Sunday, February 26, 2006

Apple restricts developer code access: "Developers angry at Apple's new approach to OS X code-sharing."

In an apparent attempt to stop developers porting Mac OS X to non-Macs based on Intel processors, Apple has restricted developer access to key elements of its source code. 'With the release of Mac OS X for x86 processors, Apple has chosen not to release source to key components of the OS, such as the kernel and all drivers," said Rob Braun in Dæmon News.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Apple To Drop Mac OS X In Favour Of Windows: "Ahhh, I'm perpetuating the machine! That John Dvorak may be whack, but he knows how to get a click. See? Here's another one! This time he's gone all-out, with a delusional, pot-smoking, half-baked, preposterous, offensive, short-pants-wearing, goose-stepping, lollypop-eating crazy idea. I mean, woah! Come on. Seriously. Here he is, repeating the words of some guy some idiot gave a PhD to: Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched. The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience. Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn't happen. And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor. Hmm... where to begin? The Switch campaign is still running, they've sold 20% more Macs this past quarter than the year-ago quarter, who cares about Firewire, and yeah, so they switched to Intel. I'm still waiting for the convincing argument here! Anyone? Anyone?"

CTIA Not Opposed to Municipal Broadband: "The National Journal reports the CTIA says it's not opposed to competition from municipal broadband: Many of its members offer Wi-Fi service and Cingular apparently bid on the San Francisco service, which I'm embarassed to have missed. (Cingular is majority owned by AT&T, minority owned by BellSouth. AT&T has led significant lobbying efforts in Texas against municipally owned or franchised broadband, but Verizon and Comcast have been loudest elsewhere.) Update: A colleague wrote in to note that Cingular's 'bid' in San Francisco was a response to the initial RFI/P (request for information/proposal) in which they noted the prevalence of 3G service. I tried to look up their response and it's not in the archives at the Tech Connect site that houses SF's project. Further Update: Another colleague wrote to tell me that Cingular's 'bid' was part of the SBC response to the RFI which is not found in the alphabetical proposal listings, but rather in the Comments download, which was to be reserved for non-proposal input. On reviewing that submission, it's clear that SBC answered with a great degree of detail and no real SF specificity except to state that 73 FreedomLink hotspots are in SF. They talk at length about SBC's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) initiatives without noting how many SF residences might benefit. They mention 3G service being ubiquitous without discussing monthly costs or interior access (poor). They suggest DSL service up to 6 Mbps is available, but don't have any information on which fast speeds are available to which percentage of residents. Hardly a bid for Wi-Fi service...

Mac OS X Security:
Mac and Linux users aren't used to turning on the news and hearing about security threats that affect us. The Linux stuff doesn't get reported because Linux is too geeky, and the Mac threats have been generally absent because there haven't been many.

Well, two Mac issues popped up last week and caused a bit of excitement. The second of the two was really bogus, and probably never would have had any legs at all if the other one hadn't happened. From

Inqtana.A has not been met in the wild and it uses Bluetooth library
that is locked into specific Bluetooth address and the library
expires on 24. February 2006. So it is quite unlikely that Inqtana.

U.S. now allows full 5-GHz Wi-Fi networking: "The FCC added another 255 MHz and 11 channels to the existing 325 MHz and 13 channels available for Wi-Fi in the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure spectrum. As of Jan. 20, any products that apply for certification in the 5.47-to-5.725-GHz band or in the lower end of the UNII band at 5.25 GHz to 5.35 GHz were required to support dynamic frequency selection (DFS) and transmit power control (TPC) to minimize interference, per a February 2005 FCC order. If you've already got equipment running in the lower band installed, don't worry, you're grandfathered.DFS and TPC are part of 802.11h, the European "flavor" of 802.11a. DFS dynamically instructs a transmitter to switch to another channel under particular conditions, such as the presence of a radar signal.

