|Monday, 31 January 2005, 4:40 pm
It’s just another Macish Monday.
The new Mac laptops are here. The new Mac laptops are here. Speed bumps to 1.67Ghz, 8x superdrives, and motion sensors for falls. I’m off to the store, but some news before I go…
RCA demonstrated the first music synthesizer on this day in 1955. James van Allen discovered the Van Allen Belt in 1958. 3M introduced Scotch Tape in 1961. Ham the chimpanzee soared into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2, 1961.
It’s Jackie Robinson’s birthday, he was born in 1910.
- The Norwegian supreme court has overturned a lower court ruling and fined a teenager 100,000 kroner (around $15,000) for linking to illegal music downloads. The student’s site, napster.no, did not host any illegal files, it merely pointed to their location, much as, say Google does. The site was a school project, and the precedent is very scary.
- If you drive a Ford, Toyota, or Nissan don’t count on that its tech key code system to keep it from being stolen. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a flaw in the key’s RFID chip that makes it easy to spoof.
- Apple won Brandchannel.com’s Reader’s Choice award as “the brand with the most impact in 2004,” beating out Google for the first time. In this case the Readers are brand professionals in 75 countries, not crazed Mac zealots.
- Nick Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, is proposing a $100 Linux-based computer, display and all, for developing nations. Negroponte went to the World Economic Forum in Davos with his prototype. He has support from AMD. The key is getting display costs down by using an LED projection system.
- Virus authors have started using .rar files to bypass automated virus filters. The filters know about zip compression, but are clueless about the lesser known rar format. Not for long, I’d guess.
- So what does Intel’s new VIIV trademark portend? The best guess is that it’s supposed to be 64 – VI and IV – for Intel’s new 64-bit chips. I’m not sure I really care.
- It’s not all over for us old folks, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, adults are more adept at surfing the web than most teens. So there, now get offa my lawn you punks.
- According to USA Today, there are some pretty funny gaffes in Amazon’s new Yellow Pages. For one, they picture Rockefeller Center’s skating rink as a bus.
- Are you ready for Gigabit Wi-Fi? They’ve got it in the lab!
Listen in tomorrow at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.
|Monday, 31 January 2005, 1:23 am
Tags: Camera Phone
….while I kiss the sky.
|Saturday, 29 January 2005, 11:52 pm
Tags: Camera Phone
|Thursday, 27 January 2005, 4:59 pm
It’s -20C in Toronto, but I’m safe and warm in California.
Thomas Edison patented the light bulb on this day in 1880. The National Geographic Society is founded in 1888. John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of television in 1926. The first tape recorder is sold in 1948. Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee become the first American astronauts to die in a launch pad fire aboard Apollo 1 in 1967. Movie ratings began in the US in 1970. The Vietnam cease fire was signed in 1973.
Mozart was born on this day in 1756. Lewis Carroll in 1832.
- 9.3 million consumers were hit by identity theft last year. Only 12 percent of it happened electronically, however. Most identity fraud comes from dumpster diving, stolen wallets and mail. In fact, according to the study by Wells Fargo, Visa, and Checkfree, people with electronic accounts suffered lower losses because they were more likely to catch the thefts early. The good news is that there was a slight drop in identity theft in 2004 over 2003.
- Microsoft will demo Longhorn to federal and state regulators next month, as pert of the ongoing enforcement of the anti-trust consent decree Microsoft signed in 2001.
- Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, says the flaw in Microsoft Office encryption is serious and deserves immediate attention. He says, “if Microsoft wants to earn the respect of the cryptographic community and the public it must rise to the occasion by producing competent security.” No patch is available.
- There’s a new network worm out that’s designed to lower your self esteem. The Cisum worm will display the text ‘YOU ARE AN IDIOT’ while playing an MP3 that sings the same thing every five seconds or so. Meanwhile it’s shutting down your firewall and anti-virus and spreading itself to other computers on your LAN.
- SBC is apparently in talks to buy AT&T for $16 billion. Ironically, SBC is composed of two baby bells: Pacific Bell and Southwestern Bell which were formerly parts of the original AT&T, which was split up by court order in the 70s. SBC is part owner, with Bell South, of Cingular, which bought AT&T’s wireless business last year.
- Apple has already cut prices on Mac mini add-ons. A gig of RAM is now a more reasonable $325, down from $470. The Airport/Bluetooth combo is just $99. Maybe this is just a way to hype Apple Stores’ price protection.
- If you see an Amazon van driving up and down your block don’t worry, they’re just taking pictures for A9′s new Yellow Pages that features actual pictures of the store fronts. Read how they do it here. Does this seem a little creepy to you?
|Wednesday, 26 January 2005, 7:02 pm
Fire up the browsers boys, it’s time for news.
Happy birthday Paul Newman and Wayne Gretzky.
