Thursday, August 30, 2007

Byte Into It - 29 Aug 2007

Cory Doctorow Cory Doctorow (interview available on todays podcast and  also available on Triple R's streaming archives: ):

New website has just gone live. There's some more info on the site here:
It's the Australian edition of the popular blog from the
US, and the sister site to Gizmodo and Defamer

Singapore Airlines puts a Linux PC in every seat - Network World
To make flying more enjoyable for its passengers, Singapore Airlines Ltd. is adding bigger screens, more in-flight movies and a PC, running Red Hat Inc.'s distribution of the Linux operating system, in every seat on its newest planes.

Microsoft Piracy Check Snafu Mislabels Authentic Windows Copies -- Windows Vista -- InformationWeek
Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage servers, which validate copies of Windows XP and Vista as authentic, encountered problems late Friday or early Saturday, sending Windows users into a frenzy. Users suddenly lit up Microsoft support forums with complaints that their once-validated copies of Microsoft Windows were suddenly suspected to be counterfeit.

Open source companies to watch - Network World
Open source companies to watch Newcomers focusing on everything from a Microsoft Exchange rival to server virtualization and data integration

10 virtualization companies to watch - Network World
10 virtualization companies to watch These technology innovators promise products that boost performance, make management easier or otherwise enhance your virtualization experience

Novell wins right to Unix copyrights - Network World
The judge also ruled that SCO owes Novell for SCO's licensing revenue from Sun and Microsoft. SCO is obligated to pass through to Novell a portion of those licenses, the judge said.

Vista prevents users from playing high-def content, researcher says - Network World
Content protection features in Windows Vista are preventing customers from playing high-quality video and audio and harming system performance, even as Microsoft neglects security programs that could protect users, computer researcher Peter Gutmann argued at the USENIX Security Symposium in Boston

Howard on internet porn crusade | Australian IT
JOHN Howard is going to spend $189 million on "cleaning up the internet" for Australian families, blocking pornography, upgrading the search for chat-room sex predators and cutting off terror sites. Hillsong Prime Minister John Howard addresses Hillsong christians via video link yesterday Every Australian family will be provided with a free internet filter and the federal Government will enter an unprecedented partnership with service providers to filter pornography at the source...and apparently it has been hacked by a 16 year old...

TiVo will fail, says pay TV exec | Australian IT
PAY-TV sales company Multi Channel Network has cast doubt on the future of the digital video-recording platform TiVo, which is backed by the Seven Network, telling advertisers the venture may never get off the ground. Enduring questions about TiVo were how much it would cost; whether it had an EPG -- the program that enables viewers to navigate and record television programs on DVRs more easily; whether there would be additional content; and whether Australia's current broadband structure was good enough to support it...and whether it will still have the ad-skipping feature...

HD TV tuner, PVR for PlayStation 3 | Australian IT
SONY has taken another step to lure customers to its PlayStation3, saying it would sell a device to let users record live television that can be stored on the game console or transferred to the PlayStation Portable for later viewing.

Phishers hit Monster jobs site | Australian IT
HACKERS have stolen personal details of hundreds of thousands of users of US jobs website, according to internet security firm Symantec. user data has been used to launch a massive phishing attack A total of 1.6 million entries, including information such as names, postal addresses and telephone numbers were stolen, the firm said. The hackers used a Trojan to access the information from's servers, probably using stolen login details belonging to employers, Symantec said.

Unlocked iPhones highlight DMCA absurdities
As of late 2006, cell phone unlocking became legal in the US, but don't tell that to AT&T; the company has unleashed the lawhounds on UniquePhones, a Belfast-based company that claims to have developed a software-only method to unlock the iPhone. By trying to sell the software commercially, though, the company may have ensured that it will never see the light of day.

FSF: Microsoft can't disavow GPL 3 obligations
In a statement issued today, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has responded to Microsoft's assertion that selling SUSE Linux support vouchers doesn't make the company subject to the requirements of the new version of the General Public License (GPL 3). The FSF has claimed in the past that Microsoft's sale of SUSE Linux support vouchers—which is part of the company's controversial agreement with Novell—constitutes conveyance of software, thus making Microsoft party to the license under which the software is distributed. Microsoft disagrees with this interpretation and argues that conveyance of software does not occur because the vouchers are for support services rather than software.

