prices for holidays | CNET News.com  

Intel, AMD to trim prices for holidays | CNET News.com: "Intel, AMD to trim prices for holidays
Last modified: October 24, 2003, 10:53 AM PDT
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices will cut desktop chip prices in the next few days to usher in the holiday PC-buying season.
Intel will reduce the cost of its Pentium 4 desktop chips by between 7 percent and 35 percent on Oct. 26, with the most expensive chips receiving the biggest whack, according to sources close to the company. The 3.2GHz Pentium 4 will drop from $637 in volume quantities to $417, a 35 percent drop, while the 3.0GHz Pentium 4 with an 800MHz system bus will decline from $417 to $278, a 33 percent reduction."

Any price reduction is a good price reduction, as I always say.

Friday, October 24, 2003


Microsoft Music Feature Questioned  

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The Shop for Music Online feature of Microsoft's Window's XP, which involves online music purchasing, may violate Microsoft's antitrust settlement. "Plaintiffs are concerned that the feature invokes Microsoft's Internet Explorer, rather than the user's chosen default browser, in a manner that may be inconsistent" with the settlement," a court filing said, CNET News.com reported.

The court-mandated compliance update said there are ongoing discussions over the Shop for Music Online feature in the operating system, but the issue remains unresolved. It may come up at scheduled status meeting on Friday. "We believe that the use of Internet Explorer by the Shop for Music Online feature in Windows XP is consistent with the design rules established in the consent decree," Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake told CNET News. Shop for Music Online is located inside the Windows "My Music" folder, which is contained in Windows XP.

Yeah, I know this is old news at this point, but it suddenly hit me that I wanted to add a small coment to the story: Who cares??? I mean it! When was the last time you or anyone you know actually clicked that link and used Microsoft's chosen site to buy music? Give up? Yeah. So, why don't the rest of the people follow YOUR lead?

Thursday, October 23, 2003


Fujitsu hard-drive settlement proposed | CNET News.com  

Fujitsu hard-drive settlement proposed | CNET News.com: "Fujitsu hard-drive settlement proposed
Last modified: October 22, 2003, 4:44 PM PDT
By Ed Frauenheim
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

U.S. residents who bought certain Fujitsu hard drives could receive up to $45 in drive replacement costs and as much as $1,200 in data recovery expenses, according to a proposed class-action settlement.
The lawsuit was filed against Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway. It claims that certain Fujitsu Desktop 3.5-inch IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) hard drives bought in the United States had high rates of failure and problems with data integrity.
The defendants deny the allegations, but they have agreed to the settlement partly to avoid the time and costs of protracted litigation, according to court papers.
Under the proposed settlement, which was filed last month, Fujitsu would pay $42.5 million into a settlement fund. "

Guess the IBM DeskStar 75 gig drive isn't the only dog in the kennel, hmm?

X10 files for Chapter 11 | CNET News.com  

X10 files for Chapter 11 | CNET News.com: "X10 files for Chapter 11
Last modified: October 22, 2003, 3:16 PM PDT
By Paul Festa
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

The company that only last year billed itself as the world's largest online advertiser has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
X10 Wireless Technology, which marketed its Net cameras through a vast campaign of Web pop-under advertisements, made the filing on Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. "

I wish I could say that I was upset, but I don't like to lie. 'One less sleazeball operator' is a lot closer to my feelings. The article goes on to say that they didn't provide any financial statement when filing, so they're 10 days away from having their Chapter 11 petition dismissed, which would be like throwing them to the wolves. My guess would be an immediate Chapter 7 filing would happen at that point. Sadly, Chapter 11 would allow them to come back on the scene. They recently lost a lawsuit over their use of a particular way of programming pop-under windows, which probably was the last straw. The real culprit, here, is their universally disliked status for offering advertisers another way to annoy people. The other company involved- Advertisement Banners.com, isn't exactly on top of my Good Guy list, either, since they claim to have invented the technology.

Microsoft Patches Another Patch  

Microsoft is sending out a revised security patch for Exchange Server 5.5 and 2000. That's not exactly a front page news item. What caught my eye was the fact that, far from reporting these people to the FBI, Microsoft has actually THANKED someone for pointing out the bugs! Here's the section of the patch notification letter that prompted me to blog this-

"Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to protect

- - João Gouveia (joao.gouveia@vodafone.com)
for reporting the issue described in MS03-046.

