Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Former exec and start-ups criticize 'Byzantine' Microsoft | Channel Register

"Jadallah, who left Microsoft in 1999 after 12 years to become a VC, said: 'From the outside it's Byzantine to figure out 'how do I work with Microsoft?' It's much like Microsoft working with IBM. We'd show up with one employee... and meet 12 from IBM, and think 'what do they do all day?' Microsoft is now in that same position.'

Microsoft has been criticized for becoming increasingly bureaucratized during the five years since Steve Ballmer took over as chief executive, and moving away from the chaos of early years that produced Microsoft's first, landmark technologies."

LXer: Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920's

"All those who have lined up on the side of Microsoft will soon discover that they are fighting battles they can never win. So they stoop to creating the BSA, influencing politicians and undermining whoever they perceive as their enemies.

Dell, HP, Gateway, Sony, IBM and the rest of Microsoft's partners will find themselves painted with the same brush. You cannot enforce the DMCA any more than you can force people to buy American cars. Take a hint from General Motors: The word eventually gets out that you have inferior products and the price isn't right. Microsoft's OEM partners will become the buggy whip manufacturers of the 21st Century."

N.C. judge refuses to shield voting machines - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

"One of the nation's leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as required by state law."

One down, 49 to go.

MSFT Bagholder: Blurring vision

"Bill Gates used to have 20/20 vision. He believed that in the future there would be a computer on every desktop. He foresaw a world where hardware costs would drop toward zero and the value added piece would be the software. Back in the day when a primitive desktop computer cost an arm and a leg, these seemed like wild statements. Of course, Bill was right and Microsoft grew into a great company because of the clarity of his vision."

I think it more accurate to say that he had 20/20 luck. He, and MS didn't think the Internet (or TCP/IP, or the web interface...) were important until those things overtook them (and that was quite a while ago even if it doesn't seem like it). Many of Microsoft's "best" early moves involved stabbing potential partners in the back. Technology didn't play a big part in Microsoft's early successes, just as it doesn't now.

In a way our industry has better long term memory than short term memory. They forgive a lot of the misdeeds of yesterday or last year (even Sony will be able to crawl out of the hole they are in if they make a sustained effort) but we still remember misdeeds of IBM in the 60s and 70s and those were minor compared to the record of Microsoft screwing everyone they could get their hands on.

Anyone who thinks that Microsoft can just kiss and make up with the rest of the world is dreaming. Exits by Gates and Balmer would be a good start though.

As far as vision, I don't know where they will go for that. Unfortunately for them, rules about what publicly held corporations can and can't do will probably nullify the type of vision that would actually have some positive impact. The closest analogy I can think of would be the tobacco companies. They just diversified into totally unrelated industries as a hedge against the eventuality of being sued out of existence.

Sony BMG's Costly Silence

"Sony BMG officials insist that they acted as quickly as they could, and that they expected to be able to go public and offer a software patch at the same time."


Microsoft Drops the Office Open Standard Ball

"According to a Microsoft representative, 'The covenant language is what was referred to as the updated 'license' for the Open XML formats that will be submitted to ECMA International for the standardization process.'"


Spitzer Gets on Sony BMG's Case

"A Homeland Security Dept. official has weighed in, accusing Sony BMG of undermining computer security. And Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has alleged, in a suit filed Nov. 21, that Sony BMG violated his state's antispyware laws. Now, the Sony BMG debacle has drawn the scrutiny of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer."

if (Windows Rules) then (Linux fails) | Paul Murphy | ZDNet.com

"As I said above, FUD is at its most dangerous when it supports and reinforces delusion. In my opinion that's what happened here: with these people getting just about everything about running Linux wrong, finding what they hoped to find not as the result of any actual Linux/Windows differences but as a result of their own delusions about systems management, and then using Microsoft's money and press access as a means of spreading those delusions to others."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

MSFT Bagholder: How Bill and Steve screwed up the Xbox 360 launch (and everything else)

"Google, Yahoo, and Apple all launch new products that fall well short of perfection. This is acceptable when people like you. The 360 is supposed to induce grins, not outrage, and it probably would have from the get-go if Apple's logo rather than Microsoft's were emblazoned on it.

