Thursday, February 22, 2007

M$ hit with largest Patent infringment award to Alcatel-Lucent

The award was won on Thursday by Alcatel-Lucent after a jury in a US district court in San Diego agreed with its claim that the software giant Microsoft, affectionately known here as M$, had infringed two of its patents.
Microsoft was ordered by a federal jury yesterday to pay $1.52 billion in a patent dispute over the MP3 format.
The dispute surrounded Microsoft's use of MP3 technology, a format for encoding and compressing of digital music so that it less space than a conventional methods. Smaller size also provides easier transmission over the mediums such as internet.

Thursday's verdict, stemming from the use of audio coding technology in PCs, was the first of five due to be heard by the San Diego court in the coming months. The others relate to speech coding technology in Windows; user interface patents; technology in the Xbox games console; and video coding in other Microsoft software.

So M$ has been crushing anyone who came against it, like "Lindows" trade name by former MP3.COM's Micheal Robertson and countless other little companies. But I guess Alcatel - Lucent must be too big for it.

Given Microsoft's dominance of the desktop computing market, the potential losses are considerable. Thursday's award was calculated based on the number of Windows operating systems sold since May 2003, multiplied by the average selling price of a range of PCs.

Microsoft and others have licensed MP3 — not from Alcatel-Lucent, but from a consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute, a large German research organization that was involved, along with the French electronics company Thomson and Bell Labs, in the format’s development.

The current case turns on two patents that Alcatel claims were developed by Bell Labs before it joined with Fraunhofer to develop MP3.

New york times article

Going to work with Google Apps, Google Apps enterprise

I have been using Google Docs & Spreadsheets and has been a refreshing experience. I use OpenOffice Org's Office applications and M$'s office suite. I have Open Office on my notebook, which I use most of the time. But it is much easier to use Docs & Spreadsheets for some of the tasks that I have to do day to day.
So I see on Official Docs & Spreadsheets blog entry that this is possible with your SMB (small business), your enterprise, your school or your family and friends, collectively called Google Apps.
The media all over telling it is $50/account/year but remember that You and I do not have to pay if you do not need to use the premiere version the standard version is free.
You can compare the two editions here. I have been using the free edition but planing to move on to the premier edition to make use of the API and third party applications and services.

You can read more about Google Apps by following the links given in the article.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

XBox 360 Price drop? it is 199.00 for premium

According to an article on the inquirer, Makro is advertising Premium Xbox 360 packs for only £199 - the previous price of Core machines, which come without the hard-drive/wireless pad.
As Paul suggested, considering Makro is a large wholesaler any Xbox 360 price cut would probably be seen by one of these companies first.

No other group seems to be offloading stock at this price yet, but it will be interesting to see if this is a simple one-off move by a large wholesaler to bring in the punters, or an unofficial price-cut from Microsoft.

Signs of an Xbox 360 price-drop spotted

VOIP IP Telephony: Viacom in the Juice, Joost

VOIP IP Telephony: Viacom in the Juice, Joost

Now there is a Badger in my Yahoo Pipes

The same guy let me do my technorati searches via Yahoo pipes, Ken Brewster of;
Geemodo: Do your Technorati search, via Yahoo pipes
Now has a badger running around in the same pipes. I like this one too. To quote his own words what badger is all about;
"The short version: Badger uses Yahoo! Pipes and JavaScript to create Web badges out of any RSS feed. Edit colors, change feeds, pages, and headlines, and pick up your source code at the bottom of the page. Boing Boing, Lifehacker,, TechCrunch, Slashdot, Digg News, and ProgrammableWeb all have examples ready to look at ... if you're looking for interesting feeds, check out Technorati Search or FeedFlinger."

Sounds pretty interesting, I am going to catch some badgers for me. Follow the link for your own badger.

Badge any RSS feeds with Yahoo Pipes

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vista and Linux (Mephis) desktops compared

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. columnist has pitted Vista against Linux's fair haired boy Ubuntu (actually Mephis which is 99% Ubuntu) to see how the pinnacle of commercial desktop operating systems stacks up against the free, community-developed Linux upstart.

