The Linux Blog


World of Warcraft off Shelves

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 12:00 am

I know this sounds terrible and all. “Did the game fail?!?” Absolutely NOT. Blizzard has decided to sell the last of the copies of World of Warcraft, which are probably gone by now, until they add more servers. Blizzard is rich. The other day, I was in a mall (me? mall? Yeah, it was with a group and we stopped to eat) and I saw a bunch of Everquest 2 boxes and no mention of World of Warcraft anywhere. It’s completely gone.

I honestly feel sorry for people who chose Everquest 2, as it was generally a failure.

World of Warcraft is expanding, I cannot wait to make level 60 and await further content. It’s a great feeling that Blizzard is selling this game so well. They make money, they have money to spend on the programmers for extra content.

This is good news for us players who are worried about too many players adding to lag. Personally, I haven’t had a bit of lag except one day when my ISP decided it would serve a large helping of packet loss on everyone’s plates for a few hours.



ATI Radeon Catalyst 5.1 Drivers (Linux) Released

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:00 pm

ATI’s official Linux drivers were released just yesterday or so. The new version is 5.1 (8.8.25 is what they call their Linux version). Enjoy.

As usual, Gentoo was fast at adding them and they are already in portage.

Also, new gentoo-dev-sources are out for us Gentoo users.

Google Adds Rel="nofollow”

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:46 am

Recently, Google has rel="nofollow”, where, when added to a URL, Google’s bot will not follow it, which prevents spamming to artificially raise your Google pagerank.

Really, I don’t think anyone will use it. Good idea, however, and easy to tack on rel="nofollow” to all blog comments. It also probably will not cut down on spam at all, as other engines still follow the links and if one person clicks the link, it’s worth it to them to keep their bots spamming.

a href="” rel="nofollow”

In other Google news, Picasa 2 has been released.

Counter-Strike: Source Bots

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:20 am

Sometime over the weekend (I was gone Friday-Monday on a ski trip), Counter-Strike: Source updated to add bot support, which were in the beta, but not released until now. Turtle Rock Studios helped VALVe with coding the bots.

It’s kind of annoying when I join a server, see bots filling the rest of the slots, and lag like crazy because the server can’t handle the number of bots. Of the 3 servers I joined today, 3 of them filled with bots. 2 of them lagged badly, cycling from a 75 ping to 300 or so, but don’t quote me on it, my ISP was being weird last night and today.

Bot skills
This is all an account of what I have witnessed, not what the official page says, which is not saying the official page is lying in the least.

To activate bots, use “bot_quota” (e.g. “bot_quota 5″ sets up 5 bots, while “bot_quota fill” fills the servers with bots, removing one per each user connected). Bots have multiple skill levels ranging from easy to expert. (in CS: S’s console, type bot_ then use the down arrow key to check out commands and pressing enter on one without anything on the end to see what it does) There are many commands to adjust how the bots behave, including limiting weapons, following other people or bots, and rushing.

In-game, I assume I was playing against “normal” bots. Playing a few rounds, I had a score of 8 and 0, but on the next map, I was 1 and 2. Bots are realistic in the senses. I once shot a bullet at a friendly bot, but missed him by a few inches on the floor. He turned around for a small amount of time, checking me out from the sound I had made in having a bullet hit an inch from his leg.

They use voice communication. It’s quite funny at the end of the round when one may shout “woohoo!” or congratulate teammates. Communication with them is not a problem, as they let you know if they are rushing, holding back (coordinated, too), or if they hear or sighted an enemy. After having died one round, I saw a bot climbing on a few boxes and another hiding almost flawlessly behind another. Bots are not scripted, they have “minds” of their own, making them compatiable with all maps as far as I know.

Sometimes they have good teamwork with other players, having a bunch grouped together, just like humans do, and sometimes, they are pitiful in the area, scattered, like humans do. I’ve gone against 5 bots at once and died after getting only a few shots off. Other times, I have gone against bot after bot after bot, maybe I died, maybe I didn’t, but they were not all packed together nor working together.

If there is a window in the way, they will shoot it out before reaching it, which is more human and saves time.

Do bots appear to be hacking?
Surprisingly, my answer is mostly a no. They do not always headshot you and watching one, you see that they might appear to be wallhacking, as they do a fair amount of following someone who is behind a wall, but not flawlessly and sometimes, movement behind walls is just randomized and not following anyone back there, but out of suspicion that there is a person behind it. (say, they hear footsteps in the general direction and are “guessing” their location)

Lag issues
I’m not sure if they create many lag issues, so just test it on your server before leaving them on all the time.

