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Tagged: opinion

Please leave a comment, ask a question and consider subscribing to the latest posts via RSS or email. Thank you for visiting! Below is a list of entries related to the tag listed above.. My site contains more than just the information below and I'd encourage you to visit the home page to view current information as well as other items/categories that might be of interest.



opin*ion
1 a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter b : APPROVAL, ESTEEM
2 a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge b : a generally held view

meaning: we all have one, feel free to disagree.

Kindle Fire: my first impressions and a practical review

Well, today I received my Kindle Fire.  I pre-ordered this on Sep 28 when they were announced.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting to see if there is anything that can be a better-priced tablet-like consumption device like iPad.  I absolutely love my existing Kindle reading device.  Love it.  If you are looking for an e-reader device only, you should look no further than the Kindle reading-specific devices.  They are priced so good now that there is no excuse if you are an avid reader and have always wanted one. Before I get to my “review” I wanted to share a little bit...

My initial impressions and experiences with Roku

My family and I do not have traditional television in our homes (see My move to free HDTV Part 1 and Part 2).  In our home for “live” TV (which of course we have none) we rely on services like Hulu (which has been working perfectly fine and we haven’t felt we’ve missed anything).  We get Hulu, Netflix and Amazon media through our XBOX.  It works for our needs for things that are mainstream. This weekend we wanted to watch a conference that wasn’t on any of these outlets and the stream provided wasn’t working on their website.  A...

Silverlight is dead. Long live Silverlight!

Well PDC10 is over (note: head on over to the PDC site to view all the sessions).  There was a lot of talk about Internet Explorer 9 (and another preview update) as well as general web development.  There had been some reports on the 2nd day of PDC commenting about the shift in strategy about Silverlight. You may have read the initial story from Mary Jo Foley which led to the tsunami of information about Silverlight being done, over and killed except for the Windows Phone 7 platform.  Other popular news outlets picked up on the story,...

My new Kindle 3 review–comparing against Kindle 2

When I first saw the Kindle 3 (is that even the new name?) was going to be offered with WiFi, I thought that was cool.  Then when I saw the price (USD $139) I figured it was a no-brainer to explore.  I had bought my wife a Kindle 2 a while back ($249 when I purchased it) as she is a reader and I thought she’d like it.  She does.  It turns out though, so do I!  I’ve found myself reading a LOT more lately and I really like the versatility this provides me in switching between books.  (If you...

How to sell or rent your house on Craigslist

I’m in the process of relocating.  I’m relocating to a state I’m not familiar with and have no close friends/family that can serve as my go-to proxy on a real-time basis for house hunting help.  Short of being there, this leaves the internet for my wife and me to do searching and narrow things down.  We had 2 trips to the new location to do some house hunting.  This means that we had to do all our research before to make those 2-day adventures worthwhile.  Welcome to the internet and real estate. Now, there are plenty of good real estate sites...

My move to free HDTV – Part 3 – Progress Report

It has been six months since installing my initial infrastructure to move away from paid television and toward a goal of free, digital/HDTV broadcast in my home.  On my last post - My move to free HDTV Part 2 -- it was about HD HomeRun to the rescue for a tuner solution to broadcast to my chosen infrastructure. To recap, my goals: To get free network channels in HDTV quality To broadcast to my two primary rooms To enable DVR capabilities My setup includes the following: ...

Microsoft Store – engaging with consumers directly

Standard caveats apply: I’m a Microsoft employee and fanboy.  I’m not ashamed.  I will say though when the announcements of the Microsoft retail brick-and-mortar stores opening, I was skeptical…no doubtful.  I kept (and still do a bit) thinking to myself how are they going to compete with the likes of Best Buy and others?!  Nonetheless, I waited patiently to see the plans. I wouldn’t have to wait long as the first store opened up in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.  Scottsdale is a neighboring town in the sprawl we call “Phoenix” (it’s about 40 mins from me in the QC).  When opening day...

Add humor to your OPML

I subscribe to a lot of feeds.  I read a lot of them, and a lot I skim.  But I also make sure I subscribe to things that break up my day.  Here’s some of my favorites if you haven’t seen them before: FAILblog.org – the classic.  All things wrong. AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com – stop right now and subscribe.  When I’m feeling down I go here.  Seriously.  I’ve also had a photo of my sister I’ve been threatening to post there. UgliestTattoos.com (warning some NSFW) – I’m am seriously amazed what people put...

Great customer service follow-up: LG Electronics

About 2 months ago I wrote about an experience with an electronics company (LG Electronics USA) and some amazing customer service they were providing.  The bottom line recap was this: I bought a TV about 5 years ago TV started getting wonky about 8 months ago TV was self-declared dead 2 months ago TV was out of warranty by YEARS I called on a whim to LG support They extended the warranty to cover the full cost of repairs ...

Silverlight misconceptions, bad reviews, bad comparisons

UPDATE: Michael has posted a comment here and offered himself up to the gauntlet and apologized for his article.  He writes below: Tim did me a favor with this article, and his comments on Connected Internet. I have left the article up on Connected, because frankly, I deserve the lumps I get over it. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes talking with me, reading this blog, or listening to me on podcasts (Herding Code, Thirsty Developer, Misfit Geek) will know that I LOVE Microsoft.  I’m not ashamed to admit it and I’m not ashamed about my passion for the company...

Craigslist scams – fight back with time wasters.

Forgive the distraction…I couldn’t help it.  I get frustrated when I see these things in the world I live (interwebs). My wife and I were in the market for a truck.  We decided on a particular model and started watching local Craigslist postings.  One came across our eyes that we simply couldn’t believe…it was a recent model truck with 24K miles and was listed for less than half of what others were listing.  Both of us knew either one of two things happened: 1) major typo in the guys listing or 2) scam.  But just in case we wanted...

Technology, Social Media seeping into my home

All your base are belong to us. The year was nineteen ninety something.  A strapping young chap entered the world of technology.  With overpromises from tech leads, undertrained programmers, and caffeine, there was nothing we couldn’t conquer.  Or something like that. I’ve pretty much been in technology all my “professional” life…save it being a small sting of leadership consulting right out of college that a totaled car at Duquesne solved that decision for me….but that’s another story.  I’ve grown up around programming, I’ve programmed like the worst of them and I am a better person for...

A response from my Senator

A while back I wrote to my elected officials about the passing of H.R. 1424.  I tried to be able to write to my elected officials electronically.  I submitted an electronic message to my congressman and got a reply that I’d be sent a US postal mail response, which made me shake my head. At any rate, I’ve only got 1 response, and not from my congressman…but from one of my Senators, Jon Kyl.  Since he sent it to me via snail mail, I had to find a letter opener, figure out how to hold a piece of paper...

Government is officially inept

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get to this realization.  Perhaps I’ve been more aware of my surroundings as I’ve gotten older.  I’ve always heard “write your congressman” with regard to political issues and people opposing them. Turns out, writing them is not worth it.  Why?  Because the offices of our elected officials (in Arizona at least) are lame.  Allow me to provide an example. In my latest post I ranted about how Arizona elected officials voted on the ‘bailout’ plan (that just happened to include new and extensions for bizarre tax credits...

