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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

THE SATELLITE STORY

How about if I use this page to share my experience with satellite Internet access? Okay with everybody?

When we last checked, Starband was the only company offering two-way satellite service. During the first couple of months of 2001, there were lots of problems (read the messages at DSLReports.com about Starband’s apologies and refunds and discounts). […] continued

Read more

NO SUPPORT FOR BLUETOOTH OR USB 2.0 IN WINDOWS XP

Last week Microsoft announced that Windows XP won’t support Bluetooth. Today Microsoft turned its back on another emerging technology when it announced that Windows XP won’t support USB 2.0.

Bluetooth and USB 2.0 have both received lots of publicity, but the reality is that neither one is ready to be rolled out to a mass market yet. […] continued

Read more

DSL LOSING MOMENTUM

There’s no good news about DSL any more. Prices are going up, availability is going down, the horror stories about installations keep multiplying, and Northpoint’s demise has everyone scared about relying on any provider besides Pacific Bell. And Pacific Bell’s motivation to support DSL is unclear. Here’s one article among many bemoaning the sorry state of the industry. […] continued

Read more

INTEL TO INTRODUCE 1.7GHz PENTIUM 4

Keeping up? In a couple of weeks Intel will roll out a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 processor, and slash prices yet again on most of the rest of its processors. Dell has been doing a lot of price-cutting lately too. Buy a computer or two for yourself, okay?

[…] continued
Read more

INSTANT MESSAGING

Two years ago America Online decided to block outside access to its instant messaging system, in a heavyhanded tactic that made their boo-hoo complaints about Microsoft look very hollow.

It may have backfired. A new study shows Microsoft Messenger has taken the lead in worldwide and US usage. And MS Messenger is even more deeply embedded in upcoming Microsoft releases of operating systems and net services. […] continued

Read more

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.

[…] continued
Read more

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

Read more

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.

[…] continued
Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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.

[…] continued
Read more