Anti-Piracy

The best defense for software piracy is making software affordable to people. Believe me, if the price of software is reasonable, people would rather have their own copy of the software than bootlegging a copy from their friends and family. Not only they get a reliable CD source, but also software updates and technical support. It comes down to market price. It is especially problematic in the Asia Pacific Region were software piracy is rampant. More than half of the computers were illegal copies last year. If the price of software is adjusted to a country’s spending power, you can keep software piracy on a manageable level. The law of demand and supply still applies.

Is Vonage Worth A Look?

I have been thinking about switching telephone service to Vonage. They offer unlimited phone calls to anywhere in the continental United States for just $25 a month. The only requirement is you will need a high-speed internet service at your home which most people do since all calls are placed through on the internet. You get voicemail, 3-way calling, call forwarding, 911 as well as transfer your existing number. So, are they worth a look? Vonage has been bleeding red since 2001 and there are showing no signs of turning the company around. Vonage faces stiff competition from eBay’s Skype and Google. In addition, it also competes with telephone and cable television giants. The company’s fate may lie on a likely buyout or takeover. So, is it worth switching?

Is Your PC Vista Ready?

Microsoft Corporation just released the hardware requirements for its next operating system called Vista which is scheduled to be released in January 2007. Microsoft has two requirements: a low-end system termed a Vista Capable PC and a high-end system termed a Vista Premium Ready System.

Vista Capable PC

At least 800 MHz
512MB of system memory
Graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable

Vista Premium Ready PC

1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1GB of system memory
128MB of graphics memory
40GB of hard drive capacity with 15GB free space
DVD-ROM drive,
Audio output capabilities
Internet access

Yahoo’s New Look

Here’s a preview of Yahoo’s new website. The leading internet portal has decided to rearrange its front page. What’s new? Well, the search bar is more prominent. The menu links are vertical and on the left side just like countless of other websites out there. The ad space is much bigger. I’m not a bit surprised about this move. Yahoo has to make money to pay the piper. The news section is much more compact and efficient especially with the use of tabs. The personal section employs a drop-down area for email, radio, messenger, weather, local and movies. You can actually see the last four emails from your inbox. Nice use of Ajax. You can also view the local weather in your city, find out who is online in messenger, view the movies playing in your area, etc. One positive is the screen size for the page is not so tall, so hardly any scrolling involve. Very compact. Overall, I like it. If I can only personalize the front page. Wait, there’s promise for this feature as well. I guess, I should really wait for the official launch sometime in the near future.

The Shelf

If you look above, you will see a link that says “More.” If you click on the link, it will open up a non-descript expandable and collapsable shelf with a black background displaying text about the author, the theme and a few links. The shelf gives the effect the content is being pushed down. It’s a pretty neat effect made possible by using Javascript. If you are interested, you can read more about it at Asymptomatic.net.

DSL Modem

I spoke prematurely when I said my DSL was restored. It wasn’t. It worked for several hours, then it died a slow death. After four calls to AT&T Tech Support and countless reboots and power cycles, AT&T finally decided to send a technician to check the line outside the house. That turned out to be fine as well. So, it was time to check internal line and the modem. Well, it turned out to be the modem. I can’t believe AT&T was going to charge me $69 for a replacement modem. I turned it down and decided to look online for a replacement. I found one at Amazon for $29. I’m on dialup now. Yuck. It’s painful.

DSL Problems

Well, I have been using phone dialup the last two days due to the DSL problems in the house. On dialup, I was connecting at neck-breaking speed of 56kbs. Whoa. I have forgotten how spoiled we’ve become with our high-speed internet connections. Going back to dial up was very painful. It is like watching grass grow, paint dry or watching golf on the tube. That’s how slow it was, but I’m glad I’m back with the high-speed connection again.

Firefox 1.5.0.3

I was browsing the BigSoccer forums reading the US Mens National Team when a popup came up saying that Firefox has been upgraded to version 1.5.0.3 and restart is needed. I clicked “Later” since I didn’t want to reboot at that moment. Firefox reminded me that the upgrade will be completed in the next restart.

What’s with version 1.5.0.3? It’s a security update to fix the denial of service vulnerability which was causing the browser to crash. A temporary workaround is available by disabling Javascript, but an upgrade is to the latest version is recommended.