Wednesday, December 27, 2006

HD disk format wars are over

Subtitled "A clear victor emerges", this is another of Charlie Demerjian's rants. More than that, though, it really is a cogent analysis of the outcome of the format wars. I think the winner Charlie postulates will surprise you until you sit a moment and think about it, at which point you will realize he is exactly right.

Add Charlie's conclusions to what has been revealed about content protection in Vista in the previous post and it is easy to see that we, as consumers (whether of content or computing resources) have been so thoroughly shafted that we, along with our position as THE market force, may never recover.


A Damning Indictment of Vista's True Costs

Increased hardware costs, decreases of function (some under the direct control of Microsoft and/or hardware vendors) and some serious security issues are detailed here.

It's a long article. I'm sorry about that. I think this should be required reading for anyone considering buying or building a Vista machine. If even half of the "features" reported on here are true, there will be widespread discontent on a scale not yet seen. And it will all be directed, rightly, at Microsoft.

I suspect there is a possibility all this will work more or less transparently to the user. Then again, this is Microsoft; masters at imposing functional limits on us. I guess the possibility these features won't bother us is vanishingly small.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Death of The Internet?

I received this from a friend:
Please watch this video (The Video is from YouTube)and respond in any way you can, below is a copy of my letter I will be sending to everyone I can think of.

The internet is the greatest force empowering minority, and marginal points of view to come along in centuries. In other words before the internet the great establishment ideas already had the machinery of media to communicate their positions. What has happened is the common man has gotten into the game with a technology that was never intended to fall into the hands of common people. Much like the advance of writing, for centuries it was only the elite that had access to the accumulated knowledge of mankind through the written word. Books were not intended for common people, by controlling them through the mechanism of affordability, and availability the elite consolidated their power over the common people. I think the internet is analogous to the invention of the printing press, in the dissemination of knowledge to the common man.

By increasing our learning abilities, and expressions of free speech, we are advancing our civilization much as we did during the age of enlightenment. To restrict the internet in any way is a step backwards much like the book burnings of the past, an attempt to control the progress of human thought in any direction that is not considered to be in line with the position preferred by the people with the ability to control it.

By limiting the internet we are inhibiting our ability to think freely, and stifling our creativity. To do this for the financial benefit of a few companies and their stock holders, and to the detriment of society, would be criminal. It would also create a mechanism for governmental entities to control opinions of the people by controlling the information available to them, offering methods to control elections, and governmental processes.

We cannot allow this intrusion into the evolution of the human mind and spirit. The dissemination of information through the internet should be protected by the Supreme Court, as a vehicle of free speech. The internet is in process of replacing newspapers, books, and several other media’s, to restrict it in any way would be to restrict free speech, to a degree that has not been possible since the dark ages. Please do anything, and everything in your power to resist this attempt to profit by selling out one of our most basic inalienable rights. Greg Pollak, Las Vegas, Nevada

Monday, December 25, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 12-24-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 12-24-06. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gail's son's guest book

Gail's oldest son passed away last week, and the following url is for his guest book to remember all the contributions he has made.
Our sincerest prayers and condolences to Gail and her whole family.
Guest Book - Gregg T. Allinson

Langa Letter: Year-End PC Tasks

This may be early, but then again, after the holidays, maybe you'll have more time to do the following computer "clean up." As Frank Langa says:
Chances are, your PC is different from the way it was at the start of this year. In fact, because you're the kind of PC user who reads articles like this one, I'll bet your PC is different from the way it was even a few days or weeks ago: Perhaps you added or removed some software. Maybe you installed a patch or update, or allowed one to be installed automatically. Perhaps you adjusted a system setting to make Windows look or act more the way you wanted, instead of the way Microsoft or whoever set up your PC thought it should be. Perhaps you tried out a performance tweak or other system change that you read about here or elsewhere.

even though its an article from 2004, I believe the recommendations are timeless.
Langa Letter: Year-End PC Tasks - News by InformationWeek

Looking for administrator password guidelines for DrPuter in the newsgroup, I found this site, which I found extremely comprehensive and a good collection of tips about malware, spyware, etc. from an MVP.

May you have a safe holiday season and a wonderful 2007!