Celebrate good times. The Macintosh turns 20 tomorrow. Bob Keeshan, "Captain Kangaroo," passed away today.
- Google is taking on Friendster. Yesterday the search giant quietly launched Orkut.com. The site says it's "online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends." But membership is by invitation ONLY. So where does the name come from? It's a personal project by Orkut Buyukkokten, a Stanford CS PhD who does user interface design for Google. Google asks all its engineers to spend one day a week working on personal projects in hopes of generating new businesses.
- What is the world coming to? The DVD Copy Control Association (who?) has dropped charges against a California man who posted the DeCSS code to decrypt DVDs. The DVDCCA says they're following an "evolving legal strategy." Looks like the hundreds of pending cases against other web sites who posted DeCSS will be dropped, as well.
- Meanwhile, Macrovision is relaxing its audio CD copy protection to make it more like iTunes. The record companies would be able to set usage rules for each disc, allowing copying, ripping, burning, or not.
- And Winzip and PKWare have zipped and made up. The competing publishers of Zip software have agreed on a single interoperable standard for the zip file format. The format threatened to fragment with incompatible encryption add-ons from both companies.
- A US District judge in Los Angeles has ruled that Sharman Networks, makers of Kazaa, can sue the movie and record companies. Sharman alleges that in their effort to catch people sharing files illegally, the labels and studios used unauthorized and unlicensed versions of Kazaa to monitor users of the network. Interesting tactic. We'll see if it works.