Great job on the AI, VALVe. Great job improving it from Condition Zero as well.

Check out this screenshot of today’s play (Click to enlarge):

Counter-Strike: Source Score Screenshot


Overclocking – From Processors to RAM to Graphics Cards

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 6:23 am

Maybe your computer is old and outdated and just can’t squeeze the latest games in even on low quality and you don’t have the money to upgrade or maybe you’re a rabid gamer who wants the best performance on the newest games, it doesn’t matter. You could even be bored and want to do something “exciting” and “extreme” or other. Whatever the reason, overclocking is most definitely the way to go.

The primary thing to consider is whether or not your computer supports CPU/RAM/AGP overclocking. You probably already know the answer if you built your own, which is mostly a yes. If you have a computer like a Dell or Gateway or other main retail brands, you can mostly forget about overclocking. Generally, you will get the best bang for your buck with custom built machines. Don’t worry, if you cannot overclock your CPU or RAM, your graphics card is most likely still eligible.

There is a large range of differences per manufacturer, so bear with me and don’t fret if there are minor anomalies to what I say, as I am mostly accustomed to Abit motherboards, Intel processors (meaning Abit Intel motherboards), and ATI graphics cards.

Before attempting an overclock, please note that once you overclock, you void your warranty on most processors, RAM, and graphics cards. Temperature monitors are extremely helpful, as you know when you have gone too far.

As for cooling methods, Thermaltake makes great copper heatsinks (I have a Spark 7+ Xaser Edition for my Pentium 4; semi-loud, not bad). Arctic Silver 5 is about the best thermal grease out there. Buy a large tube, as you need quite a bit for all of your needs (northbridge, CPU, graphics card, and anything else you wish to put a heatsink on). For GPUs (graphics processing unit), you want an ATI/NVIDIA Silencer (make sure to buy the one for your card and made by Arctic Cooling), which is not only extremely silent, but most push all air directly out the back of the computer and cools the card’s RAM, which most stock cooling doesn’t do. The northbridge cooler is usually sufficient, but if it isn’t, there isn’t really a wide variety avalable, so just pick one out or remount the one you have with the Arctic Silver 5 paste. All of this will cost you a nice bundle, but is well worth it.

Kicking off with overclocking your CPU, RAM, and AGP bus, you will want to get into your BIOS menu (if you don’t know how, you probably need to ask a tech-savvy person to attempt this for you or just press either F2 or Delete. Usually, there will be a message telling you which key to press.). Keeping in mind that the directions are generalized, you will need to find a menu that looks similar to the one below, most likely the label containing the words “soft” or “CPU” or other related words dealing with the subject.

BIOS Screenshot

Once you find the screen, set the CPU Operating Speed to “User Defined.”

BIOS Screenshot

Next, adjust the clock to your liking. Don’t touch any of the ratios unless you know what you are doing. This overclocks your AGP bus, CPU speed, and RAM all at the same time, according to the ratio specified. Below, you can see the estimated CPU clock change when you step up the speed. Some BIOSes and processors have the ability to change the multiplier directly, use it wisely. An unrealistic example is that a 100MHz processor might be 20MHz core with a multiplier of 5. 20*5=100. Take caution in overclocking, as you do not want to go too far with it as being unstable. Raise the clock one notch at a time and make sure it boots at the least, every once in a while, use a tool to test stability. I suggest memtest 86 to test your RAM stability, compiling for CPU, and ATITool or RivaTuner for your AGP bus. Raising the clock without touching the voltage, depending on your chip and cooling, should take you fairly far, while not raising temperatures dramatically. After you can no longer keep it stable at default voltages, proceed to set the power supply to User Defined, using extreme caution, as this can easily damage your chip, or leave it as it is if you are uncomfortable. Make sure it boots stable after adjusting the voltage and ensure that your temperatures are not near dangerous levels. Continue to raise the clocks one step at a time, but me much more careful. Continuing to raise voltages is extremely dangerous and should only be done if you really do know what you’re getting into.

BIOS Screenshot

Once you find a good, stable speed, set it back a notch or two just to be safe. The overclocking process can last for quite a while, but be safe in the beginning so that later on, when overclocking the GPU, you don’t get crashes from the CPU and mistake them for GPU crashes. Later on, you may fine tune it if you so choose.