- - Ory Segal of Sanctum Inc. (http://www.sanctuminc.com/)
for reporting the issue described in MS03-047. "

Amazing is not too strong a word. Let it be known that unlike some petrified organizations, MicrosoftCAN change. I guess that's part of what has kept them on top, over the years.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003




Paul Thurrott reports an interesting item- HP is only .2 percent behind Dell in sales. That might seem like a minor th8ing to you, but Dell has been top dog for so long we're left to wonder if they remember how to get down and fight. This especially in light of Dell's fading reputation for customer service and product quality.

Microsoft Opens Windows Source Code to Its MVPs  

Microsoft Opens Windows Source Code to Its MVPs: "Microsoft Opens Windows Source Code to Its MVPs
By Peter Galli
October 22, 2003

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday will announce that it is giving its Most Valued Professionals access to the more than 100 million aggregate lines of Windows source code, which includes all versions, service packs and betas of the Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 products. "

100 MILLION lines of code. Wow! No wonder there are holes you could drive a Hummer through!

Tech panel sees IT jobs returning to U.S. | CNET News.com  

Tech panel sees IT jobs returning to U.S. | CNET News.com: "Tech panel sees IT jobs returning to U.S.
Last modified: October 21, 2003, 7:20 PM PDT
By Alorie Gilbert
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

SAN FRANCISCO--The loss of U.S. jobs due to a shift of information technology work overseas maybe be painful for American workers now, but the discomfort is temporary, according to a panel of information technology executives gathered here Tuesday.

Executives from Borland Software, BearingPoint and Infosys, and an official from the U.S. Department of Commerce expressed confidence that U.S. companies will eventually reinvest money saved from farming out IT tasks to foreign workers and expand operations at home. That, in turn, will lead to American job growth down the road, the panelists agreed.

'We need to keep an eye on long-term growth and not take a short-term protectionist approach,' said Chris Israel, deputy assistant secretary for technology policy at the Commerce Department, explaining why the Bush administration opposes tariffs and other policies that would discourage the outsourcing trend.
And because the aging baby boomer generation is nearing retirement, the United States may be headed for another work-force shortage, said William Miller, professor emeritus at Stanford University and chairman of Borland. In the meantime, displaced IT workers should get training and be willing to relocate to find new jobs, he said.

'People have to be prepared to move,' Miller said. 'That will be one of the requirements of the work force in the future; people must be willing to move where the jobs are.'
Although the panelists defended the merits of offshore outsourcing, they acknowledged some problems. One is whether foreign companies and workers can be trusted with intellectual pro"

I don't usually blog the entire article, but I tought that this one wouldn't stand up to blurbing. It shows that the problem of off-shoring is worse than we thought. Notice that none of the displaced thousands of workers is represented here, only government and IT execs. It means that this is one more of a series of apologistic crap out of C/NET 'news'.com. The only thing that really makes it worth blogging is the clear indication that the Bush administration isn't about to do anything about the problem.

Remember this, Mr. Bush, when you're back in your cozy world of privileged private life- the unemployed among us really don't want to tear up our roots and move across the country just to chase jobs. It's a growing problem that I'll write more about later. In the meantime, we CAN'T AFFORD to take the "long view". We have to pay our bills NOW! Perhaps you can take the "long view" when you're out of office next year...

PC Pro - Computing in the Real World  

PC Pro - Computing in the Real World

Microsoft squashes self-destructing email rumour
[PC Pro] 11:29

At the official London launch of Office 2003 last night, Microsoft was questioned about Mission Impossible-style disappearing email, reports of which have been circulating in the media.
Steven Sinofski, Senior VP of Microsoft Office Group, squashed the rumour. He told assembled hacks in London that the new Office suite did not support self-destructing emails.

Questioned about pre-launch stories, he said this was a misunderstanding of the Information Rights Management (IRM) within Office."

Well! We all know that there are third-party apps that DO provide time-sensitive e-mails, so I guess it made for a possibility. This is the first time that I can recall that such a story gained wide dispersal and reportage in important places. My source was a BBC story, an outfit not often known for screwing up.

