Microsoft announced Friday that its next version of the Windows operating platform would include built-in support for Internet data feeds. Even though RSS isn’t currently in widespread use, Microsoft believes that in the future this increasingly popular way to get news will become a mainstay. Of course, we reported our take on this a few minutes after the Gnomedex announcement.
In the long-delayed Windows upgrade, code-named Longhorn and expected to be released late next year, an RSS icon will appear in the Internet Explorer Web browser to make it easy for people to find, much like Apple Computer Inc. has done with its Safari browser. Longhorn will store all data downloaded to a computer via RSS in a single place. It will maintain a central list of all of a computer user’s RSS subscriptions, from Web log entries to photos pulled from an online family picture gallery.
Read More | USA Today
Read More | ZDNet
Okay, I just snapped these pictures while sitting here at GnomeDex 5.0. Check this out, what you see above is Internet Explorer 7 running on a very new Longhorn build. When you visit a website that has an RSS feed, an orange and white RSS button will appear in the toolbar. If clicked, you will then be brought to the screen you see above. You can increase and/or decrease the size of each post, as well as subscribe to the feed. IE 7’s visual implementation of RSS is what I would call extremely similar to Tiger’s Safari 2.0. That being said, I am really happy about the fact that Longhorn will be featuring a central feed location. In layman’s terms, any feed subscribed to will be stored in a central location within the OS. The beauty of this is that any application can be written to access this feed with your permission. As an example, Dean Hachamovitch showed how the Longhorn screen saver displaying a slide show of images downloaded from an RSS feeds enclosures. When showing the images, there was a caption on the bottom right which consisted of the first paragraph or so of the blog post in which the images were sent in. Read more at my post on Venturus. Here is an image of the Longhorn screen saver using RSS:
Microsoft is once again offering a block utility for one of their service packs. Just like its Windows XP SP2 block they offered last year, this one blocks SP1 for Windows Server 2003 until March 30, 2006. This will give companies plenty of time to prepare and test their systems for company wide deployment of the service pack. While this utility blocks SP1 it does not block the rest of Microsoft’s security updates. The utility is available for download from the Microsoft website.
Read More | Windows Server 2003 SP1 Block Utility
A company called Contois Music Technology has hit Apple Computer, Inc. with a lawsuit over Apple’s iTunes software. The suit, filed early last week in Vermont, alleges that the iTunes software design infringes on Contois’ six-year old patent (US Patent No. 5,864,868) Computer Control System and User Interface for Media Playing Devices. Contois says that 19 aspects of the iTunes interface are in violation of the patent, including iTunes abilities to transfer music to a portable music player and sort music files by artist, genre, or album.
Read More | AppleInsider
If you are a Windows user, you probably know that QuickTime 7 For Windows Preview is available for download. It seems that there are quite a few bugs in the code that Apple still needs to work on, like the amount of resources it takes to even watch a movie encoded in H.264 in the first place. A few people on the forums are talking about how QT7 for Windows runs on their PC’s. Let us know how it’s working for you.
Read More | Gear Live Forums
Now this I like. Not that it will change any of my, um, habits or anything. It is basically an interface that trys to keep you conscious of exactly how much illegal content you are downloading, with a robust statistics system. If you want to know how much money you owe based on your practices, just check CrimeWire. It will even give you an allowance of sorts if you punch in your wage, basically telling you that since you only make $5.50 an hour, you shouldn’t feel guilty about downloading a maximum of 18 songs per day, or something to that effect. CrimeWire is a skin for the LimeWire P2P client.
Read More | The CrimeWire Project
Opera software unveiled Opera 8 web browser for Macintosh today, to moderate fanfare and a few raised eyebrows from those who wonder whether it can take on Firefox, or Apple’s native browser for OS X, Safari.
The features of the new version of Opera were detailed in a somewhat dubious press release:
“With Opera, Mac users can surf fast, comfortably and efficiently using a full-featured browser that is not tied to the operating system (OS),” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Rather than incurring costly upgrades to your OS to get the newest features, Opera allows Mac users to browse, e-mail, download and chat using one program, requiring minimal system resources due to Opera’s small size.”
Costly upgrades to the OS to get new features? Since when? Firefox is free, for crying out loud, and as far as I know, Safari doesn’t charge per update or anything ridiculous like that. Obviously von Tetzchner hasn’t done his homework in this case — I can’t think of any browsers, regardless of platform, that require “costly upgrades to [the] OS” for new features.
Michael Dell, of Dell Computers, has noted that should Apple “decide to open the MacOS to others,” they’d be glad to offer it up over at Dell.
Over Steve Jobs’ dead body, I’m guessing the answer will be. Some of the panicked mac-enthusiasts, however, are blinded by paranoia after the announcement that Intel will be Apple’s new chip supplier starting in 2006, and see a bleak future for the OS. I’m going to put a stop to this here and now, everyone. When are people going to get it through their heads that just because Intel is going to be Apple’s new chip supplier, the world isn’t ending? It’s hardware, the OS is to remain the same. Apple isn’t going to offer MacOS on non-Apple computers, they’ve already said it. I believe MacDailyNews said it best:
It’s a processor. A lump of silicon. Would we have preferred to have PowerPC if it could deliver what Apple needs? Sure. But, if Apple thinks they can get better performance in the future from Intel than from International “Where’s That 3GHz G5 You Promised Us Last year?” Business Machines, so be it. What’s next, are some Mac users going to burst a blood vessel if Apple changes hard drive suppliers?
Seriously. If people really think that just because Apple switched to a different supplier for one of their components, we’re likely to see MacOS X running on Dell’s computers, I’ve got a mile of oceanfront property in Nevada to sell them. Ain’t gonna happen.
Apple shocked the developer world once again by announcing plans to include WebObjects as a free application, included with OS X 10.4 Tiger Developer tools package. It’s a strong tool that is extremely versatile and is the muscle behind Apple’s iTunes Music Store, and many other high-profile e-commerce projects. While WebObjects isn’t very well known outside the development and design community, those who develop web applications for not only the Mac platform but also the PC, are buzzing about this new announcement. So, you may ask, why all the fuss about WebObjects, and what does it do?
MacWorld UK explains:
WebObjects is a Java-based application-server and builder for Web publishing and internal application building. It’s often used for e-commerce applications, and can even produce pure Java applications that can be run on non-Mac platforms.
In other words, this is one hardcore, powerful tool (and very spendy, even after an extreme price drop from $50k to $700 in 2000). Apple previously released the WebObjects deployment software for free with the XServe and OS X Server in 2002 but now plans to offer the powerful tool free of charge with their developer tools bundle.