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Windows

Submission + - Mixed Reviews for Windows 7 (zdnet.co.uk)

twitter writes: "Windows 7 formal introduction to developers brought mixed reactions. One developer said he would take it home and stick it on his kid's PC. Others had doubts about this reworking of Vista.

"It looks like a re-packaged Vista [with] a little bit of eye candy," said Daniel McGloin, a software engineer at Intuit.

Randal Kennedy has some of the harshest criticism, saying it has all the sins of Vista but comes with compatibility problems anyway."

Linux Business

Ubuntu 8.10 Outperforms Windows Vista 689

Anonymous writes "By now a lot has been reported on the new features and improvements in Ubuntu 8.10; it also looks like the OS is outperforming Vista in early benchmarking (Geekbench, boot times, etc.) At what point does this start to make a difference in the market place?" (And though there are lot of ways to benchmark computers, Ubuntu 8.10 with Compiz Fusion is certainly prettier on my Eee than the Windows XP that it came with.)
Windows

Submission + - Vista BSoD for Itunes 8 (pcworld.com) 3

twitter writes: "The few remaining Vista users with iPods are soon singing the blues.

recent glitches in the new iTunes 8 bring an unwelcome blast from the past to Microsoft's latest operating system. Connect an iPhone or iPod, and some Vista PCs either crash with the dreaded Blue Screen of Death or spontaneously restart.

Apple has two solutions. A new iTunes client is the first. If that does not work, you are referred to the usual hours of M$ support and fun. As you stare at the BSoD, remember what Steve Ballmer told you."

The Internet

Why We Need Unlicensed White-Space Broadband Spectrum 179

pgoldtho writes "PC Mag has a story about why the 'white-space' spectrum that will be freed when TV broadcasts switch to digital should be available for unlicensed use. This would allow it to be used to deliver broadband connectivity in rural areas and create a 'third pipe' alternative to the cable/telco duopoly. The FCC is scheduled to vote on this November 4th. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed an emergency appeal to block this vote. If the NAB succeeds, the issue will be kicked into next year. Which would mean a new FCC, Congress, and Administration."
The Internet

Sprint Cuts Cogent Off the Internet 413

superbus1929 writes "I work as a security analyst at an internet security company. While troubleshooting an issue, we learned why our customer couldn't keep his site-to-site VPN going from any location that uses Sprint as its ISP: Sprint has decided not to route traffic to Cogent due to litigation. This has a chilling effect; already, this person I worked with cannot communicate between a few sites of his, and since Sprint is stopping the connections cold (my traceroutes showed as complete, and not as timing out), it means that there is no backup plan; anyone going to Cogent from a Sprint ISP is crap out of luck."
Security

Submission + - Direct Cash from SQL Injection. (wired.com)

twitter writes: ""The Analyzer" has been arrested for $1.7 million of card fraud.

The alleged scheme involved the purchase of low-value cards, typically with balances of about $15. Tenenbaum would then exploit SQL injection vulnerabilities in Direct Cash's server to increase the value of the cards. The amount of a single card was inflated to more than $1m ...

What's that site running? IIS, of course. This is petty theft next to the current collapse but it's still no way to run a bank.

updates will be made to my journal article."

Government

Paper Ballots Will Return In MD and VA 420

cheezitmike writes "According to a story in the Washington Post, 'Maryland and Virginia are going old school after Tuesday's election. Maryland will scrap its $65 million electronic system and go back to paper ballots in time for the 2010 midterm elections. In Virginia, localities are moving to paper after the General Assembly voted last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out. "The battle for the hearts and minds of voters on whether electronic systems are good or bad has been lost," Brace said. The academics and computer scientists who said they were unreliable "have won that battle."'"
Wireless (Apple)

iPhone Free WiFi Is Back 77

scorp1us writes "iPhone users used to be able to get free Wifi from AT&T hot spots, including Starbucks locations. The service was pulled because of the browser-agent hack. Now the service is being re-launched, this time with a link sent via SMS to the iPhone for the hotspot, valid for 24 hours."
Upgrades

Submission + - HP Brings Ubuntu Netbooks to Local Stores (crunchgear.com)

twitter writes: "As promised and for obvious reasons, HP is bringing a GNU/Linux Netbook to market in defiance of the failing M$ Monopoly and it's using Ubuntu. From the Forbes article:

the signal the product sends that HP doesnt need Microsoft quite so much anymore. ... The HP mini laptops customized look and feel is the labor of the Experience team in HPs Personal Systems Group, which is working to make its products feel simpler and more intuitive than the industry-standard Windows-based PCs.

