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Microsoft

First Look At Windows 7 Beta 1 898

The other A. N. Other writes "It seems that Microsoft couldn't keep the lid on Windows 7 beta 1 until the new year. By now, several news outlets have their hands on the beta 1 code and have posted screenshots and information about this build. ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 column says: 'This beta is of excellent quality. This is the kind of code that you could roll out and live with. Even the pre-betas were solid, but finally this beta feels like it's "done." This beta exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled.' ITWire points out that this copy has landed on various torrent sites, and while it appears to be genuine, there are no guarantees. Neowin has a post confirming that it's the real thing, and saying Microsoft will be announcing the build's official availability at CES in January."
The Internet

The Wackiest Technology Tales of 2008 97

coondoggie writes "Despite the daily drumbeat of new and improved hardware or software, the tech industry isn't all bits and bytes. Some interesting things happen along the way too. Like floating data centers, space geekonauts, shape shifting robots and weird bedfellows (like Microsoft and Jerry Seinfeld). What we include here is an example of what we thought were the best, slightly off-center stories of 2008."
Hardware Hacking

D.I.Y. Home Security 377

theodp writes "The NYTimes reports that pre-wired home security installations by alarm companies are on the way out. Thanks to wireless window and door sensors and motion detectors, installing and maintaining one's own security system is becoming a do-it-yourself project, with kits available from companies like InGrid and LaserShield. Time to start cranking out some new iPhone and Android apps, kids?"
Music

Submission + - RIAA Seeks To Reduce Royalty Payments

Tinfoil writes: "In a move to make themselves more popular, the RIAA is seeking to reduce the royalty rate paid out to recording artists. "During the period when piracy was devastating the record industry, the RIAA argues, profits for publishers rose as revenue generated from ringtones and other innovative services grew. Record industry executives said there was nothing strange about seeking a rate change that would pay less to the people who write the music." Of course, that piracy may have been largely averted had the industry adopted new technology much sooner."

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