Monday, October 31, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
CIO Insight has this story on software piracy in China.
From the article:
Vendors pushing wheelbarrows piled with CDs offer Windows 98, 2000 and XP for as little as 4 yuan—just 50 cents. A slightly higher-quality product is available from tiny, hole-in-the wall storefronts. There, a copy of the software still in its original packaging—or what looks like original packaging – is available for 18 yuan, or $2.25. Still a bargain.
"I want more Chinese to use the software and to get to know the advanced technology of the United States," explained the salesman.
The BSA estimates that 90 percent of all software sold in China is pirated. That translates to more than $3.5 billion in lost revenues for the software makers. Only one country, the United States, is ahead of China when it comes to lost revenues.
Stores sell fake goods "with seemingly no fear of meaningful legal or pecuniary penalties," the report said. Raids and awareness campaigns merely interrupt the practice. "This recidivism creates the impression that Chinese national leadership lacks the will to stop counterfeiting and piracy."
"People go home early," said Shanghai-based psychologist Glen Blair. Blair's said he's seen Western families burnt out by pirates leave on a day's notice. Armed with ideas and idealism businessmen feel betrayed by the Chinese they think they have come to manage, he said.
Others adjust. Some, by going over the dark side. Even foreign CEOs can be found who have loaded up on cheap pirated software.
"When I need new software in China, I go any of the cybermarts and at first they claim they don't have it, then after a while, they always say they do," said a Western businessman in Shanghai who produces custom manufactured goods and exports it to the West.
Can you imagine how execs at MSFT must feel everytime they think about this?
Motorola, while using Windows Mobile on some of its phones, continues to use Linux on a lot of phone lines.
The UTM device will aso include VPN functionality, a la Citrix Access Gateway.
This is one of the things I like about Microsoft: it's pragmatism. Always leverage the best partner out there.
As a Microsoft partner, my company enjoys a wealth of resources that helps our client engagement reach new heights.
Then they raise the bar again.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
My take is that this is one of those products/services that I simply and personally cannot justify the ROI for.
I can always listen to songs I have ripped from the CDs I have.
In any order.
There is a move to digital terrestrial AM/FM radio.
Hate to be the Grand Lord of The Obvious, but you know these guys always politick about the specs.
They have been planning this move for the past several years, and, by so doing, allowed satellite radio to not only gain traction, but surpass them in mindshare.
Terrestrial radio has gotten so bland that it is un-listenable at home where you have a myriad selection of (entertainment) choices.
If you have satellite TV or digital cable, there is also a very diverse selection of radio stations you can listen to rather than the pedestrian fare on radio.
For free, I might add.
While I love sports talk radio, I cannot stand to listen to regular talk radio, so there isn't any value there for me as well.
Furthermore, unlike the early '80s, where radio stations like WBLS and 92KTU in NYC actually did live remixes of songs, the current DJs, if you want to smear the profession, and call them that, just play songs with absolutely ludicrous and useless banter.
Satellite radio is more of the same, albeit without the banter.
Moreover, you can get most new cars with audio/MP3 input jacks, or retrofit your current rig with an FM transmitter as I did.
Finally, while there is an FCC-mandated date for the unification of these satellite radio broadcasts, the fluidity of that date requires one to either make a choice of which service to use, or both.
Personally, I'll be flambéed before I install both a Betamax and a VHS radio system in my rig.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
An MS rep (who chooses to remain anonymous) has tipped us off to the rollout plans of the Xbox 360 kiosk in all the major U.S. gaming retailers. Here are the details:
- All current Xbox display units in Wal-Mart will be replaced with Xbox 360 kiosks over the next three weeks. (Our previous story confirmed the start of this work during the past week.)
- Best Buy kiosks start arriving next week, and installation should be done by the week after.
- Target and Toys “R” Us will get inline displays (like the one pictured here), while other stores—including GameStop, EB, and Circuit City—will get either freestanding kiosks (”which look great”) or specialty display cabinets.
