Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mobile ESPN, R.I.P.

Mobile ESPN (officially) bit the dust today.

What a shame?

For a while now, there were rumors of the device/service from ESPN, acting as a MVNO, but remained just rumors, as actual sightings of either the device or users were as rare as sightings of Coelecanths or live oarfish. Despite all the ads on the ABC/ESPN/Disney Networks.

Now comes the news that Disney has decided to pull the plug.


Just because ot cost them $2,666.67 for each of their estimated 30,000 users?

At that rate, the cost of 1-million customers would be well over $2.6-billion.

I guess that is why the adults came in to staunch the bleeding.

Brand extension my a$$.

Getting closer to Zune

Microsoft has set a date for the freeing of Zune: November 14.

A whole ecosystem of accessories will be released as well.

From the Microsoft PressPass:

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 28, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. is putting the social into digital music, starting this holiday. Today the company announced that the Zune™ digital media player and online service will be available to consumers in the U.S. on Nov. 14, 2006, just in time for the holidays. The Zune device will retail for $249.99 U.S. (ERP) and will create new ways for entertainment fans to connect and share media experiences device-to-device through the use of wireless technology and new software scenarios.

For $249.99, consumers will get an incredible entertainment experience right out of the box:

• 30GB digital media player will come equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM tuner. The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.

• A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment.

Zune makes it easy to find music you love — whether it’s songs in your existing library or new music from the Zune Marketplace:

• Its dynamic music service will be continually updated with new content and experiences so there is always something to discover. The Zune Marketplace lets users browse and purchase songs individually.
• A Zune Pass subscription gives consumers access to millions of songs for $14.99 per month.
• Users can purchase songs individually using Microsoft® Points for 79 points per track. Similar to a pre-paid phone card, Microsoft Points is a stored value system that can be redeemed at a growing number of online stores, including the Xbox Live® Marketplace.

Pre-Loaded Content

Zune is a vehicle to explore new sounds and experiences. With that in mind, Microsoft pre-loaded each Zune device with a variety of songs and music videos from hot, new artists as well as some fun films and images. With something for everyone, the pre-loaded Zune content may just help you discover your new favorite band. Zune preloaded content includes the following:

Audio Tracks: ...nothing I like...

Music Video: ...crap...

Film, thank you...

Images: ...maybe...• A variety of images to personalize a Zune device, including 12 classic rock posters from “Art of Modern Rock”

Zune Accessories

For entertainment fans who want to experience their media from anywhere, Microsoft will offer the following accessories:

  • Zune Home A/V Pack. The Home A/V Pack includes everything you need to amplify your Zune experience. This set of five products integrates Zune with your big-screen TV and the best speakers in your house. The wireless remote puts you in control from virtually anywhere in the room. When you buy the Zune Home AV Pack, you’ll get the AV Output Cable, Zune Dock, Zune Wireless Remote with Lithium Battery, Zune Sync Cable and Zune AC Adapter for $99.99.
  • Zune Travel Pack. The Travel Pack includes everything you need to travel with your Zune device in style. This set of five products is designed to keep you and your friends and family entertained while you travel. When you buy the Zune Travel Pack, you’ll get the Zune Dual Connect Remote, Zune Premium Earphones, Zune Gear Bag, Zune Sync Cable and Zune AC Adapter for $99.99.
  • Zune Car Pack. The Car Pack includes everything you need to hit the road with your Zune device. With AutoSeek, setup is easy, and you can enjoy your music on the go and charge at the same time. When you buy the Zune Car Pack, you’ll get the FM tuner with AutoSeek and the Zune Car Charger for $79.99.

Sold Individually

  • Zune AV Output Cable. ..$19.99.
  • Zune AC Adapter. ...$29.99.
  • Zune Sync Cable. ...$19.99.
  • Zune Car Charger. ...$24.99.
  • Zune Dock....$39.99.
  • Zune Wireless Remote for Zune Dock. ...$29.99.
  • Zune Dual Connect Remote....$29.99.
  • Zune FM tuner With AutoSeek. ...$69.99.
  • Zune Gear Bag....$29.99.
  • Zune Premium Earphones...$39.99.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sharp creates triple-vision LCD panel

When I blogged about their earlier invention here, the wonks at Sharp must have been laughing at me, knowing quite well that the had this gem in the works.


Off-Point: Shape-Shifting Goat II

My friend, Noel O., a practicing attorney here in the US and also licensed to practice in both Nigeria and the UK, has this to say about my earlier post on this subject:

" I'm guessing your jurisprudential inquiry to the matter is a rather inefficient way of getting to the simple fact that he was probably delusional and therefore not guilty by reason of insanity. Because if you can in fact prove that he actually believed the goat to be his brother, who in turn placed him in apprehension of bodily injury or death, you would have established that by common parlance his is seriously kookoo."

I disagree strenuously!

Why discount his beliefs entirely?

If, we go with Noel’s line of defense, the idiot man would be found not guilty by reason of mental defect, but placed immediately under psychiatric care for probably the rest of his life; a situation akin to a life sentence.

