Breakfast Briefing: Last call for £14.99 Windows 8 upgrade, illegal downloads fall, Yahoo's home-working ban
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 27 Feb 2013 at 09:23
Today's top technology stories include a final call for cheap Windows 8 upgrades, how streaming services mean big changes for shared music, Yahoo criticised for banning teleworkers and Linux's latest Windows spat.
Last orders for £14.99 Windows 8 upgrade
Neowin has a timely reminder for anyone that bought a PC with Windows 7 installed between 2 June last year and 31 January this year: if they want to get the bargain basement upgrade to Windows 8 Pro they need to do it by tomorrow. Anyone who bought a Windows 7 machine in the run-up to Windows 8's launch and beyond is entitled to a £14.99 version of the latest OS's Pro upgrade – otherwise they'll have to pay £189.99 for the privilege.
Illegal downloads decline 17%
Illegal downloads tumbled in 2012, with music fans switching to legal, albeit free, streaming alternatives. According to an annual report from market watcher NPD – covered by The Next Web – dodgy downloads declined 17% and sharing is going out of fashion. Files ripped from CDs owned by friends and family were down 44%, files swapped from hard drives down 25%, while digital locker downloads fell 28%.
Yahoo's teleworking ban angers parents
Yahoo has come under fire for banning home working, with critics suggesting working mother and company boss Marissa Mayer is harming working parents – even after she had a nursery for her newborn child installed in her office.
"To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side by side," a Yahoo memo on the subject stated. "That is why it is critical we are all present in our offices." As The Independent reports, it's a kick in teeth for home workers and parents trying to juggle careers and childcare.
Torvalds rants over Linux kernel changes
Just in case you're ever tempted to suggest to Linux founder Linus Torvalds that it might be a good idea to add binary code into the Linux kernel so that it could run in secure boot mode more simply, think again. It's likely to earn a tirade of abuse. ZDNet reports on a spat surrounding the UEFI keys required to make Linux work in Windows 8's secure boot mode, and it's safe to say that Torvalds isn't playing ball.
Microwave - your 358m miles an hour time machine
The Register covers a new speed record for data transmission, with microwave technology beating fibre into a cocked hat. Low-latency data firm McKay Brothers has shown off a connection for financial services that can send a signal between suburban Chicago and New Jersey in only 8.23 milliseconds, compared with 12.98ms over a fibre-optic connection.
"Translating this to human terms, travelling the 816 miles in 8.23ms is equivalent to speeding along at a little over 358 million miles per hour," the Register notes. However, the technology has downtime issues, which could worry time-is-money traders.
Would anyone be wise to
pay £189.99 for Win 8?
I think I paid £25 for my upgrade on my laptop. I have been through umpteen changes of opinion over the last few months, sometimes I like it, sometimes I am deeply frustrated by it.
What I know is that if I had paid £189.99 for the experience I've had, I would not be a happy bunny.
By revsorg on 27 Feb 2013
At one point I really wanted Windows 8 to succeed, but now I have no idea why I paid £25 for the upgrade (except perhaps fear of having to pay £190 later on the off-chance it would improve).
By 0thello on 27 Feb 2013
To buy or not to buy...?
Is it worth £14.99 for a recently bough non-touchscreen laptop? Thinking of a friend of mine who is an inexperienced user of Windows 7.
By The_Scrote on 27 Feb 2013
I wouldn't pay that for an upgrade, especially when I could get the System Builder (OEM) version for under a ton...
By big_D on 28 Feb 2013
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office