When you buy a book, it’s yours. You can read it, store it, sell it or even burn it. Not so if you bought a book from Amazon Kindle. There is very limited sharing. You can’t really sell it and apparently you may not even own it. Amazon apparently has the right to reclaim the book from you if they want to. They will refund the price of course (that is so nice of them), but they can still pull it away from you if they want to. Amazon also imposes the number of times you have downloaded a book. If you’ve reached a download limit, you may have to buy it again. What we need is a DRM free e-reader, but with the ability to preserve author copyrighted material. Book owners should have the freedom to buy, lend, share and sell books if they want to. If you are so sick with your Kindle, you can always burn it, but its probably not as good as burning an actual book. At least with a book, it’s an excellent kindle (pun intended) for your fireplace.
Archives for July 2009
The 2010 release of Google Chrome OS seems light years away, but it generated a few lively discussions on its implications of the OS wars to follow. Will Google’s Chrome OS command a market share? Or does it merely push Microsoft and Apple to move into a more web-centric approach bound to its cloud services. The Tech Czar blog seem to think of the latter.
The key to the Chrome strategy is that Google does not expect to get a large chunk of market share, what they want is to put pressure on Microsoft and Apple to add features similar to what Chrome OS has, which by nature will be very Web-centric.Â This minimalist desktop approach that is tightly bound to cloud services is the core of Chrome OS, Microsoft and Apple will be forced to make adjustments that will be in Googles favor, just to compete.
If that’s the case, Linux can stand pat and benefit from Google Chrome OS by virtually doing nothing. The focus seems will be on Google Chrome OS and not on Linux. This scenario doesn’t really bother Linux users like myself.
I don’t see current Linux users dropping their distribution and switching allegiance to Google Chrome OS. I’m sure, I’ll try it for curiosity’s sake. In the end, Linux users will be more supported with more and better drivers, and finally, perhaps more software written for the Linux OS. That’s a win for Linux.
It will be interesting to speculate as to what tack Google will take in the next 15 months.
The main reason spam is around is because of money. Spammers can potentially rake in millions of dollars. The Storm botnet rakes in an estimated $3.5 million dollars annually. Seems like easy money? Well, not quite. The conversion rate for spam is miniscule; spammers have to send out in bulk to get results. UCSD and International Computer Science Institute shared their findings:
“Research reported 569 conversions on close to 500 million spam messages. They sent three different kinds of messages, two of which were similar to the spam the botnet uses to propagate. A third message contained faux pharmaceutical spam similar to how the botnet makes money. The researchers sent 347,590,389 pharmaceutical spam messages which generated 10,522 site visits and 28 sales — conversion rate of 0.0000081 percent.”
Sounds inefficient to me, but if you consider that 85-90% of the worldwide email is spam, then you finally get to see the whole picture. Of course, spam spawns other effects in the IT infrastructure such as increase storage, the cost of anti-virus software and the hiring of security staff. Come to think of it, the IT cost attributable to spam alone is massive.
I read an article about Windows 7 pricing the other day. I literally had to sit down and take notes in trying to understand the mess of it all. Windows 7 pricing is confusing to say the least. Pricing depends on which version of Windows 7 you buy, whether you get an upgrade, full version or a family pack. If you are in Europe, you will most likely pay double than your US counterpart. Payback for IE? Who knows. Nevertheless, Windows 7 pricing is confusing and convoluted.
Windows 7 Prices
Preorder – Starting June 26 until July 11, 2009, Windows users can preorder Windows 7 Home Edition and Professional. This is a limited time offer. This is an upgrade version and NOT the full version. Upgrades are available for Windows XP and Vista users only.
- Preorder Windows 7 Home Premium Edition $50
- PreOrder Windows 7 Professional $100
Family Pack – Allows 3 PCs in a single household to be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Edition. This is an upgrade only. Details on this offer is sketchy. Wait for Microsoft’s official announcement.
- Family Pack Windows 7 Home Premium Edition $150
Upgrades – Upgrades are available only for Windows XP and Vista users only. Earlier versions are not supported.
- Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade $120
- Windows 7 Professional Upgrade $200
- Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade $220
- Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version $200
- Windows 7 Professional Full Version $300
- Windows 7 Ultimate Full Version $320
Buying a PC now – Starting June 26 to October 22 and beyond, buyers of PCs with Windows XP and Vista installed can upgrade to Windows 7 for FREE. This is a bit deceiving because the actual cost is outlined below in the OEM which is passed on eventually to consumers.
OEM Price – Cost after October 22 when you buy a brand new system with a Windows 7 operating system. The cost is passed on to the consumers by vendors. Currently, the OEM cost are: Windows XP $15, Vista Home Basic $97, Vista Home Premium $121, Vista Business $153 and Vista Ultimate for $205. See the OEM prices for XP and Vista.
- Windows 7 Starter Edition OEM $50 (1)
- Windows 7 Home Premium OEM $200
This means, if you buy a $700 PC, you paid for $500 for hardware and $200 to Microsoft for the operating system.
(1) Please note that Microsoft has placed a limit on the hardware requirements for the Starter Edition. Vendors have to comply not to install Windows 7 Starter Edition on anything less than the following: 10.2 inch screen, 1GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, 64GB solid state, and on a single core processor with less than 2GHz.
Europe – If you live in Europe, you poor souls, expect to pay a lot more, almost double for what the US users will be paying. After all, Microsoft has to pay all those programmers to strip IE from Windows 7 and also pay for the new packaging of Windows 7E. By the way, there is no upgrade, just the full version.
- Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version $120
- Windows 7 Professional Full Version $286
- Windows 7 Ultimate Full Version $300
Competition – Finally, let’s compare the rest of the competition:
Mac OS X
- Mac OS X Leopard Upgrade $29
- Mac OS X Leopard $129
- Mac OS X Leopard Family Pack $199
- Linux Upgrade $0.00
- Linux Full Version $0.00
- Linux All Universe Pack $0.00