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Microsoft

+ - The Deal Steve Jobs Couldn't Refuse

Submitted by
Government Drone
Government Drone writes "Remember the 1997 deal in which Microsoft bought $150 million in non-voting Apple stock? According to this story in InformationWeek, it wasn't done all out of the goodness of Bill Gates' heart:

Weeks prior to bailing out a struggling Apple Computer by purchasing $150 million of its stock, Microsoft officials threatened to cut development of a key product for the Macintosh in order to coerce its rival to make the deal, according to an e-mail unearthed during a recent court hearing.

The original text of the E-mail is here, which mentions a threat to pull the plug on Office for Mac, but argues against it for a variety of reasons. An interesting backend view of what was happening in Apple's darkest days."
Data Storage

+ - Samsung Begins Shipping Hybrid Hard Drives

Submitted by
writertype
writertype writes "Samsung has become the first company begin shipping hybrid hard drives, we report on ExtremeTech. Unfortunately, there's no word yet (besides "soon") on when retail shipments will begin, or when (or if) 3.5-inch models will be available. Note that these are different than the ReadyBoost USB flash drives optimized for Vista; hybrid drives contain a smaller amount of flash, and work as a write cache for your notebook drive, extending battery life."
Privacy

+ - Military recruiters have access to student records

Submitted by
piersonr
piersonr writes "Under No Child Left Behind, high schools are required to turn over lists of student contact information to the Department of Defense, which adds this information to an extensive database of children. The Department of Defense claims to need the names, addresses, and phone numbers of high school students for recruiting purposes, because it enables recruiters to contact children directly in their homes and at school, which is often done without the knowledge or consent of their parents. Yesterday, Silicon Valley Congressman Mike Honda introduced legislation to restrict recruiter's access to just those students who have "opted-in" to the list."
Media (Apple)

+ - Apple says iTunes bugs remain on Vista

Submitted by pointbeing
pointbeing (701902) writes "According to MSNBC an update to Apple Inc.'s iTunes music software still hasn't resolved some of the compatibility problems with Microsoft Corp.'s new operating system.

The iTunes program is key to synching music on computers with iPod portable players, and the latest version, iTunes 7.1, comes a month after the iPod and Macintosh computer maker warned PC users against installing Windows Vista until Apple could fix the problems.

Apple removed that outright warning from its Web site on Monday and stated instead that the updated iTunes is recommended for use with most editions of Windows Vista. But Apple also conceded that some glitches, including possible corruption of a user's iPod player upon ejection from a PC, remain. Story continues below advertisement

"Apple is actively working with Microsoft to resolve a few remaining known issues," the posting stated.

Apple representatives declined further comment and would not say how much longer users would have to wait for iTunes to be completely Vista-friendly.

According to the notice posted on Apple's Web site, the previous glitch that prevented Vista users from playing music or video purchased from the online iTunes Store is no longer an issue.

But in addition to the iPod-ejection problem, Apple warned that iTunes 7.1 may still exhibit difficulties synchronizing Windows contacts with an iPod. The text and graphics of iTunes running on a Vista machine also may not be correctly displayed, though resizing the iTunes screen should correct the issue.

Apple also reminded users that iTunes remains unsupported on 64-bit editions of either Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Microsoft has said it is working with a long list of partners, including Apple, to make sure their software is compatible with Vista. The new operating system launched Jan. 30.

Though Microsoft and Apple are partners in some cases — iTunes works with Windows PCs and Microsoft Office has a version for Macs — the two are also longtime rivals. They compete in computer systems, which Microsoft dominates, and in the digital music arena, which Apple dominates."
Input Devices

+ - Using your mind as a game controller

Submitted by Parallax Blue
Parallax Blue (836836) writes "CNET News is running a story on a brain/computer interface system made by Emotiv Systems. It can be used to pick up on thoughts, facial expressions, and emotions within the brain, wirelessly relaying them to a game console or PC. Uses in other industries are planned, including medicine, security, market research, and interactive television."
Patents

+ - What the GPLv3 Means for MS-Novell Agreement

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "I read a dry but interesting interview with a lawyer (Antoinette Tease) on the effects the GPLv3 would have on the well known Microsoft & Novell alliance. From her answers: "Unlike prior versions of the GNU General Public License (GPL), which did not address patent rights, the current draft of the GPL version 3 has several provisions that address patent rights. Section 2 states that the license to use the open source code 'terminates if you bring suit against anyone for patent infringement of any of your essential patent claims' based on any version of the open source program." She goes on to say "the GPLv3 as currently drafted would impose an obligation on Novell to somehow 'shield' its customers from patent lawsuits brought by Microsoft, or, alternatively, to make the source code publicly available...""
Operating Systems

+ - New DST to cost $350 million?

Submitted by
ktappe
ktappe writes "An analyst at Forrester Research estimates the daylight saving time (DST) switch coming this Sunday will cost the average company $50,000 in time and labor expenses — a conservative figure that doesn't take into account missed airline flights or forgotten appointments. That's a total of $350 million for the 7,000 publicly traded companies in the U.S. Is this another case of an analyst pulling numbers out of the air, or will we really be paying a high price for earlier DST?"
Mozilla

+ - "Best" 20 Firefox extensions missing a big

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "Computerworld has an extensive list of the "best" Firefox extensions. It's pretty developer-friedly — including things like Greasemonkey and Firebug — but there are a lot of standard extensions that almost anyone can use that help the browsing experience, like Cooliris Previews. Someone noticed AdBlock didn't make the list, though."

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