The telcos and cable companies are close to completing their attempt to take over the Internet. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) almost pushed through legislation that would allow them to gorge on profits milked from other big companies, while disrupting or destroying small web sites unable or unwilling to pay the freight. […] continuedRead more
Remember when screensavers were cool? If you’re an old-timer, you just thought of flying toasters.
This article describes an intriguing screensaver project. The “Electric Sheep” project distributes art for a screensaver running on computers around the world – and maintains a relationship with those computers continuously. Your computer obtains new art while the screensaver is running, and your computer does some of the work required to render new art for other computers. […] continuedRead more
Broadband Internet access by satellite has been available for years, but it’s never been very appealing. Only the truly desperate signed up with Hughes – horrible speeds, frequent outages, and nonexistent tech support made for a lot of frustrated users.Read more
This article highlights a startling statistic – sales of Windows Mobile-equipped handheld devices grew by 90% last year. Not that long ago, the Palm-based Treo 650 was the only reasonable phone/PDA device, but all of a sudden there’s more than 100 Windows Mobile phones shipping. (The Motorola Q is very cool looking – check it out!) […] continuedRead more
The tech press is all atwitter over the announcement that Microsoft plans to release a handheld music player to compete with the iPod. Microsoft will be competing with Creative and other partners that manufacture hardware based on Windows Media, Microsoft’s format for DRM-protected music and video files. Since Microsoft plans to integrate the device with a new online service for purchasing music, similar to the iPod and iTunes, it will also be competing with Napster, Rhapsody, and the other services that partnered with Microsoft. […] continuedRead more
Content creators and publishers are engaged in nonstop efforts to lock down the products you purchase from them. This is a fascinating article about the history of digital rights management and what to expect in the future.
Most restrictions have been cracked so far, whether on CDs, DVDs, E-Books, or downloadable audio. […] continuedRead more
Anybody else get a notice at a random moment in the last couple of days that Windows had installed an update and intended to restart in ten minutes? It was clearly a legitimate message but I’d never seen it before. In two cases – for me and for a client – the warning was hidden behind something else so the computer just shut down, rudely and unexpectedly. […] continuedRead more
I love 802.11x wireless networking, but it makes me crazy too. It’s solid technology that keeps calling attention to itself – routers stop working or signals aren’t strong enough or laptops suddenly refuse to associate with an access point or signals step on each other in crowded office buildings. Now there’s a flurry of wireless devices that aren’t necessarily compatible as the industry inches painfully towards a new standard that eventually might improve things. […] continuedRead more
Here’s 10 Things You Need to Know About Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, which will begin shipping next month.
The Core processors will be the fastest processors available (but drawing less energy than current processors), and the Core architecture will underlie Intel’s processors for all platforms – desktops, notebooks, and servers. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft is attempting to streamline its centralized authentication system – a combination of e-mail address and password that controls signon to Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare, and other Microsoft services. The system was introduced years ago as Microsoft Passport Network; it’s being re-branded as Windows Live ID. The two terms refer to the same thing. […] continuedRead more
On Thursday, Microsoft and Yahoo will begin testing a link between their instant messaging programs, fulfilling a promise made nine months ago.
Windows Live Messenger is a nice product, and the “sharing folders” are implemented so smoothly that small businesses may finally have a reason to consider using IM as a business tool. […] continuedRead more
I’m enthusiastic about Microsoft’s security suite Windows Live OneCare. If you haven’t purchased it yet, you can save a few dollars – it costs $49.99 for three computers when purchased online, but Costco had boxed copies yesterday for $32.99. It doesn’t change the program – you just get a license key to enter during the online installation. […] continuedRead more
Here’s an article that might describe the future of computing. Or not, but that’s the fun of trying to guess what lies ahead.
The article imagines a rich suite of programs that can run in a browser and access files stored on a central server, regardless of what operating system is running on the underlying computer. […] continuedRead more
Net neutrality refers to a founding principle of the Internet, that the companies in the middle handling the movement of data would treat all packets equally. The telcos and cable companies see a revenue opportunity in charging premium rates for certain traffic, so they began a push to buy legislators and attempt to change the rules. […] continuedRead more
Verizon’s EVDO wireless access is heavenly for some travelers. For a hefty monthly fee – $60-80/month – Verizon provides a reasonably fast Internet connection anywhere in its cell phone system. Some new notebooks have the hardware built in to support the EVDO connection, or cards can be connected to the laptop via USB or PCMCIA. […] continuedRead more