TechMediaWatch Jan 1: Glitch Freezes Zune Players +++ Israel Takes War To YouTube +++ Internet Drug Dealers On Trial +++

January 1, 2009

470_zune -1,0 by techfeverChinese Court Convicts 11 in Microsoft Piracy Case
Eleven people were convicted of roles in a counterfeiting ring that distributed pirated software around the world. (NYT)+++

Zune Hit With Mystery Glitch
Microsoft said some of its Zune music players are experiencing technical problems and it is working on a fix. Thousands of consumers went online to complain about their devices. (WSJ)+++

2 Executives Leaving in Dell Restructuring
The president of global operations and the chief marketing officer are leaving as the company reorganizes around customer categories rather than by region.(NYT)+++

A Year Ticks Over, and Zunes Get Hiccups
A time-related bug affected a particular version of Microsoft’s media player Zune, causing all devices to freeze for several hours.(NYT)+++

China Plans to License 3 Wireless Standards
The move opens the way for cellphone users in China to have faster downloads of video, data and Web-browsing services, and for companies to charge more for their high-speed services.(NYT)+++

Amid CD Plunge, Music Sales Sink
Increases in digitally downloaded albums and songs were not enough to offset a nearly 20% plunge in CD sales, according to SoundScan year-end U.S. figures. (WSJ)+++

Dell Shakes Up Management
Dell said its president of global operations will retire and its chief marketing officer will leave the company, shaking up the team Michael Dell brought in as part of his turnaround plan. (WSJ)+++

Glitch Freezes Zune Players
Thousands of 30GB Zune media players — Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPod — unexpectedly conked out Wednesday due to a problem with their internal clock.(SFC)+++

Software Pirates Sentenced
Alleged leaders of a Chinese counterfeiting gang that sold at least $2 billion worth of bogus Microsoft software got to up to 6.5 years in prison. (SFC)+++

Israel Takes War To YouTube
Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have taken their battle to the Internet. (SFC)+++

Lasers’ Aim: Save Farm Water
Seventy-six years after the invention of the modern sprinkler helped revolutionize farming, lasers may revolutionize it again. (SFC)+++

Biotech Hunkers Down
Sharp gains in shares of biotechnology heavyweights mitigated the wider sector’s decline in 2008. (SFC)+++

‘Net Drug Sales On Trial
Stanford student ordered form of Prozac online from Colorado doc and later committed suicide.(SFC)+++

Leo DiCaprio gives some love to YouTube froggy style
Leonardo DiCaprio,
who is starring in Sam Mendes’ adaptation of the classic Richard Yates novel “Revolutionary Road,” gave popular video-sharing site YouTube some love in the December issue of GQ.  (LAT)+++

Let this be the last list of 2008 … please
In the last three weeks, I have read more lists listing the best, worst, weirdest, most memorable, forgettable events, feuds, quotations, blunders and triumphs of men, women, criminals, movies, albums, politicians, companies, animals and things than I have read in all my previous years combined.  (LAT)+++

Microsoft to Zune 30 owners: It’s a leap-year problem. Wait until tomorrow
Microsoft this afternoon sent out a message to frustrated owners of its Zune 30 digital media player: Wait until tomorrow.  (LAT)+++

For Zune, a rocky start to new year
Consumers complain that their music players are rebooting, then freezing up. Microsoft isolates problem, says it should be fixed within 24 hours. (CNET)+++

Contractless in Seattle
A programmer thought he was settling into good shape financially when he landed a temporary job with Microsoft. He was wrong. (CNET)+++

5 tech predictions for 2009
Will Steve Jobs announce his retirement? Will Windows 7 launch? Don Reisinger looks ahead to 2009, and asks you to share your own predictions. (CNET)+++

var articleTime = new Date(‘Wed Dec 31 13:32:00 PST 2008′); document.write(timeDifference(articleTime)); Macintosh at 25: Still the innovation leader
On January 24, 1984, the Macintosh came into the world, starting a revolution in personal computing. Now, all attention is turned to what Apple will introduce next.(CNET)+++

Facebook godfather groups rankle mafia victims
Relatives of those hit by mafia crime say pages that pay tribute to notorious mob bosses glamorize the perpetrators.(CNET)+++

Chinese court convicts 11 in software piracy ring
Microsoft applauds the sentences, saying they are the stiffest ever in this type of Chinese copyright infringement case.(CNET)+++

China lifts roadblock for 3G phones
The Chinese government has approved licenses that will permit high-speed mobile phone network services, a move expected to help bring higher-end services.(CNET)+++

Log on to make do-good New Year’s resolutions
Dozens have signed on to make pledges since nonprofit agency Families First launched its new “I am the Solution” site.(CNET)+++

Dell regroups around four customer segments
Two executives, Mike Cannon and Mark Jarvis, are departing as the computer maker regroups globally around four types of customers.(CNET)+++

A computer revolution through a child’s eyes
A user interface revolution is upon us: my 3-year-old son can use my iPhone thanks more to its accessibility than his smarts. (CNET)+++

var articleTime = new Date(‘Wed Dec 31 06:40:00 PST 2008′); document.write(timeDifference(articleTime));

Jack D. Kuehler, Former I.B.M. President, Dies at 76
Mr. Kuehler guided the company while it dominated the world’s computing landscape in the 1980s. (CNET)+++

New Jobs rumor trips Apple shares
Shares of Apple were on their way to a gain Tuesday, with the rest of the stock market. (SV)+++

Texting in the fast lane becomes illegal on Thursday
OMG! Cal. is making it illegal to text just cuz U R driving!! Violations will bring a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for repeaters.

More speculation on Microsoft layoffs, contractor cuts
A few people have asked me about a story on an obscure tech news site, Fudzilla, that purports to confirm as fact the rumors of a major Microsoft layoff coming next month. (TST)+++

Microsoft explains Zune outage: Internal clock couldn’t handle leap year
Microsoft just issued the following statement explaining the outage that has affected thousands of Zune music players today. (TST)+++

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