Maybe it'll show up in SP-1? :)

silicon.com - China lab checks Windows  

silicon.com - China lab checks Windows: "China lab checks Windows

September 26 2003

by CNET Asia staff

A lab to study the Microsoft Windows operating system source code was set up last week in Beijing, China.
Called the Source Code Browsing Lab, it is part of the existing government-run software site, the China Testing and Certification Center for Information Security Products, according a report in the People's Daily.
Microsoft is the first commercial software company that has signed an operating system source code browsing agreement with the Chinese government, said the report, hinting that the lab is also open to other commercial software companies who wish to have their products certified for security.
The report stressed the need for checking Windows source code for security loopholes, especially in the light of recent hacker attacks.
However, previous reports have said that the need to search for back doors installed by national intelligence agencies is also among the aims of the agreement."

Yes, I know that in today's politically correct world we don't even try to look at ulterior motives, but wouldn't this be a lovely opportunity for the Chinese to:

A) Educate themselves on how to (or NOT to, depending on your outlook) build a modern OS.


B) Take a good look, not only for backdoors, but to see where they could attack the OS themselves (given that Windows of one flavor or another runs large chunks of our government).

Good thing the Chinese aren't an agressive foreign power with a large population and shrinking resources!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Q&A: Choosing a Digital Music Service for Windows Users  

Q&A: Choosing a Digital Music Service for Windows Users: "What I think is great about most of the new services available on Windows is that being built on Windows Media enables such amazing choice. For example, consumers can download music from a wide variety of music services, bring it into their media library in Windows Media Player, create playlists, and burn CDs with music aggregated from many different services. You can even transfer any or all of the music to a wide variety of portable devices. That is what Windows users love -- being able to shop around and pick and choose the products and services that work best for them."

This is straight from Microsoft's own web site. I hadn't realized that ANY of the online music services was built on Windows Media (WMA) or that doing so gave users any more choice than, say, downloading an MP3.

The least Uncle Fester could do is try to keep things factual, but this "article" is clearly marketing hype. Or are they trying to convince themselves?

"The combination of high quality compression with digital rights management technology is making efficient and secure delivery of music possible. Under the hood, the leading music services today for Windows build their music services on the state-of-the-art media platform, Windows Media 9 Series."

And I was even more unaware that any of the services were built on Windows Media 9. Hey! Doesn't that mean that users have less choices? Oops! Never mind. We're not supposed to mention that as a possibility. As for DRM, I challenge Microsoft to show me ONE typical online music service user who LIKES DRM and WANTS it in place in all his software.

"PressPass: We've heard that Apple will be launching a Windows-based version of iTunes. Do you see that as impacting Napster or other Windows-based services?

Fester: iTunes captured some early media interest with their store on the Mac, but I think the Windows platform will be a significant challenge for them."

Hmm. iTunes sold a million tracks by the end of day two of operation on the Windows platform. If that's a "significant challenge", then Microsofthad better find a few significant chalenges of its own!

"Additionally, users of iTunes are limited to music from Apple's Music Store"

And what has this to do with the price of taffy in Tasmania? Go ask users of Rhapsody (one of his vaunted Windows music services) what choice THEY have in online music stores! Well, this is just one instance I use because I have personal experience of it. The answer being NONE. The truth is that iTunes allows users a much greater freedom than Rhapsody ever will, but Uncle Fester probably doesn't want to hear that.

The rest of the article is more of the same, but what else can we expect from Microsoft's own site?

New York Post Online Edition: business  

New York Post Online Edition: business: "M'SOFT'S SUITE DEAL


October 21, 2003 -- For competitors, Microsoft's Office 2003 looks like déjà vu all over again.
Having famously used the dominance of Windows to rule the Internet browser market, the tech giant now is using the ubiquity of Word, Excel and Outlook to attack the server software industry.
Some of the new features of Office 2003, which will be unveiled here today by Bill Gates, won't even work without another program, Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

'Clearly a main goal here is attaching server software to Office,' said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. 'They're trying to leverage sales.' The Office suite of programs is used by more than 90 percent of all business PCs in the nation. It's Microsoft's cash cow, generating $7 billion in operating earnings in the fiscal year 2003 - accounting for 28.6 percent of Microsoft's revenues and more than half its earnings.

But on the server side, Microsoft is locked in a battle with IBM, Novell and Oracle, among others.
Now, to pump up server-software sales, Microsoft has tied Office even more closely to its mainframe products.
For instance, the new Office allows 'rights management,' the ability to tag a file so that only certain employees may open it. However, that only works if Office is running through Microsoft's server software.
Analysts say the industry should expect the same sort of 'integration' in the new version of Windows, code-named 'Longhorn,' when it premieres in 2006.

