September

NEW LIGHTWEIGHT DELL NOTEBOOK

Here’s a complimentary review of the new Dell Latitude D420 – a full-featured laptop with the sturdy feel of the other Dell Latitude models, but weighing less than four pounds. It’s got a 12.1 inch widescreen and a full-size keyboard, but the CD/DVD drive is left to an external device to keep the weight down. […] continued

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THE NEVER-ENDING SONY BATTERY RECALL

IBM and Lenovo announced a recall of 500,000 Sony lithium-ion batteries used in Thinkpad notebook computers, following a widely publicized Thinkpad explosion at Los Angeles International Airport last week. Here’s an article with more details about the Thinkpad battery recall.

Dell began in August with a recall of 4.1 million batteries, followed by Apple’s recall of 1.8 million more. […] continued

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MICROSOFT RUSHES OUT IE FIX

Microsoft released a patch today for the latest vulnerability in Internet Explorer. You’ll be prompted to install an update, or your system will automatically install it tonight.

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BAD GUYS STRIKING AGAIN

The security community is buzzing about another vulnerability in Internet Explorer, while Microsoft races to get a patch out the door. When somebody discovers a new way to break an Internet browser, the bad guys are now trying to exploit it immediately, the same day if possible, before a patch is issued. […] continued

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ZUNE SHARING – POSTSCRIPT

One more nail in the Microsoft Zune coffin emerges from a close reading of an interview with a Microsoft exec.

The only feature that distinguishes a Zune from an iPod is the built-in 802.11 wi-fi that enables sharing songs with another Zune owner. It was made clear that a song purchased from the accompanying online store can only be played on the friend’s Zune three times, followed by advertising on the friend’s computer. […] continued

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COPYRIGHT POLICE AND AMAZON MOVIE DOWNLOADS

Cory Doctorow has closely read the license agreement that accompanies Amazon’s movie download service and he doesn’t like it.

“I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. A lot. I won’t ever be buying one of these movies. Amazon has a great and well-deserved reputation for amazing customer service.

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MICROSOFT ZUNE WON’T PLAY PROTECTED WINDOWS MEDIA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation was the first to report on a remarkable example of how copyright abuse can harm consumers.

Microsoft’s Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or “rented” from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. As the EFF points out, “That’s right — the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn’t even play on Microsoft’s own device.” Of course it also will not play music or video purchased from Apple’s iTunes. […] continued

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PICASA UPDATE

Google’s free photo organizer Picasa has been updated to version 2.5. (As of today, the main download page may not be updated to the new version; according to this blog, it can be downloaded directly from Google by clicking on this link.)

I invested some time in Adobe Photoshop Elements and found it was time well spent; I think its organizer and editor are far better than Picasa and worth the learning curve. […] continued

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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 5.0 & ADOBE PREMIERE 3.0

Postpone your shopping for photo and video editing software for a few weeks. Later this month, Adobe is shipping upgrades to Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0. With luck there will be more progress on integrating the programs with each other – and integrating the photo organizer more deeply with the editing tools. […] continued

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DEVICE OVERLOAD

What a week for devices! I’m worried that every week will be like this for the next few months as manufacturers fill the channels for Christmas. Keeping up will be impossible.

Microsoft officially unveiled the Zune media player. It has a slightly larger screen than the full-size iPods, but the controls look uninteresting and reportedly it’s larger and clumsier than the comparable iPod. […] continued

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WINDOWS VISTA RC1

Microsoft has opened up the “release candidate” of Windows Vista for public testing. This page has program details and download guidance.

If you’re the right person to test Vista, then you don’t need me to tell you so. If you have to ask, then you shouldn’t go anywhere near this test. […] continued

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ONLINE FILE STORAGE

Altexa provides an online backup service – a small program copying designated files to an online storage space in a simple, secure way.

I have no idea whether Altexa is a good service! They may be great, they may have awful software, they may be out of business in a month. […] continued

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FREE AOL

If you’re an AOL subscriber, you must have a masochistic streak. Or perhaps a very long memory and nostalgia for the years when AOL software made things easier to do online, instead of the buggy, bloated, advertising-laden mess that it’s become. In a bold move, the company is now putting even more advertising onscreen in a desperate attempt to save the company from complete irrelevance. […] continued

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CORE 2 DUO FAST ROLLOUT

Dell is aggressively updating its models with the new Intel Core 2 Duo chips. Many of the Latitude, Inspiron, and XPS notebooks now have Core 2 Duo processors either exclusively or on many models. The desktops aren’t far behind. Here’s a review of an updated version of the Latitude D820 with the Core 2 Duo, for example. […] continued

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UNSTABLE UPGRADES

I’m seeing more and more half-baked, unstable products from hardware and software vendors. Here’s two anecdotes to show you what I mean.

PAPERPORT

Paperport goes back years and years, and at one time was given away as the software accompanying many, many scanners. It was always buggy and used a proprietary format and the support from the company was nonexistent, so it had trouble getting much traction, but there was also never anything better. […] continued

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