Sunday, January 11, 2009

Microsoft begins Windows 7 push

The first public trial, or beta, version of Windows 7 has been released.

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer used his keynote speech at CES to announce that software developers would get at the trial version on 7 January.

On 9 January members of the public will get the chance to download the successor to Windows for themselves.

Mr Ballmer said Windows 7 would be the pivot of a broader Microsoft push to improve the way its separate software and service families work together.

In delivering the opening keynote, Mr Ballmer has taken over from Bill Gates - who in 2008 bowed out of day-to-day involvement with the company he founded.

In a nod to the chilly economic climate, Mr Ballmer said: "We face some really big challenges. We are all feeling it and its impact will likely be with us for some time."

But, he said, the global economic slowdown would not hobble the pace of technological change.

"I believe our digital lives will only continue to get richer," said Mr Ballmer. "There's no turning back from the connected world."

The newest version of the Windows operating system would, he said, be the "linchpin" of an effort to make it easier for customers to do more with the different Microsoft gadgets and services they use.

Although Windows 7 was a trial version it was, said Mr Ballmer, almost "feature complete" and would help to re-define the way people thought of the software.

Instead of it being an operating system mainly associated with a PC, he said, Windows was becoming a "connected platform and experience".

Microsoft is expected to cap the number of copies of the beta version of Windows 7 available to the public. The minimum requirements for running Windows 7 are a PC with a 1 Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16 GB of disk space, 128MB of video memory and support for DX9 graphics.

Some of the Windows 7's features help it work with other devices. A "home group" system makes it straightforward to enrol PCs, Xbox consoles, media servers and other gadgets into a local network that can share media and content.

Demonstrations during Mr Ballmer's keynote also showed changes to Windows Live online services that let it act as a co-ordinating centre for many of the things people do on the web.

In connection with this Mr Ballmer announced a deal with Facebook which would mean any changes a member made to their page on the social networking site would be echoed on their Windows Live pages.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Microsoft tackles auction pirates

Windows XP on sale, PA
Many sellers were offering fake versions of Windows XP

Microsoft has launched 63 separate lawsuits against people peddling counterfeit software on auction sites.

The legal action targets sellers in 12 nations including the US, UK, Germany and France.

Most of those Microsoft has targeted have been selling fake "Blue Edition" versions of Windows XP.

Microsoft said the operating system was proving popular on auction sites as it is reaching the end of its commercial sales cycle.

Windows XP stopped being installed on new PCs at the end of June 2008 to make way for the newest version of Windows, Vista.

While Microsoft has claimed strong sales for Vista many businesses and consumers have shunned it in favour of the older software.

Global trade

In a statement David Finn, Microsoft's general counsel on worldwide anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting, said auction sellers were taking advantage of unsuspecting customers.

"These dealers are peddling bogus products that can put customers and their personal information at serious risk," he said.

Research by Microsoft into the quality of fake software sold on auction sites found that 34% did not install properly and 43% contained tampered code that could expose buyers to identity theft or other attacks.

Many of the fake copies of Windows were being pushed with the help of a bogus marketing campaign based around a so-called Blue Edition of the software.

"Consumers should be aware that the so-called 'Blue Edition' software is nothing more than low-quality counterfeit software burned onto a CD," said Mr Finn.

Mr Finn said Microsoft provided tools and information to help customers spot fake software.

In pursuing auction sellers Microsoft has found that the trade in counterfeit software is now global. One of the cases it is handling spans four continents and involves peddlers in New Zealand selling Chinese copies of XP to customers in the Australia, North America, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK.

Firm makes one billionth mouse

Logitech says its factory in Suzhou, in western China, has produced the firm's billionth computer mouse. Video courtesy of Logitech.

Swiss company Logitech has hailed as a major landmark the production of its one billionth computer mouse.

Logitech's description comes at a time when analysts claim the days of the mouse are numbered.

"It's rare in human history that a billionth of anything has been shipped by one company," said Logitech's general manager Rory Dooley.

"Look at any other industry and it has never happened. This is a significant milestone," he told the BBC.