Arizona officials vote on H.R. 1424 Economic Bailout

Here’s a letter I just wrote to the Arizona Senators and Representatives that voted on the H.R. 1424, economic ‘bailout’ plan.  Here’s their contact information as well if you need it: Jon Kyl, Senator John McCain, Senator Rick Renzi, 1st District Trent Franks, 2nd District John Shadegg, 3rd District Ed Pastor, 4th District Harry Mitchell, 5th District...

Apple’s AppStore Restricts User Choice

Ok, this is getting ridiculous.  First the removal of the ‘I Am Rich’ application (which whatever your thoughts on the app itself, it didn’t violate any rules, just that the powers that be at Apple didn’t like the pricing scheme), and now others are being prevented from joining the AppStore.  Here’s the latest two I’m aware of: Podcaster Podcaster is a native iPhone app developed by someone in the Apple developer program and not using anything that isn’t permitted in the terms and conditions of the SDK.  It provides the ability to search/add/download podcasts from your iPhone without...

Further evidence of Android’s possible failure

Earlier this year I wrote my thoughts on the current mobile scene and what troubles certain players more than others.  I made the assertion that Android will face the same troubles that Windows Mobile is challenged with.  That being that Google/Android are providing a platform and not a physical device.  I think it would be hard to argue that owning the complete platform and hardware is not a good idea.  Apple’s complete control of every aspect of the channel provides them with the ability to deliver in a somewhat more reliable fashion (except for the fact that Contacts suck and...

My Garmin Nuvi

If you are a constant reader of this blog, I suspect you’re a geek as well.  And with most geeks it is generally pretty hard to buy gifts.  We usually buy gadgets when they come out and don’t give much room for ‘wish lists’ for our significant others to shop for us.  As such my house around holidays is usually no gifts for me of substantial surprise…that’s fine by me. This father’s day was different.  My family got me a portable GPS device.  Specifically the Garmin Nuvi 260.  To be most accurate, my family actually got me a Magellan...

iPhone AppStore and Apps disappearing

Well, it seems that in addition to problems with MobileMe, Apple is getting into some gray area with AppStore.  Applications are appearing, disappearing without explanation to the authors.  The one that got more attention was NetShare, an app that purports to enable tethering of your iPhone 3G.  However despite it being available (actually for me clicking on the link it wasn’t even available then) it seems to be performing one of Criss Angel’s greatest feats in appearing/disappearing at will (or at Steve Jobs’ request). The latest app to fall to this scenario and be removed from the AppStore without explanation is...

Predictably Irrational

I’ve just finished reading a book recommended to me.  You see, I don’t read much.  I tend to stick to technical reference documentation and if I do choose to read it is usually something involving challenging thought, social economics or conspiracy theories.  My favorite book is probably Freakonomics which challenged my way of thinking, provided some interesting social economic studies and really just was an interesting perspective on various things.  I highly recommend you get that book. My Silverlight compadre Jesse said that if I liked that book I should rush out and get Predictably Irrational.  I did. ...

Honoring your NDA and terms of use and the iPhone SDK

NDA.  Non-disclosure.  Hush documents. Not many people like them.  In the technology world they are a necessary evil.  Personally I don’t think that way.  I think NDA’s are generally a good thing.  It’s enabling legalese to let two parties participate in information exchange when they don’t want the rest of the world to know about them.  NDA is a general term, of course, and the wording in any non-disclosure agreement is subject to the two parties involved.  Heck it could say “We’re going to show you everything and you agree only to not talk about feature X…everything else is fair game.” ...

Low-cost SSL Providers

In IIS7 you can do very simple testing for SSL related site hosting.  It literally is like a 2 click process: Enter a name for the cert and done, you now have SSL on your box.  Of course this is a self-issued/signed certificate so it will do you know good in the real world, but for most of the developer world it will work fine.  There may be those times, however, where things may not be quite working right and you want to eliminate the self-signed cert form the equation to make sure it isn’t the issue....

Gary Krakow is off his rocker, blames MSFT for iPhone battery woes

Gary Krakow has gone insane.  I was going to say he’s an idiot, but I’ll leave that up to Cali. In his latest article on TheStreet.com, he writes (regarding the iPhone and battery life): In our tests, iPhone batteries really can't handle the extra drain of Microsoft Exchange mail. Blame it mostly on Microsoft. Microsoft's mobile email software is a pig. It always has been a battery hog. Everyone who has ever lived with a Microsoft Mobile phone knows that battery life stinks if you constantly "push" email to your device....

iPhone 3G breaks some compatibility with accessories

I’m a little pissed right now.  Today I had a long drive downtown and on the way home I was planning on charging my iPhone (since battery life sucks bad) as well as listen to some of the tunes.  I upgraded my car system last year to support iPod connectors and put a dock in my car attached to my OEM stereo.  It was a project I was pretty proud I was able to do myself :-).  You can read and see about it here and here.  At the time I did this I was asked why I didn’t use...

iPhone not quite ready for ‘Enterprise’

Well now that the iPhone 3G (and actually more specifically the 2.0 software) are out, I promised myself I’d take another look, especially given that the claims of “for the Enterprise” were there (which really meant ‘we added ActiveSync’).  I had been holding on to some gift cards to subsidize this gadget investigation and so alas, I am testing the iPhone 3G for my use. Now because the device itself isn’t really much different (physically the changes are subtle) I’m not really commenting on the “iPhone” itself but rather on the claims of what 2.0 software brought to the device.  The...

Get you some Dizzy Pig

Among my other passions besides technology is food.  Truth be told I only have cable television so I can get the Food network.  Seriously…my TiVo proves it.  My wife has always said that if I had my druthers I’d have my own restaurant and attempt to be a chef…and she’s probably right.  In fact I’m going to add that to my rolling 5 year plan: own a dive shop in Cancun and have a BBQ cafe as a part of it. I recently was turned on to this site Get Your Grill On which is a blog of...

iPhone 3G: Exchange for the rest of us…because AT&T sucks?

I had been a customer of T-Mobile for 10 years (through a few company changes) and only recently changed to AT&T about a year ago.  As a general assertion, I’ve been happy.  I like the 3G speeds and the coverage in my house is far better than T-Mobile, which was the ultimate driver as someone who works primarily from a home office. That being said, I think I’m agreeing with what a friend said when the first iPhone launched.  He said (paraphrasing of course) If the iPhone has any shortcomings it won’t be because of the device or Apple, it will...

Pogue’s Hypocrisy

I’m a fan of David Pogue.  I like his podcast as he covers some cool gadgets and service in a bit of a no-nonsense way.  I saw his site today and saw his ‘pledge’ followed by my eye glancing at what I consider ads.  Evidently David doesn’t consider self promotion of goods and sale words like ‘half-price’ or product placement words advertising. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

I <3 Zappos!

