Tico Byte, August, 2007
Your PC Club will meet at the Pan American School in Belen this coming Saturday, August 18th at 8:30am. This month's meeting will include talks about useful Internet applications, sites and features that are sure to make you gasp in amazement. Well ... perhaps jot down lots of useful information, anyway. We will be talking about and showing new ways to make your computer experience better and more fun. We will have an open question and answer session as well as hardware and software clinics. Featured will be presentations about social sites that you will want to know about. So come early and get your coffee and donuts. It will be lots of fun; so bring a friend.
On with the Byte:
Item 1: The big Linux news this week
A judge has ruled that SCO doesn’t own the Unix copyright. — SCO’s claim to which was at the crux of its threats against Linux. What does this ruling mean to Microsoft, if anything?
As my blogging colleague Dana Blankenhorn notes, the SCO ruling seemingly has no impact on Microsoft’s allegations of patent violations by the Linux and open-source communities.
But industry historians may recall that Microsoft wasn’t totally removed from the whole SCO-Unix-copyright matter.
Microsoft played matchmaker back in 2003 when SCO needed money to help fund its lawsuits against IBM and various other Linux players and customers. Microsoft suggested that hedge fund BayStar Capital invest $50 million in SCO.
Microsoft also backed SCO’s play to convince other vendors and customers to license SCO’s technology to avoid potential infringement lawsuits. (Maybe that’s where Microsoft got its patent-licensing ideas ….)
One of the first companies to snap up two SCO licenses was Microsoft, to the tune of $12 million, according to Business Week. Sun Microsystems and Computer Associates also bought into SCO’s plan.
I wonder if Microsoft will attempt to recoup its $12 million, now that SCO’s Unix licensing strategy has been exposed as a sham? I asked the Softies for any statements they might want to make, re: the SCO matter. So far, no word back.
Item 2: Mozilla (Firefox) to make helpful changes
With the number of malicious Web pages mushrooming over the past several months, the Mozilla Foundation is looking to help users defend themselves. Window Snyder, who is Mozilla's "chief security something-or-other," says the company is taking a two-pronged approach.
First, Mozilla developers are working on giving Firefox 3.0, the next version of the open source browser due later this year, the ability to detect malicious code on Web sites that users are trying to access. "In Firefox 2, there's no mechanism that identifies if malware is present," says Snyder.
Second, developers are working on creating an interface that will warn users that the pages they're trying to call up are dangerous. "We don't want to just pop up an alert that gives them an OK or cancel option," says Snyder. "We want to create a warning that users won't mistake. ... It's going to be a different kind of warning, and it's not going to be a click-through."
Item 3: Imacs for you office
While Apple hopes its revamped iMac desktop line will continue to grow the company's consumer computer business, it may be indirectly making inroads into the enterprise space.
According to Q2 results from IDC, in the overall U.S. computer market, which includes desktops and notebooks, Apple is now tied for third with competitor Gateway at 5.6 per cent of the total market share.
The thinner and sleeker all-in-one machines, which now feature an aluminum-and-glass design, were announced at a slightly more competitive price point than its previous incarnations. The 20-inch, 2GHz machine will sell for US$1,199; the 20-inch 2.4GHz model for $1,499; and the 24-inch 2.4GHz offering for $1,799.
Item 4: Can Adobe? beat out Google?
The software maker famous for Flash and Photoshop is poised to take the plunge into the lucrative world of office applications. It may sound far-fetched at first, but the stage is set for Adobe to flex its muscle in the office-app arena. The company already has a strong presence in business software with its Acrobat suite of products and interest in its new platform for web-enabled applications that run on the desktop is rising quickly.
Item 5: How internet use is changing.
Internet users spend almost half their time online reading and watching content, dwarfing the time spent searching for information, communicating with others and buying products, according to a four-year analysis of internet activity released Monday.
The study analyzes four years of data compiled in the association's Internet Activity Index (IAI), a monthly measure of online e-commerce, communications, search and content activity done by Nielsen/NetRatings.
While users in 2003 spent 46% of their time online communicating, they now spend 47% of their time viewing content, according to the study. The share of time spent using e-mail or instant messaging tools has dropped 28% over the last four years, while the time spent on e-commerce activities is down 5% over the same period. Users spend about 5% of their time online searching for data.
Item 6: Helpful hints for using Google apps
For this one you have to come to the meeting on Saturday as we have lots of this planned.
See you there.