Monday, 30 June 2008

Studio 60: Pure Class

A few months ago I watched an episode of Studio 60 on television in the UK and I wasn't won over by it. In fact it was the only episode I watched and after it I wasn't surprised that the show was canned. Then iTunes came along and I decided that after watching South Park and Flintstones I would give something different a try and downloaded the Studio 60 Pilot, afterall I didn't bother with the West Wing until Season 3 and now I own all the box sets. So I sat down and without much hope of being entertained I watched Studio 60 one more time......then I downloaded the entire season! It is, quite frankly, the best show on television since the West Wing. The quality of writing is exceptional, as you would expect from Sorkin, and the characters are one's you can easily connect with. The season finale is stretched over 4 episodes and had me hooked from beginning to end.

There are of course places where the show moves slowly but what 22 season show doesn't have the odd episode like that. Considering the garbage on television that gets 9+ seasons, I'm thinking here of Big Brother, S60 deserves another chance. If NBC don't want it then Fox should pick it up. They made the mistake of not listening to the people and abandoning Futurama and look how that turned out. Listen to them now and give S60 another go.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Reactions To A Few Things

Since I last posted a few things have happened in the world of tech that I think need to be covered. The most obvious is the Microhoogle. This deal turned into an absolute mess. Microsoft managed to get out of it with a few bumps and scrapes but they do now seem to be much more focused on what services will succeed and which ones they should simply drop, like book search. Book search has been done and done well. Microsoft is not going to benefit from trying to clone Google's version so there's really no point in wasting money on it.

What Microsoft do need to do online is actually quite simple. They need to bring the current services into a more logically connected structure. Microsoft's online offering, and part of Google's for that matter, feel like they're a bunch of independent services with the word Windows or Google in the title. They don't really work together particularly well and they certainly don't bring other devices together well. Now I'm using Live Mesh and I love it but I'm not sure why it has online storge when Sky Drive is offering storage too and neither connect together. Surely adding SD to Mesh would make sense.

Also the Redmond boys need to start deveoping applications for devices other than Windows based ones. Internet Explorer for Mac would be nice, I'm using Firefox on my Macbook but I'd like to see IE 8. I'd also like to see some live services for Nokia devices that I can just download and not have to go through that annoying download application only to discover that my mobile carrier doesn't support Live for some weird reason even though I can get Google off the mobile Google site with no issues. A connected environment that offers O2's Bluebook with Live Mesh, Sky Drive, Live Mail and the other services across multiple platforms would be great. In fact that sounds very similar to a certain Apple offering doesn't it? I really am looking forward to Mesh on mobile and Mac.

If Microsoft are serious about offering Software + Services then they need to embrace the multitude of environments that are now being used. By all means favour Windows but offer services on all. Oh and one more thing. Please fix Spaces. I really can't see a use for it. It's worse than Orkut. Give us blogging software we can use on our domains and this blog will be running off it. Give us ad's we can put on our sites and we'll do it. The future of the Cloud is not going to be the awful applications that you can develop for Facebook and Bebo, it's going to be the services users can place on their own domains and homepages and the simple way you can fulfil the simple needs of the end user. A blog, a few ads to make a few quid, a decent search engine, somewhere to put pictures and a gallery to display them. Mobile Me looks set to offer this Microsoft can too if it just takes a sip of the coolade and worries more about end users than end-user-developers.

I'm Back

OK it's been a few days, well a couple of weeks actually, since I last posted here and I'm sorry for the lack of activity over that time. I'm very happy to say though that I started a new job, that I'm loving, and now that I'm settled in I'm going to start blogging again. So please keep watching this space for more reactions and opinions on the stories hitting the tech world.