This is why Bill and Steve need to go. Microsoft cannot go forward if it is burdened by their legacy. MCI became a new company when Capellas replaced Ebbers. HP became a new company when Hurd replaced Fiorina. Tyco became a new company when Breen replaced Kozlowski. Microsoft, too, can start to fix itself only when Bill and Steve are replaced."

I never have to add comments to this guy's posts. He gets it just right.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Microsoft loses money on each Xbox | CNET News.com

"But Crotty said the big winner in the video game wars is IBM, since its microprocessors power all three of the new consoles from the industry's heavy hitters."

A Tiny Windows Laptop With a Sense of Fashion - New York Times

"EVERYWHERE you look, the electronics industry seems to be playing its own mutant variations of limbo. But the question isn't 'How low can you go?' At Dell, it's 'How cheap can you go?' At Apple, it's 'How cool can you go?' And at Microsoft's Windows division, it's 'How slow can you go?'"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: Microsoft and Open Standards

"Heck, this isn't even the first time that Microsoft has claimed that its Office XML formats were open. Brian Jones, an Office program manager who works on XML, claimed that the existing licenses for Office Open XML formats are, broadly speaking, open-source compatible, but even he admitted that 'The patent language is difficult to read.'"

Microsoft Monitor: Assessing the Fallout

Hyping the hyperbole!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . November 17, 2005 - Google-Mart

Interesting prediction.

WSJ.com - Texas Sues Sony BMG Over Anti-Piracy Discs

"Mr. Abbott, who said Texas is the first state to sue Sony BMG over the issue, estimated that 'tens of thousands' of Texas consumers may have been harmed by the XCP technology, although he didn't provide a precise figure. The state has a new antispyware law that calls for penalties of $100,000 per violation."

I had sent a friend information about this Sony thing last week and it got not a lot of attention. However same friend was trying to de-lous another persons PC yesterday and called me for support (Note: I'm not particularly qualified for Windows support at this point, but I can do Google searches and say things like "hang in there" from time to time). I think by that time I was called many of the virus and spyware elements had been cleaned by conventional means, but there seemed to be some persistent problems. Just in case, I asked whether they had played any of those Sony BMG music discs in the machine. Apparently I was on a speakerphone setup, and I heard several denials of the form "We never use our machine for such things" while my friend asked me what I was talking about.

After refreshing his memory, and in turn having the family involved talk among themselves for a while, it turned out that some Sony BMG discs HAD been played in that machine, and some of the remaining questionable files had Sony all over them even though the family didn't own a Sony camera, Sony music player or any other Sony device that they could think of. Finally someone remembered that the little girl in the family HAD played, or ripped, or SOMETHING some music CDs in the machine and off they rushed to find them. In the mean time I was looking for the list of Sony BMG discs affected, originally numbered 20 and widely circulated at that count, but subsequently updated to 50, and listed on a Sony website. I found the list of 50 at about the same time that they found their played/ripped/inserted/whatever CDs and sure enough, several of them had the Sony BMG label on them. Now the catch was that (a) none of the CDs they had found were on the list and (b) none of the CDs they had found had the warning that they contained copyright protection software, and my understanding was that the affected discs did contain such a warning.

Well, by getting rid of the Sony BMG stuff they seemed to be back to a clean machine, and they swore to never insert a music CD into their machine again or to buy a CD from Sony. So, congratulations should go out to Sony BMG and First4Internet for accomplishing their objectives. Now to round out the picture:

(1) I suspect that Sony BMG, Sony alone, and BMG alone have in the past used other protection schemes and while they haven't been vocal about it, other companies are doing the same experimentation. All of these programs have their own ways and means of hiding themselves and controlling what YOU do with YOUR PC. But NONE of them have exhaustively looked into the legal, much less technical ramifications of what they do. They think that by merely relying on third party companies like First4Internet they can claim ignorance of the consequences.

(2) Rumor has it that by the time you are asked for your permission to install software when you insert these disks SOME software has already been installed.

(3) Sony/BMG isn't the only company doing this, they are just the only company that has been caught.

