Month: June 2008

Rhapsody is looking to steal iTunes thunder

RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music looks to steal some of iTunes thunder. On June 30 the company announced the opening of its MP3 store. The new service does away entirely with digital rights management. iTunes uses DRM for a good portion of its music, but newer MP3 stores like Amazon’s, which launched last September, have dropped it. Listeners will be able to play music anywhere – even on an iPod This will expand the playing field immensely and it could be costly to iTunes. I don’t see iTunes shaking yet. Rhapsody has formed many partnerships to create a music ecosystem that will make it simpler for listeners to find and buy music, an initiative the company calls “Music without Limits.” Partners including iLike, Yahoo and MTV’s network will distribute Rhapsody-powered music through social media. And Verizon’s deal will let listeners download music easily to their PCs as soon as they buy it on their phones. Should iTunes be concerned? I am not sure this will steal anything significant from iTunes business, though it will get...

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Today Marks The Death of XP

After delays and rumors, the Windows XP era has finally reached its end. Microsoft has made it official: Monday, June 30 will be the last day Microsoft sells XP to the masses. In fact, some companies have already stopped offering XP as an option on new machines as they prep for the switchover. There were early rumors that Microsoft might extend the sales date, but that rumor died as well. Microsoft has reiterated that, indeed, June 30 will be the final sales date cut-off for the product. It’s all Vista now or at least for Windows Operating Systems. There will still be copies of XP floating around for some PC makers for a short while, namely those who are building ultra-low-cost computers that aren’t powerful enough for Vista. XP fans needn’t panic about the loss of XP. Even if you don’t have a copy on hand, the product will be available through many channels for years to come. The distribution channels will be from retail outlets and the aftermarket. If you search eBay, there are nearly 1,000 copies of XP available for sale, and they usually sell for less than $100. The other good news is that even though new copies of XP will no longer be distributed for sale by Microsoft, they will still support XP until...

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Intel to Microsoft: Will Pass on Vista!

Intel has decided it won’t upgrade its PCs to Vista. This is a big smack in the face for Microsoft because documents actually confirm that Microsoft may have launched its ill-fated Vista OS at the behest of Intel. According to the New York Times, Intel has decided that it won’t upgrade the PCs of its 80,000 computers to Windows Vista. The Times reports: The company made its decision after a lengthy analysis by its internal technology staff of the costs and potential benefits of moving to Windows Vista, which has drawn fire from many customers as a buggy, bloated program that requires costly hardware upgrades to run smoothly. Microsoft must be feeling pretty awful about the decision from Intel. Microsoft needs to start making friends and influencing people in order to improve its reputation in the OS market. Will Windows 7 be the savior for Microsoft? I am hoping it will, as I have not been a fan of...

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Smartphone Users Should Be Virus Conscious

Many IT folks believe that Smartphone viruses will be a threat to your network soon. Though there are no signs yet, it would be “smart” to be proactive. The latest mobile devices are packed with many applications and corporate data, and are enabled for real Web browsing and online collaboration. Is your corporate server’s safe? The answer is NO! These devices live normally outside your corporate firewall and often make use of three wireless networks (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular). It’s definitely something I worry about a lot, and so should corporate America. Many corporations are not thinking outside the box with many using these devices. This poses a great risk if and when hackers get good at pumping malware through these devices. A 2007 survey of 450 IT managers found eighty percent had antivirus products installed. Yet about 40% had been hit by a worm or virus in the past 12 months of those that were hit, 30% said that being unable to reach mobile users who were disconnected from the network contributed to the intrusion or failure that allowed a virus onto their network. Not to smart yet, but it’s time to get your corporation locked down from potential security threats. Is your company...

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Diablo 3 On The Radar!

Blizzard finally confirmed that Diablo 3 is in the works. After a long eight years since the release of Diablo 2, and over a decade after the original, Diablo 3 is on the radar. Check out the new Diablo III homepage in case you think we’re making this up. Blizzard says it’s going to be the biggest Diablo yet, that it’s going to retain the series focus on cooperative play, and that it’ll feature the return of Deckard Cain (the old dude from the last two who crooned “Stay a while, and listen!” when you clicked him). You’ll also get a new class called the Witch Doctor who’ll have access to jungle magic and be able to summon animals and insects, inflict diseases, and mind-control enemies. As the game is now finally fully 3D, you’ll be able to zoom in or out on the fly. Get ready Diablo fans, because this version will have your fingers and imagination going in warp...

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