Now that Windows XP has reached its official end of life, we can start talking about the OS in past tense (sort of). The same applies to Bill Gates, the Harvard dropout gone billionaire, who recently relinquished the reigns and stepped foot into semi-retirement. The former CEO's passing of the guard might have left many wondering what Microsoft's future will look like in life after Gates, but what about life after Windows?
It might sound preposterous, but don't tell that to the Microsoft Research team who, for the past several years, has been working on Singularity, an entirely new system-architecture and operating system built from the ground up. Comprised of only a few hundred-thousand lines of code, not only is Singularity entirely different from Windows, but the source code, build tools, test suites, design notes, and other background materials are all readily available, provided you're able to sign a non-commercial, academic Shared Source license. And that's not the end of it - Singularity Version 2 will bring multi-core computing into the mix.
To find out how Microsoft's mysterious Midori project plays into the picture, and if Windows might soon be obosolete, hit the jump.
Have you been uploading copyright protected content on YouTube? Have you even been looking at it? Viacom wants to know, and a Judge has ruled in the recent Viacom v. Google case that Google has to turn over “all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website”.
Kurt Opsahl with the Electronic Frontier Foundation disagrees with the courts ruling arguing that the court, “erroneously ignores the protections of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and threatens to expose deeply private information about what videos are watched by YouTube users”. The VPPA was passed in 1988 as a result of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental history being published during his Supreme Court nomination.
I agree with Opsahl, someone’s YouTube history should be just as private as their video rental history. Privacy is harder and harder to maintain in a world where technology is outstripping existing laws, which often must be judged by people with little experience in technology. We certainly don’t need which version of Star Wars Kid we were watching to be available for anyone to look at, or for companies to go trolling for lawsuits in data. Where do you come down on the issue?
So here's the good news; Google has officially released its Google Talk application for the iPhone and iPod touch browsers. That means you can text away to all your gFamily and gFriends and look trendy doing it. And you needn't install anything, either. The application runs completely from within the Safari browser. Just head over to www.google.com/talk, sign in, and start mashing away while being careful not to spill your Starbucks Latte.
Ready for the bad news? Don't you dare try to do anything else while holding a conversation. As you might have already surmised, Google Talk "needs to be open in your Safari browser. When you navigate away to another browser window or application, you status will be changed to 'unavailable' and your Google Talk session will be restarted when you return." Giving your undivided attention would be considered good social etiquette in a face-to-face encounter, but must the same manners apply in a virtual environment?
Earlier this week OCZ announced a new lineup of low cost SSDs, trumping Super Talent's MasterDrive MX series in both price and performance. In an attempt to address the former, Super Talent has begun bundling Ubuntu with its SSDs and will continue to do so right through to September 30th.
"Bundling an excellent OS plus applications package like Ubuntu helps MasterDrive MS customers get up and running that much faster and easier. This is a great value add that doesn't increase the cost." - Joe James, Super Talen Marketing Director
And James is right, it doesn't increase the cost. Of course, it doesn't increase the value (or performance) of the MasterDrive MX line either. But it might increase the perceived value of Ubuntu, which if you head over to Ubuntu.com, you can download the Linux distro free of charge. Or if you'd prefer a hard copy without firing up Nero, you can put in a request for a free CD and they'll even throw in a handful of stickers. Sadly, neither option will cost you a cent, not even shipping, and who wants a free OS? Pshaw! Super Talent's bundle tackles this problem, and you'll have to fork over at minimum $299 (30GB). Or if you really want that copy of Ubuntu to come laced with uber value, you have the option of paying up to $649 (120GB). Now all you Windows owners with a predisposition to paying for your OS can finally get your Linux on without feeling like you cheated the system, something Amazon couldn't offer with its paltry $12.99 price tag.
First the Tech God, created blogging and he saw that it was good, but it wasn’t enough. So then, the Tech God created micro-blogging and Twitter was born. But then he thought is Twitter good enough? So then, he decided to go open source and made Identi.ca
Okay, so the Tech God didn’t make Identi.ca (or anything else), it’s actually a creation by Evan Prodromou as an open source alternative to Twitter for users that are frustrated by Twitters frequent service outages. Who doesn’t love seeing the failwhale art (birds lifting a whale for those that have been under a rock) on Twitters website once in awhile? It seems Evan Prodromou for one.
A dispute between security appliance maker Barracuda Networks and Trend Micro started earlier this year when Trend Micro claimed that ClamAV infringes on its patents covering the use of server-based antivirus software on FTP and SMTP gateways. Barracuda has now filed a countersuit against Trend Micro to try and protect the open source ClamAV antivirus program from Trend Micro’s nasty allegations of infringement. Barracuda which is a supporter of open source software was unwilling to simply negotiate a cheap licensing agreement for patent indemnity. This of course also benefits other ClamAV users which include small business, non-profits, and even some governments.
Ars Technica quotes Barracuda CEO Dean Drako as saying, "The reality is that Trend Micro is asking Barracuda Networks to pay for the use of the free and open source ClamAV software.” He goes on to say, “We have asserted all along that Trend Micro's actions are unjust and could have serious implications against the open source community and other free and open source projects."
While Barracuda’s motives aren’t all together altruistic since they use ClamAV in their products, it’s none the less vital for everyone. ClamAV is not a fully featured AntiVirus program, nor is it the best, but it plays an important role. Trend Micro sounds like it is patent fishing for cash, and I am unimpressed. They might run the risk of a consumer backlash if it attempts to go after ClamAV directly. You can learn more about Barracuda’s efforts here.
CNet reports that the Microsoft Office subscription service previously code-named "Albany" will be sold at Circuit City as Microsoft Equipt. Equipt provides home users with access to a lot of software for a yearly subscription that's not much more than Windows Live OneCare.
To find out more about what you get for your money, join me after the break.
Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
The ghosts from Apple’s past have returned to haunt the company. A couple of years ago, an internal inquest was launched into the alleged backdating of stock options grants at Apple made between 1997 and 2001. The investigation uncovered several irregularities - and forgeries - that eventually prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to step in.
Although SEC filed charges against then Apple CFO Fred D. Anderson and general counsel Nancy R. Heinen, the company’s top brass including Steve Jobs were given the clean chit and lauded for their cooperation in the investigation.
However, disgruntled Apple stockholders Martin Vogel and Kenneth Mahoney believe there is more to the stock-option-backdating story than what met SEC’ keen eye. They have initiated a class-action suit against Apple CEO Steve Jobs, already beleaguered Anderson and Heinen, and four others from the Board of Directors.
The plaintiffs alleged that Apple’s blue-eyed boy Steve Jobs was the beneficiary of one such backdated stock option and profited to the tune of $20 million, and that Apple’s account department didn’t deem it necessary to record this spending in their books.
Also up for legal debate will be the catastrophic decline in Apple stocks – that wiped $7 billion in share value within two weeks – after Apple’s announcement of the internal investigation and whether shareholders deserve to be redressed for it.
Microsoft has always recommended disabling antivirus programs before upgrading Windows. Most of us have smiled, nodded, waved, and done whatever we pleased. Unfortunately, some Windows XP SP3 installs failed because antivirus was running - and some installs "worked," but caused big problems with Device Manager and Network Connections.
To find out why it happened and how to fix your system, catch us after the break.