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Antitrust Angst, Vista Hype, And XP Happiness

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Wi-Fi And The Freeloaders
2. Today's Top Story
     - Hate The Vista Hype? How To Stay Happy With Windows XP
Related Stories:
     - Microsoft Makes Changes To Enterprise Licensing For Windows Server 2003, Vista
     - Microsoft To Release New Vista Beta This Week
3. Breaking News
     - Illinois Aims To Protect Consumer Privacy, Outlaws 'Pretexting'
     - Websense Uses Google To Identify Web Sites Bearing Malware
     - A Better Ajax Than Ajax? Adobe Says Yes
     - Microsoft Patches 18 Bugs; Two-Month Total Swells To 39
     - New Certifications Ask Architects To Show Their Credentials
     - Europeans Debate 'Hopelessly Complex' Software Patent System
     - Defense: Government Was Out To Get UBS Sys Admin
     - Mumbai Blogger Wonders 'Will The Rains Wash Away The Blood?'
     - Microsoft To Push Cheap Office 2007, Free Trial
     - 'Digital Dirt' Derailing Job Seekers
     - Voice And VoIP Phishing Scams On The Rise
     - Zango Adware Found On MySpace
     - Google Checkout Doesn't Pay On eBay
4. Grab Bag
     - Site-Lookup Service Foils Fraud (Wired News)
     - Video-Sharing Sites Raise Concerns Over Crude Clips (AP)
     - Geek To Live: Securely Track Your Passwords (Lifehacker)
     - Internet Phone Bills May Rise (CNNMoney.com)
5. In Depth: Antitrust Angst
     - EU Fines Microsoft $358 Million
     - Brief: EU Says Microsoft Windows Vista Must Comply With Antitrust Ruling
     - The European Union Vs. Microsoft: A Timeline Of Events
     - EU To Cap Microsoft Daily Fine At $3.8 Million: Source
     - Analysts: Microsoft Has Antitrust Anxiety
6. Voice Of Authority
     - Google's Gdrive Stands For 'Government Drive'
7. White Papers
     - High Availability For Windows Services
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." Niels Bohr


1. Editor's Note: Wi-Fi And The Freeloaders

The latest chapter in high-tech rudeness involves a battle brewing between steaming caf and coffee shop owners and Wi-Fi freeloading laptop users. The problem is that some laptop users see nothing wrong with turning their corner coffee bars into extensions of their officeif not their actual office. They come in to take advantage of the free Internet access and end up displacing the paying clientele by hogging tables for hours while spending next to nothing. And they think nothing of it.

Exasperated shopkeepers are striking back. At least one peeved shop has called the cops. In this case, the man reportedly spent three months hanging out in the parking lot sucking up the coffee shop's free Wi-Fi signal, but never bought anything. Told by the police to stop, he persisted and has since been charged with theft of services. The case in turn has debate percolating over whether you can be arrested for using free Wi-Fi signals. (Apparently you can.)

But most coffee shops try the subtle approach, pressing freeloaders to buy something or move along if they've been there a while. Some, though, are taking the more drastic step of pulling the plug on Wi-Fi accessa competitive advantageduring the lunch period. Some are even starting to charge for access. Not that that will necessarily change any behaviors.

In a story in the July 9 Boston Globe, one woman gushes that she "practically lives" at one caf, spending up to 30 hours a week there. She does spend money there, about $74 a month total for food and Internet access, but frankly admits it's a bargain, being that it's far cheaper than shelling out for actual office space. I'll say: At 30 hours a week for $74 a week, that comes out to about $2.46 an hour for free Wi-Fi, electricity, a "desk," heat/AC, office space, and a place to hang your coat. You can barely park for $2 an hour in parts of Boston! Maybe she should try imagining a conversation between herself and the caf owners. Here's how I think it would go:

"Hi, mind if I use one of your booths on a daily basis as my office?"

"Uh, yeah, I do! You see, this...is...a...coffee shop."

(Blinks blankly) "What's your point?"

