Tag Archives: Microsoft

That’s impossible

A Blue pill or red pill?couple of weeks ago, I was watching all the ‘Matrix’ movies back to back and I discovered that the sentence ‘That’s impossible’ (or ‘It’s impossible’) is mentioned way too many times.

Yesterday, Islanders went to the polls and voted the Liberals in government. But then if you read the other political news items about the muck in the Legislative Branch and the (nationwide) attention for the upcoming Schwarzenegger visit, maybe that PEI thing is good news.

Say, I read about this show in The Netherlands, about a terminally ill woman and the reality show about who gets her organs. ‘The Kidney competition’ as some mention it. The best comment in BBC’s forums:

I thought organ recipients were chosen on who is the closest match, not who the donor likes the most

Me too. Me too. Me too.

Microsoft has released a FaceBook Developer Kit, which you can download from and around here. I was looking into this earlier this week. Now that Microsoft officially has thrown in support for the FaceBook API, how long will it take before FaceBook will be in the hands of that company?

1. Slightly related: a speech from a British MP on Web 2.0 and politics (via Paul Miller’s)

Videos

Via CBC (article), I found out that Microsoft’s MSN Video relaunched (uh: beta it is). It’s heavily relying on the same company’s Soapbox software (here). And I guess you may just as well go to the official announcement, which is over at the Soapbox blog.

Is Microsoft too late to jump in the Video hosting boat (after Google, Yahoo and even AOL)? To be honest: I’m not so sure. At this moment it looks like Microsoft is aiming at hosting news snippets from a diverse amount of news organizations. Clips like (at this moment) the new discovered planet and Rosie, for the people who don’t watch the news on television. I guess it will work for thousands of people who come home late from and need a quick ‘headline’ ‘snack’. Notably is that this site uses Flash to play movies which I find ironic at least.

Update: Sony to reveal YouTube-like video sharing site in Japan.

Minor-Finer

I added a minor project to the ‘Current Project’ section (Right here), a program in C# that generates classes based on table meta-data. It’s simple and it works: there are a couple of tricks how to collect metadata from ODBC datasources.

Currently, I used ‘hardcoded’ datatype conversion (SQL_xxx -> Dot.Net type): I was in a rush and decided to (conveniently) forget about using reflection. That said, I keep forgetting about my linefeeds [sorry], but then, your Visual Studio formats everything nicely out anyway.

This reminds me that I’ve downloaded ‘Orcas’ yesterday, Microsoft’s CTP of the new Visual Studio IDE. It comes with a visual ‘class designer’ that allows you to create classes from tables like the generator above does, but obviously (at this stage) that feature only supports the typical MS-like database interfaces. Not much of a help if you work in other environments. The only interesting items are the new C#/.Net language extensions, like LINQ and XAML. And yes, the Dev Team finally decided to add a Compile to Target feature, which allows you to compile and link your executables with other .Net Frameworks.

Meh.

More computer stuff

It’s a kind of a miserable day over here, which is right in time for some more miserable updates. I read for example that Microsoft is going to retire Windows XP in 2008, which means that OEMs will be forced to install Windows Vista on new PCs. Related: Vista Express Upgrade nightmare.

Earlier, Microsoft released a couple of Developer SDKs for their Windows Home Server. Windows Home Server (as the name implies) is Windows XP for well, home servers. This is old-hat for people who have been running (for example) desktops as Linux or BSD servers. I have been looking for a replacement for my Debian-based server, particularly I’ve been looking at mini-factor form cases that (guaranteed) consume less than 100 Watts. Yes, they do exist. Look at that! That said, the only part that makes Windows Home Server attractive is that SDK. (uh-oh: leak).

Apple’s forthcoming Leopard edition of OS-X has been delayed too, and the consensus in the media is that this is good news because of upcoming new secret features in that OS.

Earlier, LifeHacker showcased the top 10 Life Saving System Recovery tools and yes, it includes Knoppix. Alfons demoed Knoppix in early 2003 after one of my Windows computers suddenly broke down and refused to start up appropriately. We managed to copy data off it and converted the PC to either Fedora or Debian Woody.

Oh dear: A confession from Halle Berry that she ‘anonymously joined internet chatrooms to escape her famous persona’:

“I was just trying to chat anonymously and just be another person in the chatroom having a conversation. When I decided to say: ‘Oh by the way, the person you’ve been chatting with for a week is me, Halle Berry,’ they thought I was just some kook”

To that I can only say: “I’v3 533n yu 1n 4 J4m35 B0nd m0v13. LOL ROFLOMGZ!11″1

Strange as it does

There were a couple of items in the news that caught my eyes, that is not including the frigid temperatures over here:

Astronaut and the love triangle that went wrong: An astronaut (and a successful one at that), a lover and another one. How do you end up throwing a successful carreer away?

Microsoft to support OpenID: Bill Gates announced that Microsoft will support OpenID 2.0. However, I tend to be just as skeptic as Bruce Schneier who says that “Microsoft has a long history of ‘supporting and then co-opting’ open standards”. Embrace, extend and extinguish.

Steve Jobs’ thoughts on music has the blogosphere buzzing. The gist: Maybe we should get rid of DRM? Frankly the main clue is actually in the last paragraph where Jobs says that:

Much of the concern over DRM systems has arisen in European countries.

You may have heard that a lot of EU states are considering banning iTunes, following France’s example to ban iTunes completely. I wonder how much that is hurting Apple’s pockets.

And hey, and so once in a while small guys win in domain name disputes. Well, for now it seems.

Slashdot and then that

Today, I noticed that the much linked-to and (generally) well-liked ‘Slashdot Subculture’ Wikipedia page was deleted: the page now redirects to the more generic Slashdot page (as you can tell from clicking this link). I’m not the first person to notice: there’s an ample conversation going on about this on this older post at Digg. A complete breakdown of the Wikipedia deletion votes only seems to suggest that the page was deleted because it didn’t look ‘encyclopedian’ enough. The good thing is that the deleted page can still be seen over at archive.org (right here). It’s not that I think it’s a good article: however, it’s a pretty good breakdown of running jokes and typical ‘geek talk’ at everyone’s favourite public forum, Slashdot.

I went back through pages of Slashdot stories and ran into the following one: ‘Why does everybody hate Microsoft?’. This brought me to Chris Pirillo, who for only 1 million dollar (US) is willing to market Windows Vista. Didn’t Microsoft just hire Jon Udell for much less (much less, I believe) to do practically the same?

The Tech-huh?

Left over stuff from the weekend:

The Neuros OSD, which claims to be the first Open Source Linux Embedded Media Center for US$ 229.00 or something. It’s the buzz around now since it’s Linux-based and (evidently) a growing community of hackers developing software for it: from FTP servers to XMMS2 streaming servers.

The other thing I noticed was the Debian Windows boot loader/Installer: it’s brilliant, although I have my doubts about it. When I have time, I’ll do a test run.

Windows Vista officially goes on sale today, but as you guessed it, don’t expect line-ups. What is really new to it? Even the beta-testers (the Windows fans as other would call them) don’t have me convinced. Better user-experience and productivity? They promised that since Windows 95, if you remember. And if Vista does break-even, what else can we expect in the future?1, 2, 3, 4 I bet that there are hundreds of discussions going on about that within Microsoft. Listen: if I’m not allowed to make a legitimate copy of a file and listen it elsewhere on my own property and on my own hardware, count me out of your ‘Digital Revolution’.

1 Michael Geist about Vista’s DRM and fine print.
2 Security researcher breaks Microsoft’s DRM.
3 Microsoft patents idea taken from professor
4 Microsoft withdrawing patent-application.