Judge: TorrentSpy must preserve data in RAM
A federal judge has upheld a magistrate's decision forcing TorrentSpy to enable server logging so the Motion Picture Association of America can obtain the IP addresses of those connecting to BitTorrent files via the service. There's one small hitch for the MPAA, though. TorrentSpy has decided to block access by US residents, ensuring that the MPAA will find little of interest in the log files and rendering the court's decision moot—at least for this case.

Google Maps: Now With More Embedding - Lifehacker
Google Maps has (finally) added the ability to embed maps into blogs or web sites. All you do is click on the "link to this page" link, copy and paste, and you're all set. Not all maps can be embedded; Traffic maps, Street View imagery, and Mapplets are exempt.

Launch - Lifehacker
Google News is embedding YouTube videos from CBS, Reuters and others, while YouTube is officially launching overlay ads.

Launch: Google Earth Adds Sky - Lifehacker
Now you can stargaze using Google's popular desktop mapping application Google Earth. In the latest version of Google Earth, hit the "Switch between Sky and Earth" button on the toolbar to get a map of the night sky from your current location. Several Sky layers are listed on the left-hand side, including Constellations, Backyard Astronomy, Hubble Showcase, The Moon, The Planets, User's Guide to Galaxies and Life of a Star.

Microsoft Outlook Tip: Access Google Calendar Directly From Outlook - Lifehacker
Rather than syncing Google Calendar with Outlook, reader Seth uses the "homepage" feature of Outlook 2003 to access Google Calender. Here's how: 1) Right-click on your calendar in Outlook and select Properties 2) On the homepage tab, enter 3) Check "Show Home Page by Default" 4) In the Offline Web Page Settings, de-select downloading web page option. Pressing CTRL + 2 (the keyboard shortcut to access the calendar in Outlook 2003) will bring you to Google Calendar. See also how to change Thunderbird's start page in similar fashion.

Intel's new vPro: two steps forward for x86... as well as for DRM and P2P?: Page 1
Today's launch of the latest version of Intel's vPro platform is a much bigger deal than you might think, with implications for end users that extend far beyond the enterprise arena at which vPro is initially aimed. The 2007 version of vPro represents the culmination of two of Intel's most ambitious and important plans for the PC platform: the transformation of x86 into a fully virtualizable ISA complete with virtualized I/O, and the first fully-complete implementation of all the parts of Intel's controversial contribution to "trusted computing" technology, formerly codenamed "LaGrande" but now called Trusted Execution Technology orTXT: Because your network admin (and Big Content?) needs a safe place inside your system that you can't tamper with

Digg - Samsung's First USB Monitor Reviewed!
The Samsung SyncMaster 940UX is a 19-inch standard ratio LCD that boasts a feature you probably won't find on most other monitors: it can connect to your computer using USB, without the use of a video card!

Critics urge rejection of Microsoft "open" format - Software -
A Microsoft document format that may be adopted as an international standard this weekend is a ploy to lock in customers, who could lose control over their own data in a worst-case scenario, critics say.

Featured Download: Delete Duplicate Files with the Dupinator - Lifehacker
All platforms: The Dupinator Python script detects and deletes duplicate files in a directory.

How To: Get Wireless Working in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn - Lifehacker
Ubuntu users: Get your wireless card working with this tutorial from the I Eat Noobs weblog.

Linux Tip: Embed a Terminal in the Desktop with Compiz Fusion - Lifehacker
Linux users: You can configure Compiz Fusion to embed a terminal in the desktop.

Screenshot Tour: Avant Window Navigator (Awn) Updates - Lifehacker
Linux application dock and launcher Awn is in the process of receiving some major upgrades.

Geek To Live: Partition and Image Your Hard Drive with the System Rescue CD - Lifehacker
The System Rescue CD includes open source tools GParted and Partimage, which can create a new partition and save your fresh Windows installation as a restorable image for the price of zero dollars.