Another customer probably spoke for many laptop users when he rationalized his use of the coffee shop as an extension of his home office by saying he works better with other people around. (Hmm, maybe he should rethink his telecommuting instead.)

A whiney transplanted Californian meanwhile expressed outrage in the same article that some caf owners are (sputter) resorting to charging (a pittance I might add) for Internet access and sniffs that if he has to pay for Internet access, well then, he doesn't feel compelled to buy anything else! The fees I've read about, by the way, run $13 or $14 a month. That's about $0.46 a daymore cause for rejoicing than frothing if you ask me.

But it's the folks who slither into their free Wi-Fi connection complete with a cup of someone else's coffee at their side that take the cake for gall.

What the freeloaders don't seem to get is that the free Wi-Fi is meant to draw in customers who will, sure, stay and access the Net, but also spend money commensurate with the time they spend there. I guess it only takes a few self-centered souls to ruin it for everyone.

A side issue related to the freeloaders is the worry by some owners that all that "work" can kill or dampen the social atmosphere of many coffee shops. You have to wonder how many of these freeloading laptop users compound the issue by yakking on their cell phone for the duration of their stay. Bring on the cell phone sections!

Of course, self-centered behavior and a lack of manners are hardly limited to freeloading laptop users or obnoxious cell phone use. You can read more about that by going to my blog entry.

But back to the coffee drinkers. Tell us what you think. Should people who use free Wi-Fi be expected to spend money in the establishments supplying the signal, or at least be sensitive to heavy business periods? Is it reasonable to turn the corner coffee shop into an extension of your office on a regular basis? Should you be able to arrest someone for taking advantage of a Wi-Fi signal that is, after all, being offered free? And if you shell out $14 a month to use such a signal, are you justified in spending however much time you want in the caf?

Patricia Keefe
pkeefe@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

Hate The Vista Hype? How To Stay Happy With Windows XP
Think Windows Vista will bring more hot air than benefits? This article is for you. Here's how to get the most out of XP for a long, long timeincluding ways to get some of Vista's hot new features on XP right now.

Related Stories:

Microsoft Makes Changes To Enterprise Licensing For Windows Server 2003, Vista
Customers that acquire Vista Enterprise through Software Assurance can run four copies of Windows on one device for a single user at no additional charge. Microsoft also unveiled new, more flexible licensing for Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft To Release New Vista Beta This Week
The new beta will be less of a resource hog than the existing software, which is now nine weeks old, Microsoft says.


3. Breaking News

Illinois Aims To Protect Consumer Privacy, Outlaws 'Pretexting'
The new state law outlaws pretending to be an account holder in order to gain cell phone records and other personal information.

Websense Uses Google To Identify Web Sites Bearing Malware
Google recently began indexing the executable files found on Web sites. Websense now searches for specific strings within those files, such as identifiers known to be used by popular malware packers.

A Better Ajax Than Ajax? Adobe Says Yes
To push Flex 2, Adobe is giving away a software development kit for free, lowering the price of an ease-of-use development tool, and widening the capabilities of Flex 2 to work with Ajax.

Microsoft Patches 18 Bugs; Two-Month Total Swells To 39
Microsoft rolls out seven security updates for Windows and Office to fix 18 bugs, a total that nearly matches last month's 2006 record of 21 vulnerabilities.

New Certifications Ask Architects To Show Their Credentials
Programs from Microsoft and Open Group aim to set industry standards for distinguishing the skills and experience levels of tech architects.

Europeans Debate 'Hopelessly Complex' Software Patent System
The issue that dominated so much of Europe's intellectual property discussions last year threatens to overwhelm talks again this year.

Defense: Government Was Out To Get UBS Sys Admin
The defense in a federal computer sabotage case told the jury that the government was working with federal and private investigators to frame its client. The prosecution said the claim was a far-fetched conspiracy theory. The case is now in the hands of a jury.