Zappos – a company that seemingly ‘gets it’ with regard to customer service, doing the right thing, and providing the best products at the best prices.  They have not paid/asked me for this comment.  When I find a company willing to provide the best service and put the customer first, I’m so impressed. I just ordered a new pair of shoes this afternoon (about 11:00 GMT –7).  I just received this email (emphasis mine) in my inbox (13:50 GMT –7): Although you originally ordered Standard (4 to 5 business days) shipping and handling, we have...

Android, iPhone and Windows oh my!

I suspect Apple will have a good day on 11 July.  I’m pretty sue Apple could release the iGumWrapper and people will camp out 2 days before to be the first to purchase a gum wrapper made out of napkin and far less superior in functionality than what exists today.  It’s the lure of Apple, the marketing engine behind them and the fact that despite that napkin material, it would likely be so beautiful and make you forget some things that you’ve depended on for so long. But I digress :-).  In all seriousness, Apple excels at the hype and the...

Appreciate your blessings…

Yes, this is one of those posts where you reflect on ‘life’ and how precious it is.  Today was a weird day for me because of two things that caused me pause.  Allow me a little history… Just over 5 years ago now I received a call that my father was in the hospital as a result of a massive heart attack and was unconscious.  Those are things you never want to hear…ever.  Needless to say it was going to get worse.  In fact my father was in immediate need of a heart transplant to live.  In the interim, they would...

Microspotting

I’ve been watching Ariel’s blog for a while and really like the insight.  What is it? Microspotting, where she describes “Like the paparazzi, but for geeks.” I would say similar to the core tenet of Channel 9, Microspotting has the intent of turning the looking glass inward to get some profiles of key individuals you might recognize within Microsoft.  What is great is that the story is augmented by another of Ariel’s talents: photography.  She’s pretty good and I’ve enjoyed the photos that accompany the profiles and stories. From her site: My name is Ariel and Microspotting...

Airlines raising fares in plain view…

I just received an email from US Airways (my preferred airline) in my inbox…here’s an excerpt: It's no secret that the airline business is facing difficulties of unprecedented proportions; and 'unfortunately US Airways is no exception. Surviving high oil prices is going to require some substantial changes to the way the industry is run. Today, we announced a series of changes designed to prepare our airline for these new ways of doing business. Specifically, we announced changes to domestic capacity, the Dividend Miles program and our overall business model. We're transforming our business by initiating a 'pay-for-what-you-use' model for items like...

A better children cell phone service

My children are not yet the age where they are asking me for a cell phone or begging for text messaging plan or anything, but I see my friends' children going through this now.  It's weird that this new generation will expect just to have a cell phone, like we did with other items (maybe the most high tech was a calculator).  What concerns me, though, is the abuse of the cell phone and it serving as a disruption during school or other times when it shouldn't be used. The request is usually made as a "well mom, what if...

us politics 2008

wow, i find myself every four years having the same thoughts when presidential elections happen.  i think of the same things every type of election (less on very local ones because that is where candidates actually do have some immediate impact i think). a little over 3 years ago now i remembered listening to the same type of stuff.  i wrote how my campaign for elementary school student president was that i'd put grape soda in the drinking fountains.  as i watch all these debates and the enamoring of the mainstream media airwaves, i begin to laugh again.  i'm not into...

respect the permalink

recently i came across a feed entitled '.aspx considered harmful' and natural i paused.  for those who don't know .aspx is a known file extension for web pages generally using asp.net technology.  i think the title was a little misleading but it did the job -- got me to read it :-) john had made a suggestion in conversation that a blog engine (must have been the topic of conversation) shouldn't produce urls that end in .aspx.  basically, in a nutshell john is pointing out that technology changes and while you might be .aspx one day you might be .php the...

wishing the macbook air would have been 13" mbp

i was peripherally listening to the macworld keynote today waiting for something that would interest me.  i read all the rumors about a sub-compact laptop and was hoping for the best.  i am not a lover of widescreen laptops.  i love my 14" lenovo and all other standard sizes before that.  i've always felt that when you get into the widescreens, it no longer becomes a notebook, but a portable...i want the lightweight but powerful notebook.  to that end i use a lenovo thinkpad and a macbook pro (15").  i like them both...a lot.  for my daily typing i find...

return of the advertising jingle?

it could be that december sucked and i was bored, or it could have been the pain killers, but i have found that the recent freecreditreport[dot]com television advertisements have been hilarious. caveat: i am not promoting the service and i actually don't necessarily agree with it (as i think there is too much fine print involved and it isn't really 'free' but that is beside the point, this is about the commercials. their latest one had me cracking up as the guy singing the jingle in what appears to be somewhat of a red lobster type restaurant ("they say a man should...

on10.net gets overhaul and some good content

in searching for a past post on10.net i noticed they got an overhaul on the user interface.  i also noticed some great new content just this week.  today i was able to learn about: new battery rules for travel problems with xbox live from major nelson over the holidays (maybe that was my problem) how to use a windows mobile device as a wireless router (although i'm not sure why, it is interesting)...

new spare battery rules for u.s. travel

from the geniuses who determined that only a one quart bag full of 3.5 oz liquids is permitted, comes new rules about bringing lithium-ion batteries in united states travel. what seems odd to me is that the restriction is on checked baggage and not carry-on luggage per se.  from the site, it indicates that a spare battery is something not installed on the device.  and if you wanted to bring a spare lithium ion battery along, you have to put it in your carry-on luggage as putting it in your checked luggage is forbidden.  what?! what concerns me (as i don't believe...

tickle me wii, ebayer beware

as the holidays are upon us there always seems to be that one gift that controls your life while looking for it.  back in the early 1980s it was the cabbage patch doll, then many years later tickle me elmo was the hit (i remember that $30 item going for $2500 on a radio station).  it is amazing what we do as humans to satisfy others. Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had...

rant: state of american health care

while i'm not an entirely michael moore theorists, i do like that he makes me think.  sicko, his recent movie, made me think.  it was hard to listen to peoples' stories because i've always worked for a company that has had great health coverage and made it a priority benefit for their employees -- for that i'm entirely grateful after countless emergency room visits, 2 children, a few surgeries, and tons of medications. well this weekend, i'm starting to even hate how i'm being treated even though i still do have great coverage.  on saturday, the day of festivus...

my technology vacation

i'm writing this on the plane but i've just returned from 10 days in italy.  we visited venice, florence and rome.  i'm exhausted.  my feet are cursing me beyond belief and i felt like i walked 800 miles even though it was probably about 60.  i won't bore you with my slideshow, but share my thoughts on traveling abroad as an american used to certain technical amenities. i will caveat with: first trip to europe at all (fiji was my only other out of country experience) ...

cutting edge hosters provide .net 3.5 and iis7

in a world of changing technology, when we look for places to put our apps, we're probably looking for people who are on the cutting edge of the frameworks as well.  i want to draw your attention to discountasp.net.  why?  well, for one their feature set rocks. free iis7/.net 3.5 hosting during the beta (one of the early adopter hosters) real-time data backup tools great sql support with tooling as well ...

