An interesting comment today from Paul Thurrott in the Windows Magazine newsletter:

”Because Steve Jobs gave his Macworld address just days before Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates presented his 2003 International Computer Electronics Show (CES) keynote address, not comparing the two events is impossible. The most obvious difference is support: Apple appears to be interested in going it alone, even to the extent of creating applications that don’t break new ground or introduce new product categories but instead compete with existing third-party applications.

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The bad news is that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Congress did not exceed its authority when it extended existing copyrights for another twenty years. (See my news item on October 13.) The majority opinion seems uncomfortable with the idea that corporate copyright holders are being protected at the expense of creativity, but in the end the Court could not act courageously. […] continued

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My new Dell Axim PocketPC looks just great. Although the $199 version would be just fine for everyday use, many people will appreciate the extra memory in the $299 version (64Mb instead of 32Mb) – and the $299 model includes the cradle to sit on the desk for syncing and recharging the battery. […] continued

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Microsoft Word is full of tricks. On this page, I described one simple trick to customize the way addresses appear when you drop them in from Microsoft Outlook.

A client told me about how to make Word print out customized return addresses on envelopes – special font layouts, or inserted graphics. […] continued

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A Los Angeles federal judge ruled that record companies and movie studios can proceed with a lawsuit against the parent company of Kazaa in the United States. Here’s an article about the ruling made public today. For background, see my news item on December 21.

Although Sharman Networks is headquartered in Australia and incorporated in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, the judge felt it was fair to turn the US courts loose on the company since lots of Californians have downloaded the software – and “many, if not most, music and video copyrights are owned by California-based companies.” […] continued

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A great new buzz word has turned up. You’ve heard about “time shifting,” in which you use a video-recording device – a VCR or a TIVO – to delay the viewing of live content, such as TV shows.

This year will see the introduction of a wealth of portable video devices. […] continued

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in 1998 after strenuous lobbying by Hollywood studios, record labels and other intellectual property holders. They argued that new copyright protections were necessary to prevent the Internet from becoming a forum for rampant piracy. It was reasonably obvious at the time that it was a bad law, but the effects have been even worse than feared. […] continued

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There’s exciting stuff being developed that will change the way your home entertainment system works. It will take a couple of years for it all to come to fruition, but the devices in the pipeline look very appealing.

Here’s an article that sums up some of the trends. An interesting prediction from the columnist:

“I’ll go out on a limb and say that, in less than five years, it will be pretty hard to buy a midrange home PC that doesn’t come with a built-in TV tuner and the ability to digitally record television programs.

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An article in today’s Washington Post reviews some of the major decisions the Federal Communications Commission will be making in the next few months, moves that could fundamentally rewrite the rules for the broadcast media and Internet service providers. The likely result is that a handful of mega-corporations will control virtually all aspects of our entertainment and our online experiences. […] continued

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CNET has an article reminding people to be cautious about phony virus alerts – e-mail messages insisting that you delete some file, or forward the message, or avoid some other message. They’re likely to be hoaxes, and forwarding them amounts to sending spam to all your friends.

I have some basic information about virus warnings on this page, along with links to web sites where you can check them out for yourself. […] continued

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I Hate Spam from Sunbelt Software is a winner. I’m using it with Outlook 2002. It costs almost nothing ($19.95), it installed easily, and it works like a charm. It blocked 150 messages for me in the last two days; it missed three (each of which can be easily identified as spam so they don’t reappear), and there have been no false positives. […] continued

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