But sounding the death knell for the device is Gartner analyst Steve Prentice who said "the mouse will no longer be mainstream in three to five years".

However he did acknowledge the manufacture of the one billionth mouse was a "tremendous achievement".

"It speaks volumes to the success of the mouse that they (Logitech) have produced a billion and good luck. But past performance is not a guarantee of future success.

touch screen
Touch screens aim to be an alternative to the computer mouse

"The world has changed and the nature of machines has changed. The multi-touch interface I believe really does seal the coffin of the mouse," added Mr Prentice.

He claimed the other technologies that would consign the mouse to the dustbin of history would involve facial and movement recognition for the mainstream market.

Mr Dooley, however, believed the new technologies would have a place alongside the computer mouse and that it did not have to be an either/or situation for users.

"The fundamental functionality of the mouse has not changed for 40 years and that is one of the keys to its success. We do not envisage unlearning all those years of learning but that doesn't mean to say there will not be a place for touch interfaces.

"Touch will augment the things you can do today with the mouse and keyboard interface," he added.


The mouse faces some stiff competition. Laptops and notebooks use a touch pad and are increasingly taking the place of the desktop computer. Apple's iPhone and Nintendo's Wii game have introduced a new generation to the world of touch screens and movement sensors.

HP is pushing a mouse-less TouchSmart PC while Microsoft have invested heavily in "surface" computers which react to gestures and touch.

Mr Dooley, however, put talk of the death of the mouse down to hyperbole.

Rory Dooley of Logitech
With the world's first mouse about to hit 40, Mr Dooley defends its future

"The reality is it's always easy for people to drum up interest in a story by making an extreme statement. And in the story of the 'mouse is dead' campaign by Bill Gates a few months ago, that was started to drum up interest in Windows 7, the next version of the operating system.

"The challenge with these new technologies is going to be will you touch a screen that is two feet away from you a thousand times a day? Is touch accurate enough to let you get into the cell of a spreadsheet?

"Those are just some simple questions we believe will not necessarily be answered by the touch interface of tomorrow," Mr Dooley explained to the BBC.

Mr Prentice strongly disagreed and said that the pace of progress could not be denied.

"Just look forward five years and computer screens will be built into the walls of our homes and that would make it difficult to drive with a mouse. That's where all the new technology like multi touch and facial recognition comes in. This is where the computer stops being a computer and becomes part of a building.

first mouse
The world's first mouse was given the name because a tail came out the end

"Push things back 30 years and we would never have said we'd sit in front of a computer or that computers would hold all our music when everyone bought gramophones. Computers are not just computers anymore, they are part of our lives," added Mr Prentice.

Logitech's one billionth mouse rolled off the production line in the middle of November.

As part of the fanfare around that, the company has launched a global competition to find the mouse with a reward of $1,000 of Logitech products going to the winner. Clues to its whereabouts will be posted on the company's blog.

The computer mouse will achieve a milestone of its own next week when it turns 40.

It was 9 December 1968 when Douglas C Engelbart and his group of researchers at Stanford University put the first mouse through its paces.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Microsoft's latest operating system

Software giant Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled Windows 7, saying its latest operating system won't be as annoying.

At the company' Professional Developers Conference here, Microsoft said the new version will not have the rampant notifications that have irked many users of Windows Vista.

People can choose to see fewer alerts and warnings from their computers in the new Windows 7, said the company, adding that people will be able to test out the next version of Windows early next year.

The design of Windows 7 will make it easier for people to switch between open windows, files and applications.

It also is supposed to give PC users faster access to recently used files, making home networking more automatic, according to the company.

And overall, the version is faster and can run on less-powerful computers, said the company.

Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista, is scheduled to premiere in early 2010.

Microsoft expects that the new product would eliminate some of the problems that hampered Vista's premiere two years ago and continue to define the operating system's reputation.

Users have complained that the Vista system requires much more memory than its predecessor Windows XP and fails to run some applications.

Many corporate users even reportedly asked to have their computers downgraded to XP.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Computer viruses make it to orbit

A computer virus is alive and well on the International Space Station (ISS).

