The inimitable Mr Ballmer has just issued another one of his startling revelations - that the answer to customer apathy about Vista is a bigger marketing budget. Apparently $500m is just not enough yet to persuade people that Vista is the best thing since sliced, toasted and even magical crustless bread. “We’re going to have to invest more than we ever have in consumer excitement,” said the chair wielding Olympian.
Am I the only one who thinks that Microsoft’s $44.6bn bid for Yahoo is primarily a long overdue admission of failure on Microsoft’s part? Google has been caning their ass online for years, both in terms of concrete market share and grass-roots popularity. Everybody loves Google - after all, what’s not to love? They give you great online tools for free, they sponsor open source projects by providing good hosting and running the Summer of Code, they’ve contributed to a ton of open, cross-platform APIs.
I can’t remember when I last had this many games to play on a single platform, all at once. Microsoft have been chest-thumping about their record-breaking attach rate recently, and that pattern would seem to be borne out in my house too, where we’ve had the console for about a month and a half, but we already have 5 full-price games and 6 XBLA games (although one of them was free).
I don’t know if this is particularly British thing, but the ‘QuizCom’ has been a staple here for many years. If the term is alien to you, a QuizCom is notionally a ‘quiz show’, except that no-one actually gives a flying monkeys about the score and it’s really just a vehicle for comedy - sometimes topical, often satirical. One of our TV channels ‘Dave’ made January ‘QuizCom month’ and showed loads of them, and it’s always fun to catch.
Sneakers is one of my all-time favourite films, but it’s perhaps a wake-up call to hear what’s really required to defraud a bank these days. You don’t need to be a hacking genius, you just have to have a few Excel and VBA skills. I’ve heard a number of scary stories in the past from friends about how IT systems are _real_ly operated in some quarters of the financial sector (as opposed to the surface impression, accreditations etc), but I’m still staggered at what appears to be routine behaviour, according to this article.
I’ve never been one for MMOs, for one I’m scared of them, what with all the talk about EverCrack etc, and for two they kinda sound like too much work. I’m not sure I want a game I can never actually finish playing. My only foray so far into the genre has been Dungeon Runners, which won brownie points with me just for sending up the whole fantasy genre in the old tradition of Bored of the Rings.
For some reason, open source solutions aren’t that popular where I live. Historically, the UK has lagged behind the other major developed countries in North America and Europe in open source adoption, for reasons I’m not entirely clear about, but generally that attitude is changing over time, as discussed in a report issued by Atos Origin a couple of years ago (funnily enough, I worked heavily with Atos for several years in a previous job on a project that included many open source components).
Well, not quite. But if you’re a fan of open-source software for the enterprise this is pretty big news - SpringSource (who, unsurprisingly, provide services around the Spring framework) is buying Covalent, who in turn provide services around server implementations like Tomcat and Geronimo, which are of course both Apache open source projects. It will mean of course that SpringSource will become more of a ‘one stop shop’ for people wanting to deploy Spring from start to finish.
I was stunned to read this morning that ABC has been fined $1.43m for showing a bare arse on TV before 10pm. They actually showed it at 9pm, which is after the watershed here in the UK, but in any case the odd bare arse shot would not usually be considered indecent here - it might get you a 12 rating at best. The Ofcom rules in fact state that “Nudity before the watershed must be justified by the context.