(4) These discs have been out for a year, and some people say two years, or maybe more.

(5) There is no quick and easy way to uninstall these programs, either from Sony BMG or the so-called anti-virus/spyware/adware companies. Jury is out on whether collusion or incompetence is to blame.

So my recommendations would be:

(1) Don't buy any more music CDs if you can find an alternative such as iTunes which grants you reasonable reproduction rights (I buy my music from iTunes and then create unencumbered CDs as a backup).

(2) If you buy CDs, don't buy them from Sony BMG, since they are known to have absolutely no respect for the sanctity of your PC.

(3) While the artists involved may be as much a victim of this as you are, I'd consider giving them an incentive to be less so and boycott their music as well, in my case I'd never heard of most of them, and never listened to the others. How they select which artists music to surround with crap software I don't know. Here is the list.

(4) Spread the word. If you don't listen to music on your PC people you know probably do, and their machine may well be near to unusable at this point.

(5) Rethink whether using Windows at all is in your best interest. Depending on how you use your computer, Apple's OS X, or one of the many forms of Linux may not only protect you from these problems but speed up your use of the Internet. One interesting thing about these CDs is that they play just fine under Linux or OS X without installing malicious software. Maybe using Windows is like wearing a sign that says "Kick me".

GSA Modernizes With Open-Source Stack

"Overall, the OSERA stack is aimed at helping to save the government time and money in developing applications. MDA is used to create and maintain systems based on models."

Update 3: Nike Jet to Try Emergency Landing - Forbes.com

"Seven people were on board the jet, but their names have not been released, Steve Johnson, spokesman for the Port of Portland, told KGW-TV. Neither Nike founder Phil Knight nor any sports stars were on board, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said."

This was so important the article mentioned it twice. Thank goodness only ordinary folk are involved, right?

How Patent Suit Became Judge's Nightmare - Yahoo! News

"Even worse, there's a side show: the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which operates in its own world. It has preliminarily rejected the same patents at the core of the lawsuit. Despite RIM's optimism about the office's deliberations, the nearer-term prospect of the court injunction could force the company into a settlement as costly as $1 billion.

Robert Kerton, an economics professor at University of Waterloo in Canada, says the case demonstrates the need to reform the patent system, allowing real producers to get down to business.

'But don't hold your breath,' he said, 'because thousands of attorneys really love the tangled system.'"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Start-up plans new energy-efficient processor | Tech News on ZDNet

"The power savings are even greater when compared with an Intel Xeon or Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron, said P.A. Semi CEO Dan Dobberpuhl. Over three years, a 4,000-node cluster of PWRficient-based servers might consume $360,000 in electricity--an equivalent bank of Xeons and Opterons would chew up $3 million and $3.5 million worth of electricity, respectively, P.A. Semi claims."

Wake up Steve!

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: PC stolen from Boeing packed with employees' personal data

"A contract engineer in Everett, who asked not to be named, was stunned that Boeing would allow so much information to reside on a single personal computer."

Oh, but Bill is still a big beleiver in fat clients. He wants supercomputers on users desktop running superpriced versions of Windows no doubt. This concept is bankrupt, and we have all the evidence we need (and then some) to know it now.

LXer: Linux News says Mac OS X could destroy Microsoft

"Bill Gates could open source all his products, put Office into a public project and port it to Linux, adopt the GPL and people will continue to regard him with contempt. He may give all his money away before he dies and the world won't even mention him as a footnote in history. The Gates legacy lives in infamy. We know him for what he represents.

In contrast, people have not finished with Mr. Jobs. He still has time to reconcile himself. It won't take much. He just has to cross a narrow threshold."

More speculation that Apple will go head to head with Microsoft. I still have my doubts, and the absence of a feature-for-feature replacement for Office is at the core of those doubts. I have a feeling MS would pull the plug on Office for the Mac the instant they sensed any threat.

But then again, it is possible that no matter what Microsoft does at this point they will dig their hole deeper. They are not liked by many, and as Windows systems get harder, not easier to maintain they are even not liked by some former fans.

