Patch Tuesday didn't exactly go as planned. In fact, there was one hitch
that resulted in a re-release, a re-patch or a re-tread, if you will. The patch causes problems on systems with certain Nvidia cards and older HP machines. No big whoop, unless you have an older HP with a Nvidia card!
There's apparently a problem with a new patch and Outlook Express that our friend Mary Jo Foley clued us into.
The Computer Industry Loses a Personality
The early days of PCs were fueled by wild, weird aggressive personalities like Don Estridge, Jim Manzi, Philippe Kahn, Steve Jobs, and yes, Bill Gates. Now we're left with just the last two. Sun CEO Scott McNealy says he will step down and let Jonathan Schwartz take over the company. But Scott won't completely disappear. As chairman, he plans to keep working full-time. But I expect we'll hear a lot fewer wisecracks.
Microsoft Wins One Antitrust Round, Fights Another
If you bought a Dell with Windows or Office pre-installed, and who hasn't, you can't blame Microsoft for charging too much. A recent court ruling makes the company immune to such suits. As much as the rules of competitive engagement need to be clarified, codified and utilized, this OEM thing is just not a huge deal. When I can buy a $300 desktop with a CD burner and half a gig of RAM, the price of Windows in this equation is not a huge bother. Where it really counts is standalone Windows licenses, which one must often buy when reviving an old computer. If you can prove you own a previous rev of Windows, XP Home is $100; if not, it's $200. That's either one-third or two-thirds the price of that new Dell, and that ain't so hot.
Meanwhile, Redmond is getting ready to go to war with Europe, and will fight the ongoing antitrust charges tooth and nail. The Europeans probably won't be happy until Windows is stripped down so only the command line remains.
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Censorship is One Thing, What Yahoo Did is Another
I hate censorship as much as the next guy (except for Michael Powell, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Tipper Gore), but censorship is not reason enough to keep U.S. tech companies from doing business with foreign powers. That said, what Yahoo has apparently done in China steps way over the line. The company gave the Chinese government the draft of a dissident's e-mail, cause enough to send him off to jail for four years. Following some laws one might not agree with is one thing, but this level of privacy invasion, and with these consequences, should make Yahoo hang its head in shame.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.