The Future of Electronic Publishing

Written by Sam Vaknin

UNESCO's somewhat arbitrary definition of "book" is:

""Non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages excluding covers".

The emergence of electronic publishing was supposed to change all that. Yet a bloodbath of unusual proportions has taken place inrepparttar last few months. Time Warner's iPublish and MightyWords (partly owned by Barnes and Noble) wererepparttar 133572 last in a string of resounding failures which cast in doubtrepparttar 133573 business model underlying digital content. Everything seemed to have gone wrong:repparttar 133574 dot.coms dot bombed, venture capital dried up, competing standards fractured an already fragile marketplace,repparttar 133575 hardware (e-book readers) was clunky and awkward,repparttar 133576 software unwieldy,repparttar 133577 e-books badly written or already inrepparttar 133578 public domain.

Terrified byrepparttar 133579 inexorable process of disintermediation (the establishment of direct contact between author and readers, excluding publishers and bookstores) and byrepparttar 133580 ease with which digital content can be replicated - publishers resorted to draconian copyright protection measures (euphemistically known as "digital rights management"). This further alienatedrepparttar 133581 few potential readers left. The opposite model of "viral" or "buzz" marketing (by encouragingrepparttar 133582 dissemination of free copies ofrepparttar 133583 promoted book) was only marginally more successful.

Moreover, e-publishing's delivery platform,repparttar 133584 Internet, has been transformed beyond recognition since March 2000.

>From an open, somewhat anarchic, web of networked computers - it has evolved into a territorial, commercial, corporate extension of "brick and mortar" giants, subject to government regulation. It is less friendly towards independent (small) publishers,repparttar 133585 backbone of e-publishing. Increasingly, it is expropriated by publishing and media behemoths. It is treated as a medium for cross promotion, supply chain management, and customer relations management. It offers only some minor synergies with non-cyberspace, real world, franchises and media properties. The likes of Disney and Bertelsmann have swung a full circle from consideringrepparttar 133586 Internet to berepparttar 133587 next big thing in New Media delivery - to frantic efforts to containrepparttar 133588 red ink it oozed all over their otherwise impeccable balance sheets.

But wererepparttar 133589 now silent pundits right allrepparttar 133590 same? Isrepparttar 133591 future of publishing (and other media industries) inextricably intertwined withrepparttar 133592 Internet?

The answer depends on whether an old habit dies hard. Internet surfers are used to free content. They are very reluctant to pay for information (with precious few exceptions, likerepparttar 133593 "Wall Street Journal"'s electronic edition). Moreover,repparttar 133594 Internet, with 3 billion pages listed inrepparttar 133595 Google search engine (and another 15 billion in "invisible" databases), provides many free substitutes to every information product, no matter how superior. Web based media companies (such as Salon and have been experimenting with payment and pricing models. But this is besidesrepparttar 133596 point. Whether inrepparttar 133597 form of subscription (Britannica), pay per view (Questia), pay to print (Fathom), sample and pay to buyrepparttar 133598 physical product (RealRead), or micropayments (Amazon) -repparttar 133599 public refuses to cough up.

Windows XP Safe and Secure?

Written by Richard Lowe

Microsoft has come under fire lately because of their habit of releasing software which has serious flaws, most especially problems with security. Unfortunatelyrepparttar criticism is justified and verges onrepparttar 133571 criminal: flaws (implementation bugs as well as just plain silly design decisions) have resulted in literally tens of billions of dollars in damage and losses worldwide.

Don't believe me? Think of all ofrepparttar 133572 viruses that have devastated not hundreds, not thousands, not even millions, but tens of millions of systems. All of these viruses are allowed to "breed" (spread) because of one ofrepparttar 133573 silliest, misguided, downright stupidest decisions ever made by a major corporation. This wasrepparttar 133574 addition of email scripting - without that incredibly powerful and almost totally unused (and many would argue not necessary) feature viruses could not spread in a matter of days or even hours. Since when does anyone need to script their email program anyway? I've never heard of a single person or corporation using this feature legitimately.

On top of this kind of issue (and there are several others), Microsoft's products tend to have blatant bugs - problems in programs which should have been caught by adequate design, testing and quality assurance. The most famous of these is probablyrepparttar 133575 series of bugs that led to Nimda and Code Red. Again, millions of systems were damaged and countless millions of man hours were wasted in efforts to eradicate these issues.

The firestorm that landed on Microsoft as a direct result of these and other problems and issues was fantastic to behold. Naturally Microsoft responded, trying desperately to reducerepparttar 133576 impact on their business. They claimedrepparttar 133577 problems were with administrators who did not apply patches, with people reporting problems too early (thus giving hackers information before fixes were complete) and any number of other problems. It seemed that everyone except for Microsoft was doingrepparttar 133578 wrong thing - of course,repparttar 133579 mighty Microsoft could do no wrong.

In spite of whatrepparttar 133580 left side of their face was saying, Microsoft did introduce some changes. They announced a new security service to help keep systems locked down and system administrators happy. Automatic security patch downloads were added to Windows XP and, I'm sure, dozens of other changes happened.

Withrepparttar 133581 release of Windows XP, Microsoft was adamant that they had tested it from top to bottom. The software giant even claimed it had written a special program to check forrepparttar 133582 nastiest kind of software problem - buffer overflows. You see, a buffer overflow is one ofrepparttar 133583 most common ways for a hacker to breakrepparttar 133584 security of a system. It does this by writing some code beyondrepparttar 133585 end of where it is supposed to write it. The code is then executed in privileged mode to giverepparttar 133586 hacker entrance to repparttar 133587 system.

Well, a short time ago Microsoft released a patch to Windows XP to fix exactly this problem. It seems there is a buffer overflow problem inrepparttar 133588 UPnP service. Whatrepparttar 133589 heck is UPnP, you ask? That's a good question.

UPnP is a special plug-and-play service. What is plug-and-play? Well, when you install a new device on Windows XP it automatically detects it and configures it for you. Plug-and-play is a very nice feature, and it works very well in Windows XP.

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