THE NEWS IS OR ISN’T AMBIGUOUS

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that America Online was in negotiations to buy Linux manufacturer Red Hat – leading to lots of talking heads speculating about the possibility that AOL would make a head-on assault against Windows on the desktop.

Today, America Online denied the reports in particularly vigorous terms. […] continued

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LATEST NEWS IN THE COPYRIGHT WARS

The recording industry is gearing up to sneak copy-protected CDs into the marketplace – audio CDs that would play normally in conventional CD players, but that would prevent you from making copies or .mp3 files.

Philips Electronics stuck its head up today and said that copy-protected discs don’t fit its strict definition of a “Compact Disc,” and maybe Philips will stop the recording industry from using the “Compact Disc” logo – maybe even insist that copy-protected CDs be clearly identified on the outside so consumers won’t be misled. […] continued

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SALE ON BLANK CDRS

If you need to stock up on blank 80-minute CDRs, Amazon has spindles of 50 Fuji CDRs for $14.99, with free shipping. Good deal!

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WHY DSL STILL SUCKS

DSL is in terrible shape. Many people have persistent problems – lines disconnect or go down, tech support is poor or nonexistent, orders are handled slowly. Here’s a good article with some background on how DSL lines work and some theories on why it’s mishandled. And there’s little hope for improvement – now that the Baby Bells have driven DSL competitors into bankruptcy, they’re reluctant to improve DSL service and undercut the huge prices they’re able to charge companies for more expensive broadband alternatives. […] continued

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HOME ENTERTAINMENT HUBS

The home entertainment devices that will be hot next Christmas are taking shape. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, a new company demonstrated the MoxiMedia Center, which combines a cable or satellite TV receiver, a personal video recorder (like Tivo or Replay), a DVD player, and a digital music jukebox, along with cable or DSL access. […] continued

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WALLACE AND GROMIT COMING TO THE WEB

Twelve one-minute films featuring Wallace and Gromit will be available for download this autumn, according to this article. This is the first new Wallace and Gromit material since 1995, and the feature film is apparently still several years away. (If you don’t know anything about Wallace and Gromit, treat yourself to the films, now available on DVD. […] continued

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FLAT PANEL MONITOR PRICES ON THE RISE

According to this article, prices for flat panel LCD monitors were in free fall last year because of an oversupply of glass. The factories have caught up, demand is skyrocketing to match production, and prices are expected to start climbing back up again in the next few months. Darn.

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ONLINE SHOPPING

I went shopping for a new monitor tonight and wound up buying it from an unexpected source. After checking Amazon, Buy.com, CDW, Microwarehouse, Insight, and a few others, I stopped by Dell. I was fascinated to find the same monitor was about $40 cheaper from Dell than any other source – and with a promotional deal for free shipping to boot, another $35-50 swing in the price. […] continued

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APPLE’S NEW IMAC

Look, I’ve got nothing against Apple, really. I think it would be fine if they did some cool things. But I can’t get around it – the new iMac is ugly as sin. The original iMac left me cold, too, but at least I could see where some people might find it appealing. […] continued

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DAVE BARRY DOES WINDOWS

In case you missed it, here’s Dave Barry’s column today about life with Windows.

“I bring this all up because now Microsoft has a new version out, Windows XP, which according to everybody is the ‘most reliable Windows ever.’ To me, this is like saying that asparagus is ‘the most articulate vegetable ever.'”

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AOL BLOCKS HARVARD E-MAILS

The volume of junk mail has increased in the last few months, and people ask me all the time why it can’t just be blocked. Implementing a junk mail filter is a difficult problem, prone to error. Here’s an example in the news today: dozens of e-mail messages telling Harvard University applicants whether they had been admitted never arrived last month after America Online’s junk mail filters blocked the messages. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP SECURITY HOLE MISREPRESENTED

The press has done a terrible job reporting on the Windows XP security vulnerability that turned up a few days ago. It was widely reported that any hacker with a modem could sit in a hut in Minsk and take over your computer, transmitting all your private files to credit reporting agencies, or something like that. […] continued

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