Friday Fish Fry

All the news that's fit to rant aboutStand by for news.

The last lunar mission, Apollo 17, came home today in 1972.

  1. Microsoft has confirmed rumors that it’s going into the online music sales business. The MSN Music Store will open some time next year. Meanwhile former Microsoftie, Rob Glaser, now head of Real Networks, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for (insert Dr. Evil pinkie here) one billion dollars. Real claims Microsoft is –gasp– illegally using its Windows monopoly to limit consumer choice in media.
  2. Wal-Mart launched its music download service today. They’re offering WMA files for a cut-rate 88 cents.
  3. The Dutch Supreme court has ruled that the makers of Kazaa can’t be held liable for the illegal activities of its users.
  4. Microsoft hasn’t done it yet, so Openwares.org, an open source site, has released a patch for the URL spoofing vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The site also features test pages to see if you’re vulnerable. FLASH: Openwares.org is down. According to The Register, the patch introduced more flaws than it fixed, including a buffer overflow flaw, memory leak, and enabled a spyware DLL. Makes Microsoft look good, doesn’t it.
  5. The British built Beagle II has separated from the mother ship and now begins its descent toward Mars. The lander is scheduled to touchdown Christmas Day. Its US brother will arrive next month. Watch the cool flash animations at NASA.gov.
  6. Unfortunately, 13 NASA web sites were defaced by a Brazilian anti-war group yesterday. NASA.gov was not hit.
  7. BusinessWeek Online is getting into the sketchy Apple rumor business. Columnist Alex Salkever predicts Apple will ship a G5 laptop next year based on a new low power chip IBM appears to be developing for its Blade servers. Sounds good to me.
  8. In a breakthrough for pasty-faced gamers everywhere, a Chinese court has ordered an online gaming company to return virtual goods, including a stockpile of imaginary bio-chemical weapons, to a player whose account was looted by hackers.

10 Replies to “Friday Fish Fry”

  1. Open source is not always a panacea is it Leo! Stop sending people to sites until they have proven software.
    Free is just another word for Crap.

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  2. No good deed goes unpunished. It’s really unfortunate that Openwares is catching so much heat for having a BO exploit in their work-a-round (I don’t consider it a patch since it does nothing to the binary code of IE to fix the problem). Their work-a-round is a fine example of some creative thinking.
    It’s equally unfortunate that the the folks at Openwares decided to release software to solve a security problem when it’s obvious they’re not security developers. Too bad they didn’t release their software under a *real* open source license, it could have been fixed and distributed already.
    Hopefully Openwares will use this as a learning experience, and next time Microsoft fails to protect people who depend on their software, Openwares (or someone like them) can step in and fix the problem in a solid manner.
    > They’re offering WMA files for a cut-rate 88 cents.
    $0.88 is nice, but they’re still WMA files, and carry all the baggage that is Microsoft’s DRM. The Walmart site is, none-the-less fairly easy. Likewise I can’t really tell a difference between the audio quality of iTunes AAC files and Walmarts WMA files. I guess what it comes down to is that if I’m going to use a proprietary audio format, I prefer to use the mechanism that places more emphasis on usability and utility – and for me that’s iTunes. I think iTunes is a better product, and worth the additional $0.11 per song.

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  3. >> Real claims Microsoft is -gasp- illegally using its Windows monopoly to limit consumer choice in media.
    I’m really not much of a fan of Microsoft’s multimedia formats, but I dislike Real’s even more. Why is it that if Microsoft includes some of its other software with Windows, it’s considered a move to monopolize some other software market? Windows Media Player isn’t all that bad and, from my experience, runs a whole lot more smoothly than anything I’ve ever seen Real come out with (and WMP doesn’t bombard you with ads, update requests, or promotions for other Microsoft products). Maybe folks aren’t using your product because it sucks. Imagine that!!
    I personally use WinAmp. I’ve never had any problems with it. It seems to use very few system resources, is highly configurable, and handles a wide range of multimedia formats. Hands down, WinAmp is my multimedia software of choice. It’s even free!

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  4. Hey Leo, love you on TechTV, blah blah blah.
    Just a quick comment. Walmart has downloads for 88 cents but they are edited!! Don’t support censorship no matter how cheap it is.

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  5. “No, Tyler, free does not always mean crap. BUT, more often than not, you do get what you pay for.”
    I disagree completely there are people out there interested in helping all with their development of software and really making a difference with what they produce. This is the reason linux and a variety of other open source programs and OS’s are gaining popularity and are becoming compariable to microsoft products and many ways much better. Half of the programs that I have are opensource or freeware because often that software is the best because the author doesn’t care about money but the quality of the product.
    Eric

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  6. Oh great.. Microsoft is getting into the download game… Where are the federal regulators on this one? I think that they’re once again overstepping their bounds, but that’s just my opinion…
    As for Real.. I can’t stand them.. I don’t have Real installed on any of my computers. Everything I listen to can be listened to in iTunes, Quicktime or WinAmp.
    AC

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