November 18, 2005
Microsoft's No Media Player Edition a Non-Starter in Market
The Microsoft antitrust case in the European Union resulted in Microsoft having to pull Windows Media Player from Windows. Europeans now have a choice between the regular version and Windows XP N Edition. The latter removes the media player, changes the way media files are registered in Windows, removes the sample music files, and removes access to Windows Movie Maker.
In the 5 months since the Media Player-less edition has been available, it seems that no one bought it. Major software outlets in Europe do not stock it and computer vendors indicate that there has been no demand for the OS as part of the base install. In any event, if anyone did buy it, Microsoft is offering a download that would restore the missing parts to any installation.
CNET News has a report on this. Here is one excerpt that explains why this might be:
"The continuing reluctance of PC vendors to sell Windows XP N raises serious questions over the effectiveness of the EU's antitrust ruling, particularly as Microsoft has been allowed to offer Windows XP N for the same price as the standard version of Windows XP."
November 17, 2005
Westchester County Executive Talks About Proposed Wi-Fi Law
Westchester County (NY) Executive Andy Spano is responding to criticism to the proposed law that would require WIFI providers to install security on their networks to protect customer data. He responds to comments he has received and attempts to clear up misunderstandings about the laws. One of his concerns, for example, is hackers and others stealing credit card information from unsecured networks by simply parking outside an establishment with a laptop. He cites articles from the New York Times and other publications as reports about similar incidents.
FCC Commisioner Kathleen Abernathy to Step Down
AP is reporting that republican Commission Kathleen Abernathy is leaving the Federal Communications Commission with her resignation effective December 9th. President Bush nominated Deborah Tate and renominated Michael Copps to terms on the Commission. Tate has yet to be confirmed on the Commission. This leaves the Commission in the position of having a republican chair and two democratic commissioners. Tate would fill the position held by Michael Powell, and the second empty position is the one held by Abernathy.
The AP story is here via the Washington Post.
November 16, 2005
The Latest on Sony DRM
Sony is pulling all stock on XCP protected discs and exchanging them for non-protected discs. USA Today has a pretty good story on it in FAQ form. Other news outlets are covering the story, and coverage is so widespread that it seems to have a permanent place on Google News. Stay tuned.
Canadian Mom Sued for Internet Defamation
Ontario, Canada, mom Louisette Lanteigne of Waterloo is being sued for 2 million dollars in a libel suit based on statements made on her web site. Lanteigne began to document code violations by developers doing construction in her neighborhood. She was praised by various government officials for her efforts including Leona Dombrowsky who was at one time the environment minister. However, Activa, one of the larger developers in the neighborhood instituted a lawsuit for allegedly defamatory statements on the web site. These include diesel oil spills on subdivision sites, unlocked oil tanks, roofers working without proper safety equipment and possible contamination of soil and water. Lanteigne indicated in statements that she was standing by her web documentation and looked forward to a judge reviewing Activa's conduct.
More details on the case and related legal issues are reported on Canada's CNEWS.
Google Searches Used as Evidence in Murder Trial
WRAL of the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina is reporting that prosecutors are using evidence searches made by Robert Petrick in their case against him for murdering his wife. The body of Jane Sutphen was found in May, 2003 in Falls Lake. Evidence seized from Petrick's computer he searched for the words "neck," "snap," "break," and "hold" in Google before his wife died. Forensic investigator also discovered that Petrick allegedly researched lake levels, water currents, boat ramps and access about Falls Lake just four days before he reported Sutphen missing on Jan. 22, 2003. The information appeared on several computers owned by Petrick. According to prosecution investigators, Petrick also bookmarked the web page titled "22 Ways to Kill a Man With Your Bare Hands." Petrick, representing himself, noted that his wife had martial arts training and could have been the person who created the bookmark. The trial is nearing conclusion.