iphone and itunes only sync a certain type of appointment

i'm very frustrated now.  the title says it all.  let me explain my scenario, tell you how i found out the problem and give you the suggested workaround from apple. the setup i have a few phones laying around, and being the gadget geek i am, i do have an iphone that i've been using lately.  my setup consists of syncing my iphone to my pc laptop for contacts/calendering and to my macbook for music/photos/movies/podcasts.  it is a simple setup really, and allows me to keep my work machine for work (i don't have music or anything on my work machine) and...

technology in the bay area

last week i was at a team meeting in a town called bodega bay (near the area where scenes from the birds were filmed).  it is about an hour or so north of san francisco.  a nice little town, but my most enjoyable moment were the louisiana hot oysters i had on the last night...mmm...tasty.  ok, back on track. i had not thought ahead and accidentally (well at the time purposefully) made my return flight reservations for 06:00 AM from SFO international.  yeah, do the math.  that means i would have had to leave bodega bay, oh at 03:30-ish in the...

osx leopard increases security more like vista

when vista came out, clearly one of the biggest pain points to end users was user account control (UAC).  this is the feature that requires authorization to run certain applications which would require elevated privileges...most notable being installations.  osx, of course, has had this feature for a while.  osx requires the user to authorize elevated changes like changing account information or other system settings, as well as installations.  osx differs slightly in that once you authorize in certain areas (like sys prefs) it remains 'unlocked' until you lock it again explicitly or other actions do. another thing that vista (and actually...

leopard upgrades see blue screen of death

well, it's been over 12 hours since leopard was available to the masses and the early reviews seem to be in. yawn. i just got my discs and will be updating my machines soon to see (i'm going to try to update one and clean install the other).  but i'm reading the reviews and they aren't promising. dave winer says the upgrade process went fine, but he seems left with wondering what did he upgrade too? he says: Net-net, my first impression of Leopard is that it isn't a big deal one way or the other. interesting.  i thought this was supposed to be...

two worst pieces of technology in years

i recently wrote about my birthday binge purchases, one of which included an airport extreme.  in addition to the airport, i acquired a matching (in size so it fit right under it) lacie mini hard drive.  the reason for this (and the initial airport purchase) was i'm trying to consolidate some storage without having to have a running "machine" (OS) anywhere.  the airport touted the ability to plugin an external hard drive and share it with everyone. well, i'm happy to report that my other birthday purchases are doing me proud.  the airport and lacie, on the other hand, are quite...

new zunes announced

well, even though i haven't seen them, i'm impressed with the announcement.  maybe i switched too soon, but i still stand by my decision based on my personal needs (car aftermarket oem integration).  regardless, here's what the new zunes will bring... 80GB and 4/8GB flash versions new Zunes will have new UI and features..."old" Zune users will get those features as well! native codecs for h.264 and MPEG-4 -- no need for only...

tech toys for birthday

my birthday happened recently.  i am not a fan of birthdays and i don't know why.  i'm way past any age of getting additional "benefits" or discounts, and not near any age of getting any additional benefits/discounts :-) -- i'm a tweener now i suppose in a different way.  anyhow, i digress. every birthday i seem to get gifts that tie to my hobbies.  in high school i played on the golf team.  i owned about every illegal piece of golf equipment, counters, tee holders, range finders, etc. you could have.  and i wasn't fond of any of them -- people...

setting expectations in user experience

i've finally found the ultimo mp3 integration for my auto.  i don't have a new car, i don't have an aux jack, and i'm no longer in high school where i care about deep bass or wicked features, my factory stereo works fine thank you very much.  fine, that is, except that i can't play my mass collection of audio (unless i do it 6 CDs at a time). well, i've found it.  unfortunately the actual store is in atlanta, ga, usa.  a little too far for me to drive and get it installed...so i begin my research of installing it...

one sided twitter conversations and facebook currency

i've suddenly (well okay, not suddenly, but now i've had the time) realized that twitter is pretty good at keeping in touch, especially at conferences, etc.  i wish that some partnership with facebook and twitter would occur.  i'm using both of them and wish there was only one place i could update my status that nobody cares about. one thing is annoying me about twitter (and thankfully hasn't happened over at facebook yet ... at least with my circle of friends).  that is the one-sided conversation.  you know what i'm talking about.  the one where someone you are stalking following on...

feasting on food, asphalt and silverlight

i'm a food nut.  i pride myself on my ability to eat everything in sight.  seriously, i will.  i'll at least try something once.  there hasn't been anything presented in front of me that i haven't tried.  i'd probably draw the line at coagulated blood pizza or anything else presented on fear factor. one of the only reasons i have cable television is for the food network.  when i first got married my new wife (she's still my wife, btw so i'm not sure why i'm classifying here here as new) was annoyed at my infatuation by a (then unknown) chef...

off topic: television and reality shows

i'm sick of reality shows...except hells kitchen of course.  but seriously, everything i see on tv is some reality show.  what ever happened to raw, artificial entertainment?  well over the past few weeks i've learned it moved to other networks.  not that i'm endorsing all the actors in these shows as their best performances, but i've been entertained by them...and to me that is what counts. check them out if you are sick of the reality ones as well: the kill point (spike tv) damages...

oscon: day 1 - is there a user in the house

i'm now sitting in a session entitled "hello? is there a user in the house?" with amy hoy.  amy is a user interface designer and has been around the block with regard to user centric design...something that is lacking in probably most software development processes. here's some of my raw notes/thoughts.  if you've done user-centric design before, most of this will not be new. creators == consumers (understand who they are building for because they are building for themselves) -- this is what makes some projects successful in the geek world -- we develop for what we want...

rant: banking and beta browsers

i needed to check something online with my bank so i fired up my browser and checked.  then it dawned on me that i remember when ie7 came out that my bank (wells fargo) *immediately* (like literally within a few hours) started blocking it and put up a message saying specifically that my browser wasn't supported because it was beta. thinking a bit i fired up safari 3 beta...son-of-a-*  double standard.  looks like i wasn't the only one who thought so...i saw these guys standing on the side of the road today as well... shame on...

missing manuals -- new 'for dummies'?

lately i've been watching this show -- i don't even know what channel it is on, my tivo decided i might like it and started recording it...i love you tivo -- with the host david pogue.  it's basically a consumer-friendly geek gadget show.  he talks about different issues like do megapixels really matter in cameras (does a great field test on that one), what laptops are the best to travel with, etc.  his shows are well thought out and balanced in my opinion -- and he does good research.  the three shows i watched i never felt myself saying 'yeah,...

yet another iphone opinion

if you absolutely have been sick of iphone coverage, then go ahead and delete.  i simply couldn't resist the urge to pollute the interweb more with iphone opinions...so i've finally gathered some of my thoughts and decided to vent here...and i don't even have one (yet)... let me first say that the urge has been hard to resist to get one.  anyone who knows me knows that when new tech comes out and if i can't get it, i'm usually in a fetal position soaking in my own vomit with withdrawls.  there have been very few tech things that have...

