MUSIC INDUSTRY FOLLOWUP

Here’s a good article that explains all the issues about file formats and pricing for downloadable music from the record labels – and concludes that they stand a good chance of getting it completely wrong.

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RECORDING INDUSTRY GREED

Here’s a glimpse of the future according to the recording industry.

Like the announcement with RealNetworks a couple of days ago and MSN yesterday, MTV and VH1 are rolling out a service with the cooperation of the major record labels. It’s routine – Internet radio and the option to buy songs by downloading them. […] continued

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MICROSOFT TO CHANGE PASSPORT PRIVACY POLICY

Microsoft is hustling to revise its privacy policy for Passport and Hotmail, after a torrent of criticism from privacy advocates. (See my item on March 30.) Microsoft says it’s a terrible misunderstanding, just some old legalese that they forgot to update. Here’s an article about the gosh darned oversight.

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MUSICNET DETAILS

RealNetworks and three of the five biggest music companies announced a new Net music service yesterday. Notably absent was Universal – the biggest catalog, but also the most vociferous opponent of online music – and Sony, busy developing its own service.

RealNetworks intends to operate the infrastructure and make the entire back catalog from the three companies available for download or streaming into your computer. […] continued

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MICROSOFT OUTLOOK UNABLE TO SPREAD FOOT-AND-MOUTH

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Symantec’s AntiVirus Research Center today confirmed that foot-and-mouth disease cannot be spread by Microsoft’s Outlook email application, believed to be the first time the program has ever failed to propagate a major virus. “Frankly, we’ve never heard of a virus that couldn’t spread through Microsoft Outlook, so our findings were, to say the least, unexpected,” said Clive Sarnow, director of the CDC’s infectious disease unit. […] continued

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TIME IS NOT ON YOUR COMPUTER’S SIDE

Your computer will probably automatically adjust the time when Daylight Savings Time returns tomorrow morning. But that may be the only thing it gets right about the time. Here’s an article that explains why your computer’s clock is notoriously unreliable.

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MICROSOFT AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Microsoft has new initiatives on the way that are meant to move programs and data online, relieving companies and users from some of the burden of maintaining it all. Confidentiality will be the key issue that will persuade or dissuade people from trusting the services.

Many of the new .NET services are built on the Passport system created by Microsoft. […] continued

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WORDPERFECT DEATH WATCH

Corel’s quarterly results showed a trivially small profit, but sales have completely collapsed for the WordPerfect suite. “Word processing and productivity sales plummeted from $22.1 million in Q1 2000 to $11.6 in Q1 2001.” I wasn’t able to track down the source info, but I recently read that less than 20% of the big law firms are still using WordPerfect – primarily due to the need to exchange documents with clients, all of whom use Word. […] continued

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NORTHPOINT DSL NETWORK DIES

Last night 100,000 DSL subscribers were shut off after negotiations broke down between bankrupt Northpoint Communications and a dozen ISPs. My line is down. Here’s some more info.

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DIRECPC SATELLITE ACCESS

I just went and checked the status of satellite Internet connections, since my DSL line may go dead any day now. I’ve got lots of clients growing old waiting for DSL and cable in their areas.

Hughes runs the DirecPC network of satellites. They’re the only satellite company that’s up and running reliably these days. […] continued

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SUPER MINI OPTICAL MOUSE

Notebook computer users that are frustrated with their touchpad or pointing stick might want to check out the Super Mini Optical Mouse. Two and a half inches long, an inch wide – in the pictures they show it resting on the palm rest of a notebook. Looks like a good bet for traveling or using a notebook comfortably on an airplane. […] continued

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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS

Adobe Photoshop is legendary. Graphics professionals can do magic with it, and they turn up their nose at anything else. I’ve tried to learn it repeatedly, and I remain firmly convinced it is the least intuitive, worst designed, most annoying program in the world. Did I mention that it’s incredibly expensive? […] continued

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NORTHPOINT DSL SUBSCRIBERS BEING DUMPED

Personally, I blame Pacific Bell. A year ago business was thriving for Northpoint and Covad, who acted as wholesalers and contracted with ISPs to set up and maintain DSL connections. The wholesalers were required to rely on Pacific Bell for one phase of the work, though, and Pacific Bell used that as leverage to put them out of business. […] continued

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WINDOWS 2000 & GAMES

Windows 2000 is so stable that it’s easy to forget to keep it up to date. If you’re running Windows 2000, visit Microsoft Windows Update and check for critical updates. (If you haven’t installed Service Pack 1, it’s a good idea, but not if you’re on a dialup connection – it’s a big download.) And if you’re a gamer, look for “Application Compatibility Updates.” They allow more than 180 programs to run that initially weren’t compatible with Win2K – especially games. […] continued

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UNDERSTANDING AND GUARDING AGAINST INTERNET-BASED ATTACKS

Another Symantec bulletin uses plain English to describe how hackers look for a computer to attack over the Internet, what might make you a target, and steps you can take to protect yourself. This is also highly recommended reading.

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