October

TELCOS PLAY BOTH SIDES

CNN has an interesting article about games played by the telcos. Verizon and SBC and the rest sell your phone numbers to telemarketers, along with the heavy-duty equipment that makes the intrusive telemarketing calls. Then they sell programs to consumers to block unwanted telemarketing calls – the same customers whose phone numbers have been sold to the telemarketers in the first place. […] continued

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MICROSOFT BUTTERFLIES

The press lovingly covered the spanking delivered to Microsoft by the city of New York for plastering butterfly decals all over to promote the launch of MSN 8. “Illegal, irresponsible and dangerous defacing of public property,” according to the letter from the city.

When you read the articles, did you realize the decals were the plastic kind that stick to glass without adhesive – the ones you can peel right off? […] continued

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NIGERIAN E-MAIL SCAM

You’ve probably gotten one of the infamous “Nigerian e-mail” messages. A member of the Nigerian government, or a son of a Zimbabwean diplomat, or a widow of an African dictator, needs your help to get millions of dollars out of the country. Your reward will be twenty or thirty or forty percent of the money. […] continued

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OPEN OUTLOOK TO A PARTICULAR FOLDER

Your copy of Outlook probably opens to your Inbox, or to Outlook Today. It’s a setting under Tools / Options / Other / Advanced Options.

A client inspired me to discover how to leave that unchanged, but also create an icon that opens a new Outlook window directly to a particular folder – i.e., one click to your calendar or your to-do list. […] continued

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ATTACK ON THE INTERNET

Here’s one that didn’t get reported widely. Yesterday afternoon, the largest and most sophisticated attack ever was launched against servers worldwide that play a crucial role in running the entire Internet. The Internet is enormously resilient and users never noticed a slowdown or problem – but the attack came far closer to succeeding than anyone would have predicted. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP LIFESPAN

Microsoft announced a new, simplified scheme for determining how long it will support its products. Most small businesses and home users upgrade often enough that the details don’t matter – the products are supported for a good long time. The announcement mostly gives big companies predictable timetables on which to base their licensing and upgrade plans. […] continued

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NEW WALLACE & GROMIT

Great news for W&G fans: A new two-minute Wallace & Gromit short can be downloaded for free from Atom Films, and on October 22, nine more Wallace & Gromit shorts will be available from the same site for $9.95. The next project from Ardman Films will be a full-length Wallace & Gromit movie, due sometime next year. […] continued

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APPLE CONTINUES TO LOSE GROUND

Reading the papers might have given you the impression that Apple is a strong contender, with a solid operating system, fabulous products, and booming sales.

Sadly, the business news is frequently reported with the same quest for sensationalism and lack of objectivity that has poisoned political reporting. Nothing has changed for Apple. […] continued

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LAWRENCE LESSIG COMMENTS ON ELDRED v. ASHCROFT

On Wednesday, October 9, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Eldred v. Ashcroft, a fascinating case that could have important implications for the future of copyright law in this country.

In short, Congress has gotten in the habit of extending the term of copyrights – most recently in 1998, when it extended the term for another twenty years. […] continued

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SPAM

The unbelievable deluge of spam is the hot topic in the tech industry, in the legislature, in the policy thinktanks, in magazine columns and editorials and online forums – everywhere.

And there’s no good answer. Many people are frantically working on techniques to control it. There are online services that will filter your mail for a price. […] continued

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PRICE DROPS SOON ON POCKET PCs

You may not realize it, but Palm is struggling for its life, and many analysts don’t expect it to be in the handheld market for much longer – perhaps a few years, no more.

I think the devices running Microsoft PocketPC software are far superior to Palms – significantly better displays, and I’ve had far more luck making them work reliably with applications on a desktop computer. […] continued

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RIAA SUES RADIO STATIONS FOR GIVING AWAY FREE MUSIC

Count on The Onion to give you the news that really matters. Here’s an article from this week’s issue that nicely catches the flavor of the recording industry’s wrongheaded attempts to shut down all the services that allow us to listen to music.

LOS ANGELES—The Recording Industry Association of America filed a $7.1 billion lawsuit against the nation’s radio stations Monday, accusing them of freely distributing copyrighted music.

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DICTIONARAOKE

Looking for a new way to waste some time online? Try visiting Dictionaraoke, which features one of those concepts I wish I had thought of. You know the online dictionaries that offer spoken pronunciations of words? Well, Dictionaraoke has taken popular songs and put together the vocals entirely from those online dictionaries. […] continued

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TELEDESIC KILLS GLOBAL SATELLITE PLAN

Teledesic was the brainchild of Bill Gates and Craig McCaw, set up a few years ago to launch a constellation of low-earth orbiting satellites and provide global high-speed Internet service. An ambitious plan, but during the late ‘90s ambitious broadband plans looked exciting and worthwhile. Another company with a similar vision, Iridium, tanked a while ago, and yesterday Teledesic announced that it was going to cut its losses and stop work on the satellite venture. […] continued

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THE ROLLING STONES

Thirty years ago, on June 9, 1972, I saw the Rolling Stones at the Hollywood Palladium, the smallest venue they played in the United States on that tour. On November 4, I’ll be at the 2,400-seat Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, the smallest venue they’re playing in the United States this time around. […] continued

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