Time for a news dump…
Excuse me a moment while I fix my hair. OK, ready for my closeup.
Thomas Edison perfected the carbonized cotton filament light bulb in on this day 1879. Wernher von Braun and his team moved from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration on this day in 1959.
- Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, says that hackers are getting smarter. But so is Microsoft. Nevertheless he says it’s naive to suggest the company can eliminate all security vulnerabilities. So let’s see. Hackers smarter. Windows will always be vulnerable. Hmm. But the good news is 106 million copies of Service Pack 2 have been downloaded to date, more than 90% through Windows Update.
- Microsoft’s earnings were up this quarter. The company netted $2.9 billion, or 27 cents per share, on revenue of $9.19 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30. That’s up from last year at this time and better than the company had expected due to strong PC sales. They also noted that XBox sales beat Sony’s PS/2 for two months running with 1.5 million pre-orders for Halo 2.
- Google made its first earnings announcement, with revenues more than doubling last year’s, $805.9 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. Net income also doubled to $52 million, or 19 cents per share. Ebay’s revenue was up 52% exceeding analysts estimates.
- Apple says it will stop supporting iTunes 4.5 and earlier. If you want to buy songs from the iTunes Music Store, you’ll have to upgrade. Newer versions of the software contain changes designed to thwart popular cracks to Apple’s copy protection.
- Intel has speed bumped the Pentium M – the top-of-the-line 765 runs at 2.1 GHz with two megs of L2 cache and costs $637.
- Astronomers have found proof that Einstein was right when he theorized that the earth’s rotation stretched the space-time continuum. Scientists at NASA and the University of Maryland noted that satellite orbits shifted minutely due to the pull of the earth on the fabric of space.
- The Register is saying that music sales are up, despite the best efforts of the recording industry. CD shipments are up 10% over last year, revenues grew 4%. Nevertheless, the RIAA says, “we are rising out of a deep hole and still have a long way to go. Piracy, both online and on the street, continues to hit the music community hard, and thousands have lost their jobs because of it.”
- New US passports will have RFID chips in them that can be read remotely. The ACLU says “Americans in the know will be wrapping their passports in aluminum foil.” Good, it will match my hat.
- First Halo 2, now thieves have stolen a prerelease copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The sequel to the best selling computer game of all time. GTA:SA was due to ship next week.
- Sharp is joining Sony and Toshiba in backing off from the PDA market in the US. Sharp has announced it will be ending US distribution of the Linux-based Zaurus SL 6000. Citing poor sales and increased interest in smart phones, the company said the Zaurus will only be sold in Japan from now on.
- Forget three or four megapixels, Samsung is readying a cell phone with a five-megapixel camera. It will be available in Korea later this year. Not sure how useful it would be here in the States without a much faster network for sending those massive images out.
- TV-B-Gone is the hottest invention on the net – a universal remote that does only one thing: turn the TV off. The keychain sized device is already sold out and traffic to the site shutdown the server. Customers are clamoring for Car-Alarm-B-Gone, Sub-Woofer-B-Gone, and Cell-Phone-B-Gone.
- The Republican National Committee and the official Bush-Cheney web site were offline for six hours on Tuesday. No one knows if it was a technical glitch or hackers, but the sites do run on different servers.
- Bush and Kerry have both answered a 12 topic questionnaire from the Computer Technology Industry Association. Bush (or, more likely, his staff) responded to each question with detailed, thoughtful answers that showed, for the most part, a good understanding of the issue. Kerry, unfortunately, did not. When asked about the Federal government’s role in fighting spam Bush replied, in part, “The problems associated with SPAM cannot be solved by Federal legislation alone, but rather require the development and adoption of new technologies.” and pointed to the CAN-SPAM act as a step in the right direction. Kerry’s answer, in its entirety, “I am open to considering the best means available to ensure people do not receive unsolicited email.” John, love ya babe, but get some staffers with a clue.
Listen in Friday at 8:35a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.