Mumbai Blogger Wonders 'Will The Rains Wash Away The Blood?'
Following a series of bombs that killed at least 200, bloggers in India expressed emotions ranging from disbelief and shock to anger and sorrow.

Microsoft To Push Cheap Office 2007, Free Trial
Microsoft will allow system builders to preinstall the lowest-price edition of Office, which had previously been available only in retail and online. System builders will also be able to install a free 60-day trial edition of Office on new machines.

'Digital Dirt' Derailing Job Seekers
Careful what you blog, record, or videotape on the Net. More and more employers are searching online for information about job applicants, and what you post could come back to haunt you.

Voice And VoIP Phishing Scams On The Rise
Voice phishing is dangerous because although most Internet users won't click on a URL in an e-mail, they're quite accustomed to entering credit card or account numbers via the phone keypad.

Zango Adware Found On MySpace
MySpace users have apparently been spreading adware through the social networking service.

Google Checkout Doesn't Pay On eBay
Google Checkout, launched in June, is likely to compete against PayPal, eBay's own payment service, in some arenas.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Crime Doesn't Pay'
The House of Representatives votes to outlaw online gambling, Illinois makes it illegal to impersonate someone in order to obtain cell phone records, and the Supreme Court rules against companies that strip movies of profanity.

Laurie Sullivan With 'Garage Tech'
New technology makes it easier for drivers to find parking spots in multilevel garages.

Chris Murphy With 'Jargon Alert!'
SPITspam over Internet telephonyis just one of many new spam-related terms.

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4. Grab Bag

Site-Lookup Service Foils Fraud (Wired News)
A company launching today hopes to sell netizens on a smarter domain-name resolution service that fixes typos, blocks fraud sites, and serves lightning-fast results. But will its ad-supported model ruffle feathers?

Video-Sharing Sites Raise Concerns Over Crude Clips (AP)
As if porn sites and pedophiles in chat rooms weren't frustrating enough for parents whose children use the Internet, now online postings of amateur video featuring skin and violence are raising concerns.

Geek To Live: Securely Track Your Passwords (Lifehacker)
Sometimes you just have to write down a password to remember it. But don't do it on a Post-It note. You can keep a secure and searchable database to retrieve those hard-to-remember passwords, without compromising security, using the free, open-source software application KeePass.

Internet Phone Bills May Rise (CNNMoney.com)
The FCC says Internet-based phone providers must contribute to a subsidy fund.


5. In Depth: Antitrust Angst

EU Fines Microsoft $358 Million
The European Commission says Microsoft is continuing in its illegal conduct, failing to provide technical documentation to competitors as ordered in March 2004. Microsoft says it will appeal.

Brief: EU Says Microsoft Windows Vista Must Comply With Antitrust Ruling
European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes suggested that the need to comply with EU rules was one reason why Microsoft delayed the launch of Vista from this year into 2007.

The European Union Vs. Microsoft: A Timeline Of Events
The European Union this week fined Microsoft $358 million. How'd they get to that point?

EU To Cap Microsoft Daily Fine At $3.8 Million: Source
The fine will be backdated to run from Dec. 15 to the date when officials from national competition authorities meet to endorse the Commission's proposal. Some observers expect the meeting to happen on Wednesday, when the fine will officially be imposed.

Analysts: Microsoft Has Antitrust Anxiety
They say the threat of a lawsuit is what triggered the company's decision last week to pull a PDF feature from Office 2007 and to allow OEMs to yank its own electronic document format from Windows Vista.


6. Voice Of Authority

Google's Gdrive Stands For 'Government Drive'
Blogger Corsin Camichel reports sighting Google's Gdrive, the company's long-rumored online storage service, following an expedition into Writely's directory structure. Thomas Claburn points out the potential danger to your privacy.


7. White Papers

High Availability For Windows Services
System downtime can cripple your organization's ability to communicate and operate effectively. Download this white paper to learn how to provide immediate and nondisruptive failover, as well as keep your users connected to critical Windows-based applications regardless of the cause of the failure.


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