Digital rights management
Digital rights management tools or technological protection measures are a set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works. DRM technologies try to control the use and distribution of copyrighted works, as well as systems within devices that enforce these policies; the use of digital rights management is not universally accepted. Proponents of DRM argue that it is necessary to prevent intellectual property from being copied just as physical locks are needed to prevent personal property from being stolen, that it can help the copyright holder maintain artistic control, that it can ensure continued revenue streams; those opposed to DRM contend there is no evidence that DRM helps prevent copyright infringement, arguing instead that it serves only to inconvenience legitimate customers, that DRM helps big business stifle innovation and competition. Furthermore, works can become permanently inaccessible if the DRM scheme changes or if the service is discontinued.
DRM can restrict users from exercising their legal rights under the copyright law, such as backing up copies of CDs or DVDs, lending materials out through a library, accessing works in the public domain, or using copyrighted materials for research and education under the fair use doctrine. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation consider the use of DRM systems to be an anti-competitive practice. Worldwide, many laws have been created which criminalize the circumvention of DRM, communication about such circumvention, the creation and distribution of tools used for such circumvention; such laws are part of the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the European Union's Copyright Directive. The rise of digital media and analog-to-digital conversion technologies has vastly increased the concerns of copyright-owning individuals and organizations within the music and movie industries. While analog media lost quality with each copy generation, in some cases during normal use, digital media files may be duplicated an unlimited number of times with no degradation in the quality.
The rise of personal computers as household appliances has made it convenient for consumers to convert media in a physical, analog or broadcast form into a universal, digital form for portability or viewing later. This, combined with the Internet and popular file-sharing tools, has made unauthorized distribution of copies of copyrighted digital media much easier. In 1983, a early implementation of Digital Rights Management was the Software Service System devised by the Japanese engineer Ryuichi Moriya. and subsequently refined under the name superdistribution. The SSS was based on encryption, with specialized hardware that controlled decryption and enabled payments to be sent to the copyright holder; the underlying principle of the SSS and subsequently of superdistribution was that the distribution of encrypted digital products should be unrestricted and that users of those products would not just be permitted to redistribute them but would be encouraged to do so. Common DRM techniques include restrictive licensing agreements: The access to digital materials and public domain is restricted to consumers as a condition of entering a website or when downloading software.
Encryption, scrambling of expressive material and embedding of a tag, designed to control access and reproduction of information, including backup copies for personal use. DRM technologies enable content publishers to enforce their own access policies on content, such as restrictions on copying or viewing; these technologies have been criticized for restricting individuals from copying or using the content such as by fair use. DRM is in common use by the entertainment industry. Many online music stores, such as Apple's iTunes Store, e-book publishers and vendors, such as OverDrive use DRM, as do cable and satellite service operators, to prevent unauthorized use of content or services. However, Apple dropped DRM from all iTunes music files around 2009. Industry has expanded the usage of DRM to more traditional hardware products, such as Keurig's coffeemakers, Philips' light bulbs, mobile device power chargers, John Deere's tractors. For instance, tractor companies try to prevent farmers from making DIY repairs under usage of DRM-laws as DMCA.
Computer games sometimes use DRM technologies to limit the number of systems the game can be installed on by requiring authentication with an online server. Most games with this restriction allow three or five installs, although some allow an installation to be'recovered' when the game is uninstalled; this not only limits users who have more than three or five computers in their homes, but can prove to be a problem if the user has to unexpectedly perform certain tasks like upgrading operating systems or reformatting the computer's hard drive, tasks which, depending on how the DRM is implemented, count a game's subsequent reinstall as a new installation, making the game unusable after a certain period if it is only used on a single computer. In mid-2008, the Windows version of Mass Effect marked the start of a wave of titles making use of SecuROM for DRM and requiring authentication with a server; the use of t
A virtual assistant or intelligent personal assistant is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on verbal commands. Sometimes the term "chatbot" is used to refer to virtual assistants or accessed by online chat. In some cases, online chat programs are for entertainment purposes; some virtual assistants are able to respond via synthesized voices. Users can ask their assistants questions, control home automation devices and media playback via voice, manage other basic tasks such as email, to-do lists, calendars with verbal commands; as of 2017, the capabilities and usage of virtual assistants are expanding with new products entering the market and a strong emphasis on voice user interfaces. Apple and Google have large installed bases of users on smartphones. Microsoft has a large installed base of Windows-based personal computers and smart speakers. Amazon has a large install base for smart speakers. Radio Rex was the first voice activated toy released in 1911 Another of early tool, enabled to perform digital speech recognition was the IBM Shoebox, presented to the general public during the 1962 Seattle World's Fair after its initial market launch in 1961.