Microsoft's Office Live services debut with e-mail, Web hosting services: "

(InfoWorld) - The first installment of Microsoft's Office Live initiative landed in beta form last week. No one really thought an AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) version of MS Office was imminent, but it was still slightly disappointing to see that Office Live went little beyond the fee-based e-mail, HTML template, and Web hosting services that a range of vendors have offered before to small businesses.Make that very small businesses. 'Office Live is really aimed at U.S. businesses with less than 10 employees,' said Dean Nicolls, senior product manager of information workers services at Microsoft. 'Office Live is giving them an all-in-one solution to create an online presence -- from creating a Web site to having company branded e-mail and Web site stats, to having their own shared sites and online business applications so they can keep all their information in one place.'

Office Live will be available in three versions, all available in final release by the end of year. Office Live Basics, which includes a Web site, domain name, oodles of templates, Web site analytics, and five e-mail accounts, will be advertising-supported and free of charge to customers. Office Live Collaboration includes 20 business applications for managing customers and employees, whereas Office Live Essentials rolls up the functionality of both plus 50 e-mail accounts. Free during beta, final versions of Collaboration and Essentials will go for a monthly subscription fee starting at $29.95.

Microsoft confirms USB bug that drains batteries: "

(InfoWorld) - An unfixed bug in the USB (Universal Serial Bus) driver of Windows XP Service Pack 2 OS causes a notebook's battery to drain faster than usual when there is a device connected to its USB port, Microsoft Corp. confirmed Friday.In a statement through its public relations firm Waggener Edstrom Inc., Microsoft also admitted that the flaw, which lies in the ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) driver of Windows XP SP 2, will remain without an easy-to-apply fix indefinitely. The ACPI is part of the OS's power management scheme for USB 2.0, the latest standard for USB peripheral ports on notebook computers.

The flaw affects some Intel-based laptop computers, according to Microsoft. The company informed its support and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware partners of its existence in July 2005 through an article in its knowledge base, a searchable database where support partners can find information about Microsoft technology.

In that article, the company outlined a registry key fix for the bug, but this fix requires a 'deep understanding' of the OS and there are risks involved with implementing it so it is not meant for general customer user, Microsoft said.

Microsoft and its third-party support partners are continuing to investigate the bug but do not know if and when they will release a widespread fix, according to Microsoft. However, the company said concerned customers should contact Microsoft technical support and if demand for a patch is sufficient, it will do additional testing and release a fix on its center.

Microsoft said it did not on its own make information about the bug generally available because 'the impact was negligible on most systems' at the time the knowledge-base article was released. A published report discovered the bug in late January, and only then did the company publicly acknowledge the flaw.

'While there is a noticeable impact on battery life when USB 2.0 devices are plugged into some specific models of laptop computers, these systems are still fully functional and newer systems have significantly longer battery life than their predecessors, whether a USB 2.0 device is plugged in or not,' Microsoft said in its statement.

Also, since behavior of the flaw had not been fully tested when Microsoft released information about it to OEMs, the company said changing the USB driver software might negatively affect how the USB port interacts with other devices. For example, some devices might not work when plugged into the port, or the entire computer might not respond, Microsoft said.

IBM to boost Web enablement in Rational tools | InfoWorld | News | 2006-02-17 | By Paul Krill: "About InfoWorld : Advertise : Subscribe : Contact Us : Awards : Events : Store
While Rational has products now that can run in a browser, IBM (Profile, Products, Articles) is focused on server enablement of the offerings so they live on the Web, said Danny Sabbah, IBM Rational general manager. Rational RequisitePro, for example, could be deployed as a distributed application. Key to the effort will be the federation of project databases to make them more easily accessible to globally distributed development teams. Federated databases will provide a single view of an application on the Web.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

PlayStation 3 Delayed, Over $800?: "AWhiteFlame writes 'Cnet is reporting that a research report issued by Merrill Lynch suggests that the Sony PlayStation 3's American release may be postponed until 2007. From the article: 'The analyst firm proposed the idea that high costs and Sony's decision to use an 'ambitious new processor architecture--the Cell' is making it look like the company might not be able to meet its goal of getting the PS3 out in the U.S. this year.' Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.' The official report (pdf) would also seem to indicate that the console will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 when it launches."

