SpiralFrog is a proposed online service that would let users download songs for free in exchange for viewing some sort of advertising. It got some press coverage last August when it announced an agreement to license the music catalog of Universal Music Group, the largest of the four major labels. Over the next few months, however, a missed launch date and executive shake-up led many to write it off as dead.
Gone are the days of needing software to open up e-mail attachments. Between Gmail and a handful of online office tools, the reliance on Microsoft Office isn't nearly as much of a stranglehold as it was in the 90s. This morning Zoho is expanding its format-free nature with a new tool called Viewer that will open up 15 different types of common file formats from Microsoft, Open Office, Open Document, and others such as PDFs, CSVs, and HTML files. There's also a form to submit file types you want supported in future updates.
Once uploaded, files show up … Read more
The Xbox 360 is getting to be a better deal all the time. Hot off the news of a price drop, Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox 360 Premium--which now retails for $350--now includes an HDMI output. The confirmation comes after Shacknews posted photos of a newly purchased Xbox 360 with the telltale port, essentially proving that the rumored upgrade was already available in stores.
So what's the big deal? HDMI provides a single-cable, all-digital connection to compatible HDTVs and AV receivers, delivering far fewer wires, higher quality, and better 1080p compatibility than the combination of component video and … Read more
Google and Microsoft are at it again. But this time Google is attacking Microsoft for threatening Linux users for patent violations.
In an announcement made earlier this week, Google signed on with the Open Invention Network (OIN), which is supported by Red Hat and a few other Linux heavyweights. The Open Invention Network is an organization designed by and for Linux developers, distributors, sellers, resellers, and end-users to protect them from the onslaught of costly lawsuits or other attempts made on them by bigger and better-funded enterprises. But until Google joined the fray on the side of the OIN, some … Read more
Microsoft has quietly released two hot fixes on its Web site for Windows Vista. It has not, however, pushed these out to Windows Vista users via the Windows Update process. Nor would Microsoft comment on rumors the two are related to a yet-to-be-announced Windows Vista SP1 release.
One hot fix is considered a performance update. Designated KB938979 this update addresses a variety of media and photo-related issues, including the inability to edit photos in the raw file format from Canon EOS 1D and Canon EOS 1DS cameras.
Yesterday, mobile phone giant Nokia announced it would license PlayReady, a new digital rights management (DRM) technology developed by Microsoft. This is the first win for PlayReady, and represents a pretty major shift for Microsoft.
Until about two years ago, Microsoft's DRM strategy was tied up with the Windows Media platform. Microsoft invested considerable research and development into improving Windows Media DRM. For example, in 2004, Microsoft rolled out a new version of Windows Media DRM that made it viable for content owners to allow music from subscription-based services to be transferred to portable devices. With Windows Media DRM 10, … Read more
Glyn Moody has written a probing article in LinuxJournal asking a tough question: "Why is Microsoft seeking official blessing of its shared-source licenses?" It's not as if the company is hard-up for money, and getting Open Source Initiative approval for a few licenses is unlikely to further shareholder interests.
So, what gives?
In Glyn's view, the answer lies in what the move could help Microsoft do to open source: fracture it. While I'm not one for discrimination, I do believe that it's worth taking a closer look at Glyn's theory and keeping it in mind as the OSI reviews Microsoft's licenses.… Read more
Back in February, a jury in the District Court of Southern California found Microsoft guilty of infringing two patents held by Alcatel-Lucent related to MP3 technology, and awarded Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 billion. It was the biggest patent-infringement verdict in U.S. history, and also the biggest fine ever levied against Microsoft. (Although the company did pay a larger amount--$1.95 billion--in 2004 to settle antitrust and patent infringement claims brought by Sun Microsystems.)
I'm not a patent lawyer, and Microsoft has certainly been found guilty of illegal business tactics before, but this verdict seemed crazy at the time. … Read more
Xbox 360 Premium: The sweet spot in the Xbox 360 lineup drops $50, to $350. If you don't need HDMI output and you're not planning on downloading a lot of videos, … Read more
There is an ugly feeling growing against Microsoft in its attempts to have a few of its shared-source licenses certified as OSI (Open Source Initiative)-approved. The general sentiment is that OSI approval is for everyone except Microsoft.
I compete with Microsoft. My livelihood depends on beating Microsoft. I have worked for two companies that have been run over by Microsoft and its leveraging of monopoly power. I'm at least as familiar with Microsoft's legal and business tactics as most people, and probably more so than most. I've been on the losing end of Microsoft's monopoly power more than once.
But I don't believe in discrimination. Not even of the "bad guys."… Read more