When you follow a foreign sport (go the mighty Canucks!) one of the trickier things to keep track of is time. GMT, +/-, daylight savings, all play havoc with the tiny section of my brain set aside to calculate in base 24.
Now, of all organisations, Microsoft have come to the rescue with a fantastic little tool bar icon, called rather aptly Microsoft Time Zone that allows you to specify up to five locations to keep track of. It’s small, elegant and does the job it’s supposed to with the minimum of fuss. Most un-Microsoft.
Of course, there is a catch.
It’s one of the carrots they are dangling in their new Genuine Microsoft Software program. Yes, you can only get this, and several other toys, if you agree to let Microsoft check if your install is genuine and licensed. For the moment it appears no action is taken if you are found to have an unauthorised copy but I’m sure the conspiracy theorists amongst us will be keen to speculate on where this may lead.
Microsoft have a nerve checking users’ legitimacy given that they use cracked software themselves (aka Soundforge)
Let’s not jump to conclusions. As The Register says, they could have sourced the file from a royalty-free sound effects library or outsourced its sound editing to someone with an illegal copy.