Alexander Wolfe - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Alexander Wolfe

Profile of Alexander Wolfe

News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in October 2007

Second Life Lawsuit Over Cybersex Toy Theft

You know it had to come to this eventually in the reality substitute called Second Life: Thieves are stealing virtual people's virtual crap, and reselling it to other avatars for real money. And when they're caught red-handed, they've got this great defense -- how can it be criminal, it's only a video game?

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EBay Is Retirement Plan Of Last Resort For Aging Rockers

Once the glory has faded and your music is most fondly recalled by folks north of 40, all some rockers have left are their memories. So when they need some extra coin, and a reunion concert or small-venue tour won't be on until next summer, they can always turn to their collection of instruments. Fortunately, these days they don't have to hock them; there's eBay.

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Dumb iPhone Commercial Of The Week (Plus, Dell Discovers Devo)

So now the iPhone helps a pilot bust his plane out of a 3-hour tarmac delay by enabling him to surf to That's the preposterous story line of Apple's latest commercial, which was inescapable on Sunday whether you were watching football during the day on FOX and CBS, or game seven of the American League Championship Season in the evening.

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5 Things Facebook Must Do To Be Really Useful

So Mark Zuckerberg was telling the audience at the Web 2.0 Summit the other day how he's going to double Facebook's workforce, presumably to broaden its appeal beyond its 47-million current users. (What, all those students and on-the-job time-wasters aren't enough?) Here's an idea for you, Mark: Make Facebook into a truly useful tool, one where you can do more than just post pictures and ping people you're al

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Intel Eyes Silicon Photonics As Future Speedway For Computing

The problem with today's computers is that, as fast as they are, they aren't fast enough. More precisely, the thin copper wiring used to link state-of-the-art processors can't support bandwidths greater than 15 to 20 gigabits per second. That's where optoelectronic devices come in, and that's why Intel is working on silicon photonics -- aka chips with built-in lasers. They can deliver communications speed of 40 Gbps and more.

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Google's GrandCentral Is Hottest Mobile App Ever

The neatest new app I've seen in a long time is a simple idea inspired by the messy patchwork of mobile handsets, work phones, and personal landlines all of us juggle every day. It's called GrandCentral, and it gives you a single phone number through which you can screen and route all your calls. It also records voice mails for easy access via a Web interface or on your mobile handheld.

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Intel Flirts With No-EMail Fridays

OK, so Intel hasn't actually asked employees to take a permanent e-mail break one day a week, but the chip giant -- like several other forward-thinking companies -- has been pilot-testing temporary moratoriums on time-wasting communications. The idea is gaining ground in Corporate America, as noted recently in The Wall Street Journal.

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iPhone Unbricked, But Apple Still Locked

The penultimate chapter in Apple's sad iBricking saga has begun, with news that "good" hacker Erica Sadun has led a team that's come up with a way to have your iPhone cake and eat it, too. Their "jailbreak" procedure lets users unlock their phone and download third-party apps, without getting bricked. (The final chapter will be written if, and only if, Apple opens the iPhone. Don't hold your bre

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RIAA File-Sharing Verdict Delays Day Of Reckoning On Downloading

I'm sorry to disappoint the record companies, but the Recording Industry Association of America's legal victory against Jammie Thomas, who was ordered by a Minnesota court to pay $220,000 in damages for sharing songs over Kazaa, changes nothing. Kids still steal most of their music, and the recording industry hasn't accepted the reality that it has to bag both the CD and DRM before it has a prayer of reviving itself.

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Ubuntu Users Looking For Linux Chicks

It's always been my impression that, appearances to the contrary, Linux aficionados are no different than the rest of us. So I wasn't surprised when I saw a post on the Ubuntu Women forum, from a guy, who's wondering if there are "any good places online to meet like-minded free software women." (The "free," of course, refers to the software.)

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iPhone Price-Cut Lawsuit Could Morph Into Apple Class-Action Case

The lawyer behind the case in which a New York City woman is suing Apple and AT&T for $1 million over its $200 iPhone price cut has got another legal move up her sleeve. It could potentially elevate the litigation from a curiosity that's been derided throughout the blogosphere (like here, where it's called "the moronic lawsuit of the day") into a serious action complete with an antitrust allegation.

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Is iPhone Update Bricking Legit Users?

There may be a bigger problem for Apple than the public-relations fiasco over the "bricking" of handsets of users who've messed around with unauthorized apps. According to traffic on Apple's own iPhone forum, there's a growing cadre of users who are claiming they haven't engaged in any prohibited activity yet have still seen their iPhones locked up by Apple's new 1.1.1. software update.

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Nokia Touts Its Open Platform As Antidote To Apple's iPhone

The world's largest cell phone vendor has launched an advertisting counterattack against Apple, which has dissed some of its most loyal customers by "bricking" unlocked iPhones or those loaded up with third-party apps. (Interestingly, few of the Apple uber-faithful are angry, judging by the many responses to our original post, where commenters are of the opinion that it's your own darn fault if your iPhone g

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