If you’re a company like Echometrix that sells parental control software, you’re sitting on a whole bunch of data about what teens and children say and do on the Internet. What to do with that information? Use it to make your software better? Well, of course. But why not sell aggregate data to marketers, too?
Everyone likes hosting launch parties, right?! What? No one likes them? They’re not real parties—just promotional events dreamed up to move units? But Microsoft told me that it’s okay to host my own launch party! It’ll be cool! Just look at these two married couples hanging out and gabbing like a box of birds about how much they love Windows 7.
Chipotle’s so-popular-they-had-to-discontinue-it iPhone app has been redesigned and is available for free at the iTunes store. What does this miracle software do? Well, it locates the nearest Chipotle, then lets you build your burrito, taco, whatever, add special instructions, and pay for your order. You can also save your favorites so you don’t have to build the burrito each time. Fatness, here we come. [Gizmodo]
Let’s be honest here. There is not very much overlap between the groups of “people who are quite tech-savvy” and “quilters.” (I can say that because I’m a quilter! Put down the rotary cutters!) That’s why reader T. is annoyed that the makers of popular quilt design software Electric Quilt only offer their users four “activations,” or installations on a particular operating system, and has their users scared to upgrade their Windows version or purchase a new computer.
Thanks to a Texas judge’s ruling earlier this week, Microsoft has been prohibited from selling or supporting any more copies of Word that can edit XML-based documents. A Toronto-based company, i4i, sued Microsoft in 2007 over its XML editing patent, and the judge ruled in i4i’s favor. The ruling kicks in 60 days from now, unless Microsoft decides to appeal. We have a feeling it will.
Jeff bought a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 4 back in May during a sale promising a $200 discount. The final checkout price didn’t reflect the discount, but he double-checked the terms and conditions and confirmed that he was eligible. Adobe agreed, and has repeatedly promised to issue a refund. Jeff has been waiting for the check for almost four months, and he’s not alone. Another customer has been waiting on a similar refund for almost a year!
Vlog It! looks like a nice piece of software if you’re interested in video blogging. Now sold by Adobe, it makes putting video blog entries together about as easy as, well, iMovie.
If I were still preparing to take the GRE, I would start by purchasing study guides from a company that seems to have a grasp of basic logic. That company would not be Kaplan. See, Kaplan assumes that none of their customers are using Windows Vista. You know, the latest commercial release of the world’s dominant home computer operating system. At least, that would explain why their practice test software doesn’t work on computers running Vista, and their tech support staff don’t seem terribly concerned.
After an iBook-death forced her to migrate to another computer, Lisa found that she couldn’t activate her legally-purchased copy of Macromedia StudioMX 2004. Adobe insisted that the software was too old to be reactivated. Too old? It’s software! It took several calls and emails before Lisa found an employee who was able to help, not by activating her old software, but by sending her a free new copy of Dreamweaver CS4.
Just when you thought that you and your ATM card data were safe from criminal eyes, Scientific American brings a different sort of threat. This time, the skimmers are inside the machine. Malware within the ATM itself harvests enough data to do some very bad things.
Don’t bother with the new SlingPlayer app for the iPhone unless you own one of the newest Slingbox devices. For some reason—Engadget speculates it’s financial, not technical—the app won’t work with older Slingboxes. [Engadget] (Thanks to Alejandro!)
Something bad has happened to Symantec’s once-good chat service, notes Neil J. Rubenking at PC Mag. In the past, he says, they were helpful and knowledgable; now they pass freeware apps off as their own and attempt to get you to pay $100 fees for their “expert” service when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem with them. He writes, “My new experiences while evaluating Norton 360 version 3.0 opened my eyes to the magnitude of the problem. Did Symantec switch outsourced support companies? Has the chat support team gone rogue?”
James almost got cheated out of CS4, the suite of graphics software sold by Adobe, when he bought a new Macbook Pro recently. He kept pressing the issue though, and his persistence and level-headedness finally, after several near misses, convinced Apple to do the right thing and send him what he paid for. Congrats to James!
I posted recently about how I like HypeMachine, a reader/player/finder of free mp3s on music blogs and some readers chimed in with their favorite ways to find free mp3s on blogs:
[it] would have the right to claim statutory damages of up to $2,500 “per act of circumvention.” People who jailbreak phones, might even be subject to criminal penalties of as long as five years, if they circumvented copyright for a financial gain.
Reader Justin says he bought some software from Valve’s Steam service — and was randomly charged in British pounds. This resulted in a bunch of extra charges from his bank. He’s tried to contact Valve about the issue, but he says he’s being ignored.