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Showing posts from January, 2008

Amazon to buy Audible.com

For $300 million Amazon are intending to buy Audible.com. Personally I use Audible through iTunes quite a lot and I'm delighted to hear this news. The possibility of DRM free MP3 audio books being sold through Amazon is something worth looking forward to. I wonder if this will be the end of Audible and Apple's relationship? Even if it is it could be the start of something beautiful.

Nintendo's Wiimote accessories patent?

Browsing through the UK Patent website today I discovered a patent submitted by Nintendo.  It contains diagrams outlining different uses of the Wiimote from forming the barrel of a gun, through insertion into a Steering Wheel unit to insertion into a soft toy. It is def worth a read. Here's an example:The patent can be found at: http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=US2008015017&F=0&QPN=US2008015017

Black Wiimote

Just for anyone who is interested in what the unreleased black Wiimote looks like this is actually it:It is cool. You have to wonder that if Nintendo release a Wii with HD-DVD/Blu-ray drive will it be black with this Wiimote. I hope so.

Windows 7 on YouTube

A video, which can be found here, appears to show the M1 build of Windows 7. Since it is extremely early into the development of 7 we would not expect to see many new things in this build and we would expect to see something that looks almost identical to Vista, which we do. However, the fact that it is filmed on a camcorder and the only differences we are being shown is a 7 in a few About dialogs, it is hard to believe that this is Windows 7. Expect to see many videos of "7" circulate in the next few days and weeks.

No NI Blogs?

Noticed this blog entry on a site today,I’ve been looking in vain for Northern Ireland business blogs.  And, I can’t find any!  Why?  Why don’t NI professionals blog?Is it a fear of letting your guard down?  Of expressing your true opinions and attitudes?  Or appearing less than perfectly organised, professional and in control of your organisation and colleagues?Is it a fear of technology?  How do I set up a blog?  What is it anyway?  Who would maintain it?  What if something went wrong and it made me/my business/my website look unprofessional?Is it a fear of writing?  Many accomplished business owners, who are making a living and much more would begin to quake if they were asked to write a blog post.http://senseilearningandperformance.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/why-northern-ireland-professionals-dont-blog/trackback/I think the reason for this lack of blogs is simple, Northern Ireland professionals do not see blogging as a business tool. While big corporations seem to have set up blogs …

Google vs. Apple

Could the peace between Apple and Google be coming to an end. In this quote from an interview Steve Jobs gave, it looks as if he's making the first threat that the war is approaching."I actually think Google has achieved their goal without Android, and I now think Android hurts them more than it helps them. It's just going to divide them and people who want to be their partners."http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/the-passion-of-steve-jobs/index.html?ex=1358226000&en=dc35254b0fcd5490&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rssWould you regard Apple and Google as virtually partners at the moment because I would.

IBM Applications on Apple Devices

Lotus Notes on the iPhone will allow the iPhone to compete directly with the Blackberry in the business market. Bringing these two major Microsoft competitors together could mean that we're looking at a full on assault on the business community. New XServer, Lotus Notes connectivity and Lotus Symphony does make a good foundation to build on.IBM to add software for Apple devicesBy BRIAN BERGSTEIN - AP Technology WriterE-mail software from IBM Corp. will be available on Apple Inc. iPhones and iPod Touch devices under a new partnership that brings together two big rivals of Microsoft Corp.IBM plans a formal announcement of the Lotus Notes e-mail package for Apple's portable devices at its Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Fla., next week. The software, which requires use of IBM's Domino e-mail server program, will be free for users who already have a Lotus Web-access license and start at $39 per year for new users.IBM also plans to release Lotus Notes and the free Lotus Symph…

Sun acquire MySQL

This appears to be the day of the takeovers. No sooner is the BEA/Oracle deal announced than Sun announces it is to acquire MySQL. For many web developers this one will be worth watching.Sun Micro to Buy MySQL, Maker of Open-Source Database Dow Jones Newswires Sun Microsystems Inc. said Wednesday it is acquiring MySQL AB, an open-source database developer, for about $1 billion.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120049014746494511.html?mod=rss_whats_news_technology

Oracle to acquire BEA for $8.5Billion

It's finally been agreed. Oracle are to acquire BEA for $8.5 Billion. It was a long time coming but lets face it was always pretty inevitable.Oracle Strikes Deal to Buy BEA Systems for $8.5 Billion By John Flowers Oracle Corp. said it will acquire BEA Systems in a $8.5 billion deal three months after BEA slapped away an Oracle takeover offer as too low.Oracle would pay $19.38 for each BEA share, a 24% premium to Tuesday's close price of $15.58.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120048691486294361.html?mod=rss_whats_news_technology

