Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oracle's Larry Ellison on Our (His) Future

Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison, on his first visit Israel last weekend, told TheMarker that collaborative open source software is nothing to be feared, and mocked the "Google-envy" he said Microsoft was suffering t an event hosted Saturday night by TheMarker, the American Embassy and Oracle Israel.
"I detect Google-envy in Silicon Valley. In fact, the most interesting thing is that Microsoft has Google-envy, which is fascinating, because Microsoft makes more money than Google," Ellison says.
He was visiting Israel with his family, and spoke during a weekend in which he toured the country by helicopter, from Gaza to Lebanon.
He went on to say that Web 2.0 phenomenon is not a passing fad, and postulated that Google isn't a direct rival. He also believes that one day, Oracle will pass Microsoft and become the world's biggest software company.
But I like most about "Oracle" in Larry Ellison when it comes to talk about what he knows;
"Open source is not something to be feared. Open source is something to be explained. Open source wins not because it's open and not because it's free. Open source wins only when it's better," he says.

The Apache web server is currently the most successful open source product in the world," Ellison says. "It displaced Microsoft IIS not because it was free and not because it was open source, but because it was more secure and faster, and more reliable.

"Linux, I believe, is competing very effectively with (Microsoft's) Windows. The thing that's misleading is that for free software to take over - well, the purchase price of software is only about 10 percent of the total cost of ownership of software. So even if the software is free, the most you can save is 10 percent off. Now the question is, what are your other costs of developing applications, of running applications on a daily basis, of dealing with problems when they occur? We think that Oracle is absolutely very competitive with open source," he says.
Read the complete article at Haaretz

Monday, October 29, 2007

FairUse4WM Blocked Again with Windows Update!

Microsoft recently send out a Windows update that seems to block the Windows Media hacking tool, FairUse4WM. So DRM-free music tracks you decrypted using FairUse4WM? Well, it looks like the fun is over. It does not work anymore.
Elsewhere on the net people are wondering if the "Security Update for Windows XP (KB933729)" has anything to do with it.
Microsoft blocks FairUse4WM v2 after 3 months of DRM free music

Want a Movie with your Medicines or Photos?

Walgreen plans to introduce Movie kiosks to their Phot section where customers can select and purchase movies. These are movies that are not frequently stocked in stores. Once selected,have them burned onto DVDs in about 15 minutes.
Recent change in copy-protection rules governing DVDs have freed Walgreen and other retailers to tap this new movie market by letting consumers burn digital copies onto blank discs at stores.
"We hope to launch DVD-burning kiosks in the next few months. We think its a type of solution that will work very well in our stores, giving us the ability to provide a virtual inventory to a diverse customer base," said Tiffani Bruce, a spokeswoman for Walgreen, the nation's largest drugstore chain, with more than 6,000 stores.

Walgreen and other retailers are working with Sonic Solutions, which released software based on the recently approved industry specifications last month.

Sonic said consumers or retailers need special DVD burners and recordable discs to use its Qflix software, which also paves the way for download services from companies such as Amazon.com Inc,, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Blockbuster Inc's Movielink.

Reuters article

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Leopard (Mac OS X) on a Regular PC in Three Easy Steps

Usually when a MAC OS X version is out, there follows a Patched DVD’s from Uphuck, Netkas get the OS X running on a generic PC. But usually the people who tries these type of experiments are very impationt. If you are one of these and do not want to wait for the polished releases to come out, there is a very easy three step process to get Leopard running on a PC.
I have already Leopard running on my Mac Mini and I would rather leave it there. But if you do not have an Intel Mac here is the link that let you install leopard on a PC.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Leopard Growls!

Mac OS X operating system has hit store shelves and on the other hand consumers are increasingly snapping up Macintosh computers perhaps educated by millions of new their iPods and the flagship product, iPhone.
I was going to go to the store to pickup a family pack (Yes I have more than one Mac and even thinking of moving at least one copy of Windows (XP or Vista) to My Intel Macs.) . The reason was to get the complementary tee but when I saw the crowd I decided to let it go. I will go tomorrow and pick up my copy. I hate queues or lines, no matter what ever it is, except when I am forced follow lines like at air ports.
Some people are already complaining about Time Machine not backing up to networked devices over the wireless. Well I have Firewire Drives!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who is Going to Comment on WHOIS to ICANN

I raised my hand to request by Doc Searls post on this ICANN. ICANN is, if you did not know, Hmmm let me quote Doc himself;
"Except ICANN is more like Grendel's cave, only a helluva lot bigger, and far more boring. It's easy for an outsider to be daunted by ICANN's labyrinthine bureaucracy, its complex processes, its mountain of documents, the galactic scale of its influence, the ecclesiology of its high-level gatherings and its near-countless topics of concern. The relatively small topic what happens to whois would be easy to miss. For example, it's not even listed among the many current topics on ICANN's top-level topics page."

