Wednesday in Bill Gates’s America

All the news that's fit to rant aboutSome big anniversaries in today’s Tech News…
Netscape turns 10 today. According to the original press release, the browser was “optimized to run smoothly over 14.4 kilobit/second modems.”

And turns four today.

  1. Microsoft has released 10 new security fixes – seven of them critical. Run Windows Update kids. One of the patches fixes the JPEG patch released last month because it didn’t work on machines with Office XP. Surprise!
  2. But Bill Gates isn’t moping over the miscue. His date for the Windows XP Media Center 2005 roll-out on Tuesday was Queen Latifah. Gates said, “Today, the dream of digital entertainment becomes a reality.” Today? Really? Wow. When asked “what about Apple?” in an interview with USA Today, Gates said, “We have a more ambitious view of software than they do.” I believe that’s true. When asked about the holes in Internet Explorer Gates said, “Understand those are cases where you are downloading third-party software.
  3. The Funner worm is spreading itself using MSN Messenger. It spreads itself as a file named funny.exe, modifies the registry, changes the Hosts file, then sends itself to entries in the host machine’s Messenger buddy list. It’s not just fun, it’s Funner.
  4. PayPal’s technical issues are mostly resolved. The electronic payment service was up and down all weekend and early this week due to an upgrade that went awry.
  5. Motorola is adding credit card capabilities to its newest phones. You’ll be able to pass the phone over a reader in stores and restaurants to pay for goods. A password is required to authorize the transaction. The company is currently testing the technology in 100 phones and will expand the tests nationwide by the end of the year. Nokia has been testing PayPass in its phones since May 2003.
  6. But wait. Who needs a phone? The FDA has approved the implantation of VeriChips in humans. The RFID chips are the size of a grain of rice and can contain a patient’s medical records. Or, as in the case of some Spanish club hoppers, credit card information to speed the purchase of drinks and food.
  7. Virgin announced a 5GB MP3 player to compete with the iPod Tuesday. The $249 player weighs 3.1 ounces and supports MP3 and WMA formats.
  8. Dell’s new Axim X50v PDA also plays MP3 and WMA files on its 624Mhz processor, runs PocketPC 2003SE and supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The $499 handheld comes with 64MB of RAM, 128MB of flash, a 480×640 display, and CF and SD slots. This thing is more powerful than my first dozen computers.
  9. Maui X-Stream has announced Cherry OS, a Mac OS X emulator for Windows. The $49 program claims to run Panther on a PC. I find this very hard to believe, but I’m not willing to waste $50 to find out. If it is true, the authors will be shut down before you read this. In order to emulate a Mac you’d have to copy a considerable amount of proprietary Apple software and firmware. It seems highly unlikely that a lone programmer in Hawai’i could reverse engineer such a significant amount of code.


8 Replies to “Wednesday in Bill Gates’s America”

  1. Re No TV
    Thats a tough decision to give away Tvs, wish we had a friend like you. Its good that family is first. We have a 7 year old and a 16 year old. I dont believe the TV is an evil tool, and we make sure they get outside, and when she does watch tv, we make sure its not crap.
    I guess its like a computer, there is just as much crap, if not more on the WEB now. If I had to leave one unsupervised, which I wouldnt, it would be the TV< the net is a scary place now for kids.
    Good luck with that, even though I think its the easy way out.

  2. I believe that OS X doesn’t require the presence of a ROM, like in the OS 9 and earlier days. PearPC doesn’t have a ROM, yet it still runs OS X, all be it VERY slow. Also, Cherry OS doesn’t include Panther, so you have to shuck over another 130 bucks on top of the 50 you paid for it.
    Not defending the program, because i’m highly skeptical also, but just putting out some facts. (Last I checked, their store was down, hrm….and it runs on IIS – eww).
    Leo, i posted last week about the sound, it’s not that you went overboard, but you just seemed to pay too much attention to doing them that day. Anyways, i like it, thanks for doing the podcasts. Vizaweb has got to just looooove you 😉

  3. “His date for the Windows XP Media Center 2005 roll-out on Tuesday was Queen Latifah.”
    Is it just me or does this not make sense?

  4. They wouldn’t have to copy apple software they really just need to create an apple hardware emulator. Which is why things like Pear are so slow. In time Pear will get there. Better yet, Apple will start shipping OSX for x86 instruction set chips. Remember White-box NeXTs people? It’s probably a matter of time…

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