“Bad things just blow in.” OK he’s just a college kid learning to do TV, but this Novice Weatherman must be the funniest video I’ve seen in a long while. (Be patient – it takes a while to load.) I’d hire him in a minute – as long as he doesn’t get any better.
- Forbes asks “why didn’t they think of this sooner?” Microsoft has announced it will limit access to software updates to legal Windows users. Manual updates will require authentication by the middle of this year. Apparently people who use Windows’s automatic update feature will not have to authenticate. To answer Forbes’s question: because millions of unpatched copies of Windows pose a significant threat to the net.
- Of course Microsoft may be getting a packet of loot from the 19-year old author of Blaster.B. Script kiddy Jeffrey Lee Parson is facing a three-year jail sentence and $626,000 in restitution for hacking a pathetic variant of the Blaster worm. The original author has never been caught.
- Apple is pushing its first security patch of 2005 over OS X’s Software Update. The patch fixes seven holes in Safari, ColorSync, Mail, PHP, libxml, and more.
- Meanwhile Microsoft admits to yet another security hole in its Help system for Windows 2000 and XP, but does not yet have a patch. XP Service Pack 2 users are not vulnerable.
- Two spammers have agreed to pay Earthlink an undisclosed amount and stop sending junk mail as part of a settlement with the ISP. The Alabama spammers, so called because they used phone lines in that state, were using stolen credit cards to create email accounts to send spam about herbal Viagra and other drugs. Spamhaus ranked them among its most prolific spammers.
- According to the New York Post, satellite radio competitors Sirius and XM are reportedly in merger talks, but anti-trust regulations could be a showstopper.
- The IAU has named an asteroid after the late author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Asteroid Douglasadams had been provisionally named 2001 DA42 – which should be decipherable to fans of the book. Other asteroids were named after Las Vegas, Sewanee, Tennessee, Bora-Bora and the Lithuanian city of Kaunas.
|Tuesday, 25 January 2005, 7:54 pm
When I was at MacWorld I did an interview with Mr. Mark and Digital Bill for their Wizards of Technology podcast. You can listen to it here.
Incidentally, ipodder 1.1.4 (the lemon client) is still having trouble with my feed URLs. Version 2 does not however. It’s beta but seems quite reliable. Get it from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=118306.
|Tuesday, 25 January 2005, 7:01 am
Watch out, here comes the early morning edition…
The first US engineering college, Rensselaer Polytechnic, opens in Troy NY on this day in 1825. The soda fountain was patented in 1870. The UMW was founded in 1890. The first Emmy awards were in 1949. The first transcontinental commercial jet service (Los Angeles to New York for $301) took flight in 1959. We Are The World was recorded in 1985.
Chemist Robert Boyle was born on this day in 1627.
- The Bush Administration, the Christian Coalition, and the record and movie industry filed briefs yesterday with the US Supreme Court advocating that peer-to-peer file sharing networks like Grokster, and Morpheus should be liable for copyright infringement happening on their networks. Defenders of the right to swap have until the end of February to respond. The court is considering whether to overturn the 20 year old precedent in Sony vs Universal Pictures that made the VCR possible despite its potential for use in copyright infringement. At stake, not only the future of file sharing networks, but many consumer electronics devices like CD and DVD recorders, Tivo, and more. This will be one of the most important decisions from the Supremes all year.
- According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project , only 1 in 6 users can tell the difference between unbiased search results and paid advertisements on Internet search engines , yet 92 percent of Web searchers say they are confident about their searching abilities.
- Google’s been busy. The search engine is adding Internet search to TV shows. Google Video search transcripts from PBS, Fox News, C-SPAN, ABC, and the NBA on the same day they air. You’ll get stills and the close caption transcript of the shows you find.
- And the rumors that Google is working on a browser – they’ve registered gbrowser.com – are more credible now that they’ve hired the lead programmer for Firefox.
- OK maybe he’s a predator in business, but he’s a real softy at home. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is donating $750 million to pay for child vaccination programs in developing countries. The donation, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will go to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), which was launched in 2000.
- Netflix Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, earning $4.8 million, or 8 cents per share, during the final three months of last year, compared with net income of $2.3 million, or 4 cents per share, this time last year. Enjoy it while you’ve got it, Reed, Amazon is breathing down your neck.
Listen in Tuesday morning at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.
|Thursday, 20 January 2005, 4:41 pm
Tags: Camera Phone
|Wednesday, 19 January 2005, 9:56 pm
Call for Help is still going strong… in Canada.
You can see it there and in Australia, but we still don’t have a US distributor.
Americans! Help us out by filling out the form on the Call for Help web page.
If you’re in another nation, we’ve got a form for you, too.
|Wednesday, 19 January 2005, 3:02 pm
Tags: Camera Phone