Nine Inch Nails releases Internet album

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Trent Reznor, the man behind the rock group Nine Inch Nails, continued his foray into self-distribution by releasing a 36-track instrumental album over the Internet.

The album, Ghosts I-IV, went on sale Sunday on NIN.com, the band’s Web site, and was available in a varying range of price packages.

Reznor is giving away the first nine songs of the album for free. The entire album in a digital version is available for $5. Nine Inch Nails’ fans can order separate disc-sets of the album (with varying bonus materials and merchandise) from $10 to $300.

With the album release, Nine Inch Nails is the latest to offer its own version of the online promotion made famous by British supergroup Radiohead. In October, Radiohead released In Rainbows over the Internet and stirred excitement throughout the music industry by allowing fans to pay whatever price they chose for the music.

Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 delayed

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has admitted that service pack one (SP1) for its Ultimate edition of Windows Vista will not be made available to everyone in mid-March as originally planned, because of a delay with 31 of its language packs.

Vista product manager Nick White said in a blog post yesterday that Microsoft will now ship Vista Ultimate SP1 in two “waves”, with the second one coming “later in 2008″.

Customers running the “premium” version of the operating system on their computers in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish will be able to get the service pack shortly, according to White.

But the remaining Vista Ultimate computers around the world will not receive the long-awaited update until the 31 language packs, that the software giant is presumably tweaking, are supported in SP1.

The 36 language packs are only available in Windows Vista Ultimate and Vista Ultimate 64-bit. SP1 was released to manufacturing on 4 February and is already available to MSDN subscribers.

White admitted that customers whose computers carry one of the 31 language packs affected will currently receive an error when trying to download SP1 from the Window Update website.

It reads: “Windows Vista Service Pack 1 cannot be installed on your computer because the language of Windows Vista you have installed is not supported or you have installed a language pack that is not supported.

“Windows Vista Service pack 1 can only be installed on computers running the English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish versions of Windows Vista or computers running only those language packs.”

Microsoft: IE8 to support standards from the start

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Aiming to demonstrate that its commitment to interoperability goes beyond fancy statements, Microsoft said Monday that it is shifting its plans for the next version of Internet Explorer to make the program more friendly to Web standards.

The software maker said that a planned standards compatibility mode will now be the default rendering engine when IE8 makes its debut. Microsoft has already said that the new browser is capable of passing the Acid2 rendering test.

Your Data Can be Stolen on Airport Wireless Networks

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The next time you’re in an airport terminal with your wireless notebook on, there’s a good chance you’re exposing your or your company’s data to others. Even worse, the wireless network you’re connected to might be completely insecure — or even be running on the laptop of the guy sitting next to you.

Researchers from AirTight Networks visited 14 airports around the world and discovered that most business travelers aren’t taking the basic steps necessary to protect sensitive data. “We found that only three percent of all mobile users were using virtual private networks (VPNs), so most of their data was free and clear to anyone who could sniff the airwaves,” said Mike Baglietto, director of product marketing for AirTight Networks.

With little effort the researchers were able to see what Web surfers were looking at, and even capture their cookies. “There’s a huge data-leakage exposure,” Baglietto said. “We’re able to track people’s cookies in the air, and once you start getting a user’s cookies, you could impersonate that user” to steal their banking credentials, for example.

Pioneer to end plasma panel output

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Japan’s Pioneer Corp is finalizing plans to stop all production of plasma display panels in a bid to turn around its loss-making flat TV operations, an industry source briefed on the plan said on Tuesday.

Pioneer is the world’s fifth-biggest plasma TV maker, but it has been struggling to compete with larger rivals with better output efficiency such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, maker of Panasonic-brand electronics.

After the move, Pioneer plans to buy plasma panels for flat TVs from Matsushita, the Nikkei business daily reported. Pioneer is already planning to buy liquid crystal display panels from Sharp Corp to start offering LCD TVs.

Dogs to sniff out DVD piracy in Malaysia

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Malaysian authorities said Monday they hope two specially trained dogs will help police sniff out pirated DVDs and clean up the country’s reputation as an abuser of intellectual property rights.

Two male Labradors from Northern Ireland, named Paddy and Manny and trained to smell chemicals used in DVD production, will become the world’s first permanent canine national anti-piracy unit when they go into action next month, according to Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

The dogs can’t distinguish between real and pirated DVDs. What they do is point officers to hidden caches of discs.

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