Digg - Three MythTV Linux distros compared.
Three MythTV-specific Linux distributions: KnoppMyth, MythDora, and MythBuntu.

Digg - Ubuntu-Users Social Network BETA
The Ubuntu Community continues to go from strength to strength and hopefully this new project aimed to develop a fully fledged social networking site with free email addresses, specifically for Ubuntu users, will become a busy and thriving facility. It will be a totally non profit entity for Ubuntu Users and run by Ubuntu Users.

Digg - Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux
Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business - desktop software.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Byte Into IT - 22 Aug 2007

Nasty tricks with Java and Javascript Demo:

Warning be prepared to have to manually kill your browser process (with task manager     or force quite or the command line...your preference, in some of these demos)

Flash Player 9 gets beefed up with H.264 support

Camino 1.5.1 released, fixes bugs and adds features

HandBrake v0.9.0 for Mac OS X
Back in April, HandBrake and MediaFork were merged into one terrific program for the legitimate transference of DVD video to other formats, and other things

Gaming on the Mac: once maligned, now showing signs of improvement

Blackfriars' Marketing: Predicting Apple's new iPods: evolutionary, but borrowing from the iPhone too

Digg - Early iPhone Adopters Extremely Satisfied: Best Rating of any Cell Phone

MTV bails on Microsoft, partners with RealNetworks for "Rhapsody America"

World's largest music retailer ditches DRM, not censorship

Wal-Mart's music download store has grown far more attractive now that
it offers 256kbps unrestricted MP3 tracks from both EMI and Universal.Because neither Warner nor Sony BMG are yet licensing their catalogs
without DRM, many of the tracks at the store are still DRM-encumbered
WMA files—it's a confusing situation and a huge drawback if the company
wants iPod users to shop there.
And pricing is competitive. The 256kbps MP3 tracks are
available for $.94 apiece, which compares well with iTunes' $1.29 for
256kbps AAC files (though AAC is a more modern compression scheme).
Wal-Mart's store can be accessed either through the browser or through
Windows Media Player (version 9 and later); oddly, the browser-based
store cannot be accessed when using Linux or Mac.Only edited versions of albums with parental advisories are
available, just as they are in Wal-Mart's offline stores. This isn't a
new policy; Wal-Mart's online music store has carried only edited
versions for years, but it's worth pointing out to potential new users
tempted by the lower prices and lack of DRM.

The policy is in contrast to iTunes, which offers both versions for
sale and allows users to choose which version they wish to purchase.
Wal-Mart has already made the decision for you, though, as part of its
corporate policy, and it hits hard in the rap section of the site: six
of the top ten rap and hip-hop albums have been edited.

Google Video Store gets stay of execution, full refunds coming
Google Video is closing its commercial video sales wing, the Google Video Store. The controversial decision will see Google eventually shuttering its video Digital Rights Management service, which will render video bought from the store useless.Fortunately, Google has seen the error of its ways and says it will now work with customers to give them full refunds in addition to keeping its DRM service alive for another six months. The upshot: customers can obtain full refunds, keep past credit, and still play their movies (until early next year).

Microsoft aims for online supremacy, opens up Windows Live ID
Microsoft recently opened up its Windows Live ID service to third-party web developers. Windows Live ID—formerly known as Microsoft Passport—is a web-based authentication service that allows applications such as Microsoft Hotmail to identify users. The public release adds a number of features that were missing from the alpha version, such as sample code in ASP.NET, Ruby, Java, Perl, Python, and PHP, as well as improved documentation. The service is available free of charge to all web developers, but there is a Terms of Use agreement that places limits on how the service may be used, for the most part to try and dissuade people from using it for the purposes of spamming.

Paramount adopts HD DVD, kicks Blu-ray to the curb
Just when many observers are beginning to believe that Blu-ray has the next-gen HD format wars all wrapped up, Paramount throws us a major curveball. The studio has announced that it is abandoning Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD.