Copy Protection Still a Work in Progress - Yahoo! News

"Phil Leigh, analyst for Inside Digital Media, said the debacle shows just how reluctant the labels are to change their business model to reflect the distribution powers — good and bad — of the Internet. He believes that rather than adopting technological methods to try to stop unauthorized copying of music, record companies need to do more to remove the incentive for piracy.

'The biggest mistake the labels are making is, they're letting their lawyers make technical decisions. Lawyers don't have any better understanding of technology than a cow does algebra,' Leigh said. 'They insist on chasing this white whale.'"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wired News: Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit

"Perhaps the only security company that deserves praise is F-Secure, the first and the loudest critic of Sony's actions. And Sysinternals, of course, which hosts Russinovich's blog and brought this to light.

Bad security happens. It always has and it always will. And companies do stupid things; always have and always will. But the reason we buy security products from Symantec, McAfee and others is to protect us from bad security."

Consortiuminfo.org Standards Blog

"Once upon a time, Peter Quinn, the CIO of Massachusetts, tried to do something brave, important, and perhaps a bit naive: to do the best thing for the future of the Commonwealth, even if it meant thinking outside the box and taking actions that were sure to draw an immune response from various powerful corners.

All went reasonably well for a while, but when it came time for his plans to actually begin to be implemented, the reflexive reaction did indeed kick in, and it kicked in hard. Not only did it come from the expected sources, but also from inside the government itself."

User Privileges, Malware and the Sony Rootkit Debacle

"How could software get away with this undetected? The answer is that Russinovich trusted the CD and, what is more important, he ran it while he was logged in as administrator.

Running the computer as administrator is, of course, something we all know we should avoid and be careful about when we need to do it. Because I'm such a loudmouth about this I have been trying to be careful myself."


WSJ.com - Widow Speaks Out In BlackBerry Dispute

"In her letter, Joletta Campana said that RIM 'somehow convinced the Department of Justice to submit' its statement of interest 'basically repeating misinformation supplied by RIM and asking Judge Spencer to suspend the case indefinitely.'

Mrs. Campana went on to say that the Department of Justice 'took a position that, to my ears, sounds stupid. Basically, they said that because RIM has done such a great job of stealing Tom's invention, RIM should be immune from the patent laws.'

A Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment. Officials from RIM weren't immediately available for comment."

Sounds like rats scurrying back into the sewer doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saint Bob Geldof blows gasket at email | The Register

"To be fair, Saint Bob is a successful suit in his own right, although he seems to have caught a touch of Bono Syndrome here - the absolute belief that celebrity achieved in one arena confers the right to give forth on any subject whatsoever.

Having said that, we look forward to Geldof and the U2 frontman berating Kofi Annan on the amount of time UN staff spend emailing business-critical PowerPoint presentations concerning Iraq oil for food programmes to each other when they could be unloading sacks of aid to wailing African orphans while their lonely inboxes fill with pointless e-communications. "

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Beyond office document formats | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-11-09 | By Jon Udell

"In theory, governments should mandate standards, not implementations. But in practice they mandate implementations all the time. Recently, for example, I renewed my passport. The procedure was less painful than a decade ago. While I grumbled at having to convert my digital data and images to paper and snail-mail them, at least I was able to use Acrobat to fill in and print the form.

Of course, if I wasn’t an Acrobat user, I would have to become one. Then there’s the sheer overkill of this solution. Gathering basic facts from citizens is a problem better solved by the simpler and more universal technology of Web forms."

Report: PC security weakened by Sony uninstaller

"Microsoft's Active X technology has caused a wide variety of security headaches for the software giant in the past. Now, Sony BMG seems to be the latest to fall prey to the hard-to-secure technology."

Well, if the executives running this show are not going to be fried (that's not a typo) then they should at least be banded (a new agricultural term I've just learned) which, I think, is only a moderately painful proceedure to keep them from reproducing.

Gates promises a supercomputer under every desk | The Register

"Not satisfied with owning your PC, Microsoft would like to own your personal cluster too. So said Chairman Bill Gates today at the Supercomputing 2005 conference here in Seattle, where he laid out a vision that includes inexpensive super-powered machines available to average users - not just government labs and universities.