But Microsoft is trying to avoid the antitrust battles that followed the Internet Explorer 'bundling.' The company says it doesn't force anyone to buy its server products - it simply notes that Office will work better with them"

I forsee a fight over this tactic. It's a nice try by Microsoft, but it's going to cause the courts to notch up their scrutiny, IF it makes it past them at all. It's a mistake, plain and simple. This is tthe wrong tactic at the wrong time.

Logitech Posts Record Second Quarter Results; Revenue $294 million; Operating Income $27.4 million; EPS $.44  

Logitech Posts Record Second Quarter Results; Revenue $294 million; Operating Income $27.4 million; EPS $.44: "Logitech Posts Record Second Quarter Results; Revenue $294 million; Operating Income $27.4 million; EPS $.44

FREMONT, Calif. & ROMANEL-SUR-MORGES, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2003--Logitech International (Nasdaq: LOGI) (Switzerland: LOGN) today announced that sales for its second fiscal quarter of 2004, ended September 30, 2003, were $294 million, up 17 percent from $252 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income was $27.4 million, up from $25.7 million last year. Net income for the quarter was $21.2 million ($0.44 per share), up slightly from $21 million ($0.42 per share) in Q2, 2003. Gross margin rebounded in the second quarter to 31.5 percent, compared with 27.8 percent during this year's first fiscal quarter - an improvement of 370 basis points.
Q2, 2004 was Logitech's strongest-ever second quarter, with revenue and operating income exceeding its expectations"

Not too surprising. After all, if you're going to spend more than $10 on a mouse, who are you going to buy?

Cloudmark Teams With Zone Labs in Pace-Setting Antispam, Personal Firewall Partnership  

Cloudmark Teams With Zone Labs in Pace-Setting Antispam, Personal Firewall Partnership: "Cloudmark Teams With Zone Labs in Pace-Setting Antispam, Personal Firewall Partnership
Tuesday October 21, 6:02 am ET
Users Benefit From End-to-End Desktop Protection From Crippling Spam and The Threats Posed by Hackers, Data Theft and Malicious Code
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Cloudmark(TM) Inc. and Zone Labs® Inc. are pairing to provide consumers and businesses the most effective protection from spam, worms, Trojan horses and spyware. Zone Labs, the most trusted provider of endpoint security solutions, will exclusively bundle SpamNet, Cloudmark's easy-to-use email add-in powered by more than 600,000 users, with its ZoneAlarm® Pro and ZoneAlarm Plus personal firewall solutions. This first of its kind antispam/personal firewall partnership introduces Cloudmark SpamNet to Zone Labs' broad user base, offering Zone Labs customers access to Cloudmark's powerful and unique SpamFighting network."

Well. At least one piece of good news a day helps keep me from throwing my hands up in the air and burning my modem.

Memorex to raise recordable CD prices | CNET News.com  

Memorex to raise recordable CD prices | CNET News.com: "Memorex to raise recordable CD prices
Last modified: October 20, 2003, 4:50 PM PDT
By Ed Frauenheim
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Citing factors such as supply shortages and rising costs from overseas disc manufacturers, Memorex plans to increase CD-R and CD-RW media prices by 10 percent to 15 percent beginning January. "

Not good news :( Other manufacturers will surely follow suit.

Yahoo Mail delivers new spam measures | CNET News.com  

Yahoo Mail delivers new spam measures | CNET News.com: "Yahoo Mail delivers new spam measures
Last modified: October 20, 2003, 9:00 PM PDT
By Jim Hu
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Yahoo on Monday launched new antispam tools for its Web-based e-mail service as part of an ongoing effort to curb the Internet's most reviled by-product.
The Web portal said that as a way to protect their personal Yahoo Mail address from spammers, subscription e-mail customers will be able to set up dummy e-mail addresses for use when entering personal information at Web sites. "

Well, this story is true. What they don't mention until halfway down the story is that it only applies to the people willing to spend $30 a year for the "privilege" of having a Yahoo mail account. To me, it's like paying the headsman.

