Even Halloween paled in comparison; few things are scarier than Microsoft readying a new OS for release. Vista is likely to arrive at hardware OEMs before the end of this month. But some Cringesters report problems getting their gear to work with Release Candidate 2 (the "final, final" version), and Microsoft has yet to conjure up a hardware compatibility list. Security vendors scream that Redmond hasn't provided the APIs they need to plug their software in to Vista, while some beta testers say RC2 still contains more bugs than an HP boardroom meeting. Vista remained "on track", spokesperson-du-jour, Austin Stewart, said, although exact ship dates will be determined by "product quality". Just how bad will Vista have to be for Microsoft to miss its January 2007 retail ship date? That's too frightening to even contemplate.
All about Steve: Apple accidentally shipped at least 24 iPods containing the RavMonE virus and then issued a half-hearted apology that took a swipe at Windows' many security vulnerabilities. (I understand when activated, the virus causes iPod users to do the Steve Ballmer MonkeyBoy Dance.) Not to be outdone, I hear Microsoft may ship a Mac virus on its new Zune MP3 players that will induce their owners to become insufferably arrogant and end every conversation with the phrase "one more thing". Black turtlenecks will be optional.
The blue Verizon: Keen-eyed reader, Bob A, notes that the fine print on Verizon Wireless' own ads acknowledge a 5GB monthly limit on its "unlimited" Broadband Access plan, despite denials by Verizon spokesperson, Jeff Nelson. Meanwhile, Cringefan, William R, said Sprint's Mobile Broadband service had no such limitations and even allowed video and VoIP. That sounds like an even easier choice than picking between an iPod and a Zune.
Space truckers: When Cringe aficionado, Stacy S, recently tried to obtain a truck from Penske Trunk Rental, the site displayed a pop-up saying vehicles must be reserved "at least 693963 days in advance", or slightly more than 1900 years. I'd suggest buying the fuel now, too; by 3907 it could be $US2500 a litre.
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