TWiT 73: Hello Armenia, goodbye Windows pirates

By Beth Gottfried

This Week in Tech Episode 73, Hello Armenia: Host Leo Laporte and his crew discuss ethics: John Dvorak's wife's penchant for purchasing CDs in lieu of "sharing" music, how nobody appreciates Microsoft's attempts to make sure everyone pays for Windows Vista (set to release on Oct. 25), and ABC president Anne Sweeney's wishy-washy stand against piracy: "Hard to compete with free, but not impossible."

  • You can only install Vista once to a computer. After that, you'll need to buy a new one. And you can only re-sell the application once. And for good measure, if you aren't validated with WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage), your entire system will shut down after an hour and Vista will lose all capability. TWiT member Jerry Pournelle claims that it allows for a more "graceful shut down" but Leo doesn't buy it.
  • Pournelle, sci-fi author and TWiT veteran, reacts to Microsoft's latest paranoid maneuver to ensure that Vista gets the most money from its users, the honest, dumb ones at that: "Back in the day, when Bill Gates was 18 and selling Basic application tapes, people would pay him per tape ($20/each) and then go home and make copies and re-sell for cheaper. Smoke would come out of Gates' ears."
  • CNET CEO Shelby Bonnie resigns and the action causes tech pundit John Dvorak to employ the euphemism "tit in the ringer."
  • "The government should butt out of corporate activities and just have to pay a fine," say Leo's cohorts. HP is a victim of ex-chair Patricia Dunn, that is.
  • John Dvorak begrudgingly defends his proclamation that Google didn't really buy YouTube, in theory/principle anyways. YouTube's new multi-millionaire Chad Hurley would beg to differ.
  • Leo's comment on YouTube: Hard to believe that a website which features guys getting kicked in the groin is worth 3X more than MySpace. Um, has he seen MySpace?
  • Internet gambling and terrorist funders are one-in-the-same, at least according to the U.S. government.
  • A French consultant outsourced by Apple found that employees are much more productive on 30-inch monitors than 17 or 19 inch. Leo implies the inch talk could go south, but it doesn't.