The second thing I want to mention is that this new measure does nothing at all to actually STOP spam, it simply gives users another way to avoid it. As with any disease, the only sure way to stop spam is at the source.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - High-Tech  

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - High-Tech: "U.S., Microsoft fight over online music

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates gestures as he delivers the keynote address at a Microsoft's Windows conference in New Orleans on May 6. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
WASHINGTON -- Nearly a year after Microsoft Corp. agreed to end its anticompetitive conduct, the government is raising concerns the world's largest software maker is trying to use its dominant Windows operating system to influence where customers buy their music online.
If the dispute isn't resolved by week's end, it could become the first test of Microsoft's landmark antitrust settlement that was approved by a federal court in October 2002.
Lawyers for the Justice Department and 19 state attorneys general have formally complained to a federal judge about a design feature of Windows that compels consumers who buy music online to use only Microsoft's Internet browser and steers them to a Web site operated by the company.
Microsoft's design 'may be inconsistent' with the settlement, government lawyers wrote in court papers asking U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to intervene if the problems aren't resolved.
The company said Monday it is willing to work with the government but does not believe the design is illegal. Online music purchases are expected to be one of the most-lucrative areas for Internet commerce.
'We believe that the use of Internet Explorer by the Shop-for-Music-Online link in Windows is consistent with the design rules established by the consent decree, and we will continue to work with the government to address any concerns,' spokeswoman Stacy Drake said."

So let me see, the government is upset because Microsoft programmed the 'Shop for Music Online' to use IE instead of whatever browser is the system default? Ooh, isn't THAT sinister. Let's all ignore the fact that this was coded into Windows long before the whole anti-trust thing wrapped up, okay? Oh, come on... just ignore the facts. Microsofthas to be wrong, because they're Microsoft...right?

Techweb > News > Symantec Goes 8.0 With Ghost > Symantec Goes 8.0 With Ghost > October 20, 2003  

Techweb > News > Symantec Goes 8.0 With Ghost > Symantec Goes 8.0 With Ghost > October 20, 2003: "Symantec Goes 8.0 With Ghost
October 20, 2003 (1:06 p.m. EST)
TechWeb News

Symantec rolled out Monday Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition, software that will make it easier for IT administrators to, among other things, deploy critical security fixes en mass to an organization's desktops and laptops.
New features that Symantec touted in Ghost 8.0 include a multicast file transfer tool that allows IT managers to send and execute individual files, including security patches such as those released by Microsoft for Windows, to multiple machines simultaneously.
Other new tools in the cloning software include a Client Staging Area -- a repository for storing and deploying whole disk images, user profiles, and hot fixes -- for one-time roll-out to client PCs, enhanced support for NTFS partitions, and a centrally-managed inventory of all hardware and software for easier provisioning of operating systems, applications, or in the case of a disaster, disk images to rebuild crashed machines.
Symantec Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition is available now. "

Of course the question now is: how many more releases of Ghost will we see, now that Symantec has swallowed PowerQuest? We all know that Drive Image has the user interface comparison all sewn up. I doubt if you could find anyone who would be willing to admit it was a contest, much less give the cup to Ghost. Most likely would be a melding of the products.

I only hope that someone notices that Ghost has no way of verifying the validity of the images that it produces and gets someone on the Drive Image team to help.

The Register  

The Register: "Microsoft monopoly says Apple monopoly is too restrictive
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 20/10/2003 at 09:15 GMT

Microsoft would be negligent if it didn't see Apple's music ambitions as a competitive threat. On the eve of Apple's splashy launch last week, Microsoft offered a Q&A which warned users not to be seduced by iTunes, Apple's integrated MP3 player/ripper/burner/radio/music store, which is now available on Windows.

Microsoft's David Fester (and whether Fester is his birthname or an homage[*] to his CEO, we don't know; Intel employs a Mr. Jason 'Ziller', which isn't at all relevant here) warned that iTunes carried several disadvantages.

It's worth quoting in full: "

And I'll leave it there. It's a long article full of interesting thoughts. The main thin I can say is that he's at least partly right- Apple is a vertical monopoly and Microsoft's is horizontal. And in the back-and-forth following the release of iTunes for Windows, both sides are right.

He further writes-

"Drop the iPod or drop the DRM?
As Ken 'Caesar' Fisher writes in a very astute Ars Technica editorial, Fester #2's claims are very well made.

Apple is attempting to build a vertical business where a business doesn't exist right now, and Microsoft is retaliating by arguing that horizontal values - or choice - matter. Apple is able to do so because it has its own proprietary DRM, one which the record industry pigopolists find palatable, thanks to its playback device in the form of the iPod[***]. The ends here matter. "

And the answer is: drop the DRM. The Apple iPod has proven itself very well in the retail marketplace, but I don't know anyone east of Redmond who really wants another piece of softwaretelling him what he can and can't do with the music he's purchased. Period.