This early computer, developed 20 years before the introduction of the first IBM Personal Computer in 1981, was able to recognize 16 spoken words and the digits 0 to 9. The next milestone in the development of voice recognition technology was achieved in the 1970s at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with substantial support of the United States Department of Defense and its DARPA agency, their tool "Harpy" mastered about the vocabulary of a three-year-old. About ten years the same group of scientists developed a system that could analyze not only individual words but entire word sequences enabled by a Hidden Markov Model. Thus, the earliest virtual assistants, which applied speech recognition software were automated attendant and medical digital dictation software. In the 1990s digital speech recognition technology became a feature of the personal computer with Microsoft, IBM, Philips and Lernout & Hauspie fighting for customers. Much the market launch of the first smartphone IBM Simon in 1994 laid the foundation for smart virtual assistants as we know them today.
The first modern digital virtual assistant installed on a smartphone was Siri, introduced as a feature of the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011. Apple Inc. developed Siri following the 2010 acquisition of Siri Inc. a spin-off of SRI International, a research institute financed by DARPA and the United States Department of Defense. Virtual assistants make work via: Text in an instant messaging app or other app Voice, for example with Amazon Alexa on the Amazon Echo device, Siri on an iPhone, or Google Assistant on Google-enabled/Android mobile devices By taking and/or uploading images, as in the case of Samsung Bixby on the Samsung Galaxy S8Some virtual assistants are accessible via multiple methods, such as Google Assistant via chat on the Google Allo and Google Messages app and via voice on Google Home smart speakers. Virtual assistants use natural language processing to match user text or voice input to executable commands. Many continually learn using artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning.
To activate a virtual assistant using the voice, a wake word might be used. This is a word or groups of words such as "Hey Siri", "OK Google" or "Hey Google", "Alexa", "Hey Mycroft". Virtual assistants may be integrated into many types of platforms or, like Amazon Alexa, across several of them: Into devices like smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod In instant messaging apps on both smartphones and via the Web, e.g. Facebook's M on both Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps or via the Web Built into a mobile operating system, as are Apple's Siri on iOS devices and BlackBerry Assistant on BlackBerry 10 devices, or into a desktop OS such as Cortana on Microsoft Windows OS Built into a smartphone independent of the OS, as is Bixby on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Within instant messaging platforms, assistants from specific organizations, such as Aeromexico's Aerobot on Facebook Messenger or Wechat Secretary on WeChat Within mobile apps from specific companies and other organizations, such as Dom from Domino's Pizza In appliances and wearable technology.
Previous generations of virtual assistants worked on websites, such as Alaska Airlines' Ask Jenn, or on interactive voice response systems such as American Airlines' IVR by Nuance. Virtual assistants can provide a wide variety of services; these include: Provide information such as weather, facts from e.g. Wikipedia or IMDB, set an alarm, make to-do lists and shopping lists Play music from streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. One report estimated that an automated online assistant produced a 30% decrease in the work-load for a human-provided call centre. Conversational commerce is e-commerce via various means of messaging, including via voice assistants but live chat on e-commerce Web sites, live chat on messaging apps such as WeChat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and chatbots on messaging apps or Web sites. Amazon enables Alexa "Skills" and Google "Actions" apps that run on the assistant platforms. Virtual assistants are coded as female, which could reinforce negative gender ster
Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon and Facebook. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph. D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock, they incorporated Google as a held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google.
The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine. It offers services designed for work and productivity, email and time management, cloud storage, instant messaging and video chat, language translation and navigation, video sharing, note-taking, photo organizing and editing; the company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved into hardware. Google has experimented with becoming an Internet carrier. Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".
