Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Microsoft to cease IE support for Apple's Mac

Users who use Microsoft's IE to read web pages on Mac will soon have to consider another browser. Microsoft will not support IE operation on Mac any longer as of Dec. 31 this year.

That will not be a surprise to Mac users. Microsoft declared the move as early as June, 2003. No upgrading has been made on IE for three years. This means that IE5, instead of IE6 which is used by Windows users, is the latest version that is offered for the Mac system.

Although Mac subscribers can continue browsing with IE for a month after the support ceases, Microsoft has advised them to shift to ¡°more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari.

IE will not be a problem for Apple users because most of them have applied different browsers on their computers. The only potential trouble is that some web pages can only be accessed through IE.

That does not seem to matter a lot. But that is not the end of the problem. SciVisum, a UK-based company offering web testing service, said one-tenth of web sites in Britain cannot be browsed with Firefox, an open-source browser which is in vogue.

Firefox, Safari and other browsers like Opera are all operational under Apple's Mac OSX operating system.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Latest Technology News

Yahoo! plans to shoot Skype with Messenger

Internet media giant Yahoo! has fired the first salvo in a pricing war with Skype with plans to introduce a new internet voice service within days.

Yahoo! is releasing an upgrade to its popular Messenger text, voice and video communications software with the addition of a feature that's familiar to Skype's 68million worldwide users.

"Phone out" will let people make calls from computers to regular telephones while "Phone in" will let computer users receive telephone calls. The service mirror's Skype's equivalent service, named "Skype in" and "Skype out."

Yahoo! said it would undercut Skype's pricing plans for the telephone services, charging just 1¢per minute to people calling the US from countries such as Russia. It will charge 2¢ a minute to call 30 other countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Korea.

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said it would make the Yahoo! Messenger service available in 180countries, with downloads available from http://voice.yahoo.com/, although as of late on Friday the site was yet to go live.

Where's the 'Wow'?

Xbox 360 Has a Better Design, but the Games Fall Short

Microsoft's big event last month -- the release of the much-anticipated Xbox 360 -- meant that gamers could finally get their hands on the "next big thing" in video-gaming and home technology.

And even though the company had the support of the big-name video game publishers -- Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft and Sega, among others -- the Xbox 360 experience just hasn't been what it should be, given the hype, anticipation and price tag for one of the units.

Sure, it's exciting to play with a new system and see the new games -- but I expected a lot more from Microsoft's next big gamble.

Out of the box, the Xbox 360 looks more like a svelte PC with its smooth curved edges and rounded buttons. Its unobtrusive DVD media tray and USB inputs highlight its clean look and modern design. Without question, the 360's elegant lines make it a whole lot sleeker than the original Xbox.

The controller is especially worth noting. It feels good in-hand, providing easy access to both analog joysticks as well as the face and shoulder buttons. Microsoft took on a fair amount of criticism about the original Xbox controller and seems to have done a good job of making it better.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Chief of Al Qaeda Is Killed in Blast

An Egyptian believed to be commander of Al Qaeda international terrorism operations was killed last week in Pakistan's mountainous border region near Afghanistan, President Pervez Musharraf said Saturday.

Abu Hamza Rabia died Thursday in an explosion in the tribal area of North Waziristan, Musharraf told reporters during an official visit to Kuwait.

Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said that Hamza Rabia, a top operational planner for al Qaeda, was killed Thursday in an explosion in a tribal area along the border with Afghanistan. Although there were conflicting reports about the details of Rabia's death, Pakistani intelligence sources said U.S. operatives killed him and four others with a missile fired by an unmanned Predator drone.

American officials confirmed that a missile attack had taken place after the target had been located with US help. But last night they had not confirmed Rabia’s death. The Americans called him one of Al-Qaeda’s “top five” leaders and one US official said that “killing him would indeed be a very big deal”.

At the time of Farj's arrest, Pakistan's government called it the most important capture of a senior Al Qaeda leader since that of Mohammed. When Farj was still at large, senior Pakistani intelligence officers insisted he was more of a regional commander than an international terrorist in Mohammed's league.

Musharraf has repeatedly said that numerous raids and military offensives in the Pushtun tribal areas of North and South Waziristan have severely disrupted Al Qaeda's ability to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

Those plotting to kill Musharraf have also included low-ranking members of Pakistan's military. In August, several people accused of attempts on Musharraf's life, including two bomb attacks on his convoy in December 2003, were sentenced to hang by a military court-martial.