Nasa has confirmed that laptops carried to the ISS in July were infected with a virus known as Gammima.AG.

The worm was first detected on Earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games.

Nasa said it was not the first time computer viruses had travelled into space and it was investigating how the machines were infected.

Space news website SpaceRef broke the story about the virus on the laptops that astronauts took to the ISS.

Nasa told SpaceRef that no command or control systems of the ISS were at risk from the malicious program.

The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth.

The laptops carried by astronauts reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection.

Once it has scooped up passwords and login names the Gammima.AG worm virus tries to send them back to a central server. It targets a total of 10 games most of which are popular in the Far East such as Maple Story, HuangYi Online and Talesweaver.

Nasa is working with partners on the ISS to find out how the virus got on to the laptop in the first place.

The ISS has no direct net connection and all data traffic travelling from the ground to the spacecraft is scanned before being transmitted.

It is thought that the virus might have travelled via a flash or USB drive owned by an astronaut and taken into space.

The space agency also plans to put in place security systems to stop such incidents happening in the future.

Nasa told Wired News that viruses had infected laptops taken to the ISS on several occasions but the outbreaks had always only been a "nuisance".


Users urged to report abuse sites

Web users are being urged to help spot illegal and obscene content online.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is running an awareness campaign to tell web users how to report images of child sexual abuse.

The campaign comes in response to IWF research which suggests 77% of people who find illegal content do not know how to report what they have seen.

Banner adverts, e-mail messages and information pages are being used to educate people about how to report.

Sarah Robertson, a spokeswoman for the IWF, said that in 2007 the organisation handled 34,781 reports from members of the public who stumbled across illegal content.

While some find links to illegal content from legal pornographic sites many people accidentally stumble across such material too, she said.

Many sites hosting images of child sex abuse were run by organised crime gangs who charged for access. As commercial concerns, she said, many advertised their wares via spam campaigns.

"People might get unsolicited e-mails and not know where the link leads and could end up somewhere they did not want to be," she said. "The message is that it's important that they do report it to us."

Illegal content, be it images of child sex abuse, obscene pornography or race hatred, can be reported by clicking a big red button on the IWF home page.

Those finding illegal content can report what they have found anonymously or can leave contact details if they want to find out what has been done about the pages they found.

Many other sites are running banner adverts, circulating e-mail messages and placing notices on intranets inside organisations letting people know how to report what they find to the IWF.

The IWF monitors publicly viewable illegal content and relied on members of the public to alert it to the new sites traffickers in child sex abuse imagery have set up.

Ms Robertson said the work of the IWF had led to less than 1% of child abuse image sites being located in the UK.

The organisation produces a list of sites known to host illegal material that is circulated to net suppliers to ensure that UK users cannot reach these sites.

Ms Robertson cautioned concerned net users to leave it to the IWF to chase and shut down sites hosting illegal content.

"It's an offence to seek out this content to view it for any reason," she said. "It's against the law."


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Internet Explorer gets makeover

It remains unclear when a final version of the program will be shipped, with the test version currently available for download.

IE8 offers a few surprises compared to the initial beta version released in March.

New features will include improved privacy and search functions, and ways to keep track of portions of web pages.

The release debuts two functions that were not available in the March release. However, many in the blogosphere have noted that several of the improvements in IE8 have been available on other browsers for some time.

One feature new to the release is the "smart address bar". Microsoft senior product manager James Pratt pointed out at that 80% of the time, internet users were visiting sites they had been to before.

To address that, the new release archives visited sites based on their titles as well as their addresses. That means a search in the address bar for words and phrases will find previously visited sites, as well as bookmarks.

Another new set of features makes web searching easier; search terms entered in the search bar at the top of the browser now instantly display potential results in real time as the search term is typed. Results are shown from user-defined search engines and websites, with rich visual content.

For websites with changing content, such as items on eBay or status pages on Facebook, IE8's Web Slices allows users to keep up with the content without going to the webpage directly, accessible through the Favourites bar.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google launches internet browser

Google is set to introduce on Tuesday a new Web browser designed to more quickly handle video-rich or other complex Web programs to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Google Inc plans to launch a web browser called Google Chrome in a challenge to Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Internet Explorer, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Monday.

