Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse on this day in 1865. The first issue of TV Guide hit the newsstands in 1963. The press conference, immortalized in The Right Stuff, introducing the Mercury astronauts, occurred in 1959. The first Boeing 737 came off the assembly line in 1967. The Beatles split in 1970.
- The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has announced a serious security flaw in Internet Explorer. Any program that uses the WebBrowser ActiveX control or the IE HTML rendering engine may be affected by this vulnerability – that includes Outlook and Outlook Express – in other words, once again, you can catch a virus just by previewing an HTML email message. There is no patch as yet, and exploits have already been seen in the wild.
- Did you buy anything online this year? Even if the site didn’t collect state sales tax, you owe it. California and New York are adding lines to their state tax forms this year asking for additional “use tax,” joining 17 other states that already do so. Leaving it blank could trigger an audit; lying could risk prosecution for tax fraud.
- How do you get people to buy new optical mice? Do what Detroit does: change the models every year. Microsoft has announced three special-edition mice, groovy, immersion, and night vision, and is soliciting more designs on its web site. Next year: fins!
- RCA has designed a DVD player that censors the naughty bits in movies. Wal-Mart will sell it for $79. Movie makers are suing, saying such devices injure their artistic integrity.
- Nvidia’s new nForce 250Gb chipset for the Athlon 64 has a built-in hardware-accelerated firewall and on-chip gigabit Ethernet. The chipset rocks on Quake III Arena.
Tune in Saturday and Sunday for all the tech news and answers to your technology questions, KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.