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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 16 declined, 3 accepted (19 total, 15.79% accepted)

+ - Does Microsoft view Windows desktop as a dead end?

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "Mr. Nadella, CEO Microsoft, sent out an email last week that outlined Microsoft's focus for the future. One had to wade through more than half of the email before there was any mention of Windows desktop.

In his all-hands strategy email of last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demoted Windows to a handful of terse mentions deep in the 3,100 communique, a clue how he, and thus the company, now see the firm's long-time cornerstone. "Windows will deliver the most rich and consistent user experience for digital work and life scenarios on screens of all sizes — from phones, tablets and laptops to TVs and giant 82-in PPI boards," Nadella said in one of the first uses of "Windows" in his massive message. That sentence appeared well past the half-way mark in the email: 60% of the message preceded it.

Is Microsoft now unable to innovate within the desktop Windows space? Is Mr. Nadella's memo a tacit admission by Microsoft that there is little innovation left in the desktop space? Is Microsoft's inability to innovate in the desktop space indicative of a larger problem within Microsoft? Has rigor mortis set in?"

China

+ - In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad->

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "As a follow-up to the article a couple of days ago, the New York Times has an above-the-fold front-page article today about the horrible working conditions in the Chinese factories that Apple uses.

Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.

More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning (PDF alert).
"

Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Global Internet governance fight looms-> 2

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "The global fight among governments over control of the Internet is heating up amid a flurry of documents, the opening of the United Nations' General Assembly (GA) and next week's Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Will the change in Internet governance result in states like China and Russia exerting more control over what is allowed on the Internet? The United States has so far comprehensively outmaneuvered attempts by other governments to seize control of the Internet, helped by the fact that it holds the keys and represents the status quo. But how long will it continue to be able to do so?"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Doctors and Dentists censoring patients->

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "Timothy Lee writes about his experience with a dentist.

"When I walked into the offices of Dr. Ken Cirka, I was looking for cleaner teeth, not material for an Ars Technica story. I needed a new dentist, and Yelp says Dr. Cirka is one of the best in the Philadelphia area. The receptionist handed me a clipboard with forms to fill out. After the usual patient information form, there was a "mutual privacy agreement" that asked me to transfer ownership of any public commentary I might write in the future to Dr. Cirka. Surprised and a little outraged by this, I got into a lengthy discussion with Dr. Cirka's office manager that ended in me refusing to sign and her showing me the door...."

Can a patient be required to sign such an agreement before medical care is tendered? What if the medical care is more urgent or an emergency? Can the patient be in the correct frame of mind to sign a legal agreement?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Should Microsoft be split up? 1

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "Goldman Sachs had downgraded Microsoft from "buy" to "neutral," criticizes the company's efforts in mobile computing, and most radically, suggests that the company carve out its consumer business from its enterprise one. This is just one more sign that Microsoft could use a vision overhaul. ...

The report also warned that Microsoft isn't likely to make any headway in mobile this year because "Apple's iPad and iPhone plus Google's Android operating system are well established."

That's putting it mildly. Windows Phone 7 will have to be a spectacular success if it's to make any headway not just this year, but in the next several years as well. And Microsoft may try to sue Android out of business, but technology, not lawsuits, are going to have the lead the way.


What do you think? Does Microsoft have a chance of catching in the mobile devices marketplace? Is the enterprise where Microsoft's future lives?"
Security

+ - New AVG fetaure DDoS's the Internet 1

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "The Register is running a story about a new feature in the AVG virus scanner.

Six months ago, AVG acquired Exploit Prevention Labs and its Linkscanner, a tool that automatically scans search engine results before you click on them. If you search Google, for instance, and ten results turn up, it visits all ten links to ensure they're malware free. Then, in late April, AVG rolled Linkscanner into its anti-virus engine, which has about 70 million active users worldwide. The company estimates that 20 million machines have upgraded to the tool's new incarnation, AVG version 8, and this has already cooked up enough ghost clicks to skew traffic not only on The Reg but any number of other sites as well.
What will the effect be when AVG rolls this new fewture out to all of its 70 million users?"
United States

+ - Here come the thought police

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "In a Baltimore Sun op-ed piece, Ralph E. Shaffer and R. William Robinson write, 'With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman's "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman's Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.

'Not since the "Patriot Act" of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

'The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams' suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn't trust. Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people's duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government....

'Ms. Harman's proposal includes an absurd attack on the Internet, criticizing it for providing Americans with "access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda," and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. The misnamed "Center of Excellence," which would function after the commission is disbanded in 18 months, gives the semblance of intellectual research to what is otherwise the suppression of dissent.'"
Software

+ - Intuit can't get Quicken stock quotes to work

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "It seems that Intuit, the provider of financial for PCs amd Macs is unable to reliably provide stock quote data to its customers. While Intuit seems to pride itself on innovation, it seems to be unable to provide a basic service to its customers in a reliable manner.

Has Intuit peaked? Will Intuit be able to get back on the reliability track again?"
Censorship

+ - Comcast blocks some Internet traffic

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "MSNBC is reporting the results of an Associated Press test that show Comcast blocks some Internet traffic. "Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally.

"The interference, which The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests, is the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider. It involves company computers masquerading as those of its users.

"If widely applied by other ISPs, the technology Comcast is using would be a crippling blow to the BitTorrent, eDonkey and Gnutella file-sharing networks. While these are mainly known as sources of copyright music, software and movies, BitTorrent in particular is emerging as a legitimate tool for quickly disseminating legal content.

"The principle of equal treatment of traffic, called "Net Neutrality" by proponents, is not enshrined in law but supported by some regulations. Most of the debate around the issue has centered on tentative plans, now postponed, by large Internet carriers to offer preferential treatment of traffic from certain content providers for a fee....
"
Television

+ - Inventor of the TV remote dies

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "Zenith Electronics Corporation said today that Engineer Robert Adler, who co-invented the TV remote control with fellow Engineer Eugene Polley, has passed on to the big sofa in the sky. In his six-decade career with Zenith, Adler was a prolific inventor, earning more than 180 U.S. patents. He was best known for his 1956 Zenith Space Command remote control, which helped make TV a truly sedentary pastime. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Adler and co-inventor Polley, another Zenith engineer, an Emmy in 1997 for the landmark invention."
Windows

+ - Is Microsoft's vision failing?

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "The email transcripts of Microsoft anti-trust trials always make for interesting reading, and the Iowa trial is continuing the tradition. An email from Jim Allchin asks the question of whether Microsoft has lost sight of what matters to its customers:

Exhibit 7264. Almost three years ago, on January 7, 2004, Jim Allchin, the senior executive at Microsoft, sent an E-mail to Microsoft's top two executives, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and the subject was losing our way. Mr. Allchin says, I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products. He goes on to say, I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft."
Music

+ - Windows Media Player, v11, steals your music

Submitted by QuietLagoon
QuietLagoon (813062) writes "The next version of Windows Media player that will be appearing in Windows Vista has upped the ante for DRM, removing a significant portion of the rights you have to the media content you own. So much so, that a Microsoft VP appears to be advocating the flaunting of DMCA in order to get the content into Zune, "Lots of DVD ripping software out there..."

What do you think about the loss of the rights to use the media you own?"

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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