'What we see as a key trend here is that we will have supercomputers of all sizes, including ones that will cost less than $10,000 and be able to sit at your desk or in a department,' Gates said."

OK, I take back what I said about them not being able to make Windows slower any more.

Clock speeds will only double, triple in next 15 years

Actual quotes from the article now that I'm made my little joke:

"All these factors mean a change in the way systems on a chip should be designed, said Rowen. In moving from 180, to 130 to 90 nanometre technology the hardware has only grown by a factor of five, while the software overhead has grown by a factor of 20, Rowen said.

He said that SOCs will be made up of a more diverse design using several cores and chip parts devoted to dedicated tasks. There’s an opportunity to overlap software, hardware and use relatively small development teams to bring chips to market in 18 months or less.

Designing systems using Linux software allows for far less overhead allowing for faster and more optimised systems, he said. New levels of automation allow for processor generations to optimise instructions sets. The ability to auto tune the processor makes the barrier to such approaches go down much further."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Clock speeds will only double, triple in next 15 years

Which means that the geniuses at Microsoft will only be able to make Windows half-fast if they want to succeed. I'd say they got off to a good start when they dumped OS/2.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

DOJ asks court to keep BlackBerry service on for federal workers - Computerworld

"NOVEMBER 14, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a judge to ensure that government users can continue to send each other e-mail on their “essential” BlackBerry devices, even though the court has ruled against the maker of BlackBerry devices in a patent infringement case."


There be nitwits here.

Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger: AOL unveils free Web TV

Oh the inanities! From what Scoble aptly calls his mudpit, I found this:

Sorry, I’m counting AOL out. In the words of Steve Jobs (paraphrased): "television is where you turn your brain off, a computer is where you turn your brain off."... "Um, that is to say that a computer is where you turn your brain “on”. Sorry for that bit of confusion"

And had to blurt out:

But you stumbled on the truth.

You CAN turn your brain on by watching TV. C-Span, some PBS, History Channel and things like that contain far more information than the average web page.

You CAN turn your brain off by using a computer. In fact I think you can turn it off a lot more effectively using a computer. Try and have an intelligent conversation with someone who plays first person shooters for 8 hours a day. Or auto race games, or roll playing games, or... blogs!

TV is a one way medium and computers are two way. That puts TV at a disadvantage, but not much of one. If you want to learn you only need TV and for the right material to be presented, and at a pace you are comfortable with.

The Internet however is like, as the expression goes, drinking from a fire hydrant. Only in addition to water, the Internet fire hydrant has sewage, and poisons and addictive drugs and a few other things you would rather not be consuming.

I'm not convinced that "feeds", "metadata", "XML" and the other dozen buzzwords that fly around today (particularly here) are the answer. I don't think I am getting a lot more out of the Internet today than I was 5 years ago, but I'm sure spending a lot more time getting it. My aggregators do everything but aggregate. Finding the actual SOURCE of a story rather than the thousands (or millions) of bloggers that have added their 2 cents (if they've added anything at all) is still largely a manual process. I don't see any of these new mechanisms solving this any better than just using a search engine that has recently crawled the web and has a modicum of AI built into it (EG: WSJ or Reuters is more likely to have the original story than Joe Blogger).

Have we forgotten that the World Wide Web and HTML were invented specifically allow ordinary people to EASILY share data? You can teach someone all they need to know about HTML in about and hour. But add ASP controls, Javascript, CSS, XML, RSS and EIEIO and suddenly we are back to having to have expert help setting up a web site and are totally dependent on expensive high level tools to do even the simplest thing.

Now think about who is most responsible for this race to complexity.

I think the situation will only get worse until individual users take back the Internet and just say no to the big software vendors, telephone and cable companies, Hollywood and all the other powerful interests that want to keep their positions as gatekeepers of what we see and hear.

If it's not something that you can work with on your own, without $700 worth of software or a $100/month internet bill then you should be asking yourself: "What is wrong with this picture?"

Kill Bill's Browser - Switch to Firefox

"13. Because the Department of Justice Lacks Balls.

