CITIZENS’ OPEN DECLARATION AGAINST CORPORATE INJUSTICE

Harley Aulance, a reader of the Register, drafted a bill declaring war on the media giants threatening our freedoms. If they’re going to declare war on us, it only seems fair to return the favor, right? It appears in The Register, and I put a local copy of it on my website so it wouldn’t get lost. […] continued

Read more

COPYRIGHT MARTIAL LAW

The entertainment industry has so far proven to be completely paralyzed by new consumer technology, unable or unwilling to come up with ways to do business that take changing consumer desires and expectations into account.

Instead, it’s been enriching legions of lawyers – and buying politicians. And it’s been quite successful at both. […] continued

Read more

THE END OF FREE E-MAIL

Microsoft and Yahoo are aggressively trying to push people to paid e-mail services by making it harder than ever to rely on free ones. Apple Computer is cutting free e-mail service altogether.

In the latest move, on Wednesday Microsoft cleaned out all messages that were more than thirty days old in everyone’s Hotmail “Sent Items” folder. […] continued

Read more

THE ALLEGED JPEG PATENT

Here’s more information about Forgent’s claim that it has a patent on the .JPEG file format (see below). It’s not the first time that a company has waited until some technology has become ubiquitous and then popped up with a demand for royalties. The .GIF format went through the same thing in 1999, and a year later British Telecom decided it had the patent for hyperlinking on the Internet and started trying to extort payments from ISPs. […] continued

Read more

RECORDING INDUSTRY SEEKS IMMUNITY FOR HACKING OUR COMPUTERS

Congress is about to consider an entertainment industry proposal that would authorize copyright holders to disable your PC if you run a file sharing program.

Later this week, Rep. Howard Berman, (a California Democrat whose district includes Hollywood) will introduce a bill that would allow copyright holders to perform nearly unchecked electronic hacking if they have a “reasonable basis” to believe that piracy is taking place. […] continued

Read more

AOL RENEGES ON COMMITMENT TO OPEN UP INSTANT MESSAGING

As a condition of approving the AOL Time Warner merger, the Federal Trade Commission required AOL to open up its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) network to MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and other competitors, allowing users of the other networks to exchange text messages, files, and other data with AIM users.

AOL blithely announced this week that it has no plans to do so. […] continued

Read more

NEW HP DESKJET PRINTER

Take a sneak peek at the new HP Deskjet 5550, due to hit the stores any day now. I don’t have a direct link, but you can get all the info by going to the HP Shopping site. Type “5550” into the “Search” box. It’s so new that I can’t find any reviews yet, but it will be getting a blast of publicity in the next few weeks. […] continued

Read more

10% OFF DELL ORDERS

Special deal available only thru bruceb consulting, good July 22-26: take ten percent off all Dell Small Business orders. To take advantage of this promotion, Click here here to shop at Dell Small Business, and enter coupon code 2E61C54CE9FE when you’re checking out.

[…] continued
Read more

NEW COPY PROTECTION SCHEME

The recording industry has developed a new recording format that is piracy-proof. Here’s an article with more details. Nicknamed the ‘Record’, the new format takes the form of a black, vinyl disc measuring 12 inches in diameter, which must be played on a specially designed ‘turntable’.

“We can state with absolute certainty that no computer in the world can access the data on this disc,” said spokesman Brett Campbell.

[…] continued Read more

BILL GATES ON SECURITY

Bill Gates sent out a widely circulated e-mail message today about secure computing. It’s interesting reading, even if you’re suspicious of Microsoft’s track record and its willingness to carry through on its promises. Here’s a place to read it online.

[…] continued
Read more

WATCH A COMPANY DESTROY ITSELF

This is fun. Forgent Networks, Inc., is attempting to ambush the digital imaging industry by claiming that it owns the software patent on JPEG compression technology. Forgent says it is “in contact” with computer, software, camera, and other digital imaging product manufacturers regarding licensing terms. Can you imagine a company seriously asserting that it has a right to collect royalties every time someone creates a .jpg picture on a computer? […] continued

Read more

WHY FREE DOWNLOADS HELP, NOT HURT

Remember Janis Ian, folksinger since the 60s? She wrote an article about file sharing that is being widely circulated (it turned up on CNet today). She draws on common sense and her own experience to make an obvious point: people will buy music if they’re allowed to hear it first. […] continued

Read more

MAC OS X UPGRADE

Apple announced an upgrade of OS X, its new operating system, from 10.1 to 10.2. The upgrade will be released in late August. It fixes a bunch of bugs in previous versions, and adds a handful of new features. Keep in mind, this is not a big change, like the change from Windows 98 to Windows XP. […] continued

Read more

THE REAL MAC OS X STORY

I read press coverage about Apple computers all the time. One of the favorite themes recently has been the wonder of the new Mac operating system, OS X, all new and cool, a real Unix desktop system, and all the rest.

Time for a reality check. Mac OS X is slow and full of bugs. […] continued

Read more

CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS SHUT DOWN BROADBAND USES

A coalition of technology companies – including Intel, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, and Sun Microsystems – filed a complaint with the FCC about “troubling restrictions” imposed by some cable providers on how consumers can use their broadband connections. Here’s a Washington Post article with details.

Comcast, Cox, and others are moving towards “tiered pricing” – charging more for Internet access to heavy users. […] continued

Read more