John Lister

Fri
18
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

DVD Rentals Coming To Xbox 360

Netflix and Microsoft have struck a deal to allow Xbox 360 owners to legally stream movies to their TV sets. The service, which launches this fall, will be free with any subscription to the Netflix rental-by-mail service. Although a couple of ... dedicated media streaming boxes already carry licensed Netflix content, this is the first time a games console has had the ability. Netflix already lets subscribers on all but its cheapest subscription package watch unlimited movies on-demand through their PC. However, copy protection means PC users can only stream movies to their television sets at a ... (view more)

Fri
18
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Leaves Nasty Aftertaste for iPhone Buyers

Apple's in-store activation scheme for the launch of the new iPhone seems to have backfired thanks to a software bug. The problem isn't with the phone itself -- as far as anyone can tell, they work exactly as advertised. Instead, the glitch lay in ... the servers used to activate the phone service. Apple brought in the scheme after fears people would buy phones and then sell them abroad, particularly in markets which don't yet have a licensed local carrier. To combat this, U.S. buyers have to get their phones activated in person. In most cases, this involves signing a minimum two-year service ... (view more)

Thu
17
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Yahoo Says Go Build Your Own Search Engine

One-third of the long-running major search engine love triangle is now quite literally giving it away. Yahoo has launched what it calls an 'open search web services platform'. In effect, it's letting outside firms use its technology to run ... independent search engines. While that's been done before, this is the first time a major search group has made its technology available without any restrictions on what you do with it. The Yahoo deal has no limits on how many searches you can offer each day, or how you order and present the results. And for the first time companies using Yahoo's search ... (view more)

Wed
16
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Steps Up GMail Security

Google has announced two new security measures for its Gmail service: a partnership with eBay and PayPal to reduce phishing attacks, and a tool to warn users if somebody may have illicitly accessed their mailbox. The firm has teamed up with the ... auction and money transfer sites because they are two of the most common targets for phishing, a technique where hackers send emails that appear to be from the company and include links to bogus sites in the hope of capturing user names and passwords. Gmail already highlights potentially suspicious emails with a red box and removes any links those ... (view more)

Tue
15
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Bows To Privacy Pressure

There's been a surprising amount of buzz about a one-word change to Google's home page: 'privacy'. The company has added a link from the front page of the site to the various privacy policies for the first time. It ends a prolonged debate about ... whether or not Google was breaching state laws. The controversy arose in May when the New York Times pointed out that a 2003 California law requires commercial websites based in the state to clearly display a link to its privacy policies from its home page. At the time, Google argued that it had taken care of this with a link to 'About Google'; however ... (view more)

Mon
14
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Broadband Refusers Blame High Prices, Disinterest

A surprising study suggests broadband usage may be about as widespread as it's going to get in the United States. It seems comparatively few dial-up users are stuck that way through a lack of availability. Instead, many of them either think ... broadband is too expensive, or flat-out don't want it. The study has been carried out every year for the past decade or so by the Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent think-tank. While broadband use is growing year-on-year, the figures are virtually unchanged since last December, suggesting the market has hit saturation point. (Source arstechnica.com ) ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Scrabble Battle Heats Up on Facebook

Scrabble is finally coming to Facebook. If that surprises you because you thought it was already there, Electronic Arts (EA) lawyers would probably like to call you as a witness. As we reported back in January , the popular Scrabulous feature on ... Facebook is entirely unofficial. Like most Facebook add-ons, it's run independently -- in this case, by two Indian brothers. They are estimated to make around $25,000 a month selling adverts which appear beside the game. Given the obvious legal difficulties involved in profiting from another firm's game in this way, the pair specifically avoid the ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Security Update Goes Badly

Users of some firewall software, including the popular Zone Alarm, have found Microsoft's latest security update works a little too well: it effectively blocks their Internet access completely. The offending update fixes a pretty serious flaw in ... Windows which would have allowed hackers to redirect network traffic. However, it's proved incompatible with the entire ZoneAlarm series of software, leaving its users unable to access websites, instant messaging, email or any other Internet services. (Source: channelregister.co.uk ) ZoneAlarm has published three possible solutions. The first is to ... (view more)

Thu
10
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Judges Watching You Watching YouTube

The 'Security vs Privacy' debate is raging again after a court recently ordered Google to hand its entire YouTube records over to Viacom. The order, from the US District Court in Southern New York, comes as part of an ongoing billion dollar lawsuit ... that the media giant (which owns MTV and Nickelodeon among others) filed over copyrighted material on the video site. The suit claims that Viacom has lost revenue thanks to the infringement, while Google has boosted its advertising take. The heart of the case is Google's position that it doesn't -- and practically couldn't -- vet clips that users ... (view more)

Wed
09
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Announces Subscription-based Office

Microsoft has officially confirmed its plan to offer the Office package to the public on a subscription basis. It follows the testing programme, codenamed Albany, which we reported in April . The scheme, renamed Microsoft Equipt, launches in the ... middle of July. Surprisingly, the deal will initially only be available at Circuit City stores. However, Microsoft says it's not an exclusive agreement and they may distribute it through other routes later on. (Source: betanews.com ) The package will cost $70 a year, which is about what analysts tagged as a fair price in comparison to the prices for ... (view more)

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