The companies unofficial slogan "Don't be evil" was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018. Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California. While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships among websites, they called this new technology PageRank. Page and Brin nicknamed their new search engine "BackRub", because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site, they changed the name to Google. The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997, the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, it was based in the garage of a friend in California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee. Google was funded by an August 1998 contribution of $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
Google received money from three other angel investors in 1998: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Stanford University computer science professor David Cheriton, entrepreneur Ram Shriram. Between these initial investors and family Google raised around 1 million dollars, what allowed them to open up their original shop in Menlo Park, California After some additional, small investments through the end of 1998 to early 1999, a new $25 million round of funding was announced on June 7, 1999, with major investors including the venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital. In March 1999, the company moved its offices to Palo Alto, home to several prominent Silicon Valley technology start-ups; the next year, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords against Page and Brin's initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine. To maintain an uncluttered page design, advertisements were text-based. In June 2000, it was announced that Google would become the default search engine provider for Yahoo!, one of the most popular websites at the time, replacing Inktomi.
In 2003, after outgrowing two other locations, the company leased an office complex from Silicon Graphics, at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California. The complex became known as the Googleplex, a play on the word googolplex, the number one followed by a googol zeroes. Three years Google bought the property from SGI for $319 million. By that time, the name "Google
Criticism of Microsoft
Criticism of Microsoft has followed various aspects of its products and business practices. Issues with ease of use and security of the company's software are common targets for critics. In the 2000s, a number of malware mishaps targeted security flaws in other products. Microsoft was accused of locking vendors and consumers in to their products, of not following or complying with existing standards in its software. Total cost of ownership comparisons between Linux and Microsoft Windows are a continuous point of debate; the company has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, brought by several governments and by other companies, for unlawful monopolistic practices. In 2004, the European Union found Microsoft guilty in the European Union Microsoft competition case. Additionally, EULAs for Microsoft programs are criticized for being too restrictive. In February 2019, hundreds of Microsoft employees protested the company’s war profiteering from a $480 million contract to develop augmented reality headsets for the United States army.
From its inception, Microsoft defined itself as a platform company and understood the importance of attracting third-party programmers. It did so by providing development tools, access to proprietary APIs in early versions, partner programs. Although the resulting ubiquity of Microsoft software allows a user to benefit from network effects and Microsoft itself decry what they consider to be an "embrace and extinguish" strategy of adding proprietary features to open standards or their software implementations, thereby using its market dominance to gain unofficial ownership of standards "extended" in this way. Microsoft software is presented as a "safe" choice for IT managers purchasing software systems. In an internal memo for senior management Microsoft's head of C++ development, Aaron Contorer, stated: More Microsoft had their OOXML specification approved by the ISO standards body in a manner consistent with previous attempts to control standards; when Microsoft discovered that its first product, Altair BASIC, was subject to widespread unauthorized copying, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists that accused many hobbyists of stealing software.
Gates' letter provoked many responses, with some hobbyists objecting to the broad accusation, others supporting the principle of compensation. This disagreement over whether software should be proprietary continues into the present day under the banner of the free software movement, with Microsoft characterizing free software released under the terms of the GPL as being "potentially viral" and the GNU General Public License itself as a "viral license" which "infects" proprietary software and forces its developer to have to release proprietary source to the public; the Halloween documents, internal Microsoft memos which were leaked to the open source community beginning in 1998, indicate that some Microsoft employees perceive "open source" software — in particular, Linux — as a growing long-term threat to Microsoft's position in the software industry. The Halloween documents acknowledged that parts of Linux are superior to the versions of Microsoft Windows available at the time, outlined a strategy of "de-commoditize protocols & applications."
Microsoft stated in its 2006 Annual Report that it was a defendant in at least 35 patent infringement lawsuits. The company's litigation expenses for April 2004 through March 2007 exceed $4.3 billion: over $4 billion in payouts, plus $300 million in legal fees. Another concern of critics is that Microsoft may be using the distribution of shared source software to harvest names of developers who have been exposed to Microsoft code, as some believe that these developers could someday be the target of lawsuits if they were to participate in the development of competing products; this issue is addressed in published papers from several organizations including the American Bar Association and the Open Source Initiative. Starting in the 1990s, Microsoft was accused of maintaining "hidden" or "secret" APIs: interfaces to its operating system software that it deliberately keeps undocumented to gain a competitive advantage in its application software products. Microsoft employees have denied this. In response to court orders, Microsoft has published interfaces between components of its operating system software, including components like Internet Explorer, Active Directory, Windows Media that sell as part of Windows but compete with application software.