The browser is designed to be lightweight and fast, and to cope with the next generation of web applications that rely on graphics and multimedia.

Called Chrome, it will launch as a beta for Windows machines in 100 countries, with Mac and Linux versions to come.

"We realised... we needed to completely rethink the browser," said Google's Sundar Pichai in a blog post.

The new browser will help Google take advantage of developments it is pushing online in rich web applications that are challenging traditional desktop programs. Google has a suite of web apps, such as Documents, Picasa and Maps which offer functionality that is beginning to replace offline software.

"What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build," Mr Pichai, VP Product Management, wrote.

The launch of a beta version of Chrome on Tuesday will be Google's latest assault on Microsoft's dominance of the PC business. The firm's Internet Explorer program dominates the browser landscape, with 80% of the market.

- Download Link -

The Wall Street Journal

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Web browser to get 'privacy mode'

Microsoft is planning a "privacy mode" for the next release of its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser.

By clicking a button, users of IE8 will be able to limit how much information is recorded about where they go online and what they do.

Microsoft watchers have spotted two patent applications covering ways to manage the amount of information a browser logs.

When introduced the privacy mode will match features found on other browsers.

Australian blogger Long Zheng has found two patent applications made by Microsoft on 30 July for ideas it calls "Cleartracks" and "Inprivate".

The applications deal with methods of erasing data that browsing programs log, turning off features that record sites visited or notifying users of what sites are doing to log a visit.

While many browsers already have menu options that let people alter security settings and clear history files it typically has to be done on a use-by-use basis.

Users may wish to turn on the privacy mode if they are planning a surprise party, buying presents or researching a medical condition and do not want others users of the same computer to find out.

Internet Explorer 8 is due to go on general release late in 2008 though early trial versions are already available.

By comparison Apple's Safari browser already has a privacy mode and developers working for Mozilla, creators of Firefox, are reportedly working on a similar feature for future versions.

Other browsers, such as Xerobank, take a more thorough approach to privacy and try to anonymise all web use.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Firefox claims download success

Mozilla is claiming a download record for the release of Firefox 3.0.

In the first 24 hours the web browser was available the software was downloaded more than eight million times, says its creator Mozilla.

Statistics from the download servers are being scrutinised to produce an official figure that will be passed to the Guinness World Record organisation.

But the launch was marred by news from computer security firms who have found the first flaws in the software.

The attempt to set the download record was scheduled to begin at 1300 PST (2000 GMT) on 17 June.

However, the record attempt was almost wrecked from the start as the servers handling the downloads collapsed under the weight of visitors checking to see if new version was available.

Once the servers were up and functioning normally the record attempt began.

At their busiest the servers were handling more than 9,000 downloads per minute. Within five hours the number of downloads for Version 3.0 exceeded the 1.6 million set by Firefox 2.0 in October 2006.

In total Firefox 3.0 was downloaded 8.3 million times over the 24 hour record setting period. The figure beats the five million Mozilla predicted before the day.

Logs from the download servers have been handed to the Open Source Labs at Oregon State University for auditing. The scrutiny will ensure duplicate and unfinished downloads are not counted. The verification process could take a week to complete.

The surge of interest in Firefox 3.0 has continued and Mozilla has reported that the software has now been downloaded more than 10 million times.

However, some of the shine of the launch was removed by reports that a security firm had already found a flaw in the browser.

DV Labs/Tipping Point reported a flaw only five hours after Firefox 3.0 debuted. The flaw potentially lets an attacker take over a PC if a user clicks on a booby-trapped link.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Google to get new space age home

Google is to get a new home after signing a 40-year lease to build a high-tech campus on land owned by Nasa.

The 1.2m sq ft site will include a huge office complex, and research and development facilities.

The search giant will pay an initial base rent of $3.66m a year for the undeveloped land at the Nasa Ames Research Centre in Mountain View.

Google says it needs the space for the thousands of workers it expects to hire as the company expands its business.

