Visual Studio Express

Microsoft is giving away Visual Studio Express absolutely free until November 2006! I’ve checked the license agreement and faq and it includes the redistribution license and allows commercial usage.

I haven’t gotten it installed yet but I’ve heard that some of the features of from the professional version are disabled but they are likely features that casual users like me won’t miss.

You can install it from the web or download CD images at the manual installation instructions page.

Record year for product safety recalls

This article in Conformity magazine points out that 2005 has set the record for most product safety recalls according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

There is also an article highlighting the latest recalls.

One item they don’t mention, they probably don’t know, is that at least some of the replacement PS2 AC adaptors have also been recalled. I know this because my brothers adapter was subject to the recall. He promptly received the replacement adapter and, then received a second replacement from Sony because they needed to recall the first replacement, Doh!

With the apparent incompetence on the part of Sony regarding the rootkit DRM (see previous post for details) and now botching the PS2 adapter’s I’m beginning to wonder if Sony is being managed by Homer Simpson. 😉

AMD passes Intel in PC sales

Congratulations AMD!

This EE Times article says that, the research firm Current Analysis, is reporting PC’s with AMD processors outsold PC’s with Intel processors for the month of October.

I’ve been a big fan of AMD processors and have chosen them over Intel for my own PC’s since the days of the first K6’s.

Sony audio CD DRM

Sony is using rootkit technology in the digital rights management it puts on to some of their audio CD’s. This is the most invasive DRM I’ve heard about and could be very bad for your PC.

I have always recommended that people take extreme care when installing software from audio CD’s and movie DVD’s. Most of the time the software provides no useful function that other software doesn’t have and with this latest development it makes it potentially dangerous.

I first heard about this from a post on the PICList Tuesday and, it was the topic of this weeks SecurityNow podcast. To learn more about this issue visit the web page of the programmer who found it Mark Russinovich or, listen to the SN podcast.

Iranian bloggers and free speech

Mojtaba Saminejad and Omid Sheikhan are bloggers living in Iran. They are being punished for speaking their minds in blogs.

Read the details of their cases and sign the petitions to help Mojtaba Saminejad and Omid Sheikhan.

I am a firm believer in all peoples right to freedom of speech. Only under very limited and special circumstances do I think speech should be limited e.g. you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. To stay up to date on internet free speech issues I’ve added a Blog Alert box from The Committee to Protect Bloggers and the EFF’s Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech icon on the sidebar. These items will be automatically updated by the sponsor organizations.