amazon unbox and tivo -- nice

man i wish microsoft would buy tivo.  when tivo came out, i was skeptical.  it took some friends to really convince me that i was missing out, that i'd actually watch less tv, yada, yada.  after years of being a tivo user, i still love it.  i have two of them, they share recordings, i use the tivo desktop app...it is just a great experience (other than their customer service). they've nailed the simplicity in the user interface, the 'season pass' concept rocks, online scheduling...it all is just bliss for tv viewing.  high def?  well, okay, every company screws up...

baseball, meet blogging

i've been monitoring 38pitches.com for a while now and if you aren't aware of it, it's essentially (well not really, it is) curt schilling's blog.  if you have no idea who he is, that's okay...you're likely a geek...and that is fine. but curt's blog is bringing blogging to the mainstream.  go ahead and argue that scoble did that, or that news agencies did that, but i'll disagree.  curt is appealing to the sports fan...not the techno dweeb like you and me, but to the everyday joe. for a minute, take a look at the number of comments he gets per post...unreal -- averages about 100,...

great ux: espn and mlb

i remembered watching the super-bowl via esp.com and even mentioned my experience in a previous post.  well, tonight espn proves to be a winner for me again.  while watching the dbacks and randy johnson stomp on colorado, i moved to espn.com and their gamecast view...it is incredible.  i didn't have a tv nearby, so i have no idea how out-of-sync it was, but the play-by-play visuals were great, down to the diamond being the shape of the field where they are playing...here's a shot: when a ball is hit, they even have an animated baseball going in the direction...

ea sports: it's in the user experience

okay, so the title doesn't do it justice...i was trying to mimic in writing the "ea sports...it's in the game" tagline that starts each EA sports game on the xbox (and presummably other consoles)...whenever my daughter hears that she interrupts with "it's in the game" -- pretty funny (and sad at the same time i suppose). but i digress... anyhow, i just picked up a copy of tiger woods 07 recently and finally loaded it up last night (argh: still no xbox live league game setup!).  when i loaded it up i disregarded the background talking until i realized that...

way to go geraldo

i don't like geraldo, but i don't like bill o'reilly either -- and i don't claim any political party, i just think they are both media hounds... but way to go geraldo for calling bs on this one:

avis is realtime

when i travel and need a rental car, i use avis...not by choice really, but it's a company standard i guess.  to me, to be honest, a car is a car...service is where it is at.  i'm a member of the preferred program (which anyone can be, you don't have to 'earn' it) which entitles me to essentially skip the main counters when i rent (although the preferred counter is quickly becomming the 'main' one it seems).  i've also recently received 'select preferred' probably because i've rented enough.  i'm not sure what the difference is other than the fact that...

ambient music: a programmer paradise

when i start writing code, i like to get 'in the zone' -- and i'm sure all you developers are no different.  you want to enter a state of bliss and utter ignorance of any world other than that between your eyes and the screen of squiggly lines and foreach statements. well, usually i help get in this developer "rem" state by using music.  for me, ambient music is almost essential.  sure, i like the occasional heavy metal to really get the motivation going, but at the end of the day, i found myself concentrating on the song more than...

blackberry removes thumbwheel

wow?!  the navigation item that made them famous for the navigation is not visible in their latest incarnation.  now granted it wasn't in the perl as well, but that was a smaller form-factor i just assumed it was because they went "phone-first" in that model. gary krakow of msnbc reviews the latest blackberry 8800 and informs us of the change: For all you “CrackBerry” addicts I must warn you at the outset that the 8800 is different from any other . It’s the first one without a thumbwheel. The experts at RIM, seeing the success of the Pearl and...

go beyond vista

i was in my local mac store (or is it apple store, i keep forgetting what the appropriate term is, i guess it is apple)...i was in my local apple store today and saw something funny. first, i wasn't buying a mac, not that there is anything wrong with that.  i was getting a slim case for my laptop for short trips (my bag has become cumbersome).  i like that the apple store stocks a lot of options, something other stores don't. anywhoo...upon checkout i noticed the current t-shirt for the store employees...i like how their ad campaigns blend into...

super bowl and web experience

for the past few days i've been sitting in a meeting.  today in the US is the superbowl (the national football championship game).  i'm not much of a football fan, but i'm interested in the outcome so i don't sound like an idiot in conversations :-) so while this meeting is going on right now, the game has been going on.  i decided to take a look and went to *the* sport site, www.espn.com.  they have a "gamecast" application which provided me some great "live" action on the game.  take a look at the screenshot: you can see a...

27F

i've always been curious, is the worst first class seat (1a) better than the best coach class seat?  well, i used to think the best coach seats were the exit rows because of the leg room, etc. (actually i still think that)...so when booking a recent flight, i noticed the exits were still available -- and this was a 757...so i picked one.  27F. here's my knee: and here's the flight attendant seat directly across from my other knee: bottom line: if you are on a 757, avoid 27F!

'the kingdom' trailer available

if you read this blog (and the boring non-technical stuff) you'll remember that where i live they had been filming a movie called 'the kingdom' with jaime foxx and jennifer garner (among others).  well, the trailer is now available.  i'm seriously amazed at how real the movie looks given that i saw the set and how it was constructed -- filmmakers and set producers and cinematographers are amazing. anyway, here's some pics... this one is jaimee foxx on the Red Mountain 202 freeway in north mesa: this one is actually on the set that was by my house:...

where's kevin bacon when you need him?

okay, well technically, where's ren mccormick when you need him?  i live in a city called queen creek, arizona...which for most of the time had been a small farming community.  within the past 4 years it has boomed along with the real estate industry in the east side of the greater phoenix, arizona areas.  and now i feel it is a modern day footloose movie area! it's a great city, still has some small-town feel (which i like), and we have an awesome neighborhood.  still the town is experiencing growing pains. aside from the city growing pains, there is a...

google passport...er...checkout

there's been a lot of buzz around google checkout, especially since some merchants are essentially giving you money to use it.  at the surface, google checkout looks to be like a federated identity/payment service. sound familiar?  it should.  microsoft tried this with passport (and some would argue mswallet).  so what is different?  well, in true comparison, not much.  i'm not talking about a technical implementation because we have to remove that from the argument...most users don't care about the technical implementation. what it comes down to for a service like this is trust.  in this case, google has established themselves...

msnbc mobile: 50 pixels wasted

i'm all for advertising your brand, etc.  but when it impacts my ability to use an application/website, it makes me mad. take msnbc mobile for example...50 vertical pixels wasted: a huge banner ad for windows mobile.  here's my questions: shouldn't the site know i'm already using windows mobile? shouldn't it know my device capabilities and realize that they just wasted my screen space what would msnbc publishers think that i can't even see the top headline... this site has turned from a news site to a banner ad...hey anyone on msnbc listening? tags: msnbc, windows mobile, mobile, msnbc.com,...