On 10 October, 2018, Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network community despite holding more than 60,000 patents. A common complaint comes from those who want to purchase a computer that comes preinstalled with Windows without a copy of Windows pre-installed and without paying extra for the license either so that another operating system can be used or because a license was acquired elsewhere, such as through the MSDN Academic Alliance program. Microsoft encourages original equipment manufacturers to supply computers with Windows pre-installed by presenting their dominance in computer sales and arguing that consumers benefit by not having to install an operating system; because the price of the license varies depending on discounts given to the OEM and because there is no similar computer that the OEM offers without Windows, there is no immediate way to find the size of the refund. In 2009, Microsoft stated that it has always charged OEMs about $50 for a Windows license on a $1,000 computer.
While it is possible to obtain a comp
A conspiracy theory is the fear of a nonexistent or alleged conspiracy or the unnecessary assumption of conspiracy when other explanations are more probable. Evidence showing it to be false, or the absence of proof of the conspiracy, is interpreted by believers as evidence of its truth, thus insulating it from refutation. According to the political scientist Michael Barkun, conspiracy theories rely on the view that the universe is governed by design, embody three principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, everything is connected. Another common feature is that conspiracy theories evolve to incorporate whatever evidence exists against them, so that they become, as Barkun writes, a closed system, unfalsifiable, therefore "a matter of faith rather than proof". On a psychological level, studies show Machiavellianism and paranoia are correlated with conspiratorial thinking; the Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as "the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties.
A belief that some covert but influential agency is responsible for an unexplained event". It cites a 1909 article in The American Historical Review as the earliest usage example, although it appears in journals as early as April 1870; the word "conspiracy" derives from the Latin con- and spirare. Robert Blaskiewicz notes examples of the term were used as early as the nineteenth century and states that its usage has always been derogatory. Lance deHaven-Smith suggested that the term entered everyday language in the United States after 1964, the year in which the Warren Commission shared its findings, with The New York Times running five stories that year using the term. A conspiracy theory is not a conspiracy. Barkun writes that conspiracies are "actual covert plots planned and/or carried out by two or more persons". A conspiracy theory, on the other hand, is "an intellectual construct", a "template imposed upon the world to give the appearance of order to events". Positing that "some small and hidden group" has manipulated events, a conspiracy theory can be local or international, focused on single events or covering multiple incidents and entire countries and periods of history.
Conspiracy theorists see themselves as having privileged access to special knowledge or a special mode of thought that separates them from the masses who believe the official account. A conspiracy theory may take any matter as its subject, but certain subjects attract greater interest than others. Favored subjects include famous deaths, government activities, new technologies and questions of alien life. Among the longest-standing and most recognized conspiracy theories are notions concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 1969 Apollo moon landings and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as numerous theories pertaining to alleged plots for world domination by various groups both real and imaginary; some scholars argue that conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, contributing to conspiracism emerging as a cultural phenomenon in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. According to anthropologists Todd Sanders and Harry G. West, evidence suggests that a broad cross-section of Americans today gives credence to at least some conspiracy theories.
For instance, a study conducted in 2016 found that 10% of Americans think the chemtrail conspiracy theory is "completely true" and 20-30% think it is "somewhat true". This puts "the equivalent of 120 million Americans in the “chemtrails are real” camp". Belief in conspiracy theories has therefore become a topic of interest for sociologists and experts in folklore. Conspiracy theories are present on the Web in the form of blogs and YouTube videos, as well as on social media. Whether the Web has increased the prevalence of conspiracy theories or not is an open research question; the presence and representation of conspiracy theories in search engine results has been monitored and studied, showing significant variation across different topics, a general absence of reputable, high-quality links in the results. Jesse Walker has identified five kinds of conspiracy theories: The "Enemy Outside" refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without; the "Enemy Within" finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.
