Tico Byte for May, 2007.


Hello club members,


The next meeting of the PC Club is this coming Saturday, May 19th, at 8:30am at the Pan American School in Belen. This meeting will be dedicated to social networking. Come and learn how to connect to all that you want to know and all that makes your computer life a rich and full one. Bring your brain, your questions and an your curiosity. It will be fun.


On with the Byte:


Item 1: Microsoft's Claims About Linux Patent Infringement Are Old News And Old FUD,

from the we've-heard-this-before dept.


Well, well, well. The tech blogosphere is all abuzz concerning an article that came out this weekend in Fortune that has Microsoft claiming that open source software violates 235 Microsoft patents and that they want royalties for those patents. While some (including people submitting this story to us) suggest this means Microsoft is suing, that's not the case at all. They're just creating their standard FUD -- and it's not even new FUD. In 2004, Microsoft announced that Linux violated "more than 228 patents". This is doubly amusing, since the Fortune piece claims that its interview was "the first time" that Microsoft has ever revealed the precise number of patents. That's not true, unless you count the "more than" as not being precise. Of course, last time this happened, the research group that Microsoft based the 228 number on later said Microsoft took its research out of context. Either way, if all they've done is gone from 228 to 235 in 3 years, maybe that's not so bad.


Whole story here: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20041118/0930249.shtml



Item 2: Bad Norton 360 Patch Blocks Internet Access


How could this happen? Symantec products, like everything these days, constantly update themselves automatically over the Internet. I theorized that a faulty update came through, leaving the system in a state where it couldn't fix itself. If true, this would be a pretty horrific mistake to make.


Long story here: http://www.appscout.com/2007/05/who_killed_my_computer_part_2.php



Item 3:


DirecTV ponders broadband over power lines


Satellite television provider DirecTV may test delivering high-speed Internet service through power lines in a major U.S. city in the next year, its chief executive said Monday.


Whole story here:  http://news.com.com/DirecTV+ponders+broadband+over+power+lines/2100-1034_3-6183685.html?tag=nefd.top



Item 4:


When In Doubt, Blame It On Technology


There seems to be a growing trend in the UK of people suspending their common sense when they get in a car and turn on GPS navigation units. There are people driving off cliffs and through flooded roads and taking detours that span half of England, apparently at the behest of their navigation units. Things got so bad in one place that authorities even had to put up "ignore your sat nav" signs.


Complete story here: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070511/102354.shtml



Item 5: An EV-DO laptop will let you access the Internet from anywhere you can get a cell phone signal, at broadband speeds.


Nothing's more annoying than hooking up a wire to your laptop to surf the net. Trying to find an unprotected WiFi network can be a drag, too, especially since there's no guarantee you'll find one. The easiest and fastest way to guarantee access to the precious Web is by getting a 3G-enabled laptop. Equipped with a cellular modem, these laptops use a cell phone signal to surf at broadband speeds.


Story here:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2127810,00.asp



Item 6: Driver signing is a failure for Vista


To back up its claims that Windows Vista is "the safest version of Windows ever," Microsoft requires developers to use digital signatures on all 64-bit drivers for Vista.


This requirement, far from making the new operating system safer, actually does little to stop hackers but may be partially responsible for a shortage of drivers that are needed by Vista users.

Good story here at Fred Langa's site: http://windowssecrets.com/comp/070510/#story1



Item 7: Social Networking


Come to the meeting on Saturday and let's talk social networking. The future of Internet use and you computer are all tied up in social networking. You ought to know all you can about it. As a member of the club, you may benefit greatly from understanding where this is all going and how to use your club's resources in you daily life. Come and see what we mean: 8:30am, Pan American School, Belen. Bring a friend.