Ars Technica has this post about how malware have EULAs too!
But unlike the normal software company’s EULA, that rely on the rule of law to enforce, the malware EULA rely on threats of strong arm tactics to enforce.
Tekzilla, a video podcast show, gave a damming review of Vista in its episode 30. Well, actually it was in response to a viewer who asked the host why they didn’t like Vista. He replied that the big problem of Vista was its application and hardware compatibility issues.
I suppose it’s true. Maybe it’s possible to live with the slower performance or even the crashes. But if the hardware doesn’t work with Vista, and some of the applications no longer work, then it becomes a big issue, since it’s no longer possible to do work on a machine with Vista on it.
Filed in Windows.
Microsoft has not learned its lesson from the outcry when it released Vista SP 1. It has announced that Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be available to the general public on April 29. But it will not be available to the MSDN and Technet subscribers, who have paid big bucks for their subscription, until the following month. Yup. Once you pay them money, they’re no longer interested in you.
Reaction to this has already started in the MSDN/Technet forum in a separate thread — the original thread was locked after 3 or so posts, so users opened a new thread. As someone on Slashdot mentioned, “Why do MSDN and VL customers get this later than Windows Update? What exactly are we paying for?”
A German company is reportedly developing a DRM-free DVD that will self destruct in 48 hours. The disc’s life is measured from the time it’s taken out of its vacuum-sealed package. The company also has a recycling program, and the discs themselves use fully recyclable plastic and stuff.
Will you buy a self-destructing DVD if it’s cheap and free from DRM? Why buy and not rent if you want to watch it only once? No matter how environmentally friendly the disc may be, I’m sure the manufacturing process will also have an impact on the environment.
Another company that is slowly going downhill has decided to deal with it by litigation, rather than by improving its products and diversifying.
I’ve long used Seagate’s hard disks, among others, both as portables as well as internal drives. However, the newer portable hard disks are definitely of poorer quality than the ones I bought a long time ago. On the old portables, when they were plugged in, the drive was always available. On the new ones, if I use an application to access the drive after a long hiatus, the drive, which was on and spinning, will suddenly switch off, spin down, and then re-switch on again. All by itself. It’s very irritating, and adds two or three noticeable seconds to the initial time needed to access the drive.
With solid state drives on the ascendant, Seagate probably also sees the writing on the wall for its hard drives. Instead of innovating and perhaps buying into the technology, it has decided to use its patent arsenal as weapons against others manufacturing solid state drives. Their first target is the very small STEC, an SSD manufacturer.
I guess this spells the beginning of the end of another company. When companies try to fight the future in this way, instead of embracing it, it can’t be good.
Monster Cables, a company supposedly delighting in sending litigation letters to competitors, sent one to Blue Jeans Cables, only to find that Blue Jeans was no pushover. Its president was a former lawyer, who quickly saw through what he saw as spurious claims designed to get companies who didn’t know better to quickly settle. According to the president’s letter, none of the Monster Cables patents even applied to Blue Jeans’ stuff – and some of the patents they cited were mutually incompatible with each other so that a cable violating all these patents at the same time was impossible to make. The claims made were also very vague – they didn’t even specify which of the cables violated which patent, and so on.
This new version of WordPress on WordPress.com has introduced some problems:
Why do software go downhill over a period of time? Maybe it’s because the developers find that they have added all the useful features they can think of, and then they start reorganizing things because they can’t think of anything else.
Anyway, YUCKS to the new version of WordPress.com.
MediaSentry continues to flout the law, operating illegally, despite a cease and desist order from a court. This is no surprise to me, since RIAA and MediaSentry have garnered reputations of being the hoodlums of the Internet. The news has been around for a while, and the latest site to report it is Ars Technica, but I only just got fed up enough to post my opinion of it.
I think I said it before. If you want others to respect your rights, you have to respect their rights too. Otherwise what makes you different than a thug?
Oh, I love this comic strip about a cheap GPS set for your car.
Filed in Humor.
Not content with stealing domain names from people who search, and being sued for it no less, Network Solutions has now been found to hijack their customers’ sub-domains as well. TechCrunch revealed that if you’re using Network Solution’s web hosting or DNS, Network Solutions will direct visitors to any unassigned sub-domains to a page loaded with their advertisements.
Daniel K, who fixed the buggy Creative drivers for Audigy and X-Fi when Creative refused, has bowed out of the Creative forum. Or at least I think that’s what the “goodbye” is for – it isn’t really clear whether it is for the forum or for fixing Creative’s drivers.
And there’re updates on the driver situation:
Unfortunately, the situation did not change for us.
They did say an updated Audigy driver would eventually be released, but don’t be optimistic about it (their priority is the launch of X-Fi 2).
What I can say for sure is the features I’ve enabled will not be made available in an official driver update.
In other words, Creative will not fix their existing drivers. If you want a working sound card in Vista, your only solution at the moment is to buy a non-Creative card. After such a huge uproar and bad press, I wonder why Creative insists on continuing to dig their own graves. Even I, a former fan of SoundBlaster – from SoundBlaster 16 all the way up to Audigy 2, am looking for an alternative brand.
Anyone know of any good sound card?
Filed in Software.
After Creative took down a third party for fixing their broken Vista Audigy and X-Fi drivers, a huge public outcry resulted. Since then, Creative has hurriedly deleted their initial post and replaced it with a defensive note. You can still see the original post in this archive.
Anyway, Daniel K has responded in a Wired interview. I don’t know if it’s real, since it was posted on April Fool’s day, but it looks real. The update is that Creative has relented and allowed him to release the modified X-Fi and Audigy drivers minus some bits which allowed the drivers to be used on any sound card. As a result, he has posted the drivers to http://hosted.filefront.com/braziliantech/
Google has updated their PageRank algorithm with one called SageRank. Now Google allows you to search future web pages for up to one day into the future. Find out something useful, like tommorrow’s football scores or share prices. To search tomorrow’s results, select Search “one day in advance” instead of Search “the web”. To use this wonderful engine, click here.
Filed in Humor.