BIOS Screenshot

Now that you have finished overclocking the RAM, CPU, and AGP bus, we can proceed to the graphics card. Some cards can gain by leaps and bounds (usually the base models without any extra names. E.g. 5600 or 9600), while others gain in tiny strides (5600 GT, 9600 XT). If you have a base card, chances are high that you can flash it to another level and keep it stable. Before doing that, however, we must overclock using software. RivaTuner users, please follow as closely as possible, as my NVIDIA card is currently “abroad” and I may revise this to help you out later. Note that NVIDIA users may use ATITool and ATI users may use RivaTuner.

Personally, I was able to gain about 20MHz core from my X800 XT PE with stock cooling, but I have not tried with my new ATI Silencer 4.

There are two types of clocks when looking at your graphics card. First, there is the memory clock, which is simply RAM and is what will perk up those frames per second the most. Lastly, there is the core speed, which is simply the processing unit for the card. In the future, also expect to have physics calculators built in to your graphics card.

ATITool makes overclocking easy with just a few setting adjustments. Depending on what card you have, you can easily set it to find your clock fast and easily. Basically, ATITool raises the clock slowly with a rendering window open searching for artifacts as the clock rises. Artifacts are errors by the graphics card caused when it’s running too fast or too hot. After installing, head over to the options and set your fan (if applicable) to run at the speeds you wish. Enter under the “Artifact Scanning” tab something like the picture below. Please also take heed to any warnings received on startup. For instance, mine warns me to turn off temporal anti-aliasing, as it says that it will cause artifacts for the tests and I will not reach my full overclocking potential with it enabled (can enable after finding clocks).

Artifact Scanning

Next, you want to fine tune any other options that may be of use to you and then go back to the main view. Personally, I always begin by overclocking the core first. So, click “find max core” and let it do its job. If you set up the menu as I have, it should find a good, stable core within 30 minutes or so. You will notice that it uses a heat-up phase to warm the card up. You may click either the left or right mouse buttons to shorten or lengthen the phase to your content. Once you find your maximum core (with your current heating and so on), write the number down, set to default, and find the maximum memory. Once you find that, set them both to your overclocked speeds, find the core using the button again, but this time preserving settings and then finding the memory again. After you finish all that, note your clocks (you can save a profile to load if you wish) and check out the BIOS page.

I recommend only attempting to flash your BIOS if your card is able to make it to the clocks specified on the page (make sure to download the correct one) or specified by you using the “advanced” link on some of them. I also warn that it is best to have a PCI card handy in the event that your other card will not boot on reboot, this way, you run off the PCI card and re-flash your card. Be careful not to download the wrong BIOS or download one with the clocks being too high. The X800 PRO can also be flashed to unlock four more pipelines as well as a very large overclock.

A great guide to flashing your graphics card’s bios may be found here at TechPowerUp.

If, after following this guide, you are unsatisfied with your results, water cooling is always the best solution for the best clocks, though it is on the expensive side. Before you go with that, however, just remount everything by removing all paste and applying a thin-ish layer of Arctic Silver 5. Enjoy!


Radeon X800 Arrives!

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 6:58 pm

Today, I eagerly awaited the arrival from FedEx of my new Sapphire X800 XT PE!

Upon opening the box, I saw a packing slip and a little box with the card in it (hey, it’s OEM. Check out my comment on the other post for reasons of what I do if it breaks). I checked the packing slip – just what I wanted, “XT” (Sapphire’s XT’s are XT PE’s as well as far as I can tell).

After a quick swap out with my old Radeon 9600 in my snazzy clear-blue case (note to self: Plug firewire back up (had to unplug it and forgot to plug it back up)), I was ready for boot. As expected, it detected an X800 series card. So, let’s check ATITool. All looks good here, framerates are fifteen miles above the roof. Hm… 12 pipelines. X800 PRO?!?

Weird. So, time to overclock to XT PE speeds and look up the flashing tool. Good so far, no artifacts (except the time someone messaged me… can’t do anything wile scanning for artifacts). Time to flash. I used the first Google result and came up with a nice guide on flashing an X800 PRO to an X800 XT PE. Make floppy (hah, couldn’t find a good one, had to use an old Internet Explore for Windows 95 part 1 of 2 floppy or something). Reboot. Save old BIOS. Write new BIOS. Reboot. Windows (sorry… games, you know) XP Home boots up and detects a “Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition"! YES! Checking pipes… 16!

