Thursday's Thuringer

All the news that's fit to rant aboutStand by for news. The first telegraphic link between New York and San Francisco was established on this day in 1872, a by-product of the transcontinental railroad. RCA displays TV for the press for the first time in 1936. The first commercial television station, WGY Schenectady, begins operation three years later. The first hydrogen bomb was detonated on Eniwetok Atoll in 1952. You still wouldn't want to live there.

  1. It looks like the tech slump may be over. Chip sales revenue rose 15.8% this year and the industry is forecasting even more robust growth in 2004. Expect prices to grow, as well, in response.
  2. If you thought the 100,000,000 songs from the iTunes store Pepsi is giving away was a lot, how about 1,000,000,000 songs? According the the NY Post, McDonald's is set to announce a one billion song giveaway in the near future. Both companies will pay the full 99 cent price for the songs, so this could be a huge win for Apple not to mention a big kickstart to legal music downloads.
  3. Whoa. Steve Jobs tells financial analysts Apple could easily "port Panther to any processor," including Intel, but they're happy with the PowerPC chips right now. He also says Jaguar is already where Microsoft hopes to be in 2005 with Longhorn.
  4. That didn't take long. Critical security patches have been issued for both Panther and Office 2003 already. Apple's software update will automatically patch Panther. You can get the Office fix from Microsoft.
  5. The FTC has issues its first Do Not Call fines. The telemarketer to first break the rule? AT&T. They face penalties of $780,000. That's ten grand per call. Alrighty then.
  6. Kevin Rose first publicized the Windows Messenger hole in March 2002. Microsoft ignored us. Now the FTC is set to make a public statement on Messenger popups today. Microsoft is finally considering disabling the feature. We hate to say we told you so but...
  7. Earthlink says it's going to collect more customer information so it can "better market to them." How thoughtful. Earthlink will collect items like age, gender, education and marital status, in addition to the name, address and credit card number they already have. Les Seagraves, EarthLink's chief privacy officer, says "We don't know a lot about our customers at this point." But you can bet they'd like to. Opt out in the My Account area quick.
  8. Running scared? You bet! According to NPD, 1.4 million households deleted their entire digital music collection in August.
  9. NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese telecom, has created a wristwatch phone that uses your finger as the earpiece. You answer the phone by touching your thumb and forefinger together. You listen by sticking your finger in your ear. The microphone is in the wristband. NTT DoCoMi has not set a date for the release of the "Finger Whisper" phone. Is there really a market for a phone that makes its users stick their fingers in their ears?
  10. Great news. BBC radio has announced it will be producing a sequel to The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, based on the late Douglas Adams's last three books. The original cast will return. H2G2 was first produced for radio and the original episodes are cult classics. A six-part adaptation of Life, the Universe and Everything will air this spring, followed by 8 episodes based on So Long and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless to air in late 2004. A movie version of H2G2 is also in the works.