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No. 1 in Netbooks? Not Asus but Acer

Asus created the Netbook category a little over a year ago when it introduced its first Eee PC. Acer jumped in this past summer with the Aspire One and has overtaken Asus for the top spot in the Netbook market. According to research firm DisplaySearch, Acer sold 2.15 million Netbooks in Q3 for a 38.3 percent share of the Netbook market. Asus moved 1.7 million units for 30.3 percent market share. Not only did Asus have a head start in this horse race, but it also has a much larger stable of Netbooks. It seemingly releases … Read more

Microsoft fixes 28 flaws; 6 are critical

Microsoft on Tuesday released its December 2008 security bulletin. The "critical" bulletins affect Windows GDI, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Windows Search. The "important" updates affect SharePoint and Windows Media Components.

Microsoft is including within each bulletin an "exploitability index" to help system administrators prioritize the patches. All Microsoft security patches for both Windows and Office software are available via Microsoft Update or via the individual bulletins detailed below.

MS08-070: Critical

Exploitability index: 1-2. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately. Titled "Vulnerabilities in Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Extended Files (ActiveX … Read more

Yahoo BOSS just behind Ask.com for search

Yahoo's BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service), which lets others use the company's search technology, is getting some traction.

The service, announced in July, now handles 10 million queries per day, Yahoo announced Monday. And with Google still king of the heap, and Microsoft breathing down Yahoo's neck, the company needs every scrap of influence it can get in the search market.

"We believe growing to more than 100 queries a second in just over 5 months says something about the demand for an open search platform," Bill Michels of the BOSS Team said in … Read more

BearFlix roars out of the cave

BearFlix roars out of the cave with swarming, hashing, fast downloads and a video player, but hibernates when confronted with proxies.

BearFlix almost configures itself, and its toolbar and icon interface is geared toward novices. (Configuration options help advanced users suit the program to taste.) Based on the popular BearShare, and connected to the Gnutella network, this utility is optimized for video files. Simply enter a search term, and find files immediately. As with all P2P networks, there's no guarantee the files are available, accurately named, or virus-free. However, BearFlix's file-rating option helps users self-police spam off the … Read more

YouTube quietly launches official support for HD

Late Thursday night YouTube quietly added the option to watch videos in high definition (HD) without the need for any URL hacks. On any uploaded videos that are wider than 720 pixels, users will see a new option to "watch in HD" where the "watch in high quality" option usually appears.

In addition to the quality change in the player, YouTube has updated the embed options to let users chose one of four different sizes--all the way up to 640x505 pixels. There is still no option to embed the video in HD (officially), but you can … Read more

Taxing music at the ISP level: Good idea or bad?

Warner Music Group has a proposition for U.S. universities, according to Techdirt: buy a blanket license to music downloads through file-sharing services, or be sued.

Techdirt thinks that this is a bad idea, and I disagree.

Techdirt's criticisms are clear:

It's basically a music tax--allowing the record industry to be lazy. Someone else gets to go out and collect all this money, and hand it over to the industry to distribute (or, actually, not distribute). It effectively sets the business model of the recording industry in stone, and harms better, more innovative business models by inserting the … Read more

Patch Tuesday will have eight bulletins

The final Patch Tuesday for 2008 will be big, with six critical bulletins and two important bulletins due, according to Microsoft.

On Thursday, the company announced eight security bulletins set to go public December 9. The pre-announcement is intended as a heads-up for IT departments before Patch Tuesday. Six bulletins are considered "critical," the most serious ranking given by the software giant. Two are considered "important," the next level down.

Among the critical patches, two affect Windows, and there is one each that addresses issues in Word, Excel, Visual Basic, and Internet Explorer. All flaws could … Read more