What’s the news across the nation? We have got the information, in a way we hope will amuuuuuuse you. La da di da. Ladies and Gents, Laugh-in brings you the news.
The Golden Gate Bridge opened on this day in 1937. The H-Bomb patent was filed in 1946. A frisbee was kept aloft for nearly half an hour in 1984. Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary today. Oh, wait. Never mind.
- The RIAA is at it again. 493 more users have been sued. As before the lawsuits are filed by IP address only – the RIAA requires the help of the court to get actual names and addresses. Of the nearly 3,000 people sued by the recording industry so far, 486 have settled. None of the cases have gone to court, yet, but you have to love stories like this.
- Meanwhile the US Senate is moving forward on the Pirate Act. The bill would put the Department of Justice in the position of the RIAA, letting Federal officials file civil suits against copyright violators with potential fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Naturally the RIAA is foursquare behind the proposal. Senator Orrin Hatch says only the US government has the resources and moral authority to go after file swappers. Forget the war on drugs, we’ve got the war on Kazaa. And I’m sure it will be just as effective.
- California state legislator, Liz Figueroa, has toned down her anti-Gmail bill. Instead of requiring informed consent from people sending mail to Gmail customers – a provision impossible to implement – the law would require stronger privacy protections of the service.
- Another proposed California law would require companies to notify employees when they monitor email and online use. State Senator Debra Bowen has proposed this law three times before but it has been vetoed each time. The State Senate passed the bill 23-11 and sent it to the Assembly.
- We now know why there was a delay in shipping Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Security code in the update breaks 64-bit processors. Microsoft says it has licked the problem and expects to ship Release Candidate 2 this week with release to manufacture in late July. That should get it out to users by September. Sp-2 adds much needed security to XP and will be a must have download once it ships.
- Microsoft cares. They’ve extended the support life cycle for most of their products from 7 to ten years. That means Windows 98 and Me will continue to be supported until 2008 and beyond. Oh joy.
- Comcast has agreed to put Microsoft TV in five million set-top boxes. The software enables Tivo-like functionality and interactivity, but your set-top box has to have sufficient processing power to use it. Most don’t.
- Linux inventor Linus Torvalds is responding to the accusations made by SCO by requiring all future contributions to the operating system by signed by the developer who must also vouch for its origin. Bill Claybrook, writing in Linuxworld, says this would have been required anyway by corporations trusting their critical operations to the open-source OS.
- Are video games becoming too complex? Nintendo’s president thinks so. Satoru Iwata says the industry is risking alienating customers by making consoles too powerful. He says unless things change, people will “get tired of games.”
- Not this game. A new Xbox title under development called Yourself!Fitness puts a personal trainer in your living room who guides you through a personalized diet and workout program. Look for it this fall, followed by a PS2 version. Next year, an Xbox Live version will allow you to talk with other dieters while “playing.” I’m sticking with Dance Dance Revolution.
- It didn’t work. A patch to Mac OS X pushed through Software Update by Apple last Friday did not fix a vulnerability that would allow a malicious web page access to your system. Unsanity is offering a program called Paranoid Android that fixes the problem. Read their white paper to understand why it’s so difficult to solve.
- Pick me! Pick me! According to The New Yorker, an agent at ICM is scanning blogs looking for new book authors. And there are at least a dozen books by bloggers in the works. Uh oh.