Saturday, December 06, 2003


Silicon Valley Biz Ink :: Biz Briefs  

Silicon Valley Biz Ink :: Biz Briefs: "HP jumps into Web music
Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto plans to introduce an Internet music store and portable music player next year, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. The online store will sell song downloads sometime in the first quarter next year. Meanwhile, the music player will compete with Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod. HP's plans were first disclosed in an interview with Reuters. The market for online music has quickly become a crowded field. Aside from Apple, HP will face competition from Dell Inc., Microsoft Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sony Corp., Viacom Inc., RealNetworks Inc. and Roxio Inc."

Let's see... About the only ones still not planning an online music store (at this moment) are Intel and IBM. Oh, well, it's all good for consumers, so we can't complain. It does make me wonder, given all the licensing deals that must be going on, if the RIAA should maybe ease up just a trifle on lawsuits, and let its public image improve. It surely looks like they'll be getting plenty of royalties from all these legitimate sources.

Friday, December 05, 2003


Microsoft to charge for FAT file system, ClearType - smh.com.au  

Microsoft to charge for FAT file system, ClearType - smh.com.au: "Microsoft to charge for FAT file system, ClearType
By Online Staff
December 5, 2003
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Microsoft has announced that it will be charging a fee from those who use the FAT file system and offered to sell licences to those who wish to buy one.
The company also said it would be charging for use of subpixel rendering technology, branded ClearType, which improves readability of text on LCD screens. "

This is about as boneheaded a move as I can imagine. Well, maybe not the tops, but way up there on the list. To want to start charging for the use of the FAT system wll certainly help drive people to Linux, if nothing else. Not to mention what it does for the chances of winning anything like another anti-Trust suit. Another one? Yes! There's no such thing as double indemnity (the protection from being brought to trial twice for the same offense) for corporate entities. Even if there were, I suspect that Microsoft would cause an exception to be written into law. It's the worst possible thing they could do at the worst possible time.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


News: Domain registry site gets hacked  

News: Domain registry site gets hacked: "Domain registry site gets hacked

By Matt Hines
CNET News.com
December 3, 2003, 10:52 AM PT

The Global Name Registry confirmed that its .name Web site was hacked over the weekend, blaming the attack on the company's move to relaunch its services.
GNR representatives said the site, which administers registration of .name Web domains, was attacked sometime Saturday afternoon and remained corrupted until the problem was fixed Sunday morning. Company President Hakon Haugnes said the hackers exploited a hole in one of the software packages used to maintain the site but indicated that the situation did not cause major damage to its overall operations. He did not comment on what type of software the hole was present in, and he said the site had not been subject to previous attacks.
'Obviously, this sort of thing causes some level of embarrassment, but it appeared to be very isolated,' Haugnes said. 'You try to keep up with all the software patches out there, but sometimes things like this still happen.' "

"Some level of embarrassment"? How about "crying shame"? When a security company can't keep hackers out of the vault, it's time to find someone who can. This is a whole LOT more serious than an "embarrassment", since a hacked nameserver is a weapon second to none in the world of the net.

Monday, December 01, 2003


Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water  

Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water: "Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water

A long-expected lawsuit

By Jack Russell: Wednesday 12 February 2003, 21:46
KUDOS TO CATHY Baker - a previously unknown California resident - who's sued the above companies claiming they have acted in concert to illegally limit consumer's rights to know what they are buying and to return it if they do not accept the limitations the manufacturer puts on the product.
See Microsoft, Symantec sued over software licences
This is the kind of simmering pot that's been just itching to boil over, and Mrs. Baker may have a real argument to stand on. The boxes of most pieces of commercial software do not remotely hint at the volume of legalese found in your typical EULA, and the 'Do you accept the conditions/terms of using this software' has always struck me as a bit of an odd question, since one has no choice but to accept them, or forfeit use of the software"

This seemed to be another of those 'complaining customer who talked a lawyer into filing suit' things. Then I read the whole article. The opening statement above is correct: it's a long-expected and prbably overdue lawsuit. It involves how binding the infamous EULA (End-User License Agreement) is if the customer can't even read it until he's already opened the package, theoretically accepting the terms of the agreement.

It doesn't end there. The next step is to deal with those EULA's that contain language so ridiculously confining or restrictive that the right to actually use the software after accepting the EULA becomes fraught with legal danger. I've actually read one EULA that would make it impossible for you to tell anyone you're using the software or to complain about anything (including documented bugs) if it failed to work as it seemed like it should.

Something final needs to be done and this suit is the beginning. I think that there needs to be some legal biolerplate that's required by law. Maybe it's a case of setting a generic EULA in legal code and allowing only that EULA to stand.

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Look Out, Outlook: RSS Ahead in 2004  

Look Out, Outlook: RSS Ahead in 2004: "
Look Out, Outlook: RSS Ahead in 2004
By Steve Gillmor
November 28, 2003

You better watch out; you better not cry; you better not pout. Steve Gillmor is telling you why: RSS is coming to town. "

Well! I'm happy to see that another of my predicitons looks like coming true. At least the 'big names' are starting to come to the same conclusion as I did, earlier.

Remember folks- keep your eyes on my crystal ball! You'll read it here FIRST.

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