skiing and zune

this weekend lisa and i went skiing with some friends at sunrise park in the arizona white mountains.  this was the second ski trip i've taken and needless to say, i'm a big time beginner...spending most of my time on the bunny hill or the easiest green run!  i brought my zune with me for the trip, thinking i'd play it while skiing and have some rockin' tunes to listen to as i go down the slopes. well, i found a few problems in that concept (not zune specific).  i wired it up my shirt so that it wasn't in...

vonage: high pressure cancel

i've been a vonage customer for about 2 years (28 months according to them).  all-in-all i was satisfied with the service.  sometimes the quality wasn't that great, but as a technical person i understand latency, etc.  however, vonage still doesn't pass the mother-in-law factor test from a quality and reliability standpoint...i think VOIP technology is there, but if you are relying on a 3rd party (ISP) for the connectivity, it can become troublesome. at any rate, as part of the new year, i've been just generally looking for ways to 1) cut recurring liabilities and 2) remove some hardware from...

apple xPhone reality news

well it looks like the <possiblyrenamed>Phone from Apple might hit some snags.  first there is the lawsuite filed by cisco (good commentary from cisco general counsel here) about the trademark violation, and then the news is starting to trickle out. first, the "OS X" maybe isn't so OS X as promised.  according to a VP Q&A session it is similar to how iPod uses OS X...a psuedo subset with no open APIs.  this likely may mean that no user-installable applications will be allowed...snag for Apple in my opinion. the screen also uses the same polycarb as the ipod -- and...

tag-o-sphere: my five things

so, mr. cate did it to me and sent me the chain letter. here you go... I don't like chain letters.  I never continue them :-) yeah yeah bah humbug My "formal" education is in criminal justice...of course if you consider "formal" being that of skipping classes and barely squeeking by because you were having too much fun in college. My USGA index is 8.4 My retirement goal is to own this scuba shop in cancun in 5 years (although that 5 years continually is a rolling 5 years). I proved to myself that the internet was powerful when i started...

gadget: jawbone

ever been searching for the ultimate bluetooth headset so you can look like the other cyborgs walking around with something in their ear?  me too.  i never was happy with any of the headsets i used and mainly needed it for the car, so i settled on a motorola re-chargeable speakerphone for my car.  it works fine, but i still feel like i'm yelling when i talk and i'm sure the ambient noise is being picked up. my hommie jason led me on to the jawbone which he saw in a cingular store.  if you take a look...

video services: aol and service announcements

i'm sure you've been seeing these television advertisements all over for aol's new video service.  they really have been pushing it a lot.  the ad features ed bundy (c'mon let's be real you don't know his name either) in a public service like announcement...talking about how all this video on the internet goes unwatched each year.  personally i think the approach is a bit tacky (a bit of a mockery for the charity foundations), but maybe that's because i first saw it while watching 'United 93' which was commercial free sponsored by AOL -- i just thought they might have...

rss: google reader

a few weeks ago, my favorite rss service, squeet was having a holiday itself.  ordinarily i'd be okay with that but i felt lost on the information super-highway and have to have my feeds.  i thought about using the ie7 and outlook rss model, but i just still haven't adopted to that paradigm...i honestly don't know why, but i just haven't succombed yet. so someone was telling me about google reader and i thought i'd check it out.  yes, another beta product from google.  i imported my opml and it took me a bit to understand the features of what...

rant: e-tailers who don't mesh with their brick and mortar

well now that the holiday season is over (well to some it is, i'm officially writing it off -- santa came and stayed up very late putting things together in my..er...um his garage), let the red ink for the retail industry fly.  i'm talking about the "other" season that is hitting the stores...returns/exchanges. i'm taking some time off this week and had no other better excuse so my i accompanied my wife to the mall to return some items (note to self: don't buy women clothes).  i was extremely hesitant as i'm a terribly impatient person and completely selfish...but i...

gaming and society

heard on some gaming discussion boards: Personally, I think it is terrible that people who would gladly wait in line for days to get a new PS3 probably complained when they had to wait an hour or so to vote in the elections.

rant: purchasing goods or rights?

ever since people started getting zunes, there has been some discussions about ipod owners wanting their content from itunes to be played on their new zune devices.  on forums you see posts about tools and techniques to get the music into a format that any device can play.  one technique is to burn to a cd and then rip back in mp3 form (losing tags as well as decreasing quality of original content).  another is using a tool to strip the restrictions of the file and change them to a different format. this has caused quite a big debate.  this...

how to know your wife has assimilated -- and no driving for gifts

i have the tri-fecta of gifting for december: wife b-day, anniversary (10 years this year!), and the holidays.  yikes.  needless to say, we go broke in december. i love my wife.  i really do a lot -- but i love it even more when she makes things easy for a neanderthal like me.  if you haven't figured it out yet (unless you're really astute in your relationship), shopping for women is hard.  it exponentially increases in difficulty when clothes are thrown into the mix.  this year my wife detailed a list of things she wants/needs for the tri-fecta holiday season....

thanksgiving, carnivores and my weekend with zune

this past weekend was the american 'thanksgiving' holiday.  as is tradition with most, i too ate turkey for the holiday.  this one was different for us.  we decided to escape the normal family gatherings and stress of making food, cleaning, and having kids in non-kid friendly homes.  we took off for san diego, california on a whim.  i hate driving.  anything > 3 hrs sucks.  but i had my wife with me and we were able to finally talk about a lot of things -- something our normal daily lives don't seem to allow us to do.  it was great...

zune: podcast listening and viewing

i'm trying to hold off installing itunes just for podcatching.  i tried pwop catcher, but it looks like the project has gone dark for a bit and didn't have what i needed. my friend turned me on to primetime podcast receiver.  so far it is okay.  it still isn't itunes, but i'm going to give it a whirl.  i've configured it to dump the podcasts/videoblogs into my Music\Zune folder so it will sync when i tell it to. that's all for now on zune for a bit (maybe :-) ).  i think i'll work on doing some development for some...

zune: video encoding and the colors

okay, i forgot in my last post to correct something that i've been misinformed about: colors.  i was under the impression that each color had a personality.  well now that i participated in a social yesterday, i know that not to be true.  the black zune in the social was preloaded with the same videos, music, pictures as our brown ones.  i stand corrected and apologies for any misleading. okay, on to my video encoding.  i've been trying to find a good solution to getting dvd content onto the zune.  i was recommended to try three solutions: handbrake (now ported...

zune: one week later

okay, so i've been beating up on the zune a bit, but i still like it.  i have to say there are definitely areas where it doesn't win over ipod (i.e., size for recreational usage, etc.), but there are definitely bigger ways (and potential) that it does. today i finally had a chance to play with the community features, when a colleage came over and asked if i wanted to 'join the social' (we had fun with that one when people asked what we were doing.  we were close to each other and while we didn't test the range, i...

