2/18/2006

Microsoft Plans Six Core Windows Vista Versions

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has finalized the members of its next-generation desktop line-up. As expected, standalone Tablet and Media Center Editions are no more.

After months of maintaining that it had not yet finalized its Windows Vista line up, Microsoft seems finally to have decided upon a half dozen core Vista versions.

According to a posting on its Web site, Microsoft is readying six core Vista packages, or SKUs, plus two additional releases customized for the European Union that won’t bundle in Windows Media Player, as ordered by European antitrust regulators.

On the line up are Windows Starter 2007; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista ultimate, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Home Basic N and Windows Vista Business N. The “N” releases are those which do not include Media Player.

It’s not clear whether the Starter release mentioned on Microsoft’s site is the same as the current Windows XP Starter Edition product, which is a cut-rate, less fully featured version of Windows tailored for developing countries.

Source: microsoft-watch

Google may have to fight second subpoena

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google may be about to face a second round of subpoenas for search-related information.

If the U.S. Justice Department is successful in obtaining a week’s worth of search terms from Google, which it demanded as part of an attempt to defend a 1998 Internet pornography law, a second round of subpoenas is shaping up to be far more intrusive.

The American Civil Liberties Union warned Friday that if the first subpoena is granted–giving the government’s expert the information to use to evaluate the effectiveness of porn filters–the ACLU’s legal assault on the same antipornography law will require it to target Google as well.

“If the government utilizes the information in any manner, we’re very likely going to need to do follow-up discovery,” ACLU attorney Aden Fine said.

Source: News.com

Google rejects Justice Dept. bid for search info

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. on Friday formally rejected the U.S. Justice Department’s subpoena of data from the Web search leader, arguing the demand violated the privacy of users’ Web searches and its own trade secrets.

Responding to a motion by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Google also said in a filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California the government demand to disclose Web search data was impractical.

The Bush administration is seeking to compel Google to hand over Web search data as part of a bid by the Justice Department to appeal a 2004 Supreme Court injunction of a law to penalize Web site operators who allow children to view pornography.

Google is going it alone in opposing the U.S. government request. Rivals Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are among the companies that have complied with the Justice Department demand for data to be used to make its case.

Google’s lawyers said the company shares the government’s concern with materials harmful to minors but argued that the request for its data was irrelevant. They offered a series of technical arguments why this data was not useful.

Source: Reuters

IBM Offers Tailored Search Software

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM has introduced new software to help consumers and businesses get information they need to make online purchases and business decisions.

IBM WebSphere Content Discovery Server, interprets the meaning of online inquiries and provides results based on needs and preferences. The software, announced Thursday, combines technology from IBM and its software acquisition, iPhrase.

The software features search, content integration, and contextual information delivery capabilities to cut through information overload. It aims to help businesses increase online sales, improve customer support, and reduce call center traffic. It combines content integration, search, semantic analysis, and contextual information delivery to interpret jargon, perform misspelled queries, and deliver customized Web pages.

Source: informationweek

UN targets tobacco advertising on Internet

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Health officials from more than 100 countries have agreed to study widening a global tobacco control treaty to target advertising over the Internet and satellite television, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which came into force a year ago, bans advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, blamed for five million early deaths a year.

But officials from 113 countries, meeting in their first conference of the parties, which ended on Friday, found that the May 2003 pact failed to cover all cross-border advertising, senior WHO officials said.

Working parties will study legally-binding protocols to clamp down on cross-border advertising as well as illicit trade, and report back by mid-2007, the officials told a news briefing at the end of two weeks of talks.

“The blindspot was identified that there are other forms of advertising coming from non-party states being beamed into parties — Internet communication and sports sponsorship which maybe comes from satellite television,” said Douglas Bettcher, coordinator of the WHO’s Framework Tobacco Control Office.

“There are complex technical issues that will have to be addressed to manage it, regulate it and obliterate it,” he said.

Source: reuters

Firefox 2.0 To Stress Tab, Bookmark, Extension Changes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla Corp.’s lead engineer isn’t worried about Microsoft’s upcoming Internet Explorer 7, but instead is focusing on getting the next version of Firefox out the door.

“IE 7 is a pretty good catch-up,” said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla’s vice president of engineering. “But it does some funny things with tabs and the UI that I don’t understand why they did it.”

Mozilla, which plans to ship the next major update, Firefox 2.0, by early in the third quarter, is concentrating on adding features and improvements to make sure that its browser stays ahead of Microsoft. “Firefox 1.5 was focused on the platform, but 2.0 will be about the UI, a smaller set of platform things, and more features that the user will see,” Schroepfer said.

Source: informationweek

Driver’s license or national ID card?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Motor vehicle agencies must link their databases together, and perhaps implant chips in driver’s licenses, as necessary steps to ease the way for a national ID card, the head of a group of motor vehicle officials said Thursday.

Technology that may be used for a national ID card could take the form of a chip loaded onto a driver’s license, said Linda Lewis-Pickett, chief executive of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Lewis-Pickett was one of several panelists addressing the controversy over the National ID System, during the RSA Conference 2006 here.

“The DMV is in differing aspects of readiness and it would need to make a quantum leap to get to the point of issuing national ID cards,” Lewis-Pickett said.

She added that the various states need to develop a method of interoperability to share information that could be used for a national ID system.

The panel unanimously agreed that a national ID system will fail to fight terrorism, one of the intents of the Real ID Act that passed last year and is slated to take affect in 2008.

Source: News.com

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