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Comment: Nothing wrong with ThinkPads (Score 1) 114

by dgillmor (#42691417) Attached to: Lenovo Could Take Over RIM

While there's been some backsliding on customer service -- IBM set an unequalled standard in this area -- the ThinkPads are still at the top of the class in the PC space. Since moving to Linux I've run only ThinkPads, which are solid and (except for their new ultrabook) easily user-upgradable. Even the help, when I've needed it, has been fine. The customer service issue I had was a very late delivery with poor communications from Lenovo while I was waiting for my most recent model (T430s).

Security

+ - iPhone Security "Armageddon"?->

Submitted by
dgillmor
dgillmor writes "Rixstep says there are huge security problems with the iPhone: "Put all the above together — the root account enabled (and now wide open) together with Cocoa web apps running as root that also are demonstrably crash prone and therefore exploitable — and you have the makings of a telephony Armageddon.""
Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - South Africa joins countries switching to OSS

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "According to reports by Reuters and IOL, the South African government has officially announced that all government departments are to switch to Open Source operating systems and software from this year onwards. There is no word on how long the process will take (likely years), but a joint office to be run by the Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be set up by April to oversee the process."
Linux Business

Pre-Installed Linux Tops Dell Customer Requests 509

Posted by kdawson
from the please-sir-may-I-have-a-penguin dept.
dhart writes "Within only a few days of Dell opening a new customer feedback website, they discovered that the feature most requested (by an almost 2-to-1 margin!) is an option on all new Dell PCs: pre-installed Linux. (And the number 3 request is pre-installed Open Office.) I believe they'll have a harder time now with the tired old mantra 'There's no customer demand for Linux.'"
Google

+ - GMail Vulnerable To Contact List Hijacking

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "By simply logging in to GMail and visiting a website, a malicious website can steal your contact list, and all their details. The problem occurs because Google stores the contact list data in a javascript file which can be found here. So far the attack only works on Firefox, and doesn't appear to work in Opera or Internet explorer 7. IE6 was un-tested as of now."
Windows

Vista and the Music Industry 438

Posted by kdawson
from the locked-down dept.
BanjoBob writes "Vista locks down all the DRM functionality and actually reduces the quality of playback of some media. This includes both audio and video content. As a company creating music and video products, how can we use Vista to create, distribute, and use legal media? I have read nothing to indicate that Vista has a model to allow 'authorized' use without causing problems. Currently we use Windows 2000 and Linux products. If what we understand is true, Vista and future Microsoft products won't be viable options for us since prior to publication, media must be copied multiple times, edited, moved around, re-edited and often modified into various forms (trailers, etc.) before, during, and after production. This naturally includes backups and recovery. If Vista is intent on prohibiting these uses, then Microsoft is intent on keeping their products out of the realm of content creation and editing. How do others deal with these issues?"
Windows

+ - Vista's DRM could one day spell its demise

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Gutmann describes in great detail the various measures Microsoft has taken to lock down Windows on behalf of Hollywood. "in order to playback HD-DVD and BluRay content, Microsoft agreed to degrade video and audio functionality in Windows. Gutman points out that when "premium" content is being played, component video — YPbPr — and S/PDIF interfaces are disabled." "If I do ever want to play back premium content," he wrote, "I'll wait a few years and then buy a $50 Chinese-made set-top player to do it, not a $1000 Windows PC. It's somewhat bizarre that I have to go to Communist China in order to find vendors who actually understand the consumer's needs.""
Music

+ - Has the Music Biz forgotten about value?

Submitted by
piano375
piano375 writes "As Ars Technica reports in "Debate over iTunes sales direction", there have been reports of iTunes' slumping digital music sales. On the other hand, you can say they've sold 1.5 billion songs thus far, but the reality is that they have secured the deep-pocketed older market of people scared off by the RIAA lawsuits. In a conservative market where lawsuits are an everyday reality these lawsuits are effective. However, in the college and high school markets where kids have nothing to lose, these legal issues are insignificant. Additionally, a great majority of this older market doesn't even know what DRM is and will not stop their spending habits because of it.

The bottom line is that there are 40 illegal downloads to 1 legal download and technology has allowed for the consumer to become the bottom line in the industry. Whatever happened to the lessons learned from Apple? How about You Tube? Or even Starbucks? How is it that Starbucks got millions of people to pay $4 for cups of coffee? Consumers pay for value and the illegal networks have set the bar for this value. Illegal downloaders will never pay for a solution that doesn't at least offer the value p2p nets offer: unlimited selection (a la You Tube) and no restrictions (a la eMusic). RealNetworks, Napster, Microsoft, and even Apple are missing this bottom line because they aren't even providing that minimum value to the user. The industry is grossly underestimating the purchasing power of the millions of disgruntled online music lovers.

Sam Tarantino

Founder

Escape Media Group, LLC

www.escapemg.com"
Censorship

+ - Is Amazon suppressing politically sensitive books?

Submitted by jborynec
jborynec (101263) writes "Norman Finkelstien says:

I have received many emails wondering why Amazon no longer lists my book Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of California Press: 2005). I do not have a ready answer. Experts I've consulted tell me it's unlikely to be a random program glitch. At this point the more sinister explanations seem also to be the more plausible ones

Finkelstien already has posted a number of email to Bezos.
http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11 &ar=738"
Enlightenment

+ - Consumer Reports: Cingular, Sprint bad performers

Submitted by
dcgirl20006
dcgirl20006 writes "It's that time again, Consumer Reports is out with the annual cell phone review. And Verizon has risen to the top. And, Cingular, with the most subscribers (post AT&T mega merger), claims it is the company with the "least dropped calls" but consumers say otherwise. What can be done? Provide risk-free 30 day trial period; realistic coverage maps, upfront price disclosure, and end early termination fees."
Music

+ - Record Companies Squeezing Musicians

Submitted by
tommertron
tommertron writes "The New York Times has an article about how the record labels, frustrated with slowing CD sales, have started pressuring new musicians they sign on to fork over a cut of their concert and tee-shirt revenues. This is of course, after the artists pay a cut of their revenue to their agents and Ticketmaster. Apparently suing dead old ladies isn't a big enough second source of revenue for the record labels anymore."

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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