Friday’s Fish Wrap

Last news for 2004.
Edison demonstrated the incandescent light bulb on this day in 1879. Edwin Hubble first announced the existence of distant galactic systems in 1924. President Truman officially declared the end of WWII in 1946. The Beach Boys made their debut in 1961. Microsoft bought Hotmail in 1997.

Matisse was born in 1869. John Denver in 1943. Donna Summer in 1948. You call this progress?

Oh yeah, and it’s New Year’s Eve!

  1. US online holiday shopping sales were up 24% from last year to $8.8 billion. Purchases of clothing (up 45%) and entertainment (up 54%) lead the pack. Photo printing and sharing revenues were up 120%.
  2. It’s the hot rumor for MacWorld, Steve Jobs is expected to announce a sub-$500 Macintosh in his keynote on January 11, in an attempt to woo disenchanted Windows users. ThinkSecret says it will sport a G4 at 1.25GHz and will be enclosed in a slim-line case. The price won’t include a monitor. I’m waiting for the G5 notebooks myself.
  3. The Motion Picture Association of America has filed suit against another BitTorrent tracker, but the site, LokiTorrent, says it will fight. It’s asking users to donate to support its $30K/month legal fees – and they’re getting close, but they say a full-on fight may cost three times that.
  4. eBay is abandoning Microsoft’s Passport. Microsoft has been slowly cutting back on its single sign-on service, focusing more and more on in-house uses, and less on third-parties. dropped support for Passport in October.
  5. A new trojan horse, Phel, is attacking XP computers, even if SP-2 is installed. The trojan is distributed in HTML files and exploits a known hole (one of many) in Microsoft’s help system. It gives a hacker control over the infected system. Microsoft says a patch is in the works.
  6. The Commodore Computer brand has been sold. Again. The Dutch firm that owned it has passed the name along to an LA based digital music company for $32.6 million. The new owners, Yeahronimo Media Ventures, isn’t ruling out a return to selling computers under the brand name. Yeah, that’s what I want, a new Commodore 64.
  7. Windows NT Server 4 users, your support from Microsoft ends today. No more patches. No more updates. You’re on your own from here on out.
  8. Chinese police have arrested the chairman of Apex Digital on charges of financial fraud. David Ji, who founded Apex in 1999 in Ontario, California, is accused of owing a Chinese TV manufacturer nearly half a billion dollars. Apex sold the first sub-$200 DVD player – I still have mine.

Listen in Friday morning at 8:35 Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.


4 Replies to “Friday’s Fish Wrap”

  1. “Yeah, that’s what I want, a new Commodore 64.”
    The difference this time is that the 64 will will stand for 64 bit. Hey as long as I can play all my old games, I’ll be happy…
    LOAD “GAME”, 8
    (I think that was the sytax, it’s been so long since Ive used one)

  2. Hey, first post! ? I dunno, maybe somone sneaked in while I was typing all this.
    Actually, I would love a new C64. The new version could be built around a 64-bit processor and boot into Linux or Windows. It would also include a really good Commodore 64 emulator for the enthusiasts and hobbyists (if there is a difference between them, that is).
    I’ve always regretted the fact that I sold off my original. I used to love tinkering with it, seeing what could be done to push it beyond what the designers had envisioned. I remember a game that even got the now-primative sound chips to speak English. Even an original, stand-alone C64 would be useful today. You don’t need a big computer to perform certain household functions. Security systems and automatic “lights-on” utilities were being handled by C64s in the early ’80s (admittedly with varying levels of success). Plus, they’d be great for kids; especially rough kids who might wreak havoc on a Windows system. Remember, there is no way to hurt an original Commodore by simply typing on the keyboard. Well, if you use a hammer, maybe…
    Anyway, Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for the great site, Leo. We want to see you here in the States!

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