The aretocle itself is multipart and Steven has completed three parts sofar. I have tracked the publishing since January 24, when he publised the first part.

So far there seems to be no reason for anyone to goto Vista. If you don't like Linux at the moment, stick with your Windows XP. Other than all the bells and wistles, Vista is almost a DRM laden XP.
The Following clipped from the article should give you a little insight.
"With both systems completely idle except for their memory map programs and the screenshot program, MEPIS has a memory footprint of less than 100MB, while Vista is pounding down its foot with over half-a-gigabyte of RAM."

Another insight "My test system's high-end S/PDIF audio port lacks built-in DRM. Without that functionality, Vista won't play music through the PC's speakers with Windows Media Player 11. MEPIS, on the other hand, has no trouble playing online music. In this case, I'm using Streamtuner."

From another article points out that Vista being Longest suicide note! Because instead of concentrating on OS vista tries to be watch dog for RIAA and MPAA. Once people realize those points may be they will change to Linux or go back to XP ;).
"Say you've just bought Pink Floyd's “The Dark Side of the Moon”, released as a Super Audio CD (SACD) in its 30th anniversary edition in 2003, and you want to play it under Vista. Since the S/PDIF link to your amplifier/speakers is regarded as insecure for playing the SA content, Vista disables it, and you end up hearing a performance by Marcel Marceau instead of Pink Floyd."

Both the articles are invaluble if your computer is not a MAC.

Steven's Vista vs Linux article
Longest Suicide note

Is ARAS an OSS marketing policy? Yes, Just read the licence

I was reading InfoWorld columnist Dave Rosenberg article as reported by /.. Then I went to ARAS site. Look to download the application provided by ARAS. On second thoughts I decided to look at the license terms and conditions. Boy what bunch of bull by ARAS and M$, if M$ is involved in this game.
My first thought was to port the application to Linux platform. But when you look at the license, it is a no no. ARAS license is almost direct replication of M$ EULA.
SO is ARAS fits in OSS space. Simply No. May Be it is time to start a list of Companies and Software that they say Open Source but really not.
From the ARAS license, it is open untill you touch it, It closes the door behind you!

Open Source weblog at Info World

This is a potion of the license agrrement you have to agree in order to download. Complete agreement is at ARAS site.


Last Updated December 1st 2006


This License Agreement (Agreement) is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity, collectively “You” or “Licensee”) and Aras Corporation for the Aras Innovator® software product and all certified software applications (the “Solutions”) provided by Aras Corporation that run on the Aras Innovator® application framework, (collectively “Licensed Software”) as well as the documentation (the “Documentation”). By installing, copying, or otherwise using the Licensed Software, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms of this Agreement, do not install or use the Licensed Software.


Licensee is hereby granted the following non-exclusive, non-transferable, and non-sublicensable rights with respect to Licensed Software and Documentation:

(a) to install the Licensed Software on computer servers owned or leased by Licensee for use solely by Licensee’s employees and the employees of Licensee’s suppliers and customers (“Authorized Users”);

(b) to make an unlimited number of copies of the Licensed Software for backup and disaster recovery purposes, provided Licensee shall reproduce all confidentiality and proprietary rights notices on all copies of the Licensed Software; and

(c) to make an unlimited number of copies of the Documentation and distribute those copies to Authorized Users, provided Licensee shall reproduce all confidentiality and proprietary rights notices on all copies of the Documentation.

Did you patch your Vista on Patch Tuesday?

If you were thinking that you new shining Vista is patch free, M$ says Yes it is patch free in this sense;
""The underlying component [of Windows Defender] does ship with Vista," acknowledged Mark Griesi, security program manager for the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC). "That's the correlation people are drawing. The vulnerability is in the malware engine, which is part of Defender, which is part of Vista. So, yes, you can say that Vista [itself] is vulnerable."

