dacut writes "Are they the evil monopolist trying to take over another market, or a benevolent entrant trying to free us from the bonds of crapware? Todd Bishop reports that Microsoft is now selling "Microsoft Signature PCs" in its new retail stores. While they did remove the trialware and adware familiar to most folks who purchase from major vendors, they do install various Microsoft add-ons (Security Essentials, Silverlight, Bing 3D Maps, Zune 4.0, etc.), plus Adobe Flash and Reader — perhaps less insidious than other programs commonly installed, but some pieces (e.g. Zune) are arguably just Microsoft's own version of crapware. Of course, the existing solutions — running removal tools targeted at crapware, building your own PC and playing OEM, or using an alternative operating system — are still fine alternatives."Link to Original Source
dacut writes "After successfully repairing the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts aboard the shuttle Atlantis found themselves with a free day due to thunderstorms which delayed their return. They attempted to pass the time by watching movies, only to find that their laptops did not have the proper software, and Houston was unable to help. No word, alas, on what software was involved, though we can assume that software/codec updates are a tad difficult when you're orbiting the planet at 17,200MPH."Link to Original Source
dacut writes "Charter Communications, which provides cable and internet access to 2.6 million customers, accidentally and irretrievably wiped out 14,000 active e-mail accounts while trying to clear out unused accounts. From the article:
They're providing a $50 credit to each affected customer, which seems a paltry sum for anyone who was less than diligent about backing up their e-mail."Link to Original Source
There is no way to retrieve the messages, photos and other attachments that were erased from inboxes and archive folders across the country on Monday, said Anita Lamont, a spokeswoman for the suburban St. Louis-based company. "We really are sincerely sorry for having had this happen and do apologize to all those folks who were affected by the error," Lamont said Thursday when the company announced the gaff.
dacut writes "According to an article in the New York Times, "AT&T plans to introduce a nationwide program today that gives owners of small- and medium-size businesses some of the same tools big security companies offer for monitoring employees, customers and operations from remote locations. Under AT&T's Remote Monitor program, a business owner could install adjustable cameras, door sensors and other gadgets at up to five different company locations across the country."
This isn't necessarily new technology — ADT and Digital Witness have similar offerings — but it is coming from a company which allegedly monitors all web traffic through its facilities."