They spent years and years on the Microsoft anti-trust suit and it did absolutely nothing to reduce Microsoft's monopoly. Great work guys. It's time to take the law (erm, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890?) into our own hands."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . November 10, 2005 - Paper War

"Microsoft historically has never cared about the public perception of their company. Their huge legal bills show the company's willingness to push the boundaries of ethical behavior, and maybe legal behavior too. Microsoft's corporate culture is different than most companies. They are not practiced at making the 'right and fair' decision, then making it happen. Most companies find a way to balance profit and be a good citizen. Not Microsoft. This just wasn't important to them. To me, the Microsoft memos looked like an amateurish attempt to improve their image and give the perception they care."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hotrod Your Linksys WAP with Linux


First Trojan using Sony DRM spotted | The Register

"Sony-BMG's rootkit DRM technology masks files whose filenames start with '$sys$'. A newly-discovered variant of of the Breplibot Trojan takes advantage of this to drop the file '$sys$drv.exe' in the Windows system directory."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

EFF: DeepLinks - Stuff not to buy

"As we've mentioned before, Sony-BMG has been using copy-protection technology called XCP in its recent CDs. You insert your CD into your Windows PC, click 'agree' in the pop up window, and the CD automatically installs software that uses rootkit techniques to cloak itself from you. Sony-BMG has released a 'patch' that supposedly 'uncloaks' the XCP software, but it creates new problems."

Why would anyone want to steal this junk?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NewsForge | Interview: Bob Young after Red Hat

"Operating systems typically don't displace existing technology if they become popular, it's because they become the popular solution on the new technology model. So, you know, Digital Equipment Companies, VMS operating system did not become popular on IBM mainframe computers. It became popular because Digital convinced the world to move towards minicomputers, and it became the most popular operating system on the minicomputers that Digital was responsible for. And in the same way, Windows, you know -- Microsoft did not convince the world to unplug VMS and put, you know, sort of a Mac OS -- not Mac OS. MS-DOS, MS-DOS on Digital minicomputers."

Oh, too bad Steve Jobs didn't read this.

Meanwhile the rumors abound about Apple's future plans...

The rumor I like best (though I don't believe it) is that hackers are making the X86 version of OS X run on ordinary PCs. This, supposedly, is Apple's secret plan to take over the world. They really WANT there to be millions of bootleg copies of their OS in circulation replacing Windows and Linux systems everywhere. How Apple will ever actually make money on this plan is the REAL secret. I have a feeling they are trying to figure that out themselves.

The other rumor, not very popular with the fan-base is that Apple wants to exit the computer business entirely. I tend to accept this more readily, although I don't think the company will so easily make the iPods into a full-time job. The way they climbed back from the abyss was to do two risky things: Standardize on the PowerPC and switch to a Unix based operating system. Now they are undoing the first move and one has to wonder how much commitment they actually have to OS X. All this time and they still depend on Microsoft for too many things. Although I doubt too many people use it, the system still comes bundled with Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and advertising urging you to try out Office for the Mac. Ugh, I'm a refugee from that stuff, its the last thing I want to see logos for.

Well, we'll see. maybe in a year or two we will see Jobs interviewed as he steps down from what is left of Apple. I predict bad things, and I'm keeping a current version of Linux on my Apple laptop just in case. I would have switched earlier, but sound support is still a bit flakey for the Apple hardware. Of course companies that still DO want to be in the computer business are busy building generic PowerPC systems, and that might ultimately be my system of choice. Next time.

Blogger Help : Why are all my posts being set to drafts?

So THATS what was happening to me!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Microsoft rejects Visual Studio delay request | CNET News.com

"In the original suggestion, a customer said that Visual Studio 2005, which had a second beta program in April, has too many bugs and performance problems. 'I'd rather have a good product six months from now than a mediocre one in three months,' wrote Clint Stotesbery on Thursday."

Clap with me now: Developers, devepolers, develpoers, develpers, developrs, devopelers...

LXer: Intel Linux versus Microsoft Windows

"Some countries will not allow Microsoft to try to run their governments unlike the US or the European Union. In the long-term, many analysts, including me, believe Microsoft will become irrelevant. But today, Intel depends on Microsoft. Even a hint of Microsoft changing horses could hurt Intel significantly. For example, Microsoft could give Dell the OK to use AMD processors."