Crunchgear coos over that interface:

The specs are only half the story as the OS is where it gets interesting. ... This Mobile Internet Experience streamlines most common uses into a custom built homescreen that screams of HPs Touchsmart interface — thats a good thing. ... take note at HPs netbooks, but dont copy em. Instead, hire a design firm and actually produce something that is innovative instead of another EEE clone.

Things will really get interesting when $100 MIPS and ARM netbooks hit the market.

Updates, if any, will be in my journal."

The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
Google

Google Adopts, Forks OpenID 1.0 316

An anonymous reader writes "Right on the heels of Microsoft's adoption of the OpenID protocol by announcing their intention to enable OpenID authentication against all Live IDs, Google has announced their intention to join the growing list of OpenID authentication providers. Except it turns out they're using their own version of OpenID that is incompatible with everyone else. It seems that Google will be using their own 'improved' version of OpenID (based upon research and user feedback of the OpenID system) which isn't backwards compatible with OpenID 1.0/2.0, in hopes of improving end-user experience at the cost of protocol compatibility and complexity."
Windows

Submission + - InfoWorld: Win7 is Vista with a paint job. (infoworld.com)

twitter writes: "Infoworld pans Windows 7 as Vista 2.0:

I can now say — with some confidence — that Microsoft has once again dropped the ball. ... Just as slow as Vista. Just as consumer-focused as Vista. ... Just as confusing as Vista. ... Overall, I'm extremely disappointed with Windows 7. Far from atoning for Vista's sins, Windows 7 simply carries them forward, visiting them upon yet another generation.

Looks like Windows 7 is part of the Vista failure but worse. This version dumps media applications that were the core of Vista's "consumer" focus. In related news, people are calling Azure "Hailstone 2.0", remember that?

Updates will be added to my journal entry"

The Courts

Judge Tells RIAA To Stop 'Bankrupting' Litigants 332

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Boston judge who has consolidated all of the RIAA's Massachusetts cases into a single case over which she has been presiding for the past 5 years delivered something of a rebuke to the RIAA's lawyers, we have learned. At a conference this past June, the transcript of which (PDF) has just been released, Judge Nancy Gertner said to them that they 'have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers ... to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it ...' She also acknowledged that 'there is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources,' while it is futile for self-represented defendants to resist. The judge did not seem to acknowledge any responsibility on her part, however, for having created the 'imbalance,' and also stated that the law is 'overwhelmingly on the side of the record companies,' even though she seems to recognize that for the past 5 years she has been hearing only one side of the legal story."
The Internet

The Internet Is 'Built Wrong' 452

An anonymous reader writes "API Lead at Twitter, Alex Payne, writes today that the Internet was 'built wrong,' and continues to be accepted as an inferior system, due to a software engineering philosophy called Worse Is Better. 'We now know, for example, that IPv4 won't scale to the projected size of the future Internet. We know too that near-universal deployment of technologies with inadequate security and trust models, like SMTP, can mean millions if not billions lost to electronic crime, defensive measures, and reduced productivity,' says Payne, who calls for a 'content-centric approach to networking.' Payne doesn't mention, however, that his own system, Twitter, was built wrong and is consistently down."
Operating Systems

Hands-On With Windows 7's New Features 662

Barence writes "Microsoft has released the first pre-beta code of Windows 7, and PC Pro has a series of in-depth, hands-on examinations of all the new features. The revamped user interface has clearly gleaned more than a little inspiration from the Mac OS X Dock, but it goes further than the Apple concept with 'jumplists,' new gadgets and an updated system tray. The much-vaunted multi-touch controls were there to play with, and it seemed to work well. Networking has been given the full treatment, with new features HomeGroup and Libraries. Windows 7 debuts a new feature called Device Stage that has the potential to be unbelievably handy ... or a complete disaster. Finally, several new features could make PCs easier to manage and secure for IT departments, such as BitLocker To Go and Branch Cache." All in all, these features together lead some people to the conclusion that Windows 7 will "suck less than Vista" — that last link from reader ThinSkin, who also points to a related sampling of screenshots from the current iteration of Windows 7.

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