Vista “Goes Gold” Too!

Well, first it was Office, now Vista. Microsoft has released the product to manufacture. Will YOU use it?

Microsoft Releases Windows Vista To Manufacturing

“Microsoft on Wednesday released Windows Vista to manufacturing, marking the end of the operating system’s five-year, and often difficult, development cycle. ‘This is a good day,’ said Jim Allchin, the co-president of the company’s Windows division, in a press conference Wednesday morning. ‘An hour ago we signed off [on the RTM build]. We’re ready to ship.’ The announcement, which was presaged in leaks from several Windows tipsters and analysts beginning last weekend, means that Microsoft has wrapped up its work on the Vista code, or at least the core code. Work can continue, for instance, on add-ons, including drivers, which will be delivered at launch or after via the Windows Update automatic update service. ‘RTM [release to manufacturing] signifies the next step and the next phase for Vista,’ said Allchin, who added that the torch had been passed to computer makers, which will install the OS on new PCs, and third-party software developers. Allchin also confirmed that Vista would release to corporate customers with volume license agreements before the end of November and that the next-generation OS would meet the previously-set deadline of January 2007. ‘January 30, in fact,’ said Allchin.”

A Guy Gets the “Windows Tax” Refund from Dell!

What is “the Windows Tax?” Well, evil Microsoft has an agreement with every PC maker saying that they WILL install Windows on every PC sold. So, what if you are buying a PC to install Linux on it? Well, you still have to pay Microsoft’s evil “Windows Tax” and you end up owning a copy of Windows whether you want it or not! So, what if you went to the trouble to PROVE that you didn’t use Windows and demanded the “tax” be returned to you? Well… guess what? A guy in England actually did it!

Dell customer gets Windows refund

“Dell today gave freelance programmer and sysadmin Dave Mitchell, of Sheffield, UK, a refund of 47 pounds ($89) for the unused copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2 bundled with his new Dell Inspiron 640m laptop, Mitchell says. Dell also refunded the tax, for a total of £55.23 ($105).”

Wow! What if we all did this? I suspect the numbers for Windows sales would go down, and the installed base of Linux would go up from a statistical point of view!

Microsoft Pays Novell Big Bucks

And what does Microsoft get? Good question. They deal is supposed to make Microsoft technology work better with Linux. Microsoft says that it is doing this based on their own customer’s demand. Check this out:

Microsoft Paying Novell $348 Million in Linux Deal

“SEATTLE — Software maker Novell Corp. (NOVL) said on Tuesday Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will make two separate up-front payments totaling $348 million to the company under an agreement to allow Novell’s open-source Linux software to work with Windows. Microsoft will pay Novell $240 million up front in subscription fees to allow the world’s largest software maker to use its Linux software. Microsoft will pay an additional $108 million up-front for use of patents, Novell said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

$348 MILLION! It does make you think. What is Microsoft up to? Linux itself is free and Open Source. SuSE Linux is just one company’s version based on free source code. Things to make you go, “Hummmmmm.”

Office 2007 “Goes Gold!”

MS-Office 2007Wow! (Tongue firmly in cheek.) Microsoft Office 2007 has finally been sent to manufacturing! And, it is expected to cost “eleven-dy billion dollars!” And, it is so bloated that you have to have a super computer to run it! OK, I jest… but not by much!

Office 2007 Goes Gold

Honestly, I use OpenOffice. It is FREE! And, it does everything I need in an “Office Suite.” Yeeesh.

Broadband Over Powerlines

The FCC has endorsed BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) as a new method of delivering network connectivity. At least this way, some folks I know that live WAY out in the “boonies” can finally get high speed Internet!

FCC Endorses Broadband over Powerline

“The Federal Communications Commission on Friday gave a big boost to Broadband over Powerline (BPL), classifying the technology as an ‘information service.’ The declaration places BPL-enabled access services on equal footing with cable modem and DSL Internet access services. The FCC has campaigned for BPL approval for years, although ham radio operators have long complained that BPL would interfere with its service. By ruling BPL service’s transmission component is ‘telecommunications,’ and an ‘information service,’ BPL will find it easier to deploy beyond the handful of networks that are currently scattered around the country, mostly in the Northeast. ‘The Commission’s broadband statistics show that subscribers to BPL Internet access services, although few in number overall, increased by nearly 200 percent in 2005,’ said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who has been a supporter of the technology. ‘By finding that BPL Internet access services are information services, the Commission provides the regulatory certainty necessary to foster competition between different broadband platform providers.'”

