2008
09.20

A new week, a new bunch of news from the tech front. Sorry this didn’t come out earlier…

  1. Best Buy has bought Napster for $121 million. Why, we’re not sure…maybe because they want to increase their position in the music selling market…they sell CDs and had a relationship with Real for Rhapsody. Now they have their own subscription service, which of course still won’t break the iTunes mega-market share situation.
  2. The Large Hadron Collider was infiltrated by hackers earlier this week, to the point that a computer one level away from the actual control inferfaces was compromised. Also, they’ve shut the collider down to fix some cooling system problems. Scary, much?
  3. Google has been working on a new place to put their data centers: on the ocean. THe big advantages: power from the waves, cooling from the water and the lack of land to tax. Sounds like a plan…let’s just hope there aren’t any scurvy data pirates around, ready to take all that personally identifyiable information wieth them on a raid in the high seas.
  4. Heard of the Google Android phone? How about the HTC Dream? Well, T-Mobile will be introducing the latter, with the former operating system on it, Tuesda. The phone won’t be available until October, but this is finally the end of the vaporware that has been Google’s mobile phone operating system for some time now. The Dream will retail for $199 with a two-year contract, on par with the iPhone 3G lower-end model.
  5. Have a Zune? Microsoft has made a deal with Wayport, a WiFi hotspot provider, to give Zune customers free WiFi at McDonalds outlets, for downloading music. In contrast, Apple has had a deal with Starbucks ever since their iPod Touch came out. Interesting dichotomy though.
  6. In other Microsoft news, they’ve launched “I’m a PC” ads to counteract Apple’s ongoing PC-bashing ad blitz. Whereas Apple touts what Macs have that PCs don’t have, or are uncomfortable with Macs having, the “I’m a PC” ads focus on the wide ariety of people who use PCs. Sure, Apple might connotate Macs with being cool, but with a PC you can be cool, smart, rebellious or…um…a suba diver. That works. Microsoft has also passed a milestone build of Windows 7, meaning that a full-blown beta release may land as early as this year.
  7. Yahoo is trying out a new home page layout. They’re also where Sarah Palin had an e-mail address, which was social-engineered by some hackers. Moral of the story: check the “Forgot your password?” option on your e-mail provider; it may well be the weakest link security-wise for getting into your e-mail. It was for Sarah.
  8. In other political news, researchers have designed a program that figures out how much political spin is placed on a speech based on word usage. The verdict: Clinton is average, McCain pretty much doesn’t spin things, and Obama is an absolute spin doctor. Also, there seem to be problems with voting machines in several swing states, which includes here in Colorado. No is a good time to volunteer to help in whatever way you can to solve these problems. Tech heads are patriotic like that, right?
  9. In the ongoing Spore saga, Electronic Arts has decided to relax some of the onerous copy protection restrictions imposed on the game. Now you can install it on up to five computers (up from three) and there’s an automated mechanism for deauthorizing machines if, say, you trade an old computer for a new one.

That’s it for now! If you have any comments or questions, look below…a comment box awaits your command!

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