Finally, all of the display kiosks will use Samsung 23” HDTVs, as noted in the past. So… if you haven’t been able to play 360 demos up to this point, you’ll probably have a very good chance to do so in the near future.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Today the UCLA Bruins fragged Oregon State 51-28 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
Hopefully, they'll be 9-0 when they meet up with those clowns from accross town, the USC Condoms, who also won today 51-24 over the hapless Washington team
We (UCLA) owe them a few!
Michael was blown away by the 'Quick Resume' (Instant On/Instant-Off) functionality of the Viiv.
Waiting for a friend's system (P4, 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM), to boot up today, I got to thinking of Mike's (Michael-HWG) reaction to the Quick Resume (Instant-On/Instant-Off) feature of the upcoming Viiv systems.
If you imagine a seasoned vet's impressed reaction, can you imagine what the general public's would be?
This will probably cement the MCE's place in the living room/home as a media server, even without a tuner.
This feature, if it trickles down to even mid-range system, not to talk of entry-level systems - a totally blue-sky scenario - for the holiday season of 2006, coinciding with the intro of Vista, would definitely makes things interesting.
2006 is shaping up to be a wonderfully exciting year for computing technology; and not just for IT professionals, but fo the proletariat as well.
Friday, October 21, 2005
I kid you not about the name of the town; they probably saw a country bohunk coming and decided to show the Good Ole' Boy how it's done in Da Big Citi!
American Express,through its eponymous subsidiary, said the CEO charged the amount on his corporate AMEX card at the Scores strip club in New York in a marathon session.
With three other men, the CEO allegedly used the 'Presidential Suite' where lap dances cost $10,000 USD per, and single bottles of champagne cost over $1000.00 USD.
$10,000 lap dance?
WTF is this?
Who the F*ck is the dancer?
Michelle Pfeiffer at 30?
Nicollette Sheridan at 26?
Dude, no Ho' is that bitchin'!!!
From grapes grown in what galaxy? It ain't that bubbly!
And the charges are from October 2003.
To crown it all, this bozo, the CEO, used his corporate card!
His corporate card, folks!
Why does this guy still have a job?
Unless he it the largest shareholder of the company, he should not only be circling the drain.
He should get run.
The name of the CEO and his company have not been disclosed here, not for fear of litigation, but to help shield his family from further derision
Hopefully, this process will be applied to Microsoft employees worldwide, with the US in particular.
Windows Media video link courtesy of Joe Wilcox, microsoftmonitor.com.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I seem to remember both HP & Dell coming out the day after the johnt Microsoft/Intel announcement denouncing the selection.
All this plays to the public's view of Microsoft's Borg-like mystique.
The full text of HP's announcement can be found at here.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
eWeek is running the story, including confirmation from a Microsoft manager.
My deciphering of the news is that a basic antispyware function, whatever that means, would be included in all versions of Vista.
(We're talking about the grown-up versions, not Starter!)
Also, there would be some sort of API or upgrade path to retail versions of other anti-spyware products.
I like that fact, however, you can believe that the MSFT competitors that cannot/do not want to compete in the market must be in conference with their lawyers and/or antitrust officials right now, crying wolf!
It beats my old faithful, Kyodai Mahjongg handily.
But, don’t count out Kyodai!
It is still the most extensible and customizable 3D Mahjongg game out there.
And I fully expect them to come out swinging by the time Vista is RTM’d.
This refers to Voice, Data, Video, and Wireless.
And Lucent Technologies, not only has it, but has signed 2 contracts with two of the Big Bells over the past two days: Cingular Wireless yesterday, and SBC Communications today.
Anazing. Who knew!
(Yes, Lucent, the Lazarus of networking firms, that eraser of over $100 billion USD in shareholder equity!)
From the Microsoft PressPass announcement:
The kids are asleep. The popcorn's ready. Time to watch that favorite old movie on DVD. You pop open the case, but instead of “Dr. Zhivago,” you're staring at a copy of “Dr. Seuss.”
Another misplaced disc, another frustrating search through the entertainment center shelves – it’s one the more familiar and irritating drawbacks of owning large collections of entertainment content stored on DVDs and CDs.
But with today’s launch of the Sony VAIO XL1 Digital Living System, a new digital content management product developed in close partnership with Microsoft, movie and music buffs can get back to enjoying their discs instead of playing hide-and-seek with them.