So… I highly recommend buying an X800 PRO and flashing it to XT PE. Follow the guide correctly and you will do just fine.

After further investigation, I think that the person who had the card before me had an X800 XT PE, but flashed it to PRO for some reason.

By the way, I have World of Warcraft as well. Look for me as “Clete” (stupid thing won’t take a 2 on the end) in Khadgar.


The Great Big Blog Effort

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:59 am

On November 14th, 2004, Great Big Blog was founded with hope of spreading a new type of blog to the world. Not that type of Slashdot, but a more personal and friendly atmosphere, one in which anyone can post almost anything they want to say about anyone or anything. It is just basically a large, collaborative blog designed to bring you the latest news, reviews of products and games, sometimes coding improvements, and maybe even start a good debate in the politics area.

Great Big Blog currently has 5 staff, who post articles and moderate what others have posted. Since November 14th, it has grown by leaps and bounds and are syndicating many RSS feeds and looking to add more. The script is actively being worked on daily to add new features.

Last month, December 14th, Great Big Blog celebrated its one month anniversary, where James, one of the leaders of the website, who also did the design, explained what was accomplished in one small month. In one small month, the staff and others typed 257 blog entries. James promised that there would be website improvements (I know of some that are coming and some that already took place) and more entries in the month to come. This has held up true, as the two-month anniversary is coming up in just a few days.

If the current trend holds up for Great Big Blog, it is looking to become a large part of the blogging community, and definately a positive influence.

Personally, I am a moderator (showing no bias) and my feed is syndicated.


What Linux Distribution Fits Your Lifestyle?

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:31 am

Since you are reading this, I assume you know what Linux is in a general scope. Maybe you are looking for an alternative to Windows, maybe you already use Linux and would like to change distributions after becoming more knowlegable in the subject and figuring out that you want something new or you made a bad beginning choice, or maybe you would just like to learn more about the options that there are avaliable. So, here is a short guide to distributions.

First, we need to figure out what kind of user you are. Are you one that loves to toy with bleeding-edge programs with the latest and greatest features even with their bugs? Maybe you are an office user who just would like everything to stick together and work. Maybe a combination of the two. Are you a gamer? We have things for that, too. Are you a tweaker? Same thing. Maybe you’re just bored, have no idea what you are doing, and would like to learn something.

As for the gamer, tweaker, bleeding edge person, and the guy who knows a fair amount about computers, I recommend Gentoo. Gentoo is a little different from Linux From Scratch (LFS) in that there is software avaliable to make your job a bit easier.

With Linux From Scratch, you must build everything yourself. No help at all. I haven’t tried it personally and don’t plan to unless I become bored. You even have to “./configure", “make", and “make install” all by yourself. Of course, they provide a rather hefty manual to help you along. It’s the ultimate way to gain speed on your system – if you know what you’re doing.

On with Gentoo, you have a very nice application called Portage. Portage assists you in installing packages. While it’s very customizable and you get pretty much the same results as a LFS install would give you, you do not gain the same amount of knowlege as fast as you would installing an LFS system. As previously mentioned, Portage helps by cutting out the need to command every last thing yourself. It uses ebuilds, which are not incrediably complex to make yourself. You simply type “emerge x” and it will emerge “x” (x being a variable). Still, you can set your CFLAGS, which help a great deal in optimization and set it apart from distributions like Fedora and SuSE. Did I mention that Portage doesn’t have many binary packages in the system? Yep. Also to note is you begin your Gentoo system off of a terminal livecd and with a manual to guide you along.

Luckily, for those who don’t have time to compile every single package or those with incrediably slow computers, there is Debian. Personally, I haven’t tried it, as my CDs were corrupt and I didn’t feel like downloading again. I have, however, run it on my GameCube enough to get a good opinion of it.

The installer is a bit more advanced and harder to use than most (compared to Gentoo, which doesn’t have an installer at all), especially compared to Mandrake and Fedora. It also has quite a few more CDs to download than normal distributions. If I remember correctly, the number neared 7 or 8. Debian has a nice system called Apt (apt-get), similar to Gentoo’s Portage, but it has more binary packages, while still keeping a vast selection of source packages. That said, I am not sure about the more advanced features, how well it works, and how often new packages are added (Gentoo is quite fast in the area). Again, from what I can tell, the system runs nicely and is compatiable with many architectures.