An attendant consequence of an insanity defense is the untold amount of pain and suffering the man’s family would have to endure in their community, since insanity is viewed as a direct curse from the gods. Such a madman, with his strong beliefs in this bullshit his gods, would rather be executed than allow that to happen.

However, this is the easy way out for Christians in the community there.

You see, as a fellow Christian, we would like nothing better than to call a man practicing his beliefs that his brother is a shape-shifting goat nothing more than crazy in order to maintain the permanence of our own religion. That way, we disavow the existence of his god of shape-shifting or whatever the asswipe prays to.

For the sake of the madman’s family, we should stop our nod-nod, wink-wink derision of these lunatics pagans, and set him free.

Yes, free.

Free into the arms of his relatives, and the decedent’s family, who, no doubt, would like to hasten his journey into the spirit world in order to ask his brother for forgiveness.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Off-Point: Shape-Shifting Goat

From the AP News Service:

A Nigerian murder suspect accused of killing his brother with an ax told police investigators he actually attacked a goat, which was only later magically transformed into his sibling's corpse, officials said Thursday.
My take on this:

IANAL, but I don't see why it is not a credible defense in the murder trial.

If I was his Barrister-at-law, I would advocate that he should be set free with the Defense of One's Property rights enshrined in both Nigerian customary law, and English common law, in whatever Assizes, at which, I assume, he is being prosecuted.

You have to remember, he does not have to prove that the guy was a goat; he only has to prove that he thought the guy was a goat, and a magical deadly goat at that. This is an important point, and probably the most pivotal in his defense.

The most important point is that he thought he was in danger of losing his life. This is actually the crux of his defense: that he thought that he was in imminent danger of losing his life. The law allows you to take action, even using deadly force to repel such danger.

While it is doubtless not very relevant, the Deadly Force Institute here in the US, advocates the use of deadly force for the repulsion of all incidents of imminent personal danger. It is also the belief of both the NRA and Deadly Force Institute that these protections be extended to trespass against property as well. That is, however, a subject for another post.

Moreover, he should have as his witnesses, fellow Isseluku villagers who would attest to the fact that the decedent was, in fact, a shape-shifting wizard. This list should also include the head Baba ‘Llawo, or medicine man, who would also testify to the powers of the dead. It goes without saying the dead man’s victims should also be compelled to testify.

Apropos, such a defense, based on both parts of law, in all likelihood, will pass judicial muster even in Christian Southern Nigeria.

In closing, I should caution against the contemptuous behavior of us Christians against these morons pagans. Just because these rubes people believe in stupid, farcical absurdities in idol worship, does not mean that we, as Children of The Living God, should deride their beliefs.

It is, you know, not nice.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft

Longtime Microsoft and industry analyst, Mary Jo Foley, is now blogging at All About Microsoft.

Already, she has delivered a couple of nuggets: a question on whether Works should be moved online, and another on the Vista prognostications of the punditry.

Bookmark her site for her opinions and insight!

Telco Bill is D-I-D, Dead!

How sweet is it that this abortion is dead?

Without net-neutrality provisions, or other protections, this bill would have benefited the PSTNs only.

Can I get a cheer for Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon?

Mad Props to you, Sir.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good help is hard to find

Used to be, you hired someone for a job, they regarded themselves as artisans and created art.

No longer.

More and more do we hear news of people not taking pride in their chosen profession, masquerading as craftsmen when they are just pretenders.

Case in point is Saddam Hussain.

For years this yum-yum terrorized an entire subcontinent.

(Of course it did matter that the other so-called 'leaders' were sybaritic fraidy-cats as well.)

His public exposure as a coward, and subsequent expulsion from the Global Institute of Dictators, Despots, & Tyrants, popularly known as DIRTBAGs, was a direct result of his exposing other dictators as cowards as well.

See this post for more.

Alas, I digress.

In the news this weekend was the snippet of a 51 year-old nurse strangulating her would-be assassin.

Coming home from work, this woman was assaulted by a claw-hammer wielding man she thought was a burglar.

She then proceeds to strangle her assailant to death.

Are you freakin' kiddin' me?

Has this world gone mad?

She did not shoot him to death.

She did not stab him to death.

She did not bludgeon him to death.

She did not asphyxiate him to death with a (conveniently placed) electrical cord/belt/whatever.

She did not pepper-spray or mace him to death.

Heck, she did not even Taser him to death!

She strangled him to death with her bare hands!!!

If he was just a burglar as initially surmised, he could be forgiven for this lack of conditioning.

Turns out, he was an assassin!

Yes, an assassin! Hired by the woman's estranged husband to whack the broad.

Then the vic kills him? With her bare hands too!

I mean, didn't this guy have pride in his chosen profession? How can he walk the streets after such a debacle?

Oops! I forgot, he's D-I-D, DEAD.

Loser even in the afterlife.

Jealousy is killin' me today!

Anousheh Ansari blasted off to space today.

Am I jealous or what?

Why, just why don't I have enough Latinum to do the same?

Kudos to you, Anousheh!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vista RC1 Released!

Microsoft today released Vista RC1 (Build 5600) and Longhorn Server Build 5600 to the TAP beta group.

My copies of the builds are downloading right now, and I will have a preliminary review in five days and a report at in two weeks.