Google Health, Phorm, where next for your private data?

Let’s look at the fundamentals. Is an advertising company an appropriate place for sensitive personal data like health records? That’s easy to answer, no matter how many privacy assurances Google gives. Google is a specialist at mining personal data; and whenever I read its terms and conditions it is almost enough to stop me using

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Microsoft’s Vista Capable campaign: where it all went wrong

A series of remarkable internal emails have been made public as a result of the class action lawsuit against Microsoft for its “Vista capable” marketing campaign in the second half of 2006. In essence, the claim is that many of these PCs were not really Vista-compatible, because they could only run Vista Basic, and not

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Silverlight steals the show at Microsoft’s UK Heroes launch

I attended Microsoft’s “Heroes Happen Here” launch in London yesterday, which overlapped the US launch presented by CEO Steve Ballmer. The launch is for Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008, though these products are in varying degrees of readiness.

The event was marred by excessive reliance on buzzwords like “Dynamic IT”

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Microsoft Softgrid: virtualization for applications

At Microsoft’s Heroes Happen Here launch, I caught up a little with something to which I’ve paid insufficient attention: Microsoft Softgrid, which is described as Application Virtualization. Softgrid is a way of packaging an application and its dependencies into an isolated bundle that runs on the client, but hardly touches the client environment. Each application

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Tips on digitising vinyl

Seeing announcements for Sony’s new PS-LX300USB USB turntable reminds me what a misunderstood area this is.

I sense that this post may work best in the form of a Q&A, so here goes.

Is digitising vinyl worth the effort?

In many cases, no. Try Amazon or eBay: chances are you can pick up a second-hand

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Trolltech says Qt for Windows CE coming in May

Trolltech has announced Windows CE support in the 4.4 release of Qt, its cross-platform development framework. A pre-release is already available. Qt already supports desktop Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, so this plugs a significant gap. Features include SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and OpenGL. It’s good to see this going ahead  despite Nokia’s acquisition

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Chris Anderson on Freeconomics

Chris Anderson, the Wired editor who coined the term “long tail”, has written a lengthy piece on Free – why $0.00 is the future of business, and is writing a book on the subject.

It caught my eye in part because of what Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz told me the other day: the only acceptable price

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Adobe AIR now available; not just consumer fluff

Adobe has released AIR and you can download the runtime and SDK now, as well as FlexBuilder 3, the official IDE for AIR. Just to remind you, AIR is a way of running Flash applications on the desktop, supplemented by SQLite, a fast local database manager.

Among the most interesting case studies I’ve seen is

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Fixing Windows Media Player after a system upgrade

A while back I upgraded my motherboard. Windows Media Player seemed fine – in fact, it works quite a bit better with the faster CPU – until today, when it started crashing shortly after starting. The faulting module was Indiv01.key.

The solution is in this thread. On Vista, what you have to do is to

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How long should it take to set up a laptop?

So you need a new laptop. Ignoring those irritating voices that say you should go Apple, you select a value-for-money offering from one of the big names like Toshiba or HP, hit the buy button at Ebuyer or the like, and a day or so later a van is at the door and you have

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