But Once you read it please head over to WHOIS redux: Demand privacy in domain name registration, to learn more about this and act on it.

Or if you already know about these stuff;
"ICANN is currently soliciting Public Comments until 30 October, 2007 on the most recent GNSO WHOIS Task Force and Working Group Reports, recommendations, and related Staff Overview of Recent GNSO Whois Activity and Staff Implementation Notes on the WHOIS Working Group Report. An overview and links to all related WHOIS documents currently available for comment can be found at: http://www.icann.org/public_comment/#whois-comments-2007"
Or just send your comments to whois-comments-2007@icann.org.

M$ Explains the Recent Forced System Updates and System Reboots

Register report on October 25 that informed us that a number of admins were seeing Microsoft Desktop Search 3.01 pushed out to users via Microsoft’s WSUS enterprise patching/update system, in spite of having opted out of this “resource-hogging search app.” (the new version is not much different from the old one, hogs your system!).
Meanwhile, there’s a new theory circulating as to why a number of Windows XP and Vista users are reporting that their machines are patching and forcibly rebooting themselves. It might be Windows Live OneCare’s fault.
ZDNet's M.J. Foley's unblinking eye on M$ has put all those information together with explanations and updates from M$. Happy Computing!

Sony Copying ADs again?

Looking at this engadget post, it seems Sony is running out of creative ideas or money for ADs or both!.
I guess Sony like no other!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IMAP, A New Feature In GMail, Get your GMail ON iPhone

Gmail users can now use IMAP to synchronize e-mail on their iPhones and desktops.

Matthew Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, announced the release of IMAP support in Gmail Wednesday at Interop New York. Glotzbach, a keynote speaker, said Gmail account holders can begin using IMAP immediately. He held it up as an example of Google's attempts at continuous innovation, saying it's one of many new features Google has added since launching Google Applications in February.
"IMAP isn't new, but bringing it together is," he said.

I also so this information on the GMail site;
" Sync your inbox across devices instantly and automatically. Whether you read or write your email on your phone or on your desktop, changes you make to Gmail will be seen from anywhere you access your inbox. Don't fret if you don't see "IMAP Access" yet under the Settings menu. We're rolling it out to everyone over the next few days."
But this video explains how to set it up once you have in your settings menu it.
GMail Blog also has an article on IMAP and Syncing GMail across devices with IMAP.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Xbox 360 Arcade console officially debuts.

The Xbox 360 Arcade console combines a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connector and 256MB of on-board memory for storing games and entertainment content. It also includes five games previously available only to Xbox 360 users who signed up for Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade online service - Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rock and Feeding Frenzy. A wireless controller is also included. The system has a price $279.99.
There is also changes to XBOX Japanese Market;
Starting on November 1 in Japan, the Xbox 360 20GB bundle will start retailing for ¥34,800 ($306) which is a $44 cut from its previous price. The 360 core system will start going for ¥27,800 ($245) which gives it an $18 cut. Microsoft is also putting out a limited Value Pack for the console for ¥34,800 ($306) which comes with Viva Pinata and Forza Motorsport 2 titles but no HDMI cable.
The price cuts and new models are not only in the Microsoft side. Sony has reduced to price of PS3 and introduced a new model with 40GB drive.
Yet I like to see how WII will beat both of them during the holidays.

Oink Goes Boink!

Although I do not condone works of big music business' I think these are the things that they should go after rather than grand mothers and small kids. The people who create sites like oink and people who join those sites are real culprits.
Here is the news release by BBC.
British police arrested a 24yo man in Middleborough on suspicion of being the site admin, while Dutch police simultaneously raided the sites Amsterdam-based servers. The raids, which were coordinated by Interpol, follow a two-year investigation by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

The raids in Amsterdam and the northeast English city of Middlesbrough followed a two-year investigation into a members-only Web site, which allowed users to upload and download albums before their release.

Prerelease leaks have become one of the most damaging forms of piracy for the music industry which is struggling with falling sales. Recorded music sales have fallen by more than a third in the last six years, the industry says.

An estimated 180,000 members paid "donations" via debit or credit cards for OiNK's catalog of music and other media.

