Filter looks at the day's top technology news through snapshots and analysis of what the world's media outlets are covering. Washingtonpost.com's new Mon.-Fri. feature is penned by technology reporter Cynthia L. Webb. If a technology story breaks, a company falters or triumphs, or there's a new trend in technology, Filter wants you to know about it.
Google continues to nip at the heels of the world's largest software maker. Already armed with its search-engine prowess and a planned 1 gigabyte free e-mail service (Gmail), Google is now working on a software that will search files stored on PCs. The New York Times reported on the development today: "Google's software, which is expected to be introduced soon, according to several people with knowledge of the company's plans, is the clearest indication to date that the company, based in Mountain View, Calif., hopes to extend its search business to compete directly with Microsoft's control of desktop computing. Improved technology for searching information stored on a PC will also be a crucial feature of Microsoft's long-delayed version of its Windows operating system called Longhorn. That version, which is not expected before 2006 at the earliest, will have a redesigned file system, making it possible to track and retrieve information in ways not currently possible with Windows software."
The New York Times: Google Moves Toward Clash With Microsoft (Registration required)
And Google is making more e-mail news. Though the company is mum, scores of Web logs noted yesterday that Google is pumping up the amount of free storage for Gmail. Several Gmail users "noticed Tuesday that their storage limits had quietly been raised to 1 million megabytes, or 1 terabyte. That's four times the typical capacity of a new high-end PC's hard drive. The Gmail service still is in testing, and it wasn't immediately clear how widely Google will offer the higher storage limit, under what conditions, or to which users. Google didn't respond for requests for comment late Tuesday," CNET's News.com reported.
CNET's News.com: Google Tests Waters With Terabyte E-mail Limit
Apple Floats Across the Pacific
Apple Computer continues to capitalize on the popularity of its iTunes with plans to push iTunes to Chinese computer users. The company "said Tuesday it has struck a deal to have the iTunes jukebox program pre-installed in new PCs made by China's second-biggest computer maker. The iTunes for Windows jukebox software will be bundled with new PCs made by Founder Technology Group Corp. of Beijing," The San Francisco Chronicle reported. "The program will work with Apple's popular iPod digital music player and can organize digital music files stored on a computer. But the program won't yet connect with the iTunes Music Store, an online service currently only available to U.S. residents."
The San Francisco Chronicle: Apple iTunes Going To China
According to CNET's News.com, "Technology Business Research senior analyst Tim Deal said the number of potential customers in China offers Apple a way to significantly boost iPod sales in Asia. 'There are a lot of vendors vying for Chinese customers right now.'"
CNET's News.com: Apple's iTunes Software Heads To China
And iTunes has become so recognizable in popular culture that the company's dancing billboard ad is apparently getting parodied in a political message tied to the prisoner abuse developments out of Iraq. Tech gadget site Gizmodo links to a picture of one of the spoof billboards.
On a much lighter note, the iPodlounge Web site, which is dedicated to iPod news and developments, has a Where's Waldo-inspired photo gallery of iPods.
We Don't Need No Copyright Laws
Add this to the "you-don't-say" file. A new study is out concluding that kids are still downloading music in droves, even though they know taking copyrighted songs for free is illegal. More from washingtonpost.com: "Similarly high numbers of children know that books, software and games are copyrighted, the poll found, though a third download games and only 17 percent download considerably larger movie files. About 43 percent of the respondents said that they think downloading music is "OK" and 30 percent said the same about downloading software. The survey was conducted between April 14 and April 20 by Harris Interactive. It was commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm that fights software piracy. The BSA's members include Microsoft Corp., Apple Computer and Adobe Inc."
washingtonpost.com: Report: Kids Pirate Music Freely (Registration required)
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