zune: manual sync

from my previous post i made a comment about automatic sync (on by default) and not seeing an option for manual sync. rtfm for me.  it's there.  with the zune connected in the navigation area on the left, right-click the device and choose set up sync, and uncheck the automatic. tags: zune, sync

zune: my first problem

it locked up.  well, i'm not sure lock up is an accurate term as i still saw something going on, but maybe i was jaded by an animated gif :-0. here's what happened...i'm trying to test out the video feature a bit more, specifically movies, etc.  my goal was to put a new release movie on the zune.  my wife and i just watched the da vinci code (no i didn't read the book, but i really enjoyed the movie -- good suspense, good subtle action).  so i seeked out some dvd rip software to get a dvd to wmv...

zune: 24 hours later

well, i've been playing around with it for a while -- taking it everywhere trying to keep it out in the open to elicit responses.  people have asked/noticed (likely because of the brown) and the response has been okay to say the least.  "is that the new ipod" is the typical question.  "interesting" has been another, well, interesting response. i've managed to transfer 18GB of music to it from my itunes on my mac (i use mp3 format already) and it took a lot longer than i anticipated once they were on my machine.  the zune software (i'm going to...

myspace.com - away with brand name?

very frequently lately i've been paying attention to how organizations have been putting their brands out there via media (radio/tv mainly) and how they are driving traffic (if any) to their sites.  I've noticed a weird (to me at least) trend lately.  the use of myspace.com.  here's two big ones that come to mind that i saw recently: burger king and chilis. now both of these organizations have a strong brand and are probably widely recognized retail food chains.  but instead of putting burgerking.com and chilis.com on their tv commercials, i'm seeing myspace.com/burgerking and myspace.com/chilis.  now to me, the main...

zune: my first impressions (long post)

8:00am: local Target opens (target had the best 'deal' in my opinion -- $249 w/$25 gift card, but Costco will likely have the best overall retail cost) 8:45am: i arrive at target to see how things are going.  shelves are empty, speaker accessories were empty...only thing there was the display for Zune (which was pretty decent).  wow, i thought, i can't believe they sold out. as i walked out of the store i made a comment to the person working the area: sold out pretty fast?...to my surprise (or actually my expected result when i walked in the store) he...

travel rant: whomever came up with the 3oz rule is an idiot

it's been a few weeks since i've been on a plane...my last trip i had a bag big enough i needed to check anyway, so i paid no attention to the liquid restriction for myself -- although the warning signs were all over. well, the tsa has 'loosened the restrictions' on liquids.  again, i have to ask the question of what research/tactic/preventative mechanism is now in place that makes the tsa confident that the problem is solved?  i worried when they first made the restriction that it would not be able to be revoked.  well, i stand corrected (sort of). ...

running on beta - or when will google ever release?

have you noticed that the most popular sites/services are beta?  one of the biggest abusers: google.  recently, my local university changed their complete student email/collaboration systems to 'outsource' to google (gmail, google calendar, gtalk -- all in beta).  this university has a student population of 60,000.  instantly google grew their ad revenue by 60K users.  it was an interesting move i thought. but it got me thinking.  in my role, we look for early adopters as well, but it seems like at times to be a challenge.  in fact, the same university was hesitant to early adopt a technology we...

fedex: when priority overnight is really 3 day

from the fedex site on priority overnight: Next-business-day delivery by 10:30 a.m. to most U.S. addresses; by noon, 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. in remote areas; by noon or 1:30p.m. on Saturdays. and: Saturday service also available for an additional charge. well, my phone died this week and verizon is shipping me a new one and i opted to pay the extra $20 for priority overnight, saturday delivery.  here was the status as of 5:01 pm: notice estimated deliver of 5:00pm.  yeah, it isn't here.  a call to them lets me know that it is likely still...

google and ups tracking

hey google, are you accepting terms and conditions on my behalf these days? when you go to ups.com and enter a tracking number, you must agree to the ups tracking terms and conditions before it will show you the status.  the terms read: ...This is a personal service, thus your right to use the Tracking Systems or Information is non-assignable. ... so in gmail, when it sees a message that has a UPS tracking number, it contains a link on the right side of the window giving you a direct link to the shipping tracking information without first...

hey scoble: why i don't like MOV

i'm on a few conference calls today and planned on doing some peripheral learning.  there were a few interesting things over at scobleshow.com lately that i found intriguing and wanted to watch.  i went to the site and was disappointed.  why...well let me phrase this appropriately :-) i have a brand new windows vista machine.  loaded (fill-in-your-favorite-browser) on it.  visited scobleshow and clicked on a "watch now" link.  this is what it looked like: why did i get this?  because scobleshow only enables MOV format (arguably the intended viewer is Quicktime format -- which i hate).  so as a...

tivo and cox aren't friends

well, back in august i knew things weren't going to be smooth with the cox buyout of cableamerica (my local provider).  i already cancelled my internet service because, well frankly, cox internet sucks (at least in my area).  qwest dsl has proved to be a better choice so far (crossing my fingers for verizon fios). well 5 days ago i got a note in the mail about having to turn in my dvr/cable box.  it was not something i was looking forward to, but i planned for it -- they let me know that on oct 18 the box would...

hey feedburner, don't make me work so hard

i've been looking at options on feedburner and saw something called a 'photo splicer' that you can add to your feed.  basically your provide them your user name of a photo service and they'll add that feed into your current feedburner feed -- a feed merge if you will. cool, i thought i'd try it out (i immediately took it down because for me it just didn't make sense).  the first thing i noticed was something akin to seth godin's new site www.thisisbroken.com.  here was one of the configuration options: note the text box label: "Flickr ID or Screen...

antivirus and bloatware

i'm not a fan of bloatware...i don't think anyone is.  when you install something, you expect it to be exactly what you want.  aol recently got nailed for having their latest software install a bunch of other software without the user's knowledge. two chronic violators i think for bloatware: acrobat reader and quicktime.  acrobat reader: to me that means a reader.  so why is it 20MB?  compare to foxit reader which is 3.7MB (which is about 2MB more than the previous version even) and does the same thing (reads PDFs, search, etc.).  yeah, yeah, acrobat reader can do a few...

rant: the real oprah winfrey

i'm about to generalize here, so forgive me :-). i'm married.  my wife doesn't watch that much tv.  but she does watch the homewreckeroprah winfrey show.  as a result of that sometimes i get stuck watching them in the bedroom while she's watching etc. recently oprah has been on this roadtrip across the country where...hold your breath...she actually drives.  this is actually quite a misnomer, because behind the car she's driving is a team of producers, personal trainer, make-up stylists, etc.  yeah, she's not roadtripping anything. it is filmed in a bit of reality mode (cameras/microphones in the car) and...