Friday, November 04, 2005

News Release System

"IDC analyst Roger Kay said: 'I don't think the two - Mac mini and whatever Intel puts out - are really in the same market; that is, of course, unless Apple starts running OS X on x86 hardware.'"



Nokia 770 Out Now - Gizmodo

"The Nokia 770 is the Internet Tablet that Nokia has been ranting on about forever. It’s now available in Europe in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Don’t expect one in the USA, though, because we’re not cool enough to have internet tablets."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gmail - Circuits: One Teen's Contribution to the Internet

From an interview with the lead developer of Firefox...

BR: First of all, they dropped the ball. Internet Explorer hasn't been updated since 2001. And so when Microsoft basically disbanded the Internet Explorer team, the Web started to outpace the Web browser.

We guide our development by what our users want, not by the dollar. You know, no other factors come into play except these features that people are asking for. So basically I go home and I say, "Hey, Mom, you know, what's still wrong with the internet? What's bothering you?" And she tells me.

DP: You ask your mom?

BR: Well, she'll yell at me. And I'll say, "Mom, calm down. What's wrong?" And then I'll fix that.

DP: I wonder why Bill Gates's mom couldn't do the same thing?

BR: Yeah (laughs).

F-Secure: XCP DRM Software - Sony BMG CDs Install Buggy Rootkit on Windows Machines

"The DRM software requires administrative privileges to be installed successfully. When a user inserts an XCP protected CD into a computer that has the Windows Autoplay feature enabled, an EULA is automatically presented and if the user accepts it, the DRM software is installed."

I didn't pay much attention to this at first, since I don't use Windows. But the more I hear about it the worse it sounds. I'd still rather not hear stories about peopl's machines mysteriously crashing. Here is one of the more recent reasons for Windows crashes.

A good lesson: Don't run your system as Administrator!

Shortcuts alleged in building levees - Yahoo! News

"The complaints focus on two canals where levees topped with flood walls were built in stages over the past 15 years. One of the claims is that contractors used steel sheets - which were driven into the levees to prevent water seepage - that were shorter than what was called for in designs. If true, that could have made the levees weak and prone to failure."

Move over, Mac Mini -- MiniPC runs Linux

This looks cool.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Should you protect your OS X Mac against viruses?

"But in every other way OS X Macintoshes are much safer than Windows computers. Maybe it's time Symantec recognized that. My guess is that Symantec's virus-catching software for Macs actually blocks Windows viruses instead, so that Macs don't pass them on in forwarded e-mail.
What kind of penalty is that? You go out of your way to choose a safe computer and end up paying to keep your neighbor's Dell out of trouble? I don't like that at all.
How do you feel about it? Let me know. Should you and your Mac be penalized because Microsoft can't make Windows safe? Drop me a note at technology@syracuse.com. "

I tried the free anti-virus program that comes with .Mac membership for about two days. It was too bloated and cumberson for me to tolerate for longer than that, particularly after I found out that there are no viruses for the Apple/OS X combo. I AM behind a firewall, and I don't click on things without having a pretty good idea what they are going to do. If somehow my machine is involved in some Windows machine somewhere becoming infected I'll feel bad, but not bad enough to run a bloated Windows-like virus scanner taking half my memory and almost as much CPU time. I do my duty to warn Windows using people that they are at risk and will always be so. That they do nothing about it should give THEM trouble sleeping, not me.

Inside The dotNET: Avalon Interface Constructor: Powered by Gorm 1.0!

"Our lawyers have pretty much assured us that the GNU Public License (and other related viral licenses) are invalid due to them giving too many rights to the users; and by giving the code away, they are making the code public domain and giving up their copyright... or something like that. INAL, but thats pretty much the gist of it."

Sometimes humor falls not far from the facts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

12 reasons MS doesn't cut it for web development (Loud Thinking)

"To be frank, I don't ever see the good times coming back for them. Microsoft will have to move to higher grounds. Get out of the infrastructure race. Like Apple did. There is no dominant future for the Microsoft tool chain for web development in sight. But I doubt the company will acknowledge that before it's game over."