QuoteNo, it's not funny, but that's because it's not a joke. The Tribunal de Grande Instance (a French appeals court) in Versailles ruled back in December that Amazon was violating the country's 1981 Lang law with its free shipping offer. That law forbids booksellers from offering discounts of more than 5 percent off the list price, and Amazon was found to be exceeding that discount when the free shipping was factored in.
QuoteCase in point: A hacker's diversion of traffic from a California county government Web site to a porn purveyor spiraled into IT chaos yesterday after a countermeasure applied from Washington essentially "deleted the ca.gov domain." Order was restored only after seven hours of frenzied coast-to-coast communications and a "forced propagation" of ca.gov network systems, according to Jim Hanacek, public information officer for the California Department of Technology Services. "We don't for sure have the whole picture, but as we understand it, there was some event at the Transportation Authority of Marin Country where their site got hacked," Hanacek told me this afternoon. Traffic was being redirected from that site to one featuring pornography.
QuoteQuite a bit of talk has arisen today over two of Microsoft's competitors (Google and IBM) offering free office suites in an attempt to supplant Microsoft as the office king. And now that this is happened, some are wondering if Microsoft will finally face reality and offer its own Office product for free so it can compete.
The possibility of having Word, Excel, Powerpoint and the rest for free sure sounds awfully nice, but if you think Microsoft would give it up for free, you're dreaming.
As NPD announced just last week, Office 2007 is performing extremely well. According to the research firm, Office 2007 on Windows is selling at roughly double the rate of Office 2003. Will two free solutions alter the unprecedented sales figures Microsoft is currently enjoying? Not a chance.
QuoteAs someone who has used both Google's Office Suite and another free product, OpenOffice, I can say that neither of those programs can possibly stack up to Windows Office. Believe me, I wish I could say that both do, but the sad truth is they don't.
QuoteFor example, try to do everything you can in Excel on a free Office solution and I'll guarantee you'll be back to Redmond in no time. Regardless of where your loyalties lie, it's impossible to compare these free products with Office -- the support is horrible, the interface is a bit clunky and all of them are underpowered. In fact, OpenOffice is better-equipped to compete with Office 97 than Office 2007.
QuoteSad as it is, we're cultivating an Office software market that is utterly dominated by one company. And whether or not we like it, the business world runs on Office.
Now go pay too much money for a $50 software suite. Trust me, you'll like it.
Quote"Given the increasingly important role of the Internet in education and commerce, it differs from other media like TV and cable because parents cannot prevent their children from using the Internet altogether," Sen. Stevens said. "The headlines continue to tell us of children who are victimized online. While the issues are difficult, I believe Congress has an important role to play to ensure that the protections available in other parts of our society find their way to the Internet." The measures they are calling for include directing the Federal Communications Commission to identify industry practices "that can limit the transmission of child pornography" and requiring the Federal Trade Commission to form a working group to identify blocking and filtering technologies in use and "identify, what, if anything could be done to improve the process and better enable parents to proactively protect their children online."
QuoteStudies show that computer keyboards have more bacteria than toilet seats. But it's hard to clean all those keys. So some people advocate an extreme solution: Throw your keyboard in your dishwasher. At first glance, this seems insane. But the computer-keyboard-in-the-dishwasher advice is all over the Internet. And don't we wish it were true? My keyboard is an old Hewlett Packard that's encrusted with a kind of mysterious black grime. I thought, "Well, why not try my KitchenAid?'" I ran the experiment one night. I put the keyboard on the top rack, cord and all, key-side down. I used a little soap, and hit "normal wash." (I didn't want to pots 'n' pans it.)
QuoteState Sen. Carl Krueger, a Democrat who represents New York's 27th district in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, claimed that the phenomenon of "iPod oblivion" has led to a number of fatal accidents on urban streets. While he did not cite any statistical studies that have indicated a rise in such incidents, he referred to the January death of a 23-year-old Brooklyn man who, tuned into his iPod headphones, walked into the path of a city bus. The bill would effectively make it illegal to use any kind of portable electronic device--a music or video player, cell phone, smart phone, gaming device, etc.--while crossing the street in cities such as New York, Albany and Buffalo. Offenders would be slapped with a $100 fine and a criminal court summons. Joggers and bicyclists would have to limit their iPod use to city parks in which no street crossing would be involved.
QuoteU.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay in the northern district of Texas granted a preliminary injunction against Robert Davis, who operated supercrosslive.com and had been providing direct links to the live audiocasts of motorcycle racing events. Lindsay ruled last week that "the link Davis provides on his Web site is not a 'fair use' of copyright material" and ordered him to cease linking directly to streaming audio files.
QuoteNearly 14% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from the internet for several days and 12% admitted that they often remain online longer than expected. More than 8% of those surveyed said they hid internet use from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage confessed to going online to flee from real-world problems. Approximately 6% also said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage. "Potential markers of problematic internet use are present in a sizeable portion of the population," the researchers note.
QuoteObese people become as addicted to food in the same way that junkies do to their drugs, according to a new study, which may explain their constant cravings. Evidence that the obese are food "junkies" comes from brain scans of seven obese people who were fitted with electrical devices designed to fool them into thinking they are full by making their stomachs stretch. The implanted devices, known as "gastric stimulators", provide low-level electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, which runs from the stomach to the brain. When the device is switched on, the vagus nerve stimulation causes the stomach to expand and produce peptides that send a message of "fullness" to the brain.
QuoteIn a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Creative is seeking an injunction that would stop Apple from selling the iPod and iPod Nano in the United States. Separately, Creative said it has also sued Apple in U.S. District Court in California, seeking an injunction and damages. In both cases, Creative says that the iPod and iPod Nano infringe on a patent the company has for the interface in its Zen media player, a patent granted last August.
QuoteSpeaking to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last month, Gonzales warned of the dangers of pedophiles using the Internet anonymously and called for new laws from Congress. "At the most basic level, the Internet is used as a tool for sending and receiving large amounts of child pornography on a relatively anonymous basis," Gonzales said.
QuoteThe alternatives to command-and-control are either a property-rights/market-allocation regime, or what has come to be called the "commons" or "unlicensed" model. Under the unlicensed model, interference is controlled through the establishment of rules, such as power limits for approved devices, that effectively determine what the spectrum can be used for.
QuoteMicrosoft has also managed to upset women and entire countries. A Spanish-language version of Windows XP, destined for Latin American markets, asked users to select their gender between "not specified," "male" or "bitch," because of an unfortunate error in translation.
Quote"Ten years out, in terms of actual hardware costs, you can almost think of hardware as being free--I'm not saying it will be absolutely free--but in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the network will not be a limiting factor,'' Gates said Monday at a symposium in San Diego, referring to networked computers and advances in the Internet's speed.