Consisting of a 200-disc media changer and recorder console that connects to a Sony VAIO PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, the Sony VAIO XL1 Digital Living System lets users control their media library in one location using the wireless keyboard and remote control.
In addition to storing and indexing up to 200 CDs or DVDs at a time for playback on audio and video devices linked to their home entertainment center through the PC, VAIO XL1 system owners can use the Media Center Edition capabilities to manage content such as downloaded movies and music, digitally recorded TV shows, personal photos and high-definition camcorder video files.
We’ve taken some of the best elements of consumer electronics, such as the multi-disc changer capability, and enhanced them with the programmability and Internet access of PC technology to create a new standard in digital content management. ….
…With the VAIO XL1’s changer and built-in disc-burning capability, users can quickly archive their content onto DVDs and not only free up their hard drive but also be able to play the content on other devices.
Its auto-rip feature also allows users to easily archive their entire music CD collection onto their PC hard drive.
For instance, they can just fill the changer with 200 CDs and select the command to copy discs before they go to bed or leave the house. The VAIO XL1 saves all of the tracks and attaches the related metadata available through Media Center Edition – artist and album name, song titles, cover artwork, genre – to the My Music folder in Windows.
That way, people can play their music directly off the hard drive and use all 200 slots of the VAIO XL1 disc changer for managing their commercial DVDs, which can’t easily be backed up on a hard drive because of digital rights management protections.
The entire text of the press release can be found here.
Peter Moore, Microsoft's VP of Xbox marketing and publishing division, recently revealed during the Digital Life event certain details for Xbox Live Arcade.
"The next generation of Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360 will enhance the gaming experience for casual and competitive gamers alike, across the globe, providing something for everyone with world-class games and captivating content," commented Peter Moore.
"We're proud to be part of Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360, the world's first and only destination where gamers can find, download and buy smaller games directly to their console," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, Sega of America, Inc. "Retro, casual and hardcore gamers will be pleased to have access to the selection of quality Sega titles we plan to offer via the new Xbox Live Arcade."
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Normally, I don’t give any props at all to the USC Condoms, but I AM tired of hearing about the ND mystique.
Better luck next time, South Bend.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Then Google & Comcast.
WTF is happening?
Has the world gone mad???**
Did I go into a deep slumber?
Has AOL suddenly exited a (financial value) reality-distortion field and become the 'Next Thing'?
**Famous line by the late, great, Raul Julia in The Addams Family.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Microsoft is set to enter the security arena next year, but Symantec won't compete by complaining to antitrust regulators or suing the software giant.
"We're not looking to go whining to the EU or the DoJ for anything," Symantec chief executive John Thompson said...
Symantec has responded to questions from EU competition authorities about its role in the security industry, but has no intent to file a complaint about Microsoft, Thompson said....
"We're not involved with anything with the EU," Thompson said. "We don't need competition in the courtrooms."
A news report last week said Symantec was complaining to the EU about Microsoft, specifically concerning possible bundling of security software with Windows.
The full text of this story can be found here.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Please remember that I am a Los Angeles Lakers Fan first, and a basketball fan second.
This is THE PREMIER SPORT in the life of John Obeto.
Followed by the NFL (no personal team for the past 3 years), Formula 1 Grand Prix racing, the Yankees, etc.
More importantly, Real gets to have embedded linking to download sites for RealPlayer - or whatever it is called today, and some more sweeteners.
Oh, BTW, the antitrust lawsuit goes away.
Unfortunately, the Eurocrats might not be swayed by this.
The official MSFT press release can be found here.
Monday, October 10, 2005
A robotic vehicle, Stanley, from Stanford University, has completed a real-world road course under autonomous control, a first.
Coupled with the SecureIT Alliance initiative, I can see where Symantec might be running scared.
However, if you add the products from the recently-completed Veritas acquisition, I foresee more competitive rather than complementary products for both of them.
While it is the right thing for Symantec CEO Thompson to do as his fiduciary duty to his stockholders, it is still cowardly, IMO.
I mean, the products have not shipped, and the bundling options have not been set.
Then again, a pre-emptive strike sometimes works.