Mandrake, Fedora, and SuSE are almost identical in that they are user friendly, have good control panels, and are easy to setup. Fedora has a beautiful interface and boot screen. On the more useful side, I hear that Fedora has the easiest and most pain-free wireless detection of the three, with Mandrake coming in second, and SuSE in last. These three distributions are geared up for the most pleasent and easiest experience for the end-user. Personally, I use either Fedora or Mandrake. If I remember correctly, Mandrake handles gaming better, while Fedora looks better by default.

In the end, the choice is up to you. That’s just what Linux is all about. For the ones who have too much time on their hands, Linux From Scratch suits well. As for those who have some time on their hands, but not way too much, either Gentoo or Debian, depending on whether or not you want binary packages and an installer. For the end-user or person who has almost no time, just wants things to work (perfect for a work enviorment), I recommend Fedora. As previously mentioned, Fedora, Mandrake, and SuSE are almost identical. For the gamer with no time (how does that happen? I realize there are few games for Linux, as well), I recommend Mandrake. If you want to try an alternative workstation or gaming system with ease, use SuSE.


X800 XT PE ORDERED (Sapphire)

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 6:36 pm

I just bought a STEAL! $415 USD for a normally $500 card. It’s a Sapphire X800 XT PE (says XT only, but it is PE says some reviewers). It’s refurbished and OEM, but I saved $75 by not buying a box. Wow, $75 box.

I highly recommend getting this card if you don’t want a $75 box. That said, I don’t have it yet and haven’t tested it. I am recommending by price ;).

I’ll let you know how it works later. I can order World of Warcraft with the money I saved! :D

Poll Fix

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:03 am

For those who also have this problem of someone spamming a poll option, I made a simple solution (checks for IP and stops people from refreshing and re-sending the POST information):

First, make a new file called vars.php in wp-content/plugins/. Accordingly put variables in there called $prefix (database prefix), $user1, $pass1, and $server1, using your MySQL information.


Next, place this as wp-admin/polls-manager.php.

Put this in index.php somewhere.

Lastly, run this on your database:

– Table structure for table `ip`

`id` int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment,
`ip` varchar(16) NOT NULL default ‘’,
KEY `id` (`id`)

Make sure to put it in your wordpress database.

Right now, it adds support for one vote per IP. When a new poll is added, the entries in the ip table are removed. Simple fix, but I hope it saved someone 5 minutes.


Ordered My X800 XT PE!

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:29 pm

Well, finally, I was able to order my Radeon X800 XT PE. :)

More when I get it or when it ships. Stupid backorder…

Edit: By the way, I am better than SOMEONE SOMETIMES (hah sometimes) at Halo 2 on Xbox (you know who you are and you will most likely never read this ;)). :) (finally got to play it and I did about 15 minutes worth of single player too)


Do you REALLY want Windows XP SP2?

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 12:54 pm

Ok, I have my article back.

Well, I have had a lot of mentions about SP2 lately, so I just decided to blog about it.

It’s one of the most useless patches that Microsoft has released. My reasons are that the only thing that I truely liked about it was the fact that the booting bar changed from green to blue (blue fanatic here). Other than that, all of the "improvements" are aimed at your average “Joe” (I really do pity people who are named Joe and have this unfair discrimination against them… I wonder what the original Joe was like…).

First of all, yes, the blue bar is cool, but it was already blue in the Professional edition of XP. Second is that they finally added a popup blocker to Internet Explorer. This was much needed and desired by most, but they had to mess it up.

Going to the Apple website to download the iPod updater software fails, because Internet Explorer blocked a popup and a "potentially dangerous" download. So, you think to yourself, no problem, I think I will tell it to ignore this one. Ok, so you click ignore this one. Internet Explorer then reloads the page, but nobody at Microsoft though to implement the neat feature that resends the post data. Oops. (e.g. it doesn’t work)

Well, so maybe that idea failed, but surely enabling the firewall by default is good, well, for some. Not for me or about 75% of my friends. So, you then again tell yourself, I will diable it. Ahh! What’s that? There’s a new icon in the taskbar warning you that the firewall is off. No problem yet again, you will disable the icon and get on with your life. Oops, can’t get rid of the icon. In fact, after toying around a bit, you figure out that you cannot disable an antivirus program either, nor can you disable automatic updates, without, of course, getting the icon in your taskbar.

So, it’s not that bad, you don’t mind an icon in the taskbar (well, apparently, you aren’t me ;)). Don’t worry, it’s still "cool" looking :). So what else if icons don’t annoy you? Well, you have wasted 160MB of disk space (in our day, it usually means nothing, especially to those of us who have 250GB hard drives) and boot time is increased dramatically. In fact, some people (sorry, can’t remember how much it added to mine, but this is about accurate) report that their boot time increased by 14 seconds. Amazing.