Security violation scorecard: Military: 3,900, Milbloggers: 30
The Army's greatest leak of sensitive information isn't through bloggers, it's the Department of Defense's own official web site. These findings came from a series of audits (PDF) performed by the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell (AWRAC), which were recently published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as part of its lawsuit to obtain the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.The 10-person AWRAC found that despite the Army's claims that "milblogs" posed a major potential security risk to the Department of Defense because of violations to the operational security policy (OPSEC), only 30 violations were found on 594 blogs monitored between January of 2006 and January of 2007. Comparatively, official military web sites contained 3,900 OPSEC violations.

Giant, synchronized reboot (Windows Update) smokes Skype
Skype has finished its sleuthing and is ready to report on the conditions which led to the company discovering a flaw in its P2P networking code. The culprit? It turns out that Skype's code wasn't prepared for a massive restart of PCs caused by the standard Windows patching process."The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users' computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they rebooted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update," Skype indicated on its blog.

BBC NEWS | Business | Big names sign up to iTunes rival
Some of the world's biggest record labels including Universal and SonyBMG have begun selling music through a new download service, challenging Apple.Customers can buy tunes through Gbox at the same price charged by market leader iTunes - 99 cents (50 pence) a track.

Screenshot Tour: Apple Polishes Spreadsheets With Numbers - Lifehacker
Macworld says that iWork '08's Numbers changes the spreadsheet paradigm. Mac guy Merlin Mann says Numbers is like the Excel librarian who ditches her hornrims, opens a button and shakes her hair.

Web As Desktop: Zoho Writer Heads Offline with Google Gears - Lifehacker
The popular non-Google web-based word processor Zoho Writer now supports an offline mode with Google Gears. By default, Zoho Writer downloads 15 documents for offline viewing, but you can specify more if you want. Yes, that's offline viewing, not editing, though Zoho says that offline editing will be available in the next few weeks. Just think, if only Google had a web-based word processor that could take advantage of Gears. Oh wait...

Quicksilver, Feature - Lifehacker

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Byte Into It 15 Aug 2007 - Apple Madness

Byron ate apples for every Apple subscriber to the show - go here to see the flickr gallery of his foolishness.

Byte Into It 15 Aug 2007 - RADIOTHON SHOW!

Featured Mac Download: Rip full DVDs (with menus) to your hard drive with Drive-in - Lifehacker
Mac OS X only: Rip full DVD images, including the DVD menu structure, directly to your hard drive with Drive-in. Windows users, check out the one-click DVD rip for a similar solution.

UltraNewb: A beginner's guide to BitTorrent - Lifehacker

Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 Firefox features that don't require extensions - Lifehacker

Productivity: 10 things your IT department won't tell you - Lifehacker
The list offers a nice point-counterpoint of why your IT department considers something a risk, how you can bypass their roadblocks and do it anyway, and—perhaps more importantly—how to get around it in a manner that won't completely freak out your IT department.

Technophilia: Get productive with the best Facebook Apps - Lifehacker

Digg - Google Earth Reveals Oddities and Secrets
The editors at PC World spent some time using Google Earth to scour the surface of the planet, and they turned up some incredibly strange sights.

Digg - ISPs to BBC: We will throttle iPlayer unless you pay up
Network neutrality debates aren't theoretical in the UK, where ISPs have banded together to tell the BBC that its iPlayer TV "catch-up" service will destroy their networks. The choice: be throttled or pay up.

Keyboard Shortcuts: 200 productive keyboard hotkeys - Lifehacker
Productivity site Smashing Magazine has written up a list of two hundred hotkeys and shortcuts for the most essential software and Web applications. Windows, browsers, and peripheral programs are all represented here.

Featured Download: Get the feel of Photoshop in GIMP with GIMPshop - Lifehacker
Windows/Linux/Mac: Open-source app GIMPshop is a modified version of GIMP designed to give the feel of Photoshop.

Xplorer2 Lite - Reviews and free downloads at
xplorer2 Lite is a free version of xplorer2, a tabbed dual-pane windows explorer replacement with integrated quick previewer -windows only

Featured Windows Download: Defrag your hard drive with JkDefrag GUI - Lifehacker
JkDefrag puts the standard Windows defragger to shame with scheduled defrags, file optimization, and options to include/exclude directories.