The analyst firm proposed the idea that high costs and Sony's decision to use an 'ambitious new processor architecture--the Cell' is making it look like the company might not be able to meet its goal of getting the PS3 out in the U.S. this year.' Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment." The official report (pdf) would also seem to indicate that the console will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 when it launches.

Homeland security urges DRM rootkit ban | The Register: Homeland security urges DRM rootkit ban
Give it up
Published Friday 17th February 2006 16:29 GMT
New year, new job? Click here for thousands of tech vacancies.
US government officials took Sony BMG to task over its controversial use of rootkit-style copy protectio"

Mac OS X malware latches onto Bluetooth vulnerability: "

Lab rat poses low risk

A second strain of malware targeting Mac OS X has been discovered days after a Mac OS X Trojan appeared on the scene. The latest malware, Inqtana-A, is a proof-of-concept worm that attempts to spread using a Bluetooth vulnerability.…

"The worm is not spreading in the wild and uses an internal counter that means it will expire on February 24, so it's unlikely to ever be much of a problem. Nonetheless, Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) users are still advised to make sure they're patched up in order to guard against attack from any future worm that uses the same exploit."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Panic spreads over Windows Vista 'back door' that never was: "

MS caught not evildoing again...

Who'd be a Microsoft? There you are, strolling along minding your own business and the next thing you know you're in a top level conspiracy with the UK security forces to put a back door into Windows Vista. Or so, anyway, the web bush telegraph would have us believe. But disorientating as we find it to be leaping to Microsoft's defence twice in one day, we at The Register feel compelled to point out that the story is somewhat exaggerated, going on entirely untrue.…

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MacBook Pro from Apple Begins Shipping This Week

It looks like Apple is all ready to ship the Apple MacBook Pro, these beauties makes me wish I was one of the lucky few. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro notebook features Core Duo processor, built-in iSight(TM) video camera and a host of rich features. All models will contain faster processors than previously announced with no add ional cost. The start up model ships at around $1,999 while the Mac Pro with a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor is priced at 2,499. Te new MacBook Pro will begin shipping this week and will be available through the Apple Store(R) (, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
Belkin CableFree USB hub : «
Now you can place your laptop anywhere in the room while still maintaining wireless access to their USB devices, such as printers, scanners, hard drives, and MP3 players. Surprised! Don’t be, it’s a reality not a dream. Thanks to the award winning Belkin CableFree USB Hub, the industry's first USB Hub to enable wireless connectivity between a computer and its USB peripherals.

It is worth mentioning in this regard that Belkin CableFree USB Hub has recently won the coveted Laptop Magazine's Best of CES Award for its innovation and functionality. By using CableFree USB hub you can locate your printers, scanners, hard drives, and MP3 players anywhere in the room because there is going to be no cables around. It will give the laptop users a much-needed cushion to roam wirelessly while still maintaining access to their stationary USB devices.

Microsoft to launch Office Live beta: "Microsoft is set to announce a free beta of its Office Live service for small businesses tomorrow and said it hopes to garner more than 100,000 beta users for it. Microsoft will announce the free beta of its upcoming Office Live service for small businesses tomorrow and said it hopes to garner more than 100,000 beta users for it.
The premium versions of the Office Live service will likely cost less than the monthly bill for a cable broadband Internet subscription, the company said.

First announced last November by Microsoft's in-house software-as-a-service guru, Ray Ozzie, Office Live is a bit of a misnomer: The service does not replicate any of the features of Microsoft's Office suite of productivity software. Instead, it is, for now, a repackaging of services formerly offered via the MSN portal but targeted at small businesses.

Microsoft patch fails to install for some users - Computerworld: "
IDG Network:    FEBRUARY 15, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Microsoft Corp. has reported a problem with one of its security patches released yesterday that requires some users to take additional steps to ensure it installs properly. Soon after its release, Microsoft discovered a problem for users who tried to install MS06-007 through the following channels: Automatic Updates, Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Systems Management Server 2003 when used with the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU), the company said.

