Mac OS X, Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux together in Parallels worlds

So I bought two seats of Parallels a week or so ago. I couldn't resist: It was buy one, get one free. (And still is through December 31st.) Now my desktop Mac at work and my MacBook Pro drive the latest versions of OS X Leopard, Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux, all from the same desktop, running in ... parallel. Who needs to choose between Mac and PC when there's Parallels?

WiMax song by Samsung

WiMAX is on the way, finally.

The Mobile Intelligent Terminal was unveiled at a Samsung-sponsored industry conference on Mobile WiMax, which is just coming into use and promises fast broadband connections over long distances.

The device weighs about a pound and contains a fold-out keyboard, 5-inch screen and 30 gigabyte hard drive. It runs the full version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system and also supports the CDMA mobile phone communications standard, which is used in South Korea and other countries including the United States.

Kim Hun-bae, Samsung vice president for mobile research and development, told reporters that the gadget is the world's first WiMax device that also works as a mobile phone. It also can access the Internet, make video phone calls and display television as well as other video.

The "MIT" is so new that googling up the model number, SPH-P9000, yields nothing, not even a hit on Samsung's own site, where they promote their WiMax products, but not this new mega-phone-thing.

(Is "MIT" really going to be the acronym? "Hold a MIT in your mitt!" "Communicate mit MIT!" "MIT me sometime!")

Never mind the funny-looking device — I mean, check out this AP photo [pop-up window] — I'm really excited that WiMAX is almost here.

WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, also known as IEEE 802.16, that is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks". WiMAX can provide broadband wireless access (BWA) up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and 3 - 10 miles (5 - 15 km) for mobile stations. In contrast, the WiFi/802.11 wireless local area network standard is limited in most cases to only 100 - 300 feet (30 - 100m).

With WiMAX, WiFi-like data rates are easily supported, but the issue of interference is lessened. WiMAX operates on both licensed and non-licensed frequencies, providing a regulated environment and viable economic model for wireless carriers.

WiMAX can be used for wireless networking in much the same way as the more common WiFi protocol. WiMAX is a second-generation protocol that allows for more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance, and is intended to allow higher data rates over longer distances.

This is going to change more than cell phones. [More on Wikipedia.]

It all makes my new Palm 700p seem rather archaic.

More on Sony DRM and infected music CDs

Following up on what I just posted, it seems that Sony BMG is now being sued for damage their secret RootKit software has done to PCs:

Sony's now infamous decision to use system destabilizing DRM malware in order to "fight piracy" (despite it being shockingly easy to defeat) has earned Sony a lawsuit or three. A new class action suit has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, another is expected in New York this week, and there have been a handful of rumblings in other countries, as well.

In California, the class action suit alleges that Sony's DRM has caused harm to computers, and that the company failed to disclose precisely what the DRM technology would do to users' computers. According to sources, the suit alleges three distinct violations of California law, including violations of statutes relating to deceptive trade practices and obfuscated technological measures deemed to be anti-consumer. The suit seeks an injunction against the sale of the effected CDs as well as monetary damages for those who purchased the discs.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation also is considering legal action and is seeking information from affected customers.

What's more, now the "Stinx-E trojan" has appeared to exploit the Sony DRM software's code to open a back door to PCs.

And not only that, Mark Russinovich reports that the DRM software itself is harder to uninstall than many malicious viruses.

What's even more, Cory at BoingBoing links to Darren Dittrich's report that the Sony CDs also infect Macs:

I recently purchased Imogen Heap's new CD (Speak for Yourself), an RCA Victor release, but with distribution credited to Sony/BMG. Reading recent reports of a Sony rootkit, I decided to poke around. In addition to the standard volume for AIFF files, there's a smaller extra partition for "enhanced" content. I was surprised to find a "" Mac application in addition to the expected Windows-related files. Running this app brings up a long legal agreement, clicking Continue prompts you for your username/password (uh-oh!), and then promptly exits. Digging around a bit, I find that actually installs 2 files: PhoenixNub1.kext and PhoenixNub12.kext.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of anyone installing kernel extensions on my Mac. In Sony's defense, upon closer reading of the EULA, they essentially tell you that they will be installing software. Also, this is apparently not the same technology used in the recent Windows rootkits (made by XCP), but rather a DRM codebase developed by SunnComm, who promotes their Mac-aware DRM technology on their site.

EFF has a partial list of infected CDs:


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