4th piece of news

The worst kept secret in Apple is official, The MacBook Air. It's the world's thinnest notebook. Apple didn't want to compromise processor power, display size or keyboard size for weight. .76 inches at it's thickest and .16 inches at it's thinnest it fits into a manila envelope. It has a full sized display and full sized keyboard. Built in camera, 13.3 inch widescreen display which is LED backlit to save power and give a bright display, keyboard lights up with an Ambient light sensor and has a well shaped trackpad which will now respond to gestures. This sounds like a pretty amazing machine. The trackpad uses the same pinching gestures as the iPhone and iPod Touch do. It has an 80Gb HDD standard or an optional 64Gb SSD. Core 2 Duo Processors and 1.6GHz standard or 1.8GHz optional. It comes with USB 2.0, micro DVI, 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR. The optical drive is a $99 accessory which is bus powered. The software can be installed without an optical drive, thank …

3rd Piece of News: iTunes Movie Rentals

Touchstone, Miramax, Lions Gate, Paramount, Universal, Song, Walt Disney, Fox, Warner Brothers and more have signed up to movie rentals on iTunes. Hope the UK is actually going get this major feature sooner rather than later. Launches today by free iTunes, iPhone and iPod update. $3.99 for new movies, launched 30 days after the DVD, and $2.99 for older titles. 30 days to watch a movie and 24 hours to finish it. That's not bad I suppose. I usually only watch films once and they cost £15 or so each. This will lead to Apple TV2. In fact he's talking about it now. No computer needed anymore. Direct rental from your TV. Watch audio/video podcasts, view photos from Flickr or computer and You Tube. Basically all iTunes content is available for download. Full DVD and HD quality with surround sound. Completely new interface as well. You know this doesn't seem like the hobby he described it as last year. Maybe Microsoft 360 and PS3 in the living room has worried him.

2nd News. Huge iPhone!

SDK due in February and an update for iPhone coming today. Multiple person SMS, Customize Home Screen, Lyrics support, videos with chapters and subtitles, Webclips, iPhone knows where your location is and can give you location specific directions thru maps. All available today. Add web pages to your home screen. Basically like favourites except it adds an iCon to your home screen that takes you to the site. A nice touch, pardon the pun, I suppose.iPod Touch is getting Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, Customizable Home Screen, Webclips and Weather. At bloody last. However that update is actually $20. Why do I have to pay that while iPhone users get the same for free?

Time Capsule Announced

First news from the Keynote and it's the release of a new device called Time Capsule. Used for backing up computers. Server grade hard drive and 500Gb for only $299. A terabyte version released too. Seems like a baby version of Windows Home Server but I suppose it is wireless which is good.Here's a picture from SlashGear:

Interesting Live Documents Disclaimer

I noticed this on www.live-documents.com and thought I'd mention it. Read in particular the part in italics at the bottom,Statutory Disclaimer: While our products are built primarily around the Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft Corporation was not involved in any way in the development of these solutions and does not endorse them in any formal way. Please see our IP Disclaimer for more information.
(Note: That said, since Sabeer Bhatia is a co-founder, a very small part of the millions that he received from Microsoft for Hotmail.com funded our development efforts - so thank you Microsoft!). I wonder will they be saying thank you when the inevitable court case with Microsoft ends.

NBC have the rights to Top Gear

This story appeared on Gizmodo today and I totally agree with the author, I'm very dubious about how well this will turn out. Thank God for the BBC version, long live Jeremy, James and Richard.I've got good news and bad news. First, the good: the amazing British auto show Top Gear is coming to the US! Now, the bad: it's in the form of a remake on NBC, haters of original ideas and kings of the unnecessary remake! That means that the wonderful hosts — Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond — won't be involved. Instead, knowing NBC, it'll probably be hosted by Macho Man Randy Savage, Vern Troyer and Alicia Silverstone. Time will tell whether or not they'll be able to pull the remake off (they did a damn good job with The Office, after all), but I'm more than skeptical. Hit the jump to check out my favorite Top Gear segment ever and then try to imagine NBC doing something half as entertaining.TV: Top Gear Coming to NBC in Remake Form

PES 2008 for the Wii. Wow!

Here's a controls demo video of PES 2008 on the Wii and it looks amazing. Congratulations Konami. PES2008 Wii Controls Demo

Macworld predictions

Here are my predictions for what is going to be announced in today's keynote.1. Apple TV22. Movies on iTunes3. iPhone SDK4. Slimmer Notebooks/Tablets5. Takeover of Adobe (hence the Air reference).6. Best sales figures ever7. Number of iTunes downloads/iPhone users/iPod users8. Apple takeover by Google (probably not but live in hope)!