Customers using Automatic Updates don't have to take any action because the patch will install properly with their next scheduled update, Microsoft said.

Deploying the .NET Framework 1.1 Using Systems Management Server 2.0: "Describes the specific procedures for using Systems Management Server (SMS) to deploy the Windows Installer setup package for the .NET Framework 1.1 (Dotnetfx.exe) across a network."
The beter question is: How many server versions MS has? It is getting to be a joke!

BlackBerry dispute may keep going and going and...: "Attorney Eric Sinrod says RIM's work-around could spawn entirely new patent issues to fight about with NTP.This makes for an interesting context as we approach Feb. 24--the date on which the trial court will consider whether to enter an injunction against RIM. Company executives have reaffirmed their bullish belief that RIM's BlackBerry service will not be enjoined. But just in case, RIM announced recently what it called a noninfringing "work-around" that would allow the BlackBerry service to continue notwithstanding an injunction based on any of NTP's remaining patents.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

U.K. objects to Microsoft's proposed C++ extensions: "Some industry watchers see Microsoft's attempt to add extensions to the C++ standard as a sign of troubles to come, as Microsoft's OpenXML technology moves through the standards process.
FEBRUARY 03, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - U.K. representatives at the International Standards Organization (ISO) are objecting to Microsoft's request to fast-track a specification through the body that would provide a way for developers to directly program applications for the .Net framework using the C++ programming language. The specification, called C++/Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), is too different from the ISO's current C++ standard to have the C++ name tied to it, according to a U.K. paper filed to the ISO."Continuing to identify both languages by the same name ... will cause widespread confusion and damage to the industry and the standard language," the paper said.

French police uses open source for variety, consistency: "

(InfoWorld) - France has two national police forces, each reporting to a different ministry. One ministry is trying to avoid the kind of IT monoculture that allows viruses to spread and disable all key systems; the other wants to bring uniformity to a sprawling IT infrastructure. Both are turning to open source software to achieve their aims.p>

The Ministry of the Interior, responsible for the Police Nationale, favors harmony in system architecture, but diversity in technology, and is replacing some, but not all, of the proprietary systems it uses with open-source alternatives.

'It's for security reasons, to avoid a concentration of one particular technology that could lead a total break-down of systems,' said Patrick Guedj, an IT manager at the Ministry of the Interior, speaking at the Solutions Linux conference in Paris this week.At the Gendarmerie, the police force run by the Ministry of Defense, the goal is instead to 'homogenize the desktop,' IT manager Nicolas Géraud said, speaking at the same conference. Last year, Géraud's team rolled out the (OOo) open source desktop productivity suite to around 45,000 gendarmes who previously used Microsoft Office to write up citations and file their reports. Over 80 percent of them are now using OOo and Ic@re, a package developed in-house that automates 500 different administrative procedures using OOo. This year, the goal is to roll out the Firefox Web browser and Thunderbird e-mail client to those same users, and to deploy a new version of Ic@re written in Java. The Gendarmerie has replaced 15,000 of its computers since the migration began, installing only OOo on the new machines. In early 2007, the Gendarmerie plans to delete its remaining copies of Microsoft Office, completing the migration to OOo. The workstations still run the Windows OS today, but the Gendarmerie is looking at the possibility of switching them all to Linux in 2007 or 2008. Resilience in the face of security incidents is not the only reason the Ministry of the Interior is clinging to its mix of systems, according to Guedj. 'Today, in desktop productivity software, there's a certain software hegemony,' he said. By using several suppliers, the ministry can play them against one another to keep prices down: 'If you buy everything the same, especially in IT where technology is sticky and difficult to change, it kills competition and pushes up prices,' he said.

Investor calls on Palm to sell out: "The Treo would be in better hands if Palm's board sold the company to a large IT vendor, major stock holder says.Technology.)

Mark Nelson, the founder and former CEO of Ovid Technologies, owns 8 percent of Palm's stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a letter to Palm's board of directors, Nelson urged Palm to consider selling its business to a company like Research in Motion, Dell or Hewlett-Packard while its fortunes are still on the rise.