If I was the Prime Minister, I would be so pissed at the ruffians giving the country a bad name that I would ask to Home Office to increase the penalty for such a crime to a 5-year minimum!
What a bunch of losers!!!
Friday, October 07, 2005
In my post here, I called last year’s Red Sox World Series win an aberration.
Turns out that I was right!
Today, the Chicago White Sox unceremoniously dispatched the pretenders back to Choudland, where, hopefully, we would never hear from them again.
Leastways, in this generation.
Hey, Chouds, here’s looking at another 89 years!!!
How 'bout them Yankees?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
With the beta 1 scheduled for release at the end of the year, this is a product I think a lot of Microsoft shops would have to consider, especially since it would almost certainly be part of the Licensing/Software Assurance umbrella.
I hope to be part of the beta.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I swear this is going to make my workload heavier, since I'm going to have to accommodate clients who would want to extend XP beyond, God forbid, '08.
And test, validate, and implement it.
Woe, O Woe!
This tells you why they lost the portable music device market.
I am the unfortunate owner of two devices that utilize MemorySticks: a Samsung camcorder and a Sony digicam.
While every Sunday, in the fishwrap glossies, you can see stores selling other memory card formats at 1G capacity for around $59 after rebates, the MemoryStick format is stuck at $89-99 for 512MB.
Feel free to assume that I would never buy any device again that has a Sony-spec card.
Brian Jones, a program manager for the Office 12 team, is blogging that Office 12 will have native PDF support.
This is a big, and good forward-looking step for Office. Especially since it looks like .pdf files are here to stay.
And I am still waiting for the punchline.
This device, the Personal Internet Communicator - I swear I did not make it up to belittle the device, was developed for 3rd World countries by AMD (instead of them developing new fabs).
Abbreviated PIC, but pronounced rhyming with hiss.
Currently on sale in India, with China and Turkey to be added soon.
Somehow, somewhere, some Mensas at AMD got together and decided that this PIC device, specs at the bottom of this post, would make a great addition to the computing arsenal of American homes.
And give them, the AMD crew, props for having schneidered the brass at Tandy Corp. into thinking, no, believing, that this is the Next Big Thing!
“Now on sale, at the Great American Technology Store, next to rolls of speaker wires, and diodes, the AMD PIC.”
Begs the question:
Dell offers a $299 PC, really $374 before a $75 rebate, but that is a Pentium 4 system with 256MB of RAM, 80G hard disk, a 17” monitor, free shipping*, Windows XP Home.
For comparison, the PIC comes with a 366MHz AMD Geode, Windows CE, 10G hard drive and no monitor. Shipping not necessary as you can pick one up at you nearest strip mall RadioShack.
This fixed-function device costs $299! Without a monitor!
I want to see if this (really, really bad) idea has legs.
Reminds me of the late, definitely not lamented Java Terminal, popularly known as the Javinal, which rhymes with urinal. (I first saw the word Javinal mentioned by Aaron Goldberg, in an issue of PC Week, many eons ago; so credit to him for the word.)
Wonder if there is a trend here….
Would the PIC turn out to be a piece of shit?
Time would tell.
Seems everyone wants to sell a substandard PC, hardware or software to developing countries.
How would these guys ever compete, but become/remain indentured slaves, fodder for the developed countries if their educational and training equipment continue to be a few steps behind?
Microsoft, are you listening?
There HAS to be a way of selling a computer hardware and/or software cheaply to these countries that acknowledges the fact that their only 'crime' is that they are poor, not brain dead.
*Dell as of the date of this post, is no longer offering free shipping to residential addresses, you would have to go to the nearest US Post Office to retrieve your 'free'-ly shipped package.
This is what they need?
A $100 computer using an OS and application software that is non-standard in the working world?
Not better agricultural assistance!
Not debt relief!
Not even a moratorium on arms being shipped to warring factions!
No, not that. Thay need a computer to satisfy the 'vision' of an ivory tower resident who has never walked in their shoes.
Thank you for the doorstop!
When I blogged here about the Suckramento Pro teams, the Cowtown WNBA team were on the verge of losing to the Connecticut Sun.
What did they do after that? Only win the 2005 WNBA Championship!
I guess we know who the real Sacramento Queens are!!!