Windows Kill Switch Coming?

Windows Genuine Advantage is Microsofts way of making sure you’re running a legal version of Windows. WGA is pretty easy to break, as demonstrated in this post at My Digital Life. WGA is currently optional but may be required in the coming months.

There are reports of Microsoft introducing a kill switch to WGA. The “kill switch” functions exactly as you would expect: if you don’t have WGA or your WGA authentication fails, Windows will stop functioning, totally.

He told me that “in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn’t installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now.”

That’s pretty shitty of Microsoft to do. I think a whole lot of people are gonna be upset about this. Been contemplating switching to Linux? Now’s probably a great time to do that.

Really though, none of this matters, thanks to release groups like eth0 who release cracked versions of WGA hours after their official releases are out. The crackers will always be one up on Microsoft.

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Gmail For Your Domain

Hosted Gmail, or “Gmail for your domain”, is sweet. It provides the ability to use the Gmail interface with your domains email. So, I go to my hosted Gmail and I can send/receive email at the longren.org domain.

I had to change my MX records at DreamHost over to Google’s, naturally. I didn’t include a priority when switching them over though, stupid. I guess I was expecting a seperate form field for those. Didn’t cause much of a delay though.
dreamhostMX

I really like the idea of “Gmail for your domain.” It serves it’s purpose very well. I could go for a few more features in the administration area. The “Advanced Tools” in the picture is really a “tool” for editing your accounts in bulk. Under “Domain Settings” you’ll have the opportunity to set a custom logo, edit the sign-in page, and enable/disable chat. The only thing you can currently edit on the sign-in page is the color of the username/password boxes. Click for a bigger picture.
hostedGmail_lastTime
I expect a whole slew of new customizable settings as the beta progresses. I believe the chat feature was just added today, although standard Gmail has had that for some time now. I’d really like to be able to edit the title used on pages. It seems to just use the domain as the title right now.

I noticed they’ve got an “Account Plan” indicator on the administration dashboard. Google will probably start charging for this service once it’s out of beta, which could be in like 15 years. I mean, Gmail itself is still in beta. They might even charge per user, I’ve got “Up to 200 users for free.” I’d actually expect a pricing schema very similar to that seen today in web hosting. But probably cheaper.

Hopefully that screenshot isn’t against the TOS or anything. I’m not gonna bother reading that 50 page psycho-babble though. Maybe I’ll post more screenshots later.

On a somewhat related note, Garett Rogers (at ZDNet blogs) is speculating about “Google Music“. It’s not news though, just hardcore speculation.

Information gathered at the Digital Hollywood pre-show suggests Google is holding an invitation only event for twenty top music industry executives this Thursday. This may suggest that Google is moving forward plans to compete with Apple and others in the downloadable music space.

The topic of this meeting isn’t known, but we can speculate that Google may be showing an early stage product that is in the making or trying to form partnerships like they have with CBS.

UPDATE: Science Addiction has a nice review of Gmail for your domain, along with screenshots. Site may be slow as it got slashdotted earlier today, seems to be recovering now.

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