The "Enemy Above" involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain. The "Enemy Below" features the lower classes working to overturn the social order; the "Benevolent Conspiracies" are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people. Barkun has identified three classifications of conspiracy theory: Event conspiracy theories; this refers to well-defined events. Examples may include such conspiracies theories as those concerning the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, the spread of AIDS. Systemic conspiracy theories; the conspiracy is believed to have broad goals conceived as securing control of a country, a region, or the entire world. The goals are sweeping, whilst the conspiratorial machinery is simple: a single, evil organization implements a plan to infiltrate and subvert existing institutions; this is a common scenario in conspiracy theories that focus on the alleged machinations of Jews, Communism, or the Catholic Church. Superconspiracy theories. For Barkun, such theories link multiple alleged conspiracies together hierarchically.
At the summit is a distant but all-powerful evil force. His cited examples are the ideas of Milton William Cooper. Murray
Nikolai Vladimirovich Levichev is a Russian politician. Since February 24, 2016 he is a member of Central Election Commission of Russia. From December 2, 2007 to June 14, 2011 Levichev was the leader of A Just Russia party group in the State Duma, he was elected party leader on April 2011 at the 5th party congress in Moscow. On October 27, 2013 Sergey Mironov took up this post. Nikolai Vladimirovich Levichev did not vote as the only one on December 25, 2017 in the Russian Central Electoral Commission against candidature of Alexei Anatolievich Navalny for Russia's president authority, he was born on May 28, 1953 in Pushkin, Soviet Union. His father was a professor of radio engineering in the military school, the author of several textbooks for students, his mother, a mathematician by training, worked as a graphic artist at the publishing house Science. His grandfather was a scholar, graduated from Department of Biology University of St. Petersburg, an honorary citizen of St. Petersburg, he graduated from eighth grade in 410 high school Pushkin, where he studied in the same class with Sergei Mironov, with whom he lived in a doorway.
He won in math competitions. 9-10th grade he was in physical and mathematical school No. 239 of Leningrad, where he graduated in 1970. In 1976 he graduated from the Physics Department of Leningrad State University named after AA Zhdanov, he studied at the same course with Vladimir Churov. He graduated from graduate school. After graduating from Leningrad State University, he worked as a researcher of the State Optical Institute, as the director of summer camp, he was elected to Komsomol committee moved to the professional work of the Young Communist League where he was the instructor of the Leningrad City Committee of the Komsomol, the head of the department of culture of the Leningrad regional committee of Komsomol, the instructor, zavsektorom to work with creative youth culture department of the Central Committee of Komsomol. In 1991 he worked in the Trade Unions, he graduated from the Academy of Social Sciences at the CPSU Central Committee, in 1991 - postgraduate studies at the Academy of Social Sciences.
He was in the Communist Party until its ban in August 1991. He graduated from the Academy of Civil Service. In 1991 he founded Ltd. Company The-C from 1991 to 2002 he was the general director of publishing house Publishing House The-C. In April 1999, together with Alexander Podlesovym and legal persons "Society NOYPA", JSC "STRONEKS" and JSC "Quiver" established company "Investment Company AyBiEych», which became the CEO of A. undergrowth. In the year 2002, together with Sergei Mironov, Alexander Podlesovym one of the founders of the organizing committee of the Russian Party of Life and at the founding congress of the Russian Party of Life has been elected co-chair of the National Council of the party. From 2003 to 2006 - first deputy chairman of Russian Party of Life. In the 2004 election campaign team led by C. Mironov on the presidential election. In 2006 he was elected to become the secretary of the Presidium of the Central Council of the party Fair Russia: Motherland / Pensioners / Life. In 2007 he was the general director of the magazine Russian Life.
In 2007 he was elected to the State Duma of Federal Assembly of the V convocation in the federal list of candidates nominated by the party of Fair Russia: Motherland / Pensioners / Life. In October 2009, headed the list of Fair Russia in Moscow City Duma elections. Notwithstanding, to participate in the list of many popular politicians, the party suffered a crushing defeat and was not included in the regional parliament. At the V Congress of the Party Fair Russia April 16, 2011 he was elected chairman of the party. According to the charter party, the party chairman is engaged in economic work. Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, which now is Sergei Mironov, may revoke any decision of any organ of the party, including party chairman. On June 14, 2011 resigned as head of the faction "Fair Russia: Motherland / Pensioners / Life," by transferring their Sergei Mikhailovich Mironov. On December 21, 2011 at the first plenary session of the State Duma of the VI he was elected deputy chairman of the Duma faction of the party Just Russia.
