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Daily Update: Interim IE Fix, H.264, Ballmer Anniversary, Apple Stuff

Good morning. 

We're under a mountain of snow, but the power's still on, and there's lots to do. First up, some tidbits from the interwebs...

Microsoft has released an interim fix for the Internet Explorer vulnerability that was revealed late last month.

ZD's Jason Perlow says that Google's curious and controversial decision to strip H.264 support out of Chrome is because of H.264 licensing costs to YouTube in particular. He's got charts and graphics and stuff to back it all up, so he must be right. But didn't MPEG-LA make H.264 streaming available to one and all for free? Yeah. They did. And it's forever.

With my devil's advocate hat on, however, I'll also support Jason by noting that while YouTube today is made up largely of free, user-created content, obviously Google would like to see it turn into a commercial venture with professional, even paid, videos. And that free MPEG-LA license only applies to "free streaming" video.

And while we're on the topic, another ZD blogger, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, wonders if Google isn't shooting for an even better H.264 license: Free streaming, forever, for any kind of video. Good luck with that.

Those of you crossing your fingers and praying for the day that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is ousted for incompetence will feel vaguely unsettled by this little milestone: Mary Jo Foley (also from ZD, sigh) notes that today marks Ballmer's 11th anniversary as Microsoft CEO.

Only a truly partisan tech pundit would see something like the Motorola Atrix--a smart phone that can dock to a PC or laptop and thus be a hybrid-type device--and declare that it was "the darling of [2011 CES]" and "a very clever idea." I will agree that it was a very clever idea, way back in early 2008, when the Celio REDFLY did almost exactly the same thing for Windows Mobile phones. But then that explains why the NYT's Apple mouthpiece either doesn't remember this or is willfully ignoring it: As a Windows Mobile add-on, the REDFLY doesn't fit into his anything-but-Microsoft worldview. (And heck, even the REDFLY wasn't unique at the time, but what the heck, we're rewriting history here already.) Here's my review of the REDFLY. Remember, "the Atrix seems like a winning idea that could save a lot of mobile workers a lot of weight, hassle and equipment." Just like the REDFLY before it.

Hilarious (and sadly true) tweet from a fake Steve Jobs: Thank you to all of our AT&T iPhone beta testers. LOL.

I'll have a post on PC sales in CY 2010 and Q4 2010, but first, I'd like to point out yet another bit of Apple bias in the media: Reporting on quarterly PC sales, IDC's headline reads, Mac sales climb as rivals lose U.S. share. Sounds like a slam dunk for Apple, eh? Read on, however, and you discover that "Apple dropped to the fifth spot in U.S. computer sales during the final quarter of 2010 as strong sales to businesses by rivals pushed it two places down the list." Unbelievable link-bait.

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