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Windows

Windows Expert Jumps Ship 939

Posted by kdawson
from the hello-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes to let us know that Scott Finnie, Computerworld's Windows expert, has given the final verdict to Windows after 3 months of using a Mac. And the verdict is: "Sayonara." Finnie is known to readers here for his many reviews of Vista as it progressed to release. Quoting: "If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won't go back either. The hardest part is paying for it — everything after that gets easier and easier. Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny."
Security

25 Percent of All Computers in a Botnet? 408

Posted by Zonk
from the you-might-be-one-of-them dept.
Beckham's_Ponytail writes to mention an Ars Technica article, with some disturbing news out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Vint Cerf, one of the 'fathers of the internet', has stated that the number of botnets online is larger than believed. So large, in fact, that he estimates that at this point one in four computers is infected with botnet software. We've discussed the rise of botnets numerous times here on Slashot, but the image of 150 million infected computers is more than a little bit sobering. With the extremely lucrative activities that can be done with botnets (such as password ripping, spamming, DDoSing), as well as reports of organized crime adopting 'cyber-terrorism' as a new line of income, is it likely that law enforcement will ever be able to curb this particular bane?
Apple

Why the iPhone Keynote Was A Mistake 507

Posted by Zonk
from the should-have-worn-a-hat dept.
jcatcw writes "Mike Elgan at Computerworld lists six reasons why it was a mistake to make the iPhone keynote at Macworld. He argues that extremely high expectations can only lead to disappointment for consumers and investors. The focus on the phone during the keynote also took away from the Apple TV announcement, put iPod sales at risk, gave competitors a head start, and (perhaps worst of all) ruined the company's talks with Cisco over the iPhone name. From the article: 'The iPhone, despite its many media-oriented virtues and its sweet design, will do far less than most existing smart phones. The problem Apple now faces because of Jobs' premature detail-oriented announcement is that of dashed expectations. When customers expect more and don't get it, they become dissatisfied.'"
Data Storage

China Readies Royalty-Free DVD Format 183

Posted by kdawson
from the this-time-for-sure dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an InfoWorld article on China's new attempt to introduce a royalty-free format to rival the DVD. The article is not sanguine on China's chances of getting the EVD format used outside of its own borders (they tried once before in 2003). The submitter is more optimistic, asking: "Is this the future and the effective end of DRM — to be taken and co-opted by nation-states?" From the article: "The DVD player makers plan to switch to EVD (enhanced versatile disk) in an attempt to avoid paying patent royalties on the DVD format, according to published reports. The world's largest producers of DVD players, Chinese electronics companies would use the format instead of standards such as MPEG-4. Last week, 20 top manufacturers including Haier announced their plans to switch from DVD to EVD entirely by 2008, according to a report in China Economic News."

iPod Has Nothing To Fear From Slow-Starting Zune 422

Posted by kdawson
from the but-we-knew-that dept.
narramissic writes, "Looks like Apple's iPod has nothing to fear from Zune this holiday season. In a research note published Tuesday, PiperJaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster writes that 'during its launch week on Nov. 16, Zune held the seventh spot on online retailer Amazon.com's top 10 best-selling MP3 players list, and it fell from that spot to 13 on the list only five days after launch, on Nov. 20.' Even worse, only 8% of retailers surveyed by PiperJaffray recommend the Zune to customers, while 75% recommend Apple's iPod." The article notes Apple's 5-year headstart in the portable player market and Microsoft's stated intention to invest heavily in the Zune over the next several years.
It's funny.  Laugh.

MPAA Goes After Home Entertainment Systems 402

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the jokes-that-some-people-just-wont-get dept.
philba writes to tell us that home theaters may become the new jurisdiction of our MPAA overlords. The MPAA is lobbying to make sure that home users authorize their entertainment systems before any in-home viewings. From the article: "The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown."
Portables

Thailand Government Cancels OLPC Participation 196

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the roll-a-hard-six dept.
patiwat writes "Thailand's new junta-appointed Education Minister has cancelled Thailand's participation in the One Laptop Per Child project and scrapped a plan to give a 2B1 laptop to every primary school student. He has also cancelled plans to roll out computers and a broadband connection to every single school in Thailand. The cancellation of half a million scholarships for needy students is being studied. He cited the lack of readiness of teachers and the need to focus on basic education standards. "We will not focus too much on technology and materials. We will focus on substance," he said. This comes on the heels of the cancellation of the Thai government's open source policy."
United States

