Bruceb News

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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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MICROSOFT AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Microsoft has new initiatives on the way that are meant to move programs and data online, relieving companies and users from some of the burden of maintaining it all. Confidentiality will be the key issue that will persuade or dissuade people from trusting the services.

Many of the new .NET services are built on the Passport system created by Microsoft. […] continued

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WORDPERFECT DEATH WATCH

Corel’s quarterly results showed a trivially small profit, but sales have completely collapsed for the WordPerfect suite. “Word processing and productivity sales plummeted from $22.1 million in Q1 2000 to $11.6 in Q1 2001.” I wasn’t able to track down the source info, but I recently read that less than 20% of the big law firms are still using WordPerfect – primarily due to the need to exchange documents with clients, all of whom use Word. […] continued

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NORTHPOINT DSL NETWORK DIES

Last night 100,000 DSL subscribers were shut off after negotiations broke down between bankrupt Northpoint Communications and a dozen ISPs. My line is down. Here’s some more info.

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DIRECPC SATELLITE ACCESS

I just went and checked the status of satellite Internet connections, since my DSL line may go dead any day now. I’ve got lots of clients growing old waiting for DSL and cable in their areas.

Hughes runs the DirecPC network of satellites. They’re the only satellite company that’s up and running reliably these days. […] continued

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