linux is dead

i don't know what happened...i was reading an article about how the cost of linux and windows are roughly the same and the next thing i know i see this photo on the internet... there may have been some huge riot or something, but the penguin has bought it. tags: linux, penguin, humor

msn soapbox scores high, live id scores low

i just had a chance to play around with msn soapbox.  youtube copy? whatever, i've decided not to try to care much anymore about the "you're copying us" mentality after i saw iMediaCenter...er...i mean iTV. i didn't want to use soapbox mainly because i'm not a fan of the usability experience of windows live id and/or passport.  why?  take a look...here's msn's home page: notice the branding and look and feel...now let's click 'sign in': does this look the same?  other than the msn butterfly logo, i'm clearly jumped to another place...and by the way, if i signup...

acrobat collaboration?

i just got done watching podtech's video of the acrobat 8 demonstration from rick brown.  <tangent> i was frustrated that the only video format was quicktime...a far cry from scoble's days at channel9 offering various formats.  i have to ask myself if he wasn't editing/producing on a mac these days if he'd be disgruntled about a singular format as well -- i always pegged him for a crusader of options -- podtech gives me only one experience...and it just so happens to be the one i hate.  i don't have podtech though -- just quicktime.  in order to...

social networks, ownership and consistency

who really owns a social network? when we moved into our neighborhood, my wife decided to rally some troops and organized some women around the 'hood for various reasons.  she started a babysitting co-op where the currency is popsicle sticks and communication is done via a yahoo group.  you need a babysitter for 2 kids for 3 hours?  send a note to the group and within hours (usually minutes) you'll have someone willing to take you up on it...that will be 6 sticks please.  it has worked out great and is totally self-sustaining.  the neighborhood has virtually free babysitting for...

tivo finally gets hdtv

<sarcasm>whew, that didn't take long </sarcasm>.  TiVo finally got their hdtv dvr in the market...i saw the ad, clicked the link and -- what!?  $800!?  holy crap.  maybe it's me, but that's priced out of the park for me (in a bad way, not the homerun way). sure, i'm still 'renting' my dvr from my cable provider, but for a nominal fee that gives me 16 years of rental (and i can upgrade whenever to their newest stuff) relative to plopping down $800 for a fixed-technology device. wow, i think they missed the boat on pricing.  too bad, as a...

giving dsl a try

a while back i ranted about my woes with high speed internet companies and choices.  when is a monopoly not a monopoly?  apparently when it is a utility. argh, i get frustrated thinking that i have 1 choice for electricity, 1 choice for telephone, 1 choice for gas, etc. -- argh. anyhow, because of the cox acquisition of cableamerica and my concerns about cox services and customer service, i figured i'd jump on the opportunities presented to my by qwest dsl (higher speeds).  anyhow after some bumpy starts (i placed the order 45 days ago and it is just getting...

microsoft and open source

there's been a lot of coverage lately about open source and microsoft projects, namely sparked by the 'death of ndoc' postings all over the internet.  this has caused me some pause to reflect on why...and i'm not sure i have the answer, but it is just interesting to see the surroundings discussions on this. here's one comment i found interesting (speaking on ndoc, etc. -- tools ported from java tools)... The big difference is that the ports are usually maintained by a single person or a very small team whereas the Java tools have a thriving community supporting them...

enter windows live writer

it's official! for the past few weeks i've been able to use a new tool just released, called windows live writer.  at it's core, writer is a blogging client (i'm sure there will be other uses for it in the future, but for now, this is what i use it for).  after seeing the announcement of the tool, i was skeptic.  YABC is what i thought (yet another blogging client, for those not familiar with the YA* acronyms). but i bleed windows blue, so i installed it.  i should point out at this point that i amwas a blogjet...

rails hits major security flaw

...and nobody knows what it is.  warning: this is a long post, but sit back and read it -- it is quite telling IMO. while reading some of my email list posts this evening, i came across a post on the ruby on rails forum: This is a MANDATORY upgrade for anyone not running on a very recent edge (which isn't affected by this). If you have a public Rails site, you MUST upgrade to Rails 1.1.5. The security issue is severe and you do not want to be caught unpatched. The issue is in fact of such a...

cingular will charge for old technology

bravo i say! in a recent decision, cingular has decided to tack on another $5/month to subscribers using older technology handsets on their network. some may think this is rash, and i'm sure people like my dad (who only turns on his cell phone to make calls, yet still gives out his number) will be upset. to cingular, it appears that's going to be okay. in business to succeed and provide best value to the mass of customers tough decisions have to be made. believe me, i learned this the hard way with my home builder. the cingular people...

as seen on campus

nice cheesy 'mailbox' on microsoft campus promoting windows live mail... tags: windows+live, live, hotmail

eweek open source vs .net

eweek labs did a bake off recently and published some findings yesterday in their eWEEK Labs Bakeoff: Open Source Versus .Net Stacks article. some soundblogbytes: Even if the .Net stack had bombed convincingly in these tests, it would probably still maintain popularity in many companies. But its strong showing should give companies confidence that the .Net stack will handle most high-level enterprise needs. the one thing that i didn’t like about the article was the raw publishing of the test results…

microsoft portable media player?

Microsoft preparing launch of iPod rival well, i can honestly say i don’t know anything about these plans…but i can say i *hope* microsoft gets it right…and by that i mean: don’t just have wmv/wma as the only supported formats: if this is the case, it will fail.  it will fail for me immediately.  mp3 is a decent format.  okay, okay, stand back drm hounds…but seriously…would you buy any music media device that doesn’t support mp3?  and video…let’s make sure it plays mpeg, avi, wmv, mov, etc. size: seriously…with the lessons learned from ipod, it should be clear that size matters ;-) — i...

ken lay dies

Enron founder Ken Lay dies of heart attack honestly, i don't know how i feel about this.  luckily i wasn't affected by the enron devistation.  i don't even know anyone who was affected.  but i read the reports, saw the lives ruined, and saw the expose movies, shows.  all of which made me sick about corporate america.  after reading/seeing 'the smartest guys in the room' -- which of course is only one view -- i was so angry at what seemingly was clear corruption and fancy accounting trickery.ug.  anyway, i'm curious if those affected will feel 'justice' served?  not that anyone's...

hey kitt, come save my career

my wife desperately wanted to watch the new nbc talent show thing.  i reluctantly set the tivo (repaired after a new hard drive from weaknees.com). while feeding my newborn tonight i watched it.  or tried to. (note: what follows is what is commonly referred to in the english language as an ‘opinion’ — it is mine…feel free to differ.) i cannot believe that show exists.  find america’s best talent?  in what category?  apparently juggling, horn honking, snapping fingers, singing, magic, comedy, and stripping all in one!  how can you honestly find the best talent when you are mixing all the genres together (don’t...

php is better because it's free

recently i posted an opinion to one of my local user group lists in response to something that irks me as of lately.  granted a few years back this may have been a valid statement, but i don’t think it is anymore. the comment was something along the lines of this (paraphrasing): why use asp.net when you can use php and get what you need for a fraction of the cost. it caused me pause to consider the various scenarios, but i’ll settle for simplicity on the hosted scenario for comparison, because quite frankly, i’m calling b.s. on those type of comments...


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