"But is it a direct vulnerability in Vista? I wouldn't characterize it like that," he added. ""
M$, just say it is a patch for Vista. Get over it.

Well beat me. If you have your auto updates turned off, like I did, go turn them on and do the update. And if you want to read more about this follow the link.

Computerworld Was that a Vista fix released on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Do your Technorati search, via Yahoo pipes

Kent Brewster at has written a fantastic article that takes you thrugh the recently announced Yahoo Pipes. Also his site is a goldmine if you are interested in things like Feeds, Jason, blogs and web 2.0 in general.
Instead of repeating what he has written, here, follow the link to read the complete article.

Kent Brewster's Yahoo Pipe plumbing
Yahoo Pipes

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SUN gives ODF coverter plugin for M$ Office

PRNewswire and SUN news announcement
Sun Microsystems, Inc., the largest code contributor to free and open source communities, today announced the upcoming availability of the StarOffice(TM) 8 Conversion Technology Preview plug-in application for Microsoft Office 2003. The early access version of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) plug-in, available as a free download, will allow seamless two-way conversion of Microsoft Office documents to ODF.
The StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology Preview is a plug-in for Microsoft Word 2003 that allows users of Microsoft Word 2003 to easily import and export to the OpenDocument Format (ODF). The early access version of the ODF plug-in will be available as a free download from the Sun Download Center in mid to late the month of February. Please check back at this site or at for the latest status. Note that the converter will be renamed to Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Word with the final version.

The initial plug-in application will support the conversion of text documents (.doc/.odt) only and full support of spreadsheet and presentation documents will be available in the final version, expected in April. The converter is easy to setup and use, the conversion happens transparently and the additional memory footprint is minimal. Microsoft Office users now have seamless two-way conversion of Microsoft Office documents to ODF.

"Organizations can now consider switching to ISO/IEC 26300 OpenDocument Format while protecting employees needing assistive devices only supported by legacy Microsoft software," said Rich Green, executive vice president, Software at Sun Microsystems. "ODF is important because it ensures documents will still be readable long into the future while allowing a wide choice of proprietary and open source software choices to work with the documents."

The Executive Department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently using the converter to meet the previously identified January, 2007 compliance date for the start of a phased migration to the ODF format. In addition to allowing the Commonwealth's existing Microsoft Office applications to read and write ODF text files, the converter permits the continued use of the state's chosen accessibility technologies to meet the needs of people with disabilities. is an open-source project, home of the software, the most widely distributed open-source multi-platform productivity suite. The community was founded by Sun Microsystems in 2000. An active community, of which Sun is a key member, enhances and supports the office suite.

The application runs on most major operating system platforms including Windows, Linux and the Solaris Operating System, and more than 60 localizations are in different stages of development. Some platforms and languages, such as Mac OS X, might not yet be available in the most current version.

The StarOffice Office Suite is the professional office productivity solution based on that provides enterprise value-add components including administration tools, commercial quality spellchecker and relational database. Additional information on StarOffice can be obtained from

The OpenDocument Format was accepted as an official OASIS standard in May 2005, and adopted by the International Standards Organization in May 2006.

The StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology Preview is expect to be available mid-February 2007 at with the final release expected later this spring.

SUN announcement
Get Open Office, free M$ office replacement from here
SUN staroffice suite

Anothers view of Linux foundation

I was happy to read the news about the union of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG).
Then I put it in the back of my mind thinking now that Linux and the Open standards are safe. After reading Niel McAllister's article about the union. The article made me think, at first, is he a M$ mole. But a little research showed it not to be so. Then I read the whole article and now I view the Union in a different light!

I can't be a member, because according to Niel, "According to the Foundation, the easiest way to get a seat on the board is to become a platinum member, which entails paying to the tune of half a million dollars."
I think it is a good read. Follow the link to read the complete article.

"What do you get if you cross an open source development consortium with an organisation that promotes free standards? Answer: You get a Linux advocacy group. Or so it seems.