Monday, October 22, 2007

M$ gives into EU Rulling and will not Apeal

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, gave in to European Union demands to make information available to developers of rival programs such as Linux after more than three years of legal wrangling. The agreement resolves a key dispute over a 2004 ruling. The Redmond, Washington-based company also said it won't appeal a Sept. 17 court ruling upholding the EU decision.

The EU is still considering fining Microsoft for its past failure to disclose information to competitors including developers of so-called open-source software, Kroes said. Regulators are also probing complaints related to Vista, the latest version of Windows, and Microsoft Office.

Carlo Piana, a lawyer for the Free Software Foundation Europe, which represents open-source developers, said the agreement may give free software makers access to the so-called protocol information. ``As soon as we've read the agreement, we'll have a final view,'' Piana said in a telephone interview.
`Ongoing Obligation'

Microsoft has an ``ongoing obligation'' to update the information as its products evolve, the commission said. Failure to do so could result in daily penalties, it said.

Open source developers will be able to access the information, and Microsoft will not assert patents against non-commercial open source software development projects. Also, the royalties for a worldwide license will be reduced from 5.95% to 0.4%.

In July 2006, the EU also imposed a 280.5 million-euro penalty against the software company for failing to license information to rivals. It was the first time that the EU had fined a company for failing to comply with an antitrust order.

The text from European Commissioner for Competition Policy Neelie Kroes's press conference on Microsoft's decision to drop its appeal and comply with EU penalties.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

ComCast Torrent Blocking Tested By An AP Reporter

New York Times is reporting that The Associated Press reporter attempted to download, using file-sharing program BitTorrent, a copy of the King James Bible from two computers in the Philadelphia and San Francisco areas, both of which were connected to the Internet through Comcast cable modems.

Both were blocked as previously reported by various media.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Drive by Pharming targets Broadband users.

I can at anytime use a few wireless routers around my house and access Internet without any problem because there is no security. Many a times I have walked over to the houses and advised them as how to secure there routers. Also most of these routers also act as gateway to Internet. So when I saw this security report on the SearchSecurity, I was not very surprised.
Millions of broadband users are at risk for a new kind of attack called drive-by pharming, which targets password weaknesses in the victim's router, researchers from Symantec Corp. and Indiana University warned Thursday.

The threat is greatest for those who don't change their default passwords after using them to bring the router online. According to an informal study by Indiana University, up to 50% of home broadband users fail to reset the password after installing their router.

"What worries me if that it's so simple for people to fall for this kind of attack," said Zully Ramzan, senior principal researcher for Symantec Security Response. "Most people connect to the Internet through broadband today, but they don't adequately protect their routers."

Attackers use this technique by luring the victim to a malicious Web site. Once the user is on that site, the attacker is able to use JavaScript to change the DNS settings on the router. "This gives the attacker complete discretion over which Web sites the victim visits on the Internet," Ramzan said. "For example, the user may think they are visiting their online banking Web site but in reality they have been redirected to the attacker's site."

While the threat affects mostly home users, Ramzan said enterprise environments are also at risk.

"A lot of people take their laptops home and work off their home router," he said. "One of the ways people break into networks is by stealing credentials from a compromised laptop."

His advice to users is to reset their router passwords at least once -- the day it is hooked up to the home or office computer system. If the password is changed every few months, that's even better.

Professor Markus Jakobsson of the Indiana University School of Infomatics the new attack technique shows how important the human factor is in security

"While drive-by pharming arises due to inadequate protective measures, there is also another human component: If an attacker can trick you into visiting his page, he can probe your machine," he said in a statement. "Deceit is not new to humankind, but it is fairly recently that security researchers started taking it seriously."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Microsoft and Best Buy racketeering case, Appeal rejected by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal by Microsoft (M$) and BestBuy? in the racketeering case against Microsoft and Best Buy that alleges consumers had MSN accounts activated and were charged for them without their knowledge when they purchased new PCs at the big box store.
In that ruling, the court reinstated the case, which accuses Microsoft and Best Buy of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The Supreme Court allowed the ruling to stand.
The two companies will now face a class-action lawsuit involving thousands of consumers and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
News source at PC World

Monday, October 15, 2007

Led Zeppelin Goes Online and Joins Digital Age

Looks like old dogs can learn new tricks! The Led Zeppelin is releasing all their songs for down load at online music stores. Come on Beatles, give in to Apple and be on iTune!

