Cringester, David S, was not pleased when a recent 'critical' Windows Update asked him to sign a click-wrap EULA so it could install beta software on his PC. Apparently he was one of several lucky XP owners picked at random to try out Windows Genuine Advantage, an applet whose sole purpose is to detect pirated copies of Windows and nag you until you pony up for a legit one. According to the EULA, after WGA is on your system you're not allowed to uninstall it.
It phones home with information about your PC, which Microsoft may share with whomever it wishes. And if it breaks your computer, sorry, Charlie - Microsoft has no obligation to support it. I knew Redmond had gotten into the spyware biz, but I hadn't realised they meant that side of it.
Mission Implausible: Did the MPAA hire a hacker to break into a search engine company? That's the charge made by TorrentSpy in a recent court filing. The bit-torrent search engine claims it has a signed copy of one would-be hacker's $US15,000 contract from the MPAA to snoop around the company's servers. The MPAA denies everything. Even if the story's true, it's not like they hired him to do anything truly heinous, like swap copies of Garfield: The Movie.
Crank Call: The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) gang has unveiled the first working prototypes of its $US100 hand-cranked notebook. Given the machines' Kool-Aid colour schemes, a better name might be One Laptop per Teletubbie. I'm kind of partial to the Dipsy model.
Peeled: A California court has given the Scalia Salute to Apple's bid to uncover the confidential sources of PowerPage and Apple-Insider, saying the bloggers deserve the same protections as us ink-stained wretches. Hey, Apple can always hire a hacker to find out what it wants to know. I understand it's been done before.
Glass Action Suit: Five visitors to Apple's swank new see-through store on New York's Fifth Avenue were trapped in the glass elevator for 45 minutes recently. I hear they were freed after Apple determined they were not the sources of the blog stories.
Send hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may get a Kool-Aid-coloured bag for your troubles.