Wednesday's Whetstone

All the news that's fit to rant aboutHello, Neo. The Matrix Revolutions opens today. It's Guy Fawkes Day in Britain. Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for trying to vote in 1872. Happy Birthday Roy Rogers, Ike Turner, and Art Garfunkel.

  1. As expected, the FCC has voted 5-0 in favor of "broadcast flag" rules that will require that all devices capable of receiving digital TV signals come equipped with anti-piracy protection to keep flagged programs from being copied. By July 1, 2005 all TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and PCs must include anti-copying measures that prevent redistribution of flagged material. How long before these measures are cracked and defeated? Does anyone not know how to defeat region-encoding?
  2. Microsoft is offering $250,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of the creators of MSBlast and SoBig. says this is the first time a company has offered a reward for the capture of cybercriminals.
  3. The revolution is well on its way. Legal downloads have exceeded CD single sales in the US since the end of June by nearly 2 to 1.
  4. Intel claims that it has saved Moore's law with the discovery of two new chip materials.
  5. As we reported on the show yesterday, Novell is back in the Linux business. The company, which already owns Ximian, is offering $210 million for Germany-based SuSE Linux. IBM pitches in $50 million. With Big Blue's backing, the #2 Linux poses a real threat to #1 Red Hat. Newsforge has the morning after analysis.
  6. Xbox Next will have G5 like chips from IBM inside, graphics from ATI, and a chipset from SIS. Don't expect anything before 2005, though. Just proves that gaming is now on the cutting edge of hardware innovation.
  7. Speaking of gaming machines, Sony has announced a new low cost handheld for late next year that will do everything but change the baby. The dual-processor PSP is a GameBoy competitor that will include a 16:9 24-bit screen, iPod like features, and maybe even a cell phone.