EU say pound of flesh is not enough

Yet more anti-competitive cases opened by the EU. I wonder how many chairs Steve threw through the Redmond Windows, glass versions, when he heard about these newest ones. European regulation continues to be a thorn in Microsoft’s side. After years of investigations over alleged anti-competitive practices, the European Commission now has a large body of experienced prosecutors only too ready and willing to take up the cudgels on behalf of European entities, and others. And organisations like Opera Software, the Norway-based web browser company, are only too willing to pick up the Bat-phone to the Commissioner in Brussels. It must be on speed-dial by now.The latest twist is the launch of two new Microsoft antitrust investigations by the Commission, one of which involves products and technologies for which Microsoft allegedly is withholding interoperability information, including its .Net framework, Office Open XML (OOXML) document format and various server products. The European Commiss…

Better late than never I suppose

Just goes to show that Microsoft do care.....eventually,Here's a call you never expect to get: a customer service followup from Microsoft… ten years after the first call. That's exactly what happened to a guy who had called the big M way back on January 7, 1998. On the 8th of this month, he got a followup call to make sure everything was going OK......The real reason for the delayed call is pretty simple: a typo. Yep, they put in '08 instead of '98. Understandable, I suppose.Mistakes: Microsoft Customer Service Makes a Follow-Up Call 10 Years Too Late

So that's who is buying the PS3

I was sent this picture and at last we know who bought both of those PS3's Sony sold (joking):

Another Dawkins flaw?

Found the following quote on Richard Dawkins Site and thought I'd counter a few of these points too while I'm at it.Six Reasons to be an Atheist from The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville
1. The weakness of the opposing arguments, the so-called proofs of God's existence
2. Common experience: If God existed, he should be easier to see or sense.
3. My refusal to explain something I cannot understand by something I understand even less.
4. The enormity of evil.
5. The mediocrity of mankind.
6. Last but not least, the fact that God corresponds so perfectly to our wishes that there is every reason to think he was invented to fulfill them, at least in fantasy; this makes religion an illusion in the Freudian sense of the term.
These are not Dawkins own reasons but they are on his site so here we go:1. Weakness of an opposing argument should not be cited as a reason to reject God. The theory that the Earth wa…

The God Delusion, just another delusion

The article can be found at: http://EzineArticles.com/?id=925199
I respect Richard Dawkins as a scientist and since I'm only halfway through The God Delusion at this point I'm not going to judge the book or his conclusions. I'm also going to state now that while I'm coming from a faith based background I'm prepared to read his arguments and become better acquainted with them since knowledge and understanding are the only ways to counter his points. I have noticed a major flaw in one of his arguments and I want to point it out now. Dawkins states that the fact that we are here to ask the question about the origin of life proves that the chemical reactions and biological processes necessary to create life and consciousness did occur regardless of how improbable an event it was. A fair point I concede. the flaw in the argument occurs when he is refuting the Creationist/Religious argument that God had a hand in these processes. He states that as the existence of a God …

If it needs to be a PR issue then make it one

This is something that obviously affects all Xbox LIVE users.Xbox Live Accounts at risk! Account thieves using Pre-texting methods to gain access to your Xbox Account.

read more | digg storyThe end of the article claims that Microsoft won't react unless something is a huge PR issue so this needs to be blogged and dugg by as many people as possible. Lets force them to get it fixed.

For all those who say Microsoft have no sense of humour

This has got to be one of the finest marketing campaigns to come out of Redmond.Once I was almost famous. For years, my friends and I were on the front lines: we were the Windows Server 2003 servers that powered Microsoft.com, one of the hottest Web sites in the world. Then, early last summer, everything changed. Quietly, without warning, the new kids took over. Windows Server 2008.

read more | digg storySee the Lone Server's Facebook and Linked In pages for more information on him. Apparently he's a Seahawks fan. Go Seahawks!

Microsoft says Blu-ray for 360 is possible. Another reason not to buy a PS3.

Microsoft always keep their backs covered in this sort of format war and HD-DVD v Blu-ray appears to be no different.The latest company to possibly jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon is none other than Microsoft itself, the backers of the rival HD-DVD format.According to BetaNews, Albert Penello, director for global marketing at Microsoft, revealed that while his company will continue to back the HD-DVD for the 360, that because of the external drive capability of the Xbox, that it would be also possible to ship a Blu-ray drive for the game machine if HD-DVD didn't survive the battle against Blu-ray.

read more | digg storyA point to note for Sony is that a 360 with Blu-ray means I can play all my movies on my big Samsung/Panasonic tele with no need to buy a PS3 or a Blu-ray player. Microsoft should produce this drive and finish the PS3 off.