"We are pleased that the complete Led Zeppelin catalog will now be available digitally," Jimmy Page said in a statement. "The addition of the digital option will better enable fans to obtain our music in whichever manner that they prefer.", according to AP (via USA Today).

The albums being made available for download as of Nov. 13 include;

Led Zeppelin (1969), Led Zeppelin II (1969), Led Zeppelin III (1970), untitled fourth album (1971), Houses of the Holy (1973), Physical Graffiti (1975), Presence (1976), In Through the Out Door (1979), Coda (1982) and How the West Was Won (2003).

The band has signed a separate deal with Verizon Wireless to offer their songs as ringtones and downloads to mobile phones, Verizon said in a statement.

Porn Spam brings in Five Years in Jail and Costs 1.3Million Dollars

Jeffrey A Kilbride, of Venice, California, and James R Schaffer, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, bought lists of email addresses and sent the owners links to pornographic websites, prosecutors said. They were convicted of charges including conspiracy, money laundering, fraud and transportation of obscene materials after a three-week trial and were sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell, in Phoenix. The spammers were prosecuted under the U.S. anti-spam law CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Prosecutors said Kilbride and Schaffer, both 41, had started their spamming business four years ago and earned more than $2m in commissions.

Over nine months in 2004, Kilbride, Schaffer and an associate transmitted more than 600,000 spam messages, according to court documents. They were paid commissions based on the number of people who accessed the websites via the spam.

News Source East Valley Tribune.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oracle offers to buy BEA

Oracle has offered to acquire Silicon Valley rival BEA Systems for $17 per share, a total of about $6.67 billion in cash.

If consummated, the acquisition could eliminate issues about what BEA will do for future growth while furthering Oracle's years-long effort to consolidate as much of the software industry under its own roof.

"Oracle's...offer to purchase BEA Systems provides a logical conclusion to the questions surrounding the future of BEA," said Technology Business Research analyst Stuart Williams. "Oracle can integrate the BEA technology directly into the core of the Oracle stack, strengthening it, while at the same time removing a competitor and adding close to $1.4 billion in annual revenue to its coffers."

Oracle's offer, made in a Tuesday letter to BEA's board of directors, is a 25 percent premium over BEA's closing price Thursday of $13.62. BEA's shares surged 33 percent, or $4.49, to $18.10 in morning trading Friday.

News com news post

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Maddona Leaves Recording Company

After Nine Inch Nails had dumped its record label and was to offer future albums direct to the public, Oasis and Jamiroquai have joined the new wave. But the icing on the cake seem to be the move Madonna made. She is dumping warner Brothers. Radiohead went on sale last week without a label.

We salute you artists, I now might change my stance on not buying music. At least now I have one I like and I can buy (NIN) without enriching RIAA. I like to see where RIAA will be in 10 years. I think all the old artists know the deal. It is new artists that get hooked. Hope someone will come up with a new record label.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which revealed leaked details of the deal yesterday, her package will include an advance of $17.5 million, advance payment for three albums of between $50 million and $60 million, plus a $50 million payment in cash and shares for the concert promotion rights. When Madonna does tour, she will receive 90 per cent of the gross revenues.

Revenues from licensing ventures, such as product endorsements, will be evenly split. The deal is in sharp contrast to the move by Radiohead this week to release its new album, In Rainbows, via its own website, avoiding corporate partnership. The band allowed fans to choose how much they wanted to pay for the album.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

RIAA (and alike) Continues to make people sick,

I was just reading tins on Daily Tech and you just wonder how stupid people are, RIAA ,PRS and us who buys music. Just see the following statement!
"Another possible avenue of legal action for the RIAA is the pursuit of businesses that play unauthorized music in stores. The Performing Rights Society (PRS), Britain's version of the RIAA, may give the RIAA some possible ideas with its pending litigation. The PRS is suing the Kwik Fit Group, a car repair shop in Edinburgh, for £200,000 in damages. The case revolves around the complaint that Kwik Fit employees brought in personal radios which they played while working on cars, which could be heard by colleagues and customers. The PRS says this amounts to a public "performance" and should have entailed royalties."

Daily tech also tells us how it plays out in the political front. At least one democrat has some thinking cap on and of course the Bush administration cannot see beyond the rabbit fence. I really wonder what happened to Republicans, the people's party?
Some fear the RIAA is overstepping its bounds, including in the Thomas case. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, and strong advocate of fair use, recently went on record stating that the trial verdict was excessive and "way out of line" with other cases of this nature.

The Bush Administration feels that the case was very fair and was a positive example of our nation's laws at work.