+ - Suppressing the amateur scientist

Submitted by Fogg
Fogg (666) writes "According to the Wired article Don't Try This at Home, it has gotten to the point where selling a decent chemistry set in the U.S. is illegal, performing real experiments in high school chemistry class is becoming rare, and selling standard reagents from a website can result in a raid by the feds (as happened to the amateur scientist's dream store United Nuclear).
In the past several years, the CPSC has gone after a variety of online vendors, demanding the companies require customers to prove they have a license to manufacture explosives before they can purchase any chemical associated with making them. Many of these compounds, however, are also highly useful for conducting science experiments. Sulfur, for example, is an ingredient in hydrogen sulfide, an important tool for chemical analysis. Potassium perchlorate and potassium nitrate are widely used in labs as oxidizers.
The CPSC's war on illegal fireworks is one of several forces producing a chilling effect on amateur research in chemistry. National security issues and laws aimed at thwarting the production of crystal meth are threatening to put an end to home laboratories. In schools, rising liability concerns are making teachers wary of allowing students to perform their own experiments. Some educators even speculate that a lack of chem lab experience is contributing to the declining interest in science careers among young people.
"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft sensoring Digg content?

Submitted by StaticShock
StaticShock (799939) writes "According to Daniel Eran (who writes the RDM magazine), it appears that Microsoft has been sensoring Digg content deemed unfavorable to their corporate image. He discusses this in a footnote to his recent article. Doing a quick search for his name or the name of his magazine turns up zero results on digg, which seems unlikely without intervention."

Voting Machine Glitches Already Being Reported 742

Posted by Zonk
from the go-vote dept.
Neovanglist writes "CNN, FOX, and MSNBC are reporting that voting machines in three states (Ohio, Indiana, and Florida) have already been showing issues, both in the machines themselves and in the training of poll attendants, causing many districts to switch to paper ballots." From the article: "Voters put the Republican congressional majority and a multitude of new voting equipment to the test Tuesday in an election that defined the balance of power for the rest of George W. Bush's presidency. Both parties hustled to get their supporters out in high-stakes contests across the country, Democrats appealing one more time for change, and appearing confident the mood was on their side. Republicans conceded nothing as their vaunted get-out-the-vote machine swung into motion." If you're in the U.S., and you haven't voted already, go do it!

MSN Music Purchases Not Compatible with Zune 453

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the digital-restrictions-management dept.
lewiz writes "The BBC is reporting that music purchased at MSN Music will not play on the new Zune music player." From the article: "The problem has arisen because tracks from the MSN Music site are compatible with the specifications of the Plays For Sure initiative. This was intended to re-assure consumers as it guaranteed that music bought from services backing it would work with players that supported it. MSN Music, Napster, AOL Music Now and Urge all backed Plays For Sure as did many players from hardware makers such as Archos, Creative, Dell and Iriver. In a statement a Microsoft spokesperson said: 'Since Zune is a separate offering that is not part of the Plays For Sure ecosystem, Zune content is not supported on Plays For Sure devices.'"

OpenSourcing Yourself, Are You Ready? 191

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-much-information dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many people love and use open source software. Open source has made an impact in just about every place imaginable; education, hardware, coke, beer, cell phones, pharmaceuticals, search engines and encyclopedias. However, OpenHuman takes it one step further and invites you to open source yourself to experiment with the open human idea. This may sound crazy and rife with privacy concerns but as the author asks, do you still believe in Internet privacy in the age of blogs, MySpace, LinkedIn, Meetup, and Flickr?"

Sony's Karakker On Turning Around PS3 Buzz 209

Posted by Hemos
from the manhandling-the-PR dept.
simoniker writes "Sony's new PR boss Dave Karakker has been talking about his challenges handling publicity for the PlayStation 3, explaining how Sony will be switching things up: 'We were allowing media to drive the message for us, and interpret it for us. So allowing someone like Peter Moore, who's a good friend of mine, to stand up there and say negative things about Sony, there wasn't anybody refuting that. People just took that for face value. Now we're very aggressively defending our turf.' He also defend the lack of universal achievements on PS3: 'Frankly, how I view it is I don't care if you're great at Madden if I'm playing you in Resistance. Because that doesn't tell me you're that much better in Resistance. An overall score doesn't really tell me much, it tells me you've spent a lot of time online, it tells me you spend a lot of time playing games, but it doesn't tell me how good you are at a particular game.'" Should be noted that Simoniker is a former Slashdot editor -- also, the AP write-up about reactions to the PS3 is quite positive.

Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Death 1003

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the right-before-the-election-even dept.
indraneil writes "Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death along with his half brother. Three Baath party officials charged with Hussein in the killings of 148 Shiite civilians have been sentenced to 15 years in prison, while a fourth has been cleared. He is to be hanged inside 30 days from now. Saddam Hussein has been given 10 days to appeal against the decision. His lawyer has warned to a bloodbath if the sentence is carried out."

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler

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