On the surface, the union of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG) seems like a natural fit. Open standards and open source software are two great ideas that go well together."

Neil McAllister, Questioning the Linux Foundation’s credentials

VOIP IP Telephony: Native SIP in an iPAQ, iPAQ 51X

New iPAQ from HP with native SIP client is released. More information at the following link.

VOIP IP Telephony: Native SIP in an iPAQ, iPAQ 51X

Lionsgate plays iTunes

In a major move favoring iTunes, Lionsgate Entertainment has begun selling 150 theatrical releases through Apple's iTunes Store. Now that the gates are open, iTunes customers will be able to purchase blockbuster Lionsgate films like "Terminator 2," "LA
Story," "Basic Instinct," "The Blair Witch Project" and "Dirty Dancing" and more than 150 titles coming to iTunes this month. The iTunes Store has become the world's most popular online movie store, with a catalog of over 400 titles.

"We're delighted to offer these incredibly popular Lionsgate films on iTunes, and look forward to adding even more films in the future," said Steve Beeks, president of Lionsgate. "iTunes lets users download these wonderful films to watch on their computer, TV or iPod, so movie fans can take their favorite Lionsgate films with them anywhere."
"The iTunes Store is by far the most popular online movie store in the world," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We're thrilled to be adding this phenomenal collection of Lionsgate titles from Hollywood's leading independent studio, including such blockbusters as 'Terminator 2.'"
Lionsgate's renowned collection of movie titles available on iTunes in the coming weeks include legendary action adventure films and thrillers such as "Total Recall" and "Rambo," indie classics such as "Monster's Ball" as well as perennial favorites such as "Chaplin" and "The Boys From Brazil."
The iTunes Store features the world's largest catalog with over four million songs, 350 television shows and, with the addition of Lionsgate, over 400 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over two billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store.

News source, PRNews wire

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vista, upgrade version, Upgrade without Windows XP or Windows 2000

Like wearing a fancy suit like M$ executives do and then leaving the zipper open, Vista as has left something like zipper open.
This facilitates one to install Vista upgrade without having to install windows XP or windows 2000 every time one need to do a clean install of Vista from Vista upgrade.
Ii is simple as installing vista in demo mode and then installing again as an in place upgrade.
You will still have to install twice and the the time is what ever you take to do a windows install multiplied by two. at least 4-5 hours.

Well back to zipper again. The zipper analogy is to say that M$ does not do a good job of checking and this is what Microsoft itself suggest as a way to do a clean install using upgrade. We everybody just buy the upgrade! no need to fish out big bucks. I don't know why people want to go through all these problems, just buy a mac with os installed or get Linux, something like Ubuntu and install

So correction to the previous article, you don't have to keep old XP cds around. And Arstechnica tell you how to use OEM versions of Vista as well.
Take your pick.

Arstechnica and OEM Vista
My own Vista upgrade article

Loose your ID to M$ Live ID,

Loose your ID to M$ Live ID now that M$ has released the Live ID SDK Alpha. There were no bungee jumping spiders to introduce the product but a tiny blog post;
"Today we released the alpha of the SDK for using Windows Live ID authentication in your client (non-web) application. Check it out:

I'm actually writing this blog post from the sample app in the SDK. I'm glad we're finally opening up the platform a bit more.

OK, so I had to update the formatting via the web a bit... so you won't be blown away by the sample, but hey, its a start."

Yes that is the whole post! Follow the links below;
I remember the time when passport was to become the "the ID", is this the same with a different name?

