Due to personal reasons, there is no new episode this week. Gozer & Aaron will return next week for a new recording. Please enjoy The Geekcast #75.
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Items of Note:
A new extension to The Geekcast is coming. Will you be ready?
Microsoft stops support of Windows Media Player for the Mac. Despite pledging its support for Apple’s platform, Microsoft has backed out of future releases of Windows Media Player for Mac, and the company’s Web site now directs visitors to download a third-party application from developer Flip4Mac. Flip4Mac develops Windows Media Components for QuickTime, an add-in for Apple’s multimedia player. According to the press release on its Web site, it appears as if the Windows Media division at Microsoft has given the company its full blessing to become the standard-bearer for Mac-based Windows Media playback.
iTunes raises privacy concerns. A new version of iTunes is drawing criticism from privacy advocates for sending information about computer users’ playlists back to Apple. The new music software includes a “MiniStore” window, which provides recommended links to Apple’s music download service when a listener actively clicks on a song in their personal playlist, including songs that haven’t been purchased from the iTunes store. To provide those recommendations, the software sends information about the selected song, such as artist, title and genre, back to Apple. But the software also transmits a string of data that is linked to a computer user’s unique iTunes account ID, computer experts have found.
Microsoft extends XP Home support to ‘08. Microsoft has quietly extended the support lifespan of Windows XP Home, which as recently as last week was scheduled to be put out to pasture at the end of this year. Analysts had pointed out that XP Home, and most other XP operating systems, would be cut off from technical support on 31 December 2006, a potential problem since XP’s successor, Windows Vista, isn’t to release until shortly before that date. In a blog written last Wednesday, JupiterResearch analyst Joe Wilcox put the blame at Windows Vista’s door. “It’s more a problem of product delays, that Microsoft repeatedly delayed release of Windows Vista,” he wrote. In an updated support lifecycle listing, Microsoft said that all Windows XP products ó which include Home, Pro, Embedded, Media Center, and Tablet PC ó will enjoy mainstream support for “two years after the next version of this product is released”.
Test a geek: Thanks to Eric at The Geek Quiz for providing yet another great quiz for us. You can check out his website at http://geekquiz.glitchnyc.com
How To: use OpenOffice anywhere.
Portable OpenOffice.org 2.0.1 has been released. Portable OpenOffice.org is the popular OpenOffice.org office suite including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing package and database packaged as a portable app, so you can take your documents along with everything you need to work with them with you. New in this version.
Portable OpenOffice makes it easy to be productive on any computer and not have to worry about installing software. Check it out at http://portableapps.com/apps/office/suites/portable_openoffice
Ask A Geek:
Hey Aaron, just wondering if you’d be able to tell me on your next edition of The Geekcast, what is the best firewall available on the market whether it be free of not free. I’ve asked around already but everyone I go to has a biased opinion on what they own.
Thanks in advance,
Ben from England
Hear the answer on the show.
Hack: Reset any password on windows NT4, 2000, XP and 2003.
This is a utility to (re)set the password of any user that has a valid (local) account on your NT system.
You do not need to know the old password to set a new one. It works offline, that is, you have to shutdown your computer and boot off a floppydisk or CD. The bootdisk includes stuff to access NTFS and FAT/FAT32 partitions and scripts to glue the whole thing together. Will detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled out user accounts!
The geek’s view: This segment will return on a future episode of The Geekcast