Get Windows for free
Get Windows for free, and get your martinis from Asimo robots. Both are a vision of a terrifying future that we're strangely OK with. Microsoft will give you free software in exchange for just a little tiny information about your activities--er, all of it. In other news, Friendster is back! Remember Friendster? They're back! Maybe.
Santa putting children's information at risk, warn experts
Santa Claus, who reputedly collects data on children worldwide, may not be protecting personal data as well as he should. Claus's database of naughty and nice children could become a legal issue, but Claus has not been available for comment.
NBC to provide TV shows for SanDisk service
NBC Universal will allow their shows to play on a new SanDisk service, Fanfare. SanDisk is producing a set-top box that will let users download content to play on their TV's.
Ogg Vorbis/Theora language removed from HTML5 spec
HTML5 will not include anything about using the Ogg format as a standard, due to outcry from Apple and Nokia. The companies are concerned that there are unknown patents relating to the Ogg format that might become expensive should they use the format widely.
Removal of Ogg is *preposterous* (Thanks, Josh!)
Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML 5 spec, responds to concerns that pulling Ogg was an irresponsible move done only to satisfy DRM-pushers.
RIAA: You aren't authorized to rip your CDs
The RIAA is now saying that copying a CD to your computer is illegal. Previously, before the Supreme Court, record company lawyers said that this is not illegal.
Canadian ISP tests injecting content into Web pages
Canadian cable company, Rogers, is testing software that allows them to modify web pages in order to deliver messages to their subscribers. While the company insists it has no nefarious plans for the software, there is concern that the software could be used to deliver ads, changing the Internet for the worse.
Universal offers HD movie for download on Vudu at the same time as DVD
Today the set-top box Vudu added The Bourne Ultimatum for purchase, in standard and high-definition, as the DVD is released. The company plans to add more HD content in the future. Vudu also recently added twelve television shows to its available content.
iTunes TV shows coming to Canada this week at Appletell
iTunes is finally adding TV shows to its Canada store, though the roll-out will happen slowly. Previously only the US and UK were able to buy television shows through iTunes.
Xbox Live Video Marketplace launches in five new countries
Xbox Live Video Marketplace is now available in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Users will be able to rent video downloads from the service in standard and high-definition.
Friendster developer platform goes live with more than 180 apps
Friendster, a social-networking site, has released its developer platform. Friendster's goal is to allow easy porting of applications between it and other social-networking sites.
Snag Vista Ultimate for free, in exchange for your privacy
Microsoft is offering several free software titles, including Windows Vista Ultimate, to people who don't mind being watched. After you sign up for the offer and let Microsoft watch you for three months via a downloaded application, you get your copy of the free software.
Dell tries tablets with Latitude XT
Dell recently introduced its first tablet notebook, the Latitude XT Tablet PC. With the product Dell has tried to fix the faults of other tablets. Since Dell is the second-largest computer maker, some suggest that its entrance into the tablet market might eventually drive down the price of tablets and push them into the mainstream.
Honda robots pair up to lend a hand
Honda has created robots that can work together. The Asimo robots can communicate with each other and identify and serve drinks. They also have the ability to somewhat predict people's movements so they don't block your path. When low on energy, these robots will go to their charging stations to recharge.
From The Phones
- The Chad from San Antonio Workaround for Western Digital.
- John from Belleville Violin player in fear of losing his job.
AAC is not proprietary!
According to the Wikipedia article on AAC, the format is not technically proprietary. This is a common misconception! AAC is an international standard intended to supplant MP3. It happens to be heavily supported by Apple/Dolby, but they do not own it.
"AAC requires a patent license, and thus uses proprietary technology. But contrary to popular belief, it is not the property of a single company, having been developed in a standards-making organization."
I purchased an iPod solely for the perceptible advantages in audio quality it offers over MP3.
Thanks, Daine San Francisco
PSA on launching X-wings with (faux) frickin' laser beams--Shalin is not (entirely) amused...
OK--those guys who launch the one-thousand-two-hundred pound thrust may have made it look cool, but, since being an aerospace engineer and a former volunteer firefighter--that was horribly risky. Horribly risky!! I think they should have been at least 3x the distance back from the vehicle than they were--probably 5x at least.
Also, I wonder if they really considered the aerodynamic principles that were needed to avoid a break up of the craft and rocket motors! Sorry...I enjoy having fun with model rockets and aircraft, but it just seemed like a lot of disregard for safety.
I'm just trying to be informative and lookin' out for folks, ya know?
P.S. And another thing: Do your local fire department a favor and keep your holiday decorations from overheating or catching fire. Here's some info on that:
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/holiday.shtm http://www.firesafety.gov/directory/public/seasonal.shtm http://www.fire.ca.gov/about_content/downloads/holidaysafety.pdf http://www.safety-council.org/info/home/xmas_fire.htm
- Shalin's email warning against playing with rockets prompted Molly to dub him "our mama."
- Mollyrant on intellectual property/Western Digital from 30:05 to 32:22.
- Jason's drunk on power! Molly