"This long-term lease agreement is a key component of Google's strategy for continued growth in Silicon Valley," says David Radcliffe, Google's vice-president of real estate and workplace services.

In the last four years, Google has added more than 17,000 employees to boost its payroll to 19, 156 workers.

This workforce expansion has spurred the company to lease or buy many of the smaller offices circling its Googleplex headquarters, a 1 million sq ft campus that Google bought for $139m two years ago.

The deal is being seen as a win-win situation for Nasa as it endeavours to establish itself as a high-tech centre of excellence

"With this new campus, we will establish an era of expanded collaboration with Google that will further enhance our Silicon Valley connections," says Ames director S. Pete Worden.

"This major expansion of Nasa Research Park supports Nasa's mission to lead the nation in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research."

Nasa will use the money for improvements and maintenance costs at the Research Park.

Mr Radcliffe agrees the agreement will enhance Nasa's reputation and allow the company to draw on the brain power that will be available on its new doorstep.

"We believe this collaboration between Google, Nasa and the city of Mountain View is emblematic of the mutually beneficial partnerships that can be created between the public and private sectors. "

Google has not said how much it will cost to build the new campus, which is also expected to include housing for employees, sports, conference, dining and child care facilities and perhaps some retail outlets.

Building work is expected to get under way no later than 2013 with the final phase of work starting in 2022.

After the 40-year lease expires, the agreement could be extended by as much as 50 more years.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Microsoft demos 'touch Windows'

Microsoft's next operating system (OS) will come with multi-touch features as an alternative to the mouse. It is hoped the successor will have a better reception than the much-maligned Vista OS, released last year.

Scheduled for release in 2009 the new fingertip interface lets users enlarge and shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or play the piano.

"The way you interact with the system will change dramatically," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

Speaking at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego, the Microsoft Chairman said Windows 7 would incorporate new forms of communication and interaction.

"Today almost all the interaction is keyboard-mouse. Over years to come, the role of speech, vision, ink - all of those things - will be huge."

Chief executive Steve Ballmer described the limited demo of the multi touch screen at the conference as "a small snippet" of the next version of Windows after admitting he wants "to do better" than Vista.

Even though Vista has suffered from a poor public image and a lukewarm welcome from many firms and users, Ballmer said the company has shipped 150 million copies of the programme.

Touch enabled

Industry watchers say Microsoft is hoping that Windows 7 can change the way people interact with PCs in the future.

"Touch is quickly becoming a common way of interacting with software and devices," writes Windows product manager Chris Flores in a blog post.

"Touch-enabled surfaces are popping up everywhere including laptop touch pads, cell phones, remote controls, GPS devices and more."

When challenged as to who will get to market first with a new touch screen device, Microsoft or Apple, Mr Ballmer said it was not much of an issue.

"We'll sell 290 million PCs and Apple will sell 10 million Pcs."

"They're fantastically successful and so are we and our partners. But it's a different job. Steve (Jobs Apple CEO) can flip his hand and sell a few models and I don't take a thing away from him."

Website Beta News reports that "beta testing of the product should begin later this year although a lack of touch-screen devices could slow widespread trials of the new interface".

We walked away

During the conference, CEO Steve Ballmer also talked about the company's failure to buy Yahoo, following its offer of $47.5 billion.

"Look, we made a bid for Yahoo. It was out there for three months and there was a difference between bid and ask."

"We thought we could accelerate our business. We were going to be financially disciplined about it. We walked away. We are talking with them about other ideas but we are not re-bidding on the company. We reserve the right to do so. That's not on the docket."

Gates said: "I've been supportive of everything Steve has done. Totally supportive."


Gamer anger at Nokia's 'lock in'

If a gamer changes or upgrades to a different Nokia handset they have to purchase the games again if they want to continue playing.

The issue was uncovered by website All About N-Gage.

"It's a bad idea for everyone... the N-Gage platform, gamers and third party publishers," the site said.

Nokia said it had made the decision to prevent piracy and to ensure its "partners receive their rightful revenues from our platform".

Nokia relaunched its N-Gage mobile gaming platform last month.

About 30 games are available on a limited range of Nokia handsets, which are bought and downloaded direct to the phone.