I really will stop here. Go read the article. It's worth the 5 minutes or so to get a broad view of the whole struggle.

Record industry warns of new lawsuits | CNET News.com  

Record industry warns of new lawsuits | CNET News.com: "Record industry warns of new lawsuits
Last modified: October 17, 2003, 11:12 AM PDT
By John Borland
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

The Recording Industry Association of America has begun preparing a second round of file-swapping lawsuits, notifying 204 individuals that they are in line to be sued for copyright infringement.
Unlike with the previous wave of suits, the record labels' trade association is giving the lawsuit targets warning this time around, offering them a chance to settle before the suits are filed. The change in tactics comes after considerable criticism from federal lawmakers and others concerning the group's first batch of court actions against 261 individuals last month.
'We take the concerns expressed by policy makers and others very seriously,' RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement. 'In light of the comments we have heard, we want to go the extra mile and offer illegal file sharers an additional chance to work this out short of legal action.' "

'All your bases are us'

AS the RIAA, not content with the last round of lawsuits, gathers resources in order to blast another crop of pre-teeners and grandmas on Macs out of existence. Apparently unsatisfied with the first load of public ill-will, the RIAA rides again.

I suppose it will end when they've sued everyone who has ever listenend to music.


Globetechnology: "iTunes for Windows — Apple's hidden agenda

By Sandy McMurray
Special to Globe and Mail Update

Sandy McMurray is a Toronto-based writer, editor and consultant. His Web site is www.TechStuff.ca.

Apple Computer's music software, iTunes, is now available for Windows computers. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced iTunes for Windows last week at a splashy media event that featured video chats with Bono, Dr. Dre and Mick Jagger, and a live performance by Sarah McLachlan."

I think Sandy has a little too much time on his hands. iTunes is not some kind of minority plot to subvert Windows users. I guarantee that such was the last thing on my mind as I signed up for the service last week, about a day after it went online. I was a whole lot more concerned about what music was offered and, after all is said and done, that's the important thing. Second in line are the prices which, while not the lowest, offer you much more value if you buy an entire album. The experience has made me think that either the other services are run by amateurs or by exceedingly greedy people (no, I'm NOT going to mention Rhapsody by name).

The iTunes user interface is fairly clean and attractive. One would expect that of an Apple app. But there are others out there that are as good. It really doesn't make me want to run right out and buy a Mac. Sorry, Sandy.

Nope, the bottom line is the huge music catalog, reasonable pricing, a good player, AND ==> a reasonable EULA. Take note of that, the rest of you! If you have to tie your users' hands with a horrible usage policy, then just give it up and go back to selling Super Fantastic Roto-Razor Zipmasters or some such...

Sunday, October 19, 2003


CNEWS Tech News - Microsoft faces open-source revolt  

CNEWS Tech News - Microsoft faces open-source revolt: "Microsoft faces open-source revolt


BOSTON (AP) - With more than $32 billion in sales last year, Microsoft Corp. doesn't usually worry about losing one customer.
But this one may be different.
Massachusetts Administration and Finance Secretary Eric Kriss last month instructed the state's chief technology officer to adopt a policy of 'open standards, open source' for all future spending on information technology.
The directive likely won't completely cut out Microsoft from the state's $80-million technology budget. "

This certainly is interesting. Microsoft may not lose lunch money over this, but it's a crack in the wall. It's pretty clear that, unless SCO wins their many lawsuits, Microsoft is going to have to pay attention to their customers in a more sincere manner. They may actually have to do things instead of just SAYing they'll do them.

BBC NEWS | Business | Microsoft launches 'leak-proof' e-mail  

BBC NEWS | Business | Microsoft launches 'leak-proof' e-mail: "Microsoft launches 'leak-proof' e-mail

How the new Office software will look
The latest version of Microsoft's popular Office software will, the company claims, allow users to send e-mails that will 'self-destruct' after a set time.
The development is designed to improve security - and avoid potentially embarrassing messages coming back to haunt senders.
Microsoft says users will also be able to restrict who is allowed to read an e-mail - and prevent recipients from forwarding messages to other users or printing them off. "

Whee! Now corporate execs who want to hide their crimes won't have to worry about incriminating e-mail hanging around to haunt them!

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