According to my Lego grandfather clock, it's news time... The metric system was established in France on this day in 1799. The first Nobel prizes were awarded in 1901.
- IBM has, in fact, sold its PC division to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo for $1.4 billion and $500 million in debt. Lenovo is now the number three PC maker after Dell and HP. There's a good history of the IBM PC at Internet News.
- Oh crap. Even though four other movie companies have decided on the HD-DVD format for their movies, Disney has opted for Sony's Blu-Ray, ensuring that there will be a Beta/VHS style format war in the new Hi-Def DVDs. Disney said they'll start putting out Blu-ray DVDs as soon as the players are available in 2006. That's just Mickey Mouse.
- Yahoo is going to copy Google. Again. The Yahoo desktop search tool (based on the excellent X1) will be released in the New Year.
- The Inquirer says console games are in short supply this holiday season. The Nintendo DS is very hard to find, although Nintendo is planning to add an additional 400,000 units to the 1 million shipped to the US this year. Surprisingly, it's very hard to find Sony's two year old Playstation 2, too. Sony lauches the PSP in Japan next week, and that's going to be a quick sell out no doubt - reports are that only 100,000 will be available at launch.
- Careful where you put your laptop. According to a study published Thursday in Human Reproduction, the habit of keeping your laptop in your lap can cause permanent sterility in men. It's the heat generated by the laptop and the positioning of the thighs. How many times have I said that?
- A Gameboy is better at relaxing kids before surgery than tranquilizers, according to research from University Hospital in Newark. The study said "We find that the children are just so happy with the Game Boy that they actually do forget where they are."
- Where was I? Oh yeah. Another reason to hate pop-ups: they're security risks. According to Secunia, any browser that displays pop-ups, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, Safari and Netscape, is vulnerable to an injection attack that could make a malicious site look like a secure site. Turn on pop-up blocking and breath a sigh of relief.
- The December Windows XP patches will hit Microsoft Windows Update December 14. There will be five fixes, none of them critical - how long has it been since we've been able to say that?
- As one of its last actions before recessing for the holidays, Congress has passed a law prohibiting cell phone voyeurism. Upskirters will face heavy fines and prison time if caught. The bill only applies to Federal jurisdictions. President Bush is expected to sign it.
- Federal regulators will meet next week to consider revising rules to allow cell phone usage aboard commercial airline flights. It's not the safety issue that concerns me, it's the annoyance factor.
- AOL has accidentally deleted an unknown (but apparently large) number of screen names in an attempt to purge unused names from its database. The company says it will take until Monday to restore the accounts.
- Vonage is going to follow Packet8 in adding video to its Voice over IP (VoIP) service next year.
- Sun CEO Scott McNealy was fooled by a hoax photo that's been circulating on the net for years. Claiming the photo came from a 1954 Popular Science article on the "home computer" he noted how far we've come in 50 years. More like how far Photoshop has come in 50 years.
Listen in Friday at 8:35a Pacific for my weekly commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.