It is the company's second attempt at making mobile gaming a success. In 2003 it released a dedicated handset for gaming, but the device never took off.

But the new platform has provoked anger amongst gamers.

Writing on the official N-Gage forums, one gamer said: "Changes need to be made soon, and sticking one's head in the sand will not change anybody's mind."

When gamers sign up for the service they have to agree to terms and conditions, part of which explains that games cannot be transferred between devices.

It states: "Content shall be... limited to one private installation on one N-Gage compatible Nokia device only."

But gamers have complained that the detail is buried in the terms and conditions and it is not clear enough at the point of purchase.

A statement from Nokia said: "Our policy is that the N-Gage activation codes only work on the device where they were first activated.

"As with any digital media there is a potential risk of piracy and this policy is one of the ways we are dealing with piracy and ensuring our partners receive their rightful revenues from our platform.

"If users need to repair their device, the activation codes will be reissued."


Intel seeks wireless unification

Intel is the biggest supporter of Wimax, which offers high-speed, long-range wireless connections designed for the mobile net.

"In our view they ought to be harmonised," said Sean Maloney, head of sales and marketing at Intel.

LTE is a technology based on existing mobile networks and has broad support from many mobile bodies.

Mr Maloney's comments are likely to be welcomed by the mobile industry, which fears the impact two rival standards could have on the market.

Earlier this year, Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin said he believed the two standards could be brought together.

LTE is proving popular with handset manufacturers and mobile carriers because it is seen as an evolution to existing 3G networks.

By contrast, Wimax has won favour in the computer industry because its roots lie with wi-fi.

Both technologies have supporters who are in the two camps.

For instance Vodafone is currently trialling Wimax in Greece and Malta and its US subsidiary Verizon is trying out LTE.

The two systems are non-line of sight, and offer "optimal" broadband performance in a cell network between three and five kilometres in size.

LTE is also expected to offer higher speeds than Wimax, peaking at 100 Mbps download and 50 Mbps uploads.

Microsoft's cooperation with HP

In a bid to boost its Web search traffic, Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a deal that will make its Live Search the default on Hewlett-Packard Co. personal computers shipped in the U.S. and Canada, starting in January.

The deal also calls for HP, the world's largest PC maker, to install copies of Internet Explorer with an extra Live Search toolbar on those computers. Microsoft said the toolbar also links to HP services such as its Snapfish digital photo printing site.

Since Microsoft called off its $47.5 billion offer to buy search competitor Yahoo Inc., the company has been under pressure to prove it has a new plan for attracting more people to Live Search.

Google Inc. fields more than 10 times Microsoft's search traffic and has parlayed that into billions of dollars in advertising. Yahoo, the No. 2 search engine in the U.S., attracts more than twice as much as traffic as Live Search.

Microsoft has already made a similar arrangement with the much smaller, China-based Lenovo Group, while Google has a distribution deal in place with Dell Inc. and Mozilla's Firefox Web browser.

"Every Dell machine we buy at home that comes with the Google toolbar, it's not a good day in my family when that happens," Ballmer said to a gathering of employees on May 1. He told them Microsoft is now willing to invest more in distribution deals.

Microsoft would not reveal financial details of the deal or say how much additional search traffic it expects to gain.

Angus Norton, a senior director in Microsoft's Live Search group, said about 40 percent of Web surfers use whatever search engine is set as the default on their PC.

The Washington Times

Google accused over privacy law

The search engine giant is being asked to write the word "privacy" alongside other information links.

"It's a short, seven letter word and in the world of privacy it's a very important word," said Beth Givens of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Google says its policy is easy to find and it gives "accessible information".

The issue has been building momentum following a series of blogs in the New York Times questioning Google's compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003.

The law requires any commercial website that collects personal information about its users to "conspicuously post its privacy policy on its website".

Google maintains that it already does and that its privacy policy can be found by going through its search engine or by clicking on "About Google".

In a conference call, a coalition of privacy organisations told journalists that was not good enough and it has written to Google.

The groups involved include the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, the World Privacy Forum, Consumer Action, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Northern California.