Harmony, a digital rights management translation system created by Real Networks which allows its own music formats to run on Apple iPods, may be the cause of some legal and technical issues for Real in the coming months. The company has admitted that although they believe that their software is completely legal, any disagreement from Apple that runs into a court process might jeopardize their bottom line. The company already expects to pay around $16 million in the coming year defending their software from litigation from Microsoft, but cannot afford any more. Additionally, Real also expects problems as Apple makes moves to update its software in ways that would require tweaking of Harmony’s specifications. Basically, it sounds like Harmony may represent Real biting off a bigger chunk than it can chew at this point. Stay tuned to see how these impending challenges pan out.
Read More | Macworld
Microsoft released an update to their MSN Messenger software for the Mac. The newly released Microsoft Messenger 5.0 makes some significant improvements on the previously released versions and seems to fit much better with OS X. The new version features blue gel buttons, a brushed aluminum frame, and support for newer MSN Messenger technologies such as display pictures, advanced emoticons, and easy conversation saving. Gear Live still feels that both AdiumX and Proteus are superior chat clients for OS X featuring not only support for multiple chat networks, but a highly configurable UI - but Microsoft Messenger 5.0 is certainly a step in the right direction.
Read More | Mac Messegner site
Monday morning, President Bush is expected to sign into effect an energy bill that will start daylight savings time three weeks earlier and end it a week later. While it may not sound like a big deal, some are concerned that the time change, which would be starting in 2007, may have an effect on many tech gadgets we use in our daily lives. The last daylight savings schedule was put into effect in 1987, so a lot of the electronics we use today are programmed to follow it automatically. This means that come 2007 many of us who rely on technology to remember our appointments, record our favorite TV show, or give us our morning wake up call could find ourselves an hour behind. While some things may just require the time to be set manually, others may end up needing a software update. Dave Thewlis, executive director of a group that promotes standards for calendar software says, “It wouldn’t be a society-wide catastrophe, but there would be a problem if nothing’s done about it or we try to move too quickly”. What do y’all think? Does the thought of all your favorite equipment messing up worry you, or does it make you laugh and think of all the Y2K hype we saw 5 years ago?
Read More | USA Today
As techies who yearn for the newest, hottest, next big thing, we love to speculate about what’s to come. In this week’s podcast, we mostly focused on technology that is on the horizon:
Voices: Edwin Soto, Sparky
Length: 32:52, 30.1 MB
Listen | Gear Live Podcast
Microsoft just can’t get around software hackers in their latest attempt to cut down pirated Windows XP users – Genuine Windows Validation. Early last week Microsoft “fixed” the Genuine Windows Validation exploit. Now the new and updated validation service has been hacked yet again. Maybe Microsoft should start hiring these hackers, since it takes Microsoft days or more to fix their exploits, while hackers only need a day to come up with a work around.
Read More | Cnet News
The previous Apple Switch pages were full of controversy they were all about “The Power of Unix”. Seems as though Apple listned to the feedback and refocused their Switch pages. They now list 10 reasons why people should make the switch along with information which helps potential buyers choose the right Mac. It even goes so far as to show the ease of migrating PC data over to a new Mac. The “Power of Unix” is no longer the theme, as the Switch area now focuses on the “It Just Works” mentality.
Simply take a Mac out of its box, plug it in and start surfing, working or rocking. And when you want to add something new — such as a digital camera or iPod — you just plug it in and start using it. Too good to be true? No, the Mac is exactly that good.
Read More | Apple: Switch
Our favorite open source browser has some goodies we didn’t know about. If you type in the following in the address bar you get some interesting results:
about: shows info on Firefox version number, copyright, etc.;
about:config reveals the Configuration Console, a repository brimming over with scores of customizable settings;
about:cache displays a summary of both your memory and file cache, with a link to full file listings;
about:buildconfig lists the compiler options that were used to create your version of Firefox (and, since it’s open source, anyone can compile a customized version);
about:plugins enumerates your installed add-ons, which can be quite numerous since Firefox is designed to be modular and extensible; and
about:credits is an “Easter egg” that includes the names of hundreds of developers and testers who worked on the product.
Read More | Secrets of Firefox 1.0
In one of our recent podcasts, we have talked about the Gizmo Project and how it compares to Skype. One of the most unique features about Gizmo that is not found in Skype is the handy recording feature. This plugin for the Windows version of Skype allows you to not only record your conversations to MP3, but integrates them to Microsoft Outlook in an email if you wish. To add to the integration, you can actually view your contact’s information, check online status, and connect to someone right in Outlook.
Read More |Skylook
Every once in a while you stumble across a piece of software thats so simple, yet so well implemented that you stop in your tracks and wonder why you didn’t think of it. MenuCalendarClock is one of those pieces of software - it adds a mini calendar to your OS X menu bar, with a drop down pane that displays upcoming appointments. I had been using the dashboard iCal widget until I discovered this, but it fails to give you that “at your fingertips” information and the ability to see your calendar events for a couple of days in the future. At $18.95 the price for the registered version seems slightly more than I had hoped for but it’s so well writen and useful that I think I’m going to register my copy. The free version adds the date and day of the week to your menu bar, and a drop down calendar for quick reference - Bravo Objectpark Software for such a well implemented and functional application.
The Mozilla Foundation announced today that it was reorganizing and forming the Mozilla Corporation. While the Mozilla Foundation will continue to be a non-profit public benefit software development organization the Mozilla Corporation will be a for-profit company aimed at serving other non-profit development efforts. A majority of the Mozilla Foundation employes will be moving to the new Mozilla Corporation. What difference will this make for Firefox users? Very little according to the Mozilla Corporation both Firefox and Thunderbird will remain free products and will stay open source. The primary reason for the switch was to escape legal restrictions placed upon not-for-profit organizations in the United states. TheMozilla Foundation will remain non-profit and be able to continue to accept tax-deductible donations to continue to help the free open source software movement. Both theMozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation will continue to work with developers to improve Firefox, Thunderbird, and other open source projects to benefit the internet community.
Read More |Mozilla