Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, I've come down with a lovely, lovely cold, and I'm a bit off this weekend.

--

The New York Times has an interesting article this morning comparing America's "dumb" credit cards with Europe's "smart" chip-and-PIN cards (the latter of which uses two-factor authentication for security purposes). This is particularly relevant to me because we go to Europe a lot and often can't use our cards in certain places, especially kiosks. So we've been hoping that some American bank would offer a chip-and-PIN card. But according to this, they're not any more secure than what we already have. So maybe it will never happen.

--

Microsoft expands on its previously-announced plans to provide non-profits with free software to prevent authoritarian governments from using software piracy as an excuse to crack down on them.

--

Digiarty Software, Inc. the makers of the MacX DVD Ripper Pro is offering the program for free during the period Oct 12 thru Oct 28, 2010. There's a Windows version (the license code is in the download ZIP file). Thanks to David S. for the link.

--

The Zune services are finally heading worldwide, albeit inconsistently. But maybe there's a bigger problem looming for those who had previously tried to make this stuff work previously: Another nasty Zune gotcha coming your way and it’s gonna hurt. Thanks to Robert B. for the link.