Afforess writes: "For the past several months, Microsoft has geared up it's advertising with the addition of the quirky Seinfeld ad's and the newer "Laptop Hunter" ads. The "Laptop Hunter" ads feature a mother and child comparing cheaper PC branded laptops against their more expensive Mac counterparts. Although these new Microsoft ads offer ammunition against Apple's more aggressive and open attacks of the Windows platform, they seem to be unsuccessful. Net Applications Inc data on operating systems market share shows that Windows overall market share has dropped 2.94% in the past 10 months, while Apple has gained 1.79% in the same time. Also interesting to note that Linux's market share grew the fastest relative to it's size, even though it lacked a marketing campaign; approximately 27.5% larger, equivalent to a.22% gain in market share during the same time period."
Afforess writes: ""Proxy servers are an everyday part of Internet surfing. But using one in a crime could soon lead to more time in the clink" reports the Associated Press. The new federal rules would make the use of proxy servers count a "sophistication" in a crime, leading in 25% longer jail sentences. Privacy advocates complain this will disincentivize privacy and anonymity online. "[The government is telling people]...if you take normal steps to protect your privacy, we're going to view you as a more sophisticated criminal" writes the Center for Democracy and Technology. Others fear this may harm lead to "cruel and unusual punishments" as Internet and cell phone providers often use proxies without users knowledge to reroute Internet traffic. This may also ultimately harm corporations when employees abuse VPN's, as they too are count as a "proxy" in the new legislation. TOR, a common Internet anonymizer is also targeted in the new legislation. Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks, a prominent and controversial government watchdog site. The legislation (Warning, PDF file. The proposed amendment is on pages 5-15) will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and are set to take effect on November 1st."
Afforess writes: "A recent closer look at the oft-skimmed EULA agreement for Itunes has an interesting paragraph in it, Gizmodo reports. "You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons." Although humorous, some readers suggested that this may be a defense measure to previously discussed price changes in the Itunes music store."
Afforess writes: "
Charter Communications is an American company providing cable television, high-speed Internet, and telephone services to more than 5.7 million customers. It is the fourth-largest (by revenues) publicly traded cable operator in the U.S." Today, Charter Communications, Inc stocks fell to $0.08 a share, a new low, and their creditors have come in droves to get back their money. And Charter Communications debt is no pittance, they owe over
$21 billion. Before this year, they managed this massive debt by shifting it to smaller holding companies but this strategy acted merely as a stopgap measure.
Paul Allen, the majority stockholder, co-founder of Microsoft, and CEO of Charter Communications has seen his $7 billion dollars investment evaporate over the last few years. Charter's market share has dwindled, customers give them poor reviews, and their sales,
approximately 5%, is far below the industry average of 26%. Now, to add the proverbial icing to the cake,
rumors abound that Paul Allen may just cut his losses and run. Charter Communications future appears to be a rocky one."
Afforess writes: "The Boston Globe writes: "HP signed a distribution deal with a Dubai-based company called Redington Gulf in 1997, two years after the Clinton administration put
trade sanctions on Iran. While Redington, as a foreign company, falls outside U.S. regulations, there is evidence HP knew its equipment would end up circumventing U.S. law." On the other hand, HP reports: "HP has a policy of complete compliance with all U.S. export laws." A 2007 survey states that HP printers currently control 41% percent of Iran's printer sales. No legal action has been taken yet."
Afforess writes: For the past two years Microsoft and Novell have been working on the "Moonlight" project. It is a runtime library for websites that run Silverlight. It should allow PC's running Linux to view sites that use Siverlight. Betanews reports "In the next stage of what has turned out to be a more successful project than even its creators envisioned, the public beta of Moonlight — a runtime library for Linux supporting sites that expect Silverlight — is expected within days." Moonlight 2.0, is already in the works.
Afforess writes: Most of slashdot users have high speed, or at least DSL internet services available at their home. One of my largest problems is that I don't. Putting my address into broadband searches only reveals the obvious, that dial-up services and satellite internet plans are the only options. Satellite internet as it is, is not an option, nor is dial-up. I currently have a Verizon aircard that had decent speeds until their 5gb (a month) cap in April. Now its as bad as dial-up. AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and every other local internet provider told us (Comcast said straight out "No.") that "we will not be bringing service to your area. The most irritating thing is neighbors about 1/4 a mile away have cable. "So my question is when (if ever) is the US going to enforce cable and telecom companies to offer broadband to rural areas, and what can I do about it until then?