Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’m alone in the thinking that the cd burning software included with windows is one of the worst, if not plainly the worst cd composition software available to users today. It is severely lacking in features such as those that would allow you to copy a cd, design an audio cd with any normalization or track control, or even simply create an .iso image file. About the only thing it does do is allow you to burn some piece of data on to the physical media that we call cd’s or dvd’s. That’s why I’m happy to have found CDBurner XP.
We’ll tackle the news first – CyberSpy (don’t worry the link is dead) was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission so cease and desist the selling of its product, RemoteSpy. What’s RemoteSpy? RemoteSpy is a keylogger, which isn’t completely nasty (more on this argument after the jump) in and of itself, however; RemoteSpy could be disguised as something else and installed without the ‘targets’ real consent – thusly allowing someone to remotely monitor everything done on that machine (from credit card transactions, to banking info, to chat logs, to emails, to… well, everything) without you noticing a thing.
Everyone has received an inebriated email from an ex-lover or co-worker (or anyone you know, for that matter!). You know the type of email; too much information, confession-booth ‘I still love you’, and just plain not-thought-out ‘wow you’re drunk’ type of emails. Maybe you’ve even sent some of these emails yourself? Well the good people at google labs have taken steps to help stop the scourge of ‘drunk emailing’. Once you install the Mail Goggles you can set a time frame for activation (the default is Friday and Saturday 10PM – 4AM) and once activated, Mail Goggles will make you solve five math problems in a short period of time in order to send a message. The thought is, if you’re clear of mind enough to do math, you’re clear of mind enough to send an email without regret. So sorry, Laquanda, no more drunk emails from this admin about our tenth-grade missed connection. Now if only Google can make something similar for Android, maybe we could quell those ‘drunk-dials’ too.
I couldn’t really pin-point one subject for my blog entry, so I’ll cover a few things that I found interesting!
Computer World is reporting that the new “I’m a PC” ad campaign for Microsoft was actually created on a Mac. Some of the source files are tagged with “Adobe Photoshop CS3 Macintosh” in the picture properties. Granted, not all of them were tagged like this, however; when trying to clean up the already poor reputation of Vista™ you could at least… you know, use the operating system you’re trying to save.
Asus, as reported by Ars Technica, had a bit of a blunder recently. It seems they released restore DVDs that also included a cracking tool for winRAR, confidential Microsoft documents for PC Manufacturers, and Asus source code. Asus will be tracking this issue down and dealing with it but expect to see lawsuits from RARlab.
And finally, for the conspiracy theory buff in us all left wondering how we’re still alive, the Large Hadron Collider has been taken offline until spring of 2009 due to a liquid helium leak. Rest easy knowing that you’ve got a few more months until we’re all sucked into oblivion! I am, of course, kidding… but there’s a 1:1,000,000,000 chance* that I’m not.
*figures not accurate.
Brett mentioned Cuil, the next big “google killer”, yesterday and I applaud him for keeping a straight face while typing up his review. I’ll sum up ‘Cuil’, in my opinion, quite shortly: over-hyped failure. These days it’s almost ‘fightin words’ to go against the mighty google and there’s a reason for that. Google is, hands down, the best search engine currently available. It’s dependable enough to trust when your in-laws call saying they’re on their way over for thanksgiving dinner and you need a turkey recipe that will knock their socks off because you were just going to order a pizza. Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pudding:
Ok, so I broke a few ‘search engine rules’ while doing that, but google still got me what I wanted; point made, game set. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not against someone doing a better search engine. In fact, I’d welcome it. It would keep the industry fresh and full of new and better ideas. At the very least it’d revitalize the industry even if it were just for a brief moment. Cuil failed to deliver.
I understand that almost everyone is ripping on Cuil today, myself included, and the reason is probably a simple one: We’re disappointed. Google does, indeed, have the search engine market cornered and that makes a great deal of us just a little worried (*tinfoil hat on* if they can censor searches in china, what else can they censor *tinfoil hat off*) . I’d actually like to see Cuil get up, dust itself off, and keep at it. Who knows, maybe one day they will topple google – or at the very least match them.
Well there is a new search engine on the block. It’s name is Cuil and its built by ex-Google engineers. Similar to Google the initial search page is simplistic and very reminiscent of early Google. I wanted to compare the two though to see what kind of results they return, and that is when the most obvious differences come to light.