Windows XP is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, broadly released for retail sale on October 25, 2001. Development of Windows XP began in the late 1990s as "Neptune", an operating system built on the Windows NT kernel, intended for mainstream consumer use. An updated version of Windows 2000 was originally planned for the business market; as such, Windows XP was the first consumer edition of Windows not to be based on MS-DOS. Upon its release, Windows XP received positive reviews, with critics noting increased performance and stability, a more intuitive user interface, improved hardware support, expanded multimedia capabilities. However, some industry reviewers were concerned by the new licensing model and product activation system. Extended support for Windows XP ended on April 8, 2014, after which the operating system ceased receiving further support or security updates to most users.
As of March 2019, 1.75% of Windows PCs run Windows XP, the OS is still most popular in some countries with up to 38% of the Windows share. In the late 1990s, initial development of what would become Windows XP was focused on two individual products. However, the projects proved to be too ambitious. In January 2000, shortly prior to the official release of Windows 2000, technology writer Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft had shelved both Neptune and Odyssey in favor of a new product codenamed "Whistler", after Whistler, British Columbia, as many Microsoft employees skied at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort; the goal of Whistler was to unify both the consumer and business-oriented Windows lines under a single, Windows NT platform: Thurrott stated that Neptune had become "a black hole when all the features that were cut from were re-tagged as Neptune features. And since Neptune and Odyssey would be based on the same code-base anyway, it made sense to combine them into a single project". At PDC on July 13, 2000, Microsoft announced that Whistler would be released during the second half of 2001, unveiled the first preview build, 2250.
The build notably introduced an early version of Windows XP's visual styles system. Microsoft released the first beta build of Whistler, build 2296, on October 31, 2000. Subsequent builds introduced features that users of the release version of Windows XP would recognise, such as Internet Explorer 6.0, the Microsoft Product Activation system and the Bliss desktop background. On February 5, 2001, Microsoft announced that Whistler would be known as Windows XP, where XP stands for "eXPerience". In June 2001, Microsoft indicated that it was planning to, in conjunction with Intel and other PC makers, spend at least 1 billion US dollars on marketing and promoting Windows XP; the theme of the campaign, "Yes You Can", was designed to emphasize the platform's overall capabilities. Microsoft had planned to use the slogan "Prepare to Fly", but it was replaced due to sensitivity issues in the wake of the September 11 attacks. On August 24, 2001, Windows XP build. During a ceremonial media event at Microsoft Redmond Campus, copies of the RTM build were given to representatives of several major PC manufacturers in briefcases, who flew off on decorated helicopters.
While PC manufacturers would be able to release devices running XP beginning on September 24, 2001, XP was expected to reach general, retail availability on October 25, 2001. On the same day, Microsoft announced the final retail pricing of XP's two main editions, "Home" and "Professional". While retaining some similarities to previous versions, Windows XP's interface was overhauled with a new visual appearance, with an increased use of alpha compositing effects, drop shadows, "visual styles", which changed the appearance of the operating system; the number of effects enabled are determined by the operating system based on the computer's processing power, can be enabled or disabled on a case-by-case basis. XP added ClearType, a new subpixel rendering system designed to improve the appearance of fonts on liquid-crystal displays. A new set of system icons was introduced; the default wallpaper, Bliss, is a photo of a landscape in the Napa Valley outside Napa, with rolling green hills and a blue sky with stratocumulus and cirrus clouds.
The Start menu received its first major overhaul in XP, switching to a two-column layout with the ability to list and display used applications opened documents, the traditional cascading "All Programs" menu. The taskbar can now group windows opened by a single application into one taskbar button, with a popup menu listing the individual windows; the notification area hides "inactive" icons by default. A "common tasks" list was added, Windows Explorer's sidebar was updated to use a new task-based design with lists of common actions. Fast user switching allows additional users to log into a Windows XP machine without existing users having to close their programs and loggin