Microsoft Live ID Alpha SDK
Alpha Live IP announcement

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Unseen troubles of Vista, there is hardly a Vista in upgrades

Have you seen the ad by apple, where the pc is in a hospital gown getting ready for an upgrade. This ad even made M$ head honcho, Bill Gates to get angry with Apple.
(Hey Apple, greenmyapple)
Anyway Vista upgrade might make people say Hasta la Vista to Vista and embrace another OS or stay in windows XP.
I have received the Upgrade as well as the business edition from M$. I will need to run those for the business that I earn my bread with. But that will be a minimal installation that I will dual boot on my notebook.
All my PC's are running Linux, various versions, and I may have to remove SUSE as they might get banned from selling Linux for that pact that Novell created with M$. I also have a Mac Mini intel, running Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Linux!

Anyway back to Vista upgrade, The article I read tells me that no one knows exact requirements for upgrade, save for some one at M$. It gave the following info and follow the link given below to read complete article.
"Meanwhile, the Upgrade versions are poison:

* Windows power users know that if you want Windows to work well over the long haul, it helps to reformat and perform a clean install once in a while. The Upgrade version requires you to install both XP/2000 and Vista every time, doubling the already massive amount of time it takes to do a reformat/reinstall.

* The Upgrade versions require you to keep track of your original Windows XP/2000 disks. Most people have these in the form of "recovery CDs" from the PC vendor, which can include multiple disks full of junk applications.

* Using a copy of XP or 2000 as proof for the Upgrade version of Vista invalidates the XP key, according to Vista's End User License Agreement (EULA). The EULA states, in part: "Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from." Some bloggers and newsgroup posters have speculated that you may not be able to use that "invalidated" XP license even for a dual-boot installation with Vista. Computerworld has contacted Microsoft for clarification on this and, at press time, has not received a response. In other words, this is yet another point of confusion about Vista. [Editor's note: Computerworld will provide an update when this information becomes available.]

* Many users have lost, or were never provided with, installation disks with their PC. Because they have XP or 2000 installed, they may decide to save money and buy an Upgrade version. If their disk later dies, or they need for whatever reason to reformat, they will then have to buy a second copy of Vista, this time, the full version. Ouch!

* In a few years, future PCs may have hardware components not supported by XP or 2000. If a user buys the Upgrade version now, then later buys a PC and chooses to transfer the Vista license to it, the XP/2000 installation required by Upgrade versions of Vista may prove troublesome."

Windows Vista: The 'Huh?' starts now at Computerworld
Bill Gates blasts Apple ads
Novell may get banned from using next version of Linux

weseepeople: Is your Apple Green? I don't think so

Mod Chip for Wii, WiiKey

There was a rumor that the creators of XENOGC for gamecube has released or will be releasing a modchip for Wii.
The only information I could find that directly connected to the source was at
It has a picture very similar to that of XENOGC and a description, specifications of the product. The product is slated to be released on 7th of February.

Here is the information from the site. Site link is under links below.


Fully upgradable via DVD/disc (future proof, expect cool features to come)
Direct boot of Wii backups (like originals)
Direct boot of GC backups (like originals)
Boots different region GC games/backups
Boots different NTSC region Wii games/backups
Supports multi-disc games
Supports DVD-R and DVD+R
Built-in audio fix (for games using streaming, no patch required)
Stealth mode
4 wires & quick solder interface
Compact design, best quality components, rock solid high speed controller
Professional ESD packing

More features are being worked on, and will either be included in the upcoming release or in a future upgrade that will follow the release shortly.

We will upload a picture and more features within the next few days!

Wiikey in China somewhere or thailand (host)

Useless Gizmo one for 2007, USB Battery charger

coolest-gadgets reported about this nice gizmo, in it's post about "Gallery Gadgets up to 02-01-2007", a USB based battery charger! First I thought Cool!! Then I came to realization that I have to use this on my notebook when I ma not near another power source. If I am home I would use, regular charger and of course if I am away from a regular power source, I would want to preserve my battery power!!! on my notebook. Even if I wanted to charge batteries using this gadget, My notebook will run out of power long before they get charged! It need four hours to charge four batteries.
But there are more useful gadgets and gizmos under the post "Gallery Gadgets up to 02-01-2007". Follow the links below.

USB battery charger
Gallery Gadgets up to 02-01-2007