Geek Software of the Week: Sandboxie!

“Sandboxie?” That sounds lame! Well, a “sandbox” is metaphorically, a place to play. (Like a kid in a sandbox, get it?) So, “Sandboxie” allows you to “play” with programs, and more specifically, websites, that are, perhaps, “dangerous” places. Places where you might get a spyware infection for instance. However, if the “play area” for your browser is “sandboxed,” then theoretically, you are safe!

Sandboxie “Virtual Play Area” Software

“Think of your PC as a piece of paper. Every program you run writes on the paper. When you run your browser, it writes on the paper about every site you visited. And any malware you come across will usually try to write itself into the paper. Traditional privacy and anti-malware software try to locate and erase any writings they think you wouldn’t want on the paper. Most of the times they get it right. But first the makers of these solutions must teach the solution what to look for on the paper, and also how to erase it safely. On the other hand, the Sandboxie sandbox works like a transparency layer placed over the paper. Programs write on the transparency layer and to them it looks like the real paper. When you delete the sandbox, it’s like removing the transparency layer, the unchanged, real paper is revealed.”

The “Get Out of Your Cubicle and Vote!” Edition of Dr. Bill’s Podcast #61!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 61 – (11/04/06)
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Coming to you with bells on! This week we bring you lot’s more stuff! Episode number 61! Proud members of the Techpodcasts Network – a promo for the Rootsmart Podcast! Geek Culture, “My Cubicle,” here are the lyrics:

“My Cubicle”
Lyrics by: Morning Sidekick
Performed by: Jym Britton
Parody on “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

My job is stupid my day’s a bore,
Inside this office from eight to four
Nothin’ ever happens my life is pretty bland,
Pretending that I’m working, pray I don’t get canned.

My cubicle, my cubicle
It’s one of sixty two
It’s my small space in a crowded place
Just a six-by-six foot booth
And I hate it, that’s the truth

Well, I give a sigh as the boss walks by,
no one ever talks to me or looks me in the eye.
And I really should work but instead I just sit here and surf the Internet.

In my cubicle, my cubicle
It doesn’t have a view.
It’ my small space in a crowded place
I sit in solitude.
And sometimes I sit here nude.

DeltaCopy for Windows – our Geek Software of the Week – an rsync for Windows! OpenBSD 4.0 has been released! Dr. Bill finds a mistake in the Blog! But he fixed it! OpenBDS indeed! Sigh. Windows Media Player 11 is out! The Thanksgiving Blog header provided by Scott Redmon, our Guilford County Webmaster! Microsoft and Novell announce that they are working together to make Linux and Windows work better together. Are users mostly liberal? Dr. Bill tries an experiment on Digg! Get out an vote on Tuesday!

Are Users Mostly Liberal?

I love for it’s “up to the minute” tech news! And, I have been “with them” as an active Digger since the beginning… but, as I watch the Diggs coming in tonight, I find myself wondering… are the majority of Digg users liberal? I have noticed that as we get closer to the 2006 mid-term elections, the liberal posts are up on Digg, and the “Diggs” agreeing with them seem to be mounting. My guess is that this is designed by liberal Diggers to motivate the “base” just before the elections. But, are all Diggers liberal? Well, no, I am not, and, as I say, I have been “Digging” since the beginning of… but I find the phenomenon interesting.

Everyone has a right to speak out, and express their opinions… but I suspect that if I post this to Digg (I probably will, just as an experiment) I am sure that I will be “flamed” mercilessly! Ah, c’est la vie! My two cents… since 9-11-2001 we haven’t had another major terrorist attack… the economy is looking really good… but the Republicans don’t seem to get any credit for either situation. But, they are getting plenty of blame. From a Digger that is a registered Republican… hang in there fellow conservatives… and EVERYONE go out and vote no matter who you are for… let’s exercise our rights as citizens to elect our representatives! See ya at the polls on Tuesday!

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