Lifehacker Code: Clean out old files with the Windows Janitor script - Lifehacker

Featured Windows Download: Edit PDF files for free with PDFill - Lifehacker
Free utility PDFill can create, update and merge existing PDF files for free.
PDF: Merge multiple PDF's with Combine PDFs 2.1 - Lifehacker
Mac OS X only: Free utility Combine PDFs does just that - it merges multiple PDF files into one.

8 Ways To Microsoft Outlook Happiness -
Whether you use Outlook for email out of choice or because your workplace forces it, you can use these 8 tips to get things done a little easier.
How To: Back up your PC's hard drive - Lifehacker

Featured Windows Download: Open PDF's in a flash with Sumatra - Lifehacker
Windows only: The Sumatra PDF Viewer is a tiny open source portable reader that opens PDF's in the blink of an eye.

Hack Attack: Take Launchy beyond application launching - Lifehacker
Most people know Launchy as a simple and lightning-fast application launcher for Windows, but it's actually capable of much more than that.

Featured Windows Download: Dash throws another hat in the Quicksilver-for-Windows ring - Lifehacker
New Quicksilver-inspired application Dash packs application launching, web search, quick email, Google Calendar, file and folder browsing, and more into a lightweight package (uses around 3MB of memory when idle).

Featured Windows Download: Completely remove programs with Revo Uninstaller - Lifehacker
Windows only: Freeware application Revo Uninstaller makes removing programs from your computer—not just uninstalling, but removing all traces—a quick and painless process.

Featured Windows Download: Convert video, audio, and images with DivXMachine Shell Integrated - Lifehacker
Windows only: Freeware media transcoder DivXMachine Shell Integrated converts pictures, audio, and video to and from a variety of formats through the Windows right-click context menu.

Operating Systems: How to keep Windows XP running for the long haul - Lifehacker
Not interested in upgrading to Windows Vista? No problem. ComputerWorld has written up a how-to detailing exactly what you need to to keep Windows XP running smoothly - with a few of the best Vista goodies mixed in.
OS X Tweaks: Free Downloads I Can’t Live Without | MacApper

AppFresh: Keep Your Apps Up-To-Date | MacApper
When you first open AppFresh, it automatically scans your hard drive for applications, preference panes, widgets, and plugins and then checks IUseThis to see if you have the latest version. All the programs that require updates are then filed under the “Updates” folder. When you are ready to update, you click the “Update” button and AppFresh does all the work for you.

Featured Mac Download: Simplistic application launcher with Namely - Lifehacker
Mac only: Freeware utility Namely is a stripped down application launcher.

Featured Mac Download: Add shutdown, restart, and other simple tools to your dock - Lifehacker
Mac OS X only: Freeware application bundle Dockables includes a number of simple, one-use applications that perform system events like shut down, restart, sleep, sleep display, screen capture, mute sound, log out, and several more

Featured Mac Download: Create new documents on-the-fly with Document Palette - Lifehacker
Mac OS X only: Freeware application Document Palette generates new documents in your current active folder in Finder via a keyboard shortcut.

Featured Linux Download: Embed external applications into Firefox with MozPlugger - Lifehacker
Linux only: Open source app MozPlugger embeds external applications into Firefox making it very easy to play a variety of media formats. MozPlugger works with the following media formats: Quicktime, MPEG, MP2, AVI, SGI-movie, Tiff, DL, IFF-anim, MIDI, Soundtracker, AU, WAV and Commodore 64 audio files.

Terminal: Printable beginner's guide to the terminal - Lifehacker
Linux users: Don't fear the terminal! Take the plunge and learn the basics of the terminal with the printable guide put together by FOSSwire

Featured Linux Download: Lightweight, tabbed file manager with PCMan File Manager - Lifehacker
Linux only: Free open-source app PCMan is a powerful tabbed file manager. PCMan has a leg up on Nautilus as it provides tabbed browsing, a sidebar directory tree, a full address bar, and it loads much faster. In fact, PCMan's file manager is very similar to Xplorer2 for Windows.

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