Annoyances

ZDnet blogger Russell Shaw certainly has found a scary patent filed by Microsoft.

Enforcing rendering advertisements and other predetermined media content in connection with playback of downloaded selected media content. Playback of selected media content is made conditional on acquisition of a playback token that is generated in response to playback of the predetermined content.

The playback token may be implemented as a digital rights management (DRM) license acquired in response to playback of the predetermined content. Another aspect involves a content insertion engine for inserting ads or other predetermined content into the playback of downloaded content.”

DRM gets more Draconian with every passing day. Since the ad supported model obviously works so poorly, will we be forced into a Big Brother is watching you watch ads universe? Is the next step a patent to embed subliminal ads throughout the entire content? A scary thought that isn’t all that far-fetched.

 

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Acer refuses to provide a 64 bit winphlash. I finally figured out a quick and easy solution (not wanting to buy a USB floppy). Acer adamantly refuses to acknowledge that 64 bit users want to update their BIOS. And the Ferrari 4000 doesn’t support booting from a USB flash key.


So I figured it out. Ingredients, hardware, and instructions:


Hardware


1. Acer Ferrari 4000


2. USB Flash Drive


3. Vista 32 bit DVD


Instructions


1. download the BIOS from ftp://ftp.support.acer-euro.com/notebook/ferrari_4000/vista/BIOS/ 


2. Unzip to root of USB flash drive (mine was formatted as FAT32)


3. Unplug the USB flash drive and power down.


4. Insert the 32 bit Vista DVD and boot from it (you are not actually going to end up installing it or doing anything, this just gets you to the 32 bit WinPE environment)


5. Click through until you get to the screen with the activate online checkbox and uncheck it.


6. Connect the USB flash key to the computer


7. Press Shift-F10 to open a command prompt


8. Change to the correct drive for the USB flash drive


9. type winphlash and press enter


10. browse to the correct wph file and go for it!


11. after the flash is complete, before letting the machine restart, EJECT the DVD. (remember, nothing was installed and nothing really happened except you had access to a 32 bit WinPE environment which you needed to flash the BIOS).


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Gianfranco Lanci, you’re an uninformed CEO if you don’t know that the disappointment is in YOUR company’s lack of driver support, unintelligible support and download site. How can you state:

“While the industry had waited for years for Vista, the software was not really ready when it was launched to great pomp at the start of this year” when your company has done so little itself?

Don’t blame Microsoft. You’ve had more than enough time to join the party.

Yes, my Ferrari 5000 runs like a dream under x64 Ultimate, but my Ferrari 4000 is still missing updated drivers for the pccard controller and media reader/card slot. Yeah, the 3 year old ones from XP x64 still work, sorta, almost.

The word “schmuck” comes to mind.

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No wonder the State of CT is suing Best Buy. Yesterday, I checked all the Internet ads for a microSD card for my cell phone. Best Buy had a 2GB Sandisk card plus adapter for 49.99 less 5.00 sale price.

I live 5 minutes from the local Best Buy Store. So I drive to the store and two sales clerks try to help me out by showing me a $75 2GB microSD Sandisk card “that came in last night”. (In the process I walk by hangers of Sandisk 1GB cards at two different prices). I hold my ground and eventually a third clerk says, oh you want the phone card and pulls out the Sandisk 2GB microSD card with adapter marked $49.99. I grumble my thanks and walk to a register.

At the register, the checkout clerk only cares about trying to push rewards cards and service plans. She refuses to honor the $5.00 sale price I mention that is online and tells me I can always come back to the store and see Customer Service. I pay her the $50.

I left the register and walked over to Customer Service where three nice ladies listen to me complain about the $75/$49 bait and switch and my request for the $5.00 back.

All three mention without any prompting that online pricing is “different”.

I get $5.00 cash. I leave the store.

Best Buy Sucks

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