And if you hold the position of that Service Pack 2 has less security holes, just remember that you can get the same patches for SP2 as for SP1. Also, you may recall that Microsoft is notorious for creating many, many new bugs when adding a small amount of new features.

Not that bad? I suggest that you try it out yourself if you feel so obliged, make your opinion, and let me know about it. Honestly, I am interested in what you think.

By the way, this post was not meant to offend or show a heavy bias. I have fully tested SP2 and people have backed me up in my opinions who are not aligned with Linux as I am. I’m running Gentoo Linux dual booted with Windows XP SP1.

Revision on December 18th at 10:11AM EST:

I have to boot twice into Windows before it actually boots. First time, it just sits there with a blank screen. I reboot and it works. Weird. :(

December 20th:

Also, try and think of Windows XP SP2 from a marketing standpoint. We have already determined it is mostly useless. So what is it good for? Marketing. Maybe someone was sick and tired of Windows. SP2 came out and they said “hold up a minute, they fixed it all!” Then, maybe even a few *NIX users thought “hmm, looks like they fixed something” and reinstalled XP.

It is the ultimate strategy. Microsoft may be corrupt, but they are not stupid.

Here’s the best and longest conclusion:

Do you want Service Pack 2? No.


SuprNova and TorrentBits down

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:38 pm

Well, sadly, today, we have lost and, two of the largest and best torrent trackers out there. Is Demonoid next?

It helped me to advertise for a game (DarkSpace), an MMORPG space fighting game, as well as give me Halo back, where my CD was messed up.

Oh well…

Uh-oh, demonoid is down. Hopefully it’s related to the problems they have had lately.

Demonoid redirects to Google now :(. Looks like we lost a bunch of sites :-/.


Do you REALLY want Windows XP SP2?

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 2:15 am

If you are reading this, look up on the page :). I have posted the article here.

This article is exclusive to Great Big Blog, check it out here.

It clocks in at 572 words and I think is worth the read (well, that is, with my 2AM brain switched on).

Yes, I am going to bed right now. It’s 2:15AM EST. Goodnight people.


Ok, so Alex removed it from the database. Stay tuned, I will get a copy from Nathan and post it here only.

I would have appreciated it if… Alex… would have given me a copy by e-mail or something instead of just placing it for trash. Good thing Nathan was smart and set a deleted flag to 1 instead of fully pruning. :) Oh well, staff hates me, not my fault.

Stay tuned, I have the article and am fixing a few mistakes in it.

Microsoft to Charge for Spyware Removal

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:42 am

WASHINGTON (AP) – Microsoft Corp. disclosed plans Thursday to offer frustrated users of its Windows software new tools within 30 days to remove spyware programs secretly running on computers. But it might cost extra in coming months.

In a shift from past practice, the world’s largest software manufacturer said it may charge consumers for future versions of the new protective technology, which Microsoft acquired by buying a small New York software firm. Terms of the sale of Giant Company Software Inc. weren’t disclosed.

Spyware is a category of irritating programs that secretly monitor the online activities of Internet users and can cause sluggish computer performance or popup ads.


Sounds to me like Microsoft is running out of income for the moment. Think about it a minute.

Most people who have switched to Windows XP have already switched. Microsoft dove into the console market with Xbox, where it is losing money. Microsoft went into office, where it is losing market share slowly, while still maintaining over 90% of the market share. Microsoft is into almost all they can get their hands on and have dominated everything (I will save my near-monopoly speech for a later time) that they touched. They need something new, something to sell, something that will make money for them.

Enter spyware into the factor. Since they already have a much market share in the other businesses they are into (as in, they won’t gain market share, the only way to go is down), they need to sell something new. Much, much later on (after the evil Palladium or Next Generation Secure Computing Base or whatever they plan to call it later on is implemented), something will happen to Microsoft, which will either be a fall that causes them to charge per month on the use of their operating system or they do it without that.

There is also the theory of Microsoft purposefully putting in bugs and implementing ActiveX just so that they can do this sort of thing later. They may be extremely corrupt, but not that corrupt. Maybe later, but as of now, their code is beyond repair, it is their fault (almost anyone will agree), but they didn’t do it on purpose.

Yes, this was published and written after 1:30AM EST. :)

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