Friday, June 23, 2006
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Monday, June 19, 2006
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The lawsuit is critical of the fact Myspace does not verify the age of its users and calls measures in place to stop grizly old geezers grooming sweet young things as "utterly ineffective." The suit alleges Myspace fails in its duty to protect minors.
A lawyer representing the girl's family told reporters, "MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online."
The girl and her family filed the suit against Myspace owner News Corp as well as the 19 year-old accused of fiddling with her.
The girl gave out her mobile phone number to the bloke after she met him on the site. She says that after the pair went out one time to see a film and have a bite to eat, he drove her to a car park and sexually assaulted her.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Gates, who is and will remain chairman of Microsoft's board of directors, today announced that he will give up his job as Microsoft's chief software architect in two years in order to devote more time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates's departure will end an unusual division of labor between him and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, says technology analyst Rob Enderle.
Usually a chief software architect reports to a CEO, but since Gates was also chairman, Ballmer had to report to him. "There really wasn't one person in charge," Enderle says. "This takes Microsoft back to a more traditional structure."
Too Busy to Do the Job
While Wall Street may find the prospect of a Microsoft without Bill Gates unnerving, Gates's "actual impact on the products has fallen off dramatically over the last seven years," Enderle says. Gates was simply too busy with his duties as chairman of Microsoft and of his foundation to devote sufficient attention to being chief software architect--"and that's a full-time job," Enderle says.
"He wasn't really involved in the day-to-day decisions on what went into the product for quite some time," Enderle says. If anything, he adds, Gates was more "schedule-oriented," and had he been more involved, Windows Vista's release might not have been delayed.
"Content? That was to a large extent determined by others," Enderle says, adding that the upcoming departure of Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services division, will likely have more impact on the future of Windows than will Gates's departure.
Enderle believes that Gates had come to a realization "that he needed to either reengage or step back, and he decided to take that next step."
If Ray Ozzie, who will assume Gates's responsibilities as chief software architect, is up to the job, Microsoft could emerge stronger than ever--and as a result its products could improve, Enderle says.
"We're going to lose an icon, but the company is going to gain a chief software architect," he adds.
Microsoft's Loss, Charity's Gain
Meanwhile, Gates's foundation, which supports innovation in global learning and health, stands to benefit from its founder's increased involvement.
"This is a great day for the developing world," says former Microsoft executive John Wood. "He's going to put all of his passion and energy into the foundation. It will be incredible to see what they can do as a result."
Wood worked with Gates from 1991 to 1999, when he left to start his own philanthropic group, Room to Read, which focuses on providing education for children in the developing world.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
In photography, for example, it is tempting to think that once everybody has a digital camera, the transition will be complete and things will settle down, right? Wrong. The revolution is taking off; it is only the boring part that's nearly over.
The reason is Moore's Law, the notion behind advances in the computer industry for the past 40 years. Gordon Moore, a founder of Intel, observed in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip doubled every 18 months, and that is pretty much still true. More transistors for the computer mean more features and more bang for the consumer's buck. For digital cameras, the bang has meant sensors with more megapixels and bigger memory cards.
Some say the megapixel race will stop, just as people used to think that 8- bit, 16-bit or 32-bit computers would be enough. The problem with that reasoning is all the smart engineers who wake up every day looking for a competitive edge by turning computing power into something worth buying. I'm betting that they will succeed, because there are so many opportunities.
So far, camera designers have focused on vital but mundane tasks, like producing picture quality equal to that of film. Professionally, my 16-megapixel Canon is vastly better than film.
Yet why stop at film? I'm eagerly awaiting Canon's next move, probably to 25-plus megapixels. I'm what marketing people call an early adopter, but mark my words - you'll own a 16- or even a 25-megapixel point-and-shoot in a few years, and it will not stop there. By some estimates, your eyes have an effective resolution of more than 500 megapixels. If you can see it, why shouldn't a camera record it?
Friday, June 09, 2006
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a petition aimed at overturning a decision by regulators requiring facilities-based broadband providers and those that offer Internet telephone service to comply with U.S. wiretap laws.
The court concluded that the FCC requirement was a "reasonable policy choice" even though information services are exempted from the government's wiretapping authority.
The FCC has set a May 14, 2007 deadline for compliance.
"I am pleased that the Court agreed with the Commission's finding, which will ensure that law enforcement agencies' ability to conduct lawful court-ordered electronic surveillance will keep pace with new communication technologies," FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a statement after the ruling.
The ruling comes at a time when critics have voiced concerned that the Bush administration's surveillance program violates civil liberties. The administration argues it needs the program, which allows the National Security Agency to monitor international telephone calls of U.S. citizens, as part of its broader war on terrorism.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
TiVo began testing broadband video downloads last August, previewing "Greg the Bunny," "Hopeless Pictures" and "The Festival" before they debuted on the Independent Film Channel. That was later followed up in December with Rocketboom videos, which have been ongoing since then.
"Television is still the preferred platform for watching video," Tara Maitra, TiVo general manger of programming, said in a statement. "The TiVoCast service captures mainstream and specialty-based content on the Web, delivering programming that is not otherwise available through the TV today."
TiVo plans to expand the number of Web sites and videos it offers, Maitra added in a telephone interview, although there is no specific target for such launches.