Second Life looked like it was poised to be the Next Big Thing when the media gave it blanket coverage a few months ago. (I got caught up in the hype and wrote a description of it that was way too enthusiastic. I’m sorry.) It’s still growing and making its presence felt, but its growth numbers turned out to be exaggerated and many people have been discouraged by the difficulty of getting started and unimpressed by the experience of wandering the virtual world. […] continuedRead more
The classical music world is in an uproar over the discovery that most or all of the recordings by acclaimed pianist Joyce Hatto are copies of recordings by other artists, either identical or digitally altered. Her career was fueled in recent years by Internet hype, and technology led to the discovery of the hoax. […] continuedRead more
Windows Live OneCare makes it simple to back up your files to an external hard drive. The new version of OneCare allows backups to be updated automatically, every day or every week. If those backup files outgrow the external hard drive, you’ll need these tips to help start the backup process over. […] continuedRead more
Here’s a review of a beta release of Microsoft Windows Home Server, which continues to look like a genuinely exciting advance for home computing. Here are my earlier thoughts on the preview at the Consumer Electronics show last month.
When it is final, most of us will see it preloaded on separate, dedicated devices; there will also be a software-only version for people who want to build their own boxes. […] continuedRead more
High definition DVDs have always had two, and only two, purposes: to impose significant new barriers to your free use of the content on them by adding new layers of DRM; and to try to create an incentive for you to replace your DVDs.
The entertainment industry absolutely adored selling us the same content a second time as we converted our collections from LPs to CDs, and from videotapes to DVDs. […] continuedRead more
Happy Valentine’s Day! Stuck for a gift? I’m sure a lot of you depend on Thinkgeek.com for your last minute holiday shopping, so you’ll be relieved to know that Thinkgeek is all prepared for Valentine’s Day. For example, you might not have known where to go for a t-shirt that says:
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
Kind of makes you all misty, doesn’t it? […] continuedRead more
Windows Vista Business edition has one of those features that you might not need right away – but if you ever do need it, it will be a lifesaver.
Vista Business (and Vista Ultimate) uses Microsoft’s “shadow copy” technology to make a copy of your files while you work – automatically, in the background – and tuck that copy away in case you need it later. […] continuedRead more
Google is running more than 450,000 servers around the world. It’s building “Project 02,” which will be one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, to be housed at a data center in Oregon the size of two football fields, with four-story high cooling towers. As the owner of YouTube, Google is in a good position to evaluate the burden that video places on the infrastructure of the Internet. […] continuedRead more
Strange but true: it is not easy to purchase a new computer with Windows Vista Business installed on it. It’s virtually impossible to find Vista Business on any computer sold in a retail store, and even Dell’s Small Business division installs Vista Home on many computers, with a “suggestion” that you might want Vista Business instead. […] continuedRead more
The .JPG format is ubiquitous – everything supports it, everything displays it. Microsoft has spent six years creating a new format intended to replace .JPG in the hearts and minds of manufacturers and consumers. Here’s an article about Microsoft’s new HD Photo technology.
The HD Photo format has several advantages – it creates files that are half the size of comparable .JPG […] continuedRead more
WalMart announced a movie download service with the obligatory noncritical media coverage, focused on how darned exciting it is that all of the major studios have signed up to supply a few titles. The details were glossed over – namely that the downloads are DRM-laden Windows Media files that won’t play on iPods, PSPs, Zunes, or computers running Mac or Linux. […] continuedRead more
Kodak has done so many things wrong in the last ten years that it’s hard to trust its judgment, but it may be redefining the printer market today and doing us all a favor.
Kodak is introducing three inkjet printers with a simple message that will resonate deeply with anyone printing photos: ink doesn’t need to cost as much as printer manufacturers have been charging for the last few years. […] continuedRead more
The venerable Palm operating system is no more. It wasn’t long ago that the term “Palm” was the very definition of a handheld PDA, and the Palm operating system was inseparable in our minds from the device running it. Literally decades of marketing were invested in the Palm brand. It’s all gone now. […] continuedRead more
J River Media Center 12 is a new version of my favorite music software. Try it! A thirty-day trial is free, and the program is well worth its modest cost.
Many people use iTunes to get started, and it’s – well, it’s okay, as long as its most intrusive features are turned off and the default file format is changed to mp3 instead of Apple’s DRM-ridden format and low audio quality default settings. […] continuedRead more
Vista compatibility will be hit or miss for the next year. Some business-critical software won’t run on Windows Vista; I’ll be doing what I can to help businesses learn that before they buy new computers.
It will be a moving target. There will be many lists of compatible and incompatible products but I’m not sure we’ll ever find one that’s authoritative and continually up to date. […] continuedRead more