Not even death can stop the RIAA, nor bloggers Apple

Good morning readers, I hope all is well.

First up this morning, Microsoft has released the public Beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7. They previously released a beta which was recommended for developers only, but this new version is so public they’ve set up a free telephone helpline for users in North America and Germany. Her Majesties subjects [and ex-subjects, thankyouverymuch -International Ed] are obviously intelligent enough to figure it out for themselves. You can download the beta from this general location

Sticking with Microsoft (common theme, big company), apparently their Genuine Advantage anti-piracy authentication system for Windows XP, in which one must prove that one is using a genuine copy of Windows XP to receive updates and suchlike, has been so successful that Microsoft is looking to roll out a similar scheme to the Office. Thinking of stealing paperclips from Microsoft ? Think again, fiend ! The scheme will be rolled out on a trial basis in Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish language versions of Office. No word yet on an English language release. It looks like you’re trying to write a letter with a pirated copy of Office... DIE SUCKER, DIE !

Surfing the web at work ? Playing games when the boss ain’t looking ? Do you want a job at To... wait, no.... are you afraid of being fired ? Well, if you’re out in the states you need worry no more, apparently. The New York City Council has been firing a couple of employees every now and again for allegedly slacking off on the job by browsing the internet. Said employees say that they’re just filling up existing slack time. Judge John Spooner agrees, and said that employees should be allowed to browse the net just as they’re allowed to do things like read newspapers. This will overturn a couple of firings, including a famous one when the Mayor of New York fired a city council worker when he noticed solitaire on his screen. Pssht, I would have made him play it all day for a week as punishment

Everyone’s favourite fruity tootey company may be on the verge of sticking (more) ads into iTunes, with a proposed ad on the bottom left hand corner of the iTunes software. This is on top of ads within pod casts and so on which are already in place. Plans to expand the ads aren’t far off the horizon however, and video downloads could soon become the eye of their Apple. At the moment TV networks get $1.44 per iTunes sale, versus 57cents per view in ad sales over the TV. Obviously the more of that Apple can grab for itself the better it’ll be... err, for all of us. Sticking with the fruity tootey lot, they’re currently in a bit of a scrap to determine if bloggers should be afforded the same rights towards protecting their sources as traditional journalists. The US blogs leaked details of Apple’s "Asteroid" product a few years back, and now Apple wants to know where they got the information from, by pulling it out of ISP data servers if they have to. The bloggers argue that they’re entitled to the same rights as any other journalists where protection of sources is concerned. However a twist to the martini might come in a test case in the US which recently said that if a journalist reveals a company trade secret then the right to protection of sources itself goes out the window. So Apple is trying the two tacks at once. The case... ohh you know the rest

A MediaMark study in the US has revealed some interesting tech statistics about kids aged between ages 6-11. For one, girls seem to be more tech savvy than boys : For example 61.8 percent of the girls surveyed said they had went online in the past 30 days, versus 56.3 percent of boys. This trend continues almost right the way through. 6.5 percent of all kids used an IM client, while only 2.6 percent used chat rooms, which should help some sleep easier at night given that accessing a child via an IM client is more difficult than in an open chat room. Interestingly, 16.8 percent had a computer in their room with 6.6 percent of them having internet access. Eyebrow to the Spock position

And finally, I’ve been joking about this case for some time now (quite morbid of me, really) but finally the RIAA has commented on the case of 83-year-old Gertrude Walton, an alleged music pirate. The fact that she didn’t know anything about computers won’t stop the RIAA. It must be a sham, of course she’d use that excuse ! The fact that she’s dead however... Well, that must be a sham as well ! The uhh, defendants daughter sent the RIAA a copy of her mothers death certificate to no avail, until today when an RIAA spokeszombie announced that they were calling off the case. "Our evidence gathering and our subsequent legal actions all were initiated weeks and even months ago," said RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy. "We will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case." Beware music pirates (and everyone else, innocent or not), not even death can save you from the RIAA !

That is pretty morbid alright. Coming up today we have a HTPC on the cheap, D&D vs WoW (come on gamers, decipher) and another case of Overclocking Yourself (I’m in pain, I really am...)

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