"Cases such as this remind us strong enforcement is a significant part of the effort to eliminate piracy, and that we have an effective legal system in the U.S. that enables rights holders to protect their intellectual property."

With the RIAA's powerful legal, financial, and political backers nobody can truly say what it impossible for it to accomplish. Now as it is in the midst of delivering its eighth wave of infringement letters to colleges, it may soon be turning its attention to CD burners or businesses that play music in front of customers."
Read more and stop buying music after reading posts like Daily Tech's.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jamie Thomas appeals RIAA (Capital Records v Jammie Thomas) decision,

I am no fan of RIAA nor MPAA. Thanks to RIAA, I have stopped buying music about 5 years ago. Just my principal. I have never downloaded nor shared a song. More over I do not even lend CD's or DVD's I have. Not because of the love to anyone but because I want to keep playable unscratched of my collection. I think my CD collection, before I stopped buying, amounts to about 300 CD's. I also buy DVD's of Movies I like and Love. (I have stopped that now awaiting my decision on HD DVD or Bluray I might be buying both as, I have looked at dual versions of HD players.) but here is a tip, wait a month or two, you can get a DVD for prices ranging from $4:50-9:00) which is the range I pay for movies.
What RIAA helped me to in music is to appreciate Classical music. I have learned to listened to classical music more than before and I will set off in finding Non-RIAA music. Perhaps it is time to make a list of music publishers that are non-RIAA. So that people can prove that they still like to buy music but not give into the heavy handedness of likes of RIAA.
I do not condone illegal downloading of music, nor the half truths that I hear RIAA presenting to courts and uneducated Juries.
Jamie Thomas may or may not have broken laws but charging $220000 for 24 songs is a crime. The Judge must be a moron too (in my eyes) to allow such things to pass through. These type of heavy handedness further makes it to worth while to look for those independent publishers. As people get educated, even morons can learn if facts were presented properly.
Jamie Thomas has said that she is appealing the jury decision and have setup a website and has a youtube video, her intension is to get donations if that is what you think that you should do. She also posts information on her myspace page.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bill Gates Shares music (Fodder for Lawyers against RIAA)

Is RIAA going after only poor small people. Bill Gates says that he shares music in an public interview and we do not see RIAA chasing him!
Here is the piece from USA Today interview! Lawyers, keep a copy of this! You might be able to use it in next court case against RIAA.

Q: What's the coolest thing about the upgraded Zune?

A: Look at this thing! (Holds up a Zune 8) Three or four years ago there was nothing like this. This is cool as heck. I'm finding music I haven't seen in 20 years. Hey, the Lovin' Spoonful? They're in this thing. I find one of their songs. I send it to friends I had an apartment with, it was actually 30 years ago. I can send it out to them and say, "Remember when we listened to this?" It's amazing.

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IE7 is a WGA renegade or/and. M$ eases WGA

I was surprised to find this little gem posted on IEBlog, which is posted below. May be because IE7 adoptation is below that of IE6 and Firefox. I checked one of my blogs just now and IE7 got about 17%.
So going along this logic, M$ might tighten WGA on XP and rlax it on VISTA in order to gain market share or self promotion. M$ just allowed OEM to continue selling XP for another 5 months.
I have tested VISTA but will not use until I write a whole set of rules on my firewall. I don't want Uncle Bill to see what kind of panties I am wearing! ;) Don't worry, I am a developer and I develop for all, I even have a MSDN account. I do not need to crack WGA or use hacked versions of Windows. I just don't like any one doing anything on my computers without my consent. So I have my XP so tight the boldie will break something trying to penetrate!
Here is an excerpt from IEBLOG

Because Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously, we’re updating the IE7 installation experience to make it available as broadly as possible to all Windows users. With today’s “Installation and Availability Update,” Internet Explorer 7 installation will no longer require Windows Genuine Advantage validation and will be available to all Windows XP users. If you are not already running IE7, you can get it now from the Internet Explorer home page on Microsoft.com, get a customized version from a third-party site, or, if you haven’t already received it via Automatic Updates, this version will be delivered to you as we described previously. If you are already running IE7, you will not be offered IE7 again by Automatic Updates.

Additionally, we’ve made minor changes to IE7 for Windows XP based on customer feedback:

  • The menu bar is now visible by default.
  • The Internet Explorer 7 online tour has updated how-to’s. Also, the “first-run” experience includes a new overview.
  • We’ve included a new MSI installer that simplifies deployment for IT administrators in enterprises. Learn more about it here.

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