MORE CHEAP COMPUTERS

Look, this is getting ridiculous. Costco has a few dozen E-Machines today with these specs: Celeron 633MHz processor, 64Mb RAM, 15 Gb HD, plus a DVD drive and the usual accessories. Price: $399.99, including a 15″ monitor! Amazing.

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SATELLITE STORY, PART 5

My purchase order is in for Pegasus Express Plus service. The price has dropped a bit in the last two weeks. Startup costs are about $600 for hardware (including installation) and software. Service for 2-4 computers is $99/month, plus $15/month for a static IP address. No delays yet in the service rollout, so June is still the target. […] continued

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CABLE INTERNET ACCESS

AT&T now owns most of the cable system in Sonoma County. They’ve amusingly named the cable division “AT&T Broadband,” and cable Internet service has been rolled out to limited parts of Windsor and Healdsburg. Just for fun, I spoke again to the AT&T @Home division that handles Internet access. As of today, AT&T @Home has no record of the existence of a city named “Sebastopol,” much less a date to roll out service – and they’re looking at a schedule filling up the next year. […] continued

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MICROSOFT & SMALL BUSINESSES

Microsoft has revamped its bCentral web site, a collection of services and resources for small businesses. One interesting example is the offer to design and host a web site from scratch for $399. That’s the price for a custom design with a generic but relatively professional look, and five pages of content. […] continued

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NEW ADOBE ACROBAT & QUICKTIME

I don’t know whether these are compelling upgrades – haven’t tried them, don’t know about new features – but Adobe has released Acrobat Reader 5.0 and Apple finished work on Quicktime for Windows 5.0. Acrobat 4.0 was very polished and stable, and I’m not sure what would make a new version seem like a big improvement. […] continued

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WEB SITE OF THE DAY

You were probably thinking to yourself, gosh, I wonder where I can see stick figures fighting Jackie Chan-style? Aren’t you glad I’m around to help? (Requires Flash and a bit of a wait while it downloads.) After you’ve seen that, you’ll probably be exhausted and ready for the simpler pleasures of things my girlfriend and I have argued about. […] continued

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BORDERS HANDS ONLINE OPERATIONS TO AMAZON

Did you see that Borders is handing its web site to Amazon? Borders will close its own site, and Amazon will open a new site that features both logos, with Amazon essentially taking all responsibility for inventory and order fulfillment. At one time it was thought that the bricks-and-mortar retailers could leverage their stores by tying them to their web sites. […] continued

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LINKS TO PUNDITS

A new addition to the Favorites page (under News / Links): Slate links, a collection of links to hundreds of political columnists, editorial pages, movie critics, book reviewers, gossip writers, and others.

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GATEWAY PULLING OUT OF OFFICEMAX

Tough year! Gateway is struggling with slumping sales and a fuzzy business plan. It’s closing a bunch of its own Gateway Country stores, and it just announced that it’s going to withdraw from 1000 OfficeMax stores.

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MICROSOFT CORDLESS MOUSE

I should have expected that Microsoft would release its own cordless mouse, to counter the recent successful releases from Logitech. Here’s an early review of the Microsoft cordless mouse.

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CHEAP COMPUTERS

Prices are nosediving again. Want a cheap computer? There’s only a few left, but how about an E-Machine E-Monster 1000 – a Pentium III 1GHz processor, 20Gb hard drive, 64Mb of RAM, and a CD recorder – for $775. Remarkable stuff, and prices are only going to be going further down in the next few months. […] continued

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DEATH TO MP3’s

A fascinating article in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses some of the ways that software manufacturers are going to cooperate with the recording industry and attempt to kill the .mp3 format. The competing formats – Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio, Real Networks’ Real Audio, and others – all have more or less effective ways to lock up the files and prevent you from burning CDs, sharing the files, or loading them onto portable devices. […] continued

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SATELLITE STORY, PART 3

More about Pegasus Communications. Pegasus turns out to be a big company, but relatively new to the broadband world. In addition to their consumer service described below, they have two business-class satellite services. Pegasus Express Plus allows up to twenty computers to share the signal and removes some of the bandwidth restrictions that work behind the scenes in the consumer service. […] continued

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SATELLITE STORY, PART 2

Pegasus Communications gave me a call this morning. They’re going to start taking orders in a couple of days, and promise to have equipment delivered and installation scheduled within a week after that. Pricing is the same as the Orbitsat.com offer – $499 for equipment, $199 for installation, $69.95 for monthly service. […] continued

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JURORS MISCALCULATE MP3.COM DAMAGES

My lawyer friends will appreciate this story. Last week jurors in a federal court trial in New York awarded $300,000 to an independent record label for copyright violations – delivered as 145 individual awards, one for each infringed song. The defendant, MP3.com, was ecstatic, since it’s already been stung with multimillion dollar verdicts in other cases, and the plaintiff in this case was seeking $8.5 million. […] continued

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