Sunday, April 30, 2006

How 'bout them Lakers?

Better yet, how about that Insane KO8E?

Wow!

Excellent, excellent game. Especially if you're a Lakers Fan.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

$3.69 For Gasoline??? Part II

In today's issue of the Los Angeles Times - yes, I still read it instead of the SFO and SAC papers, a story about the obscene profits of the oil companies has this quote:

On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) invoked the harshest image yet. "I think they have the least PR sensitivity of any group outside of satanic cults," he said.
Wow!

Makes my post here seem positively tame.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Exit Two Icons: McNealy & Kumar

This almost slipped my commentary, but yesterday was a watershed moment for two icons of computing and the Dot-Com era: Sanjay Kumar of Computer Associates, now known as CA, and Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems

Sanjay Kumar
Sanjay Kumar was one of those guys I looked at back then and wondered where I went wrong. A year older than I am, Kumar had archieved a lot in a relatively short time. Impressive, and he was soft-spoken - compared to his predecessor, Charles Wang. He also did not seem to have the ego of other CEOs of the dotcom era. It came as a sad surprise that he was actively involved in a scheme to prop up the fortunes, and stock price of Computer Associates.

Yesterday, he pled guilty to obstruction of justice and securities fraud charges. A shame.

Scott McNealy
"The Dot in Dot Com", "The Network Is The Computer". Anytime I think of the nascent days of the Internet, I cannot help but remember those slogans describing Sun. At the time, Sun could do no wrong, the SPARC CPU (and its derivatives) were untouchable, and it had initiatives up the wazoo.

Let's go WayBack: Kim Polese & Java, SPARC, Sun Workstations, Solaris OS, etc., etc. This company was the Dot-Com in dotcom.

At the helm of all this was Scott McNealy, the intelligent, Ivy League-educated, boyish CEO with the acerbic wit and caustic tongue, master of the soundbite.

Unfortunately, he fell prey to three things: hubris, a fiixation on all things Microsoft, and the lack of a (business plan) parachute.

Hubris. When you are on top, all of a sudden, your success, for some, seem to have been ordained by a divine power; heck, some think that they have become divine! With so many things going so well for so long, we started to see the signs of hubris in product, and product announcements coming from Sun, all aimed not at keeping the company on top, but gravy-training* Java, and keeping Microsoft away. The most infamous of these failed initiatives was the Java Terminal, or Javinal, which, as its lack of success would soon reveal, rhymes with urinal. This led to:

A fixation on all things Microsoft. At this point in time, with the explosion of Java, and all the Java-based projects, and, of course, hubris, came an obsession with Microsoft. A real burning obsession. There were lots of consortia and coalitions formed to battle the MSFT threat, the most (in)famous of them being the NOISE (Novell, Oracle, IBM, Sun and Everyone else)coalition, which, unable to compete on their own merits, ran, tail between their collective legs, to the Justice Department's anti-trust division for relief. Unfortunately for McNealy, this preoccupation combined with hubris led to his taking his eye off the ball and running into the Internet meltdown juggernaut without both a clue and a strategy to cope, leading to:

The lack of Plan B. Every successful corporation should either have a strategy in place, or be developing on to combat the ills when fortunes change. By all indications, Sun did NOT, as reflected in the stock price dropping and staying there since the meltdown.

No Plan B! This from a Harvard business major.

Instead, homeboy kept on spewing forth meaningless platitudes for the past several years, ducking poignant questions about the unhealthiness of the stock known as SUNW. All the while forgetting that the sloganizing was no longer working.

What a shame as well. But for all three issues, he COULD have made a difference. Now he will be relegated to an anecdotal afterthought in history.

He won't be missed.

His story should serve as a warning to the incoming CEO, whose admirable intelligence and relative youth would serve him well.

IMO.

* Gravy-Train: The art of hanging to the (often financial) coat tails of a successful person, or product.

The trademarks used above remain the properties of their respective owners.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

More pictures from Trev's school party

Rhonda, of Ronda's Lil Rascals daycare, has these photos from Trevor's party.





News Flash: Major Airlines can't count on customer loyalty.

You think?

Reading this article on MSNBC.com made me howl in pain.

Do you mean there is an airline exec in this country who wants loyal customers?

Ticket change fee, blackout dates for redemption of frequent flier miles, no food, fee for curbside check-in, fee for blanket, fee for headphone rental, fee for pillows, fee for this, fee for that!

These guys take their cues from banks, and are worried about customer loyalty???

Riiiiight!

Steve Forbes on Immigration

While I don't always agree with Steve Forbes on political issues where, but for his flat tax proposal, I believe he is totally outside the locus of his intellectual prowess, and that he is blithely regurtigating the right-wing neo-con rants of the Republican Party. When he focusses on business, and bussiness issues, Steve Forbes is in his m├ętier, and it shows.

In his Fact & Comment column in the April 24, 2006 issue of his eponymous magazine, FORBES, Steve is at the top of his game, displaying his acute and intimate business knowledge as he brilliantly dissects immigration issues in this article labeled Sensible, Effective Immigration Answers.

From the column, highlighted by yours truly for emphasis:

[...]

To pretend that we don't need most of these folks to work in agriculture, construction and various service jobs, such as nannying the kids of working couples, is preposterous....

[...]

The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a reform bill. Under this proposal, illegals, in order to gain legal status, would have to register with the government, pay a fine, pay off any back taxes owed and, if they wanted to stay, learn English. This way they could earn permanent residency and perhaps, ultimately, citizenship. The whole process would take 11 years....

One critical problem is that the normal immigration channels are dysfunctional. Folks who try to play by the rules too often end up in a protracted bureaucratic nightmare with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, the Senate approach must be coupled with a genuine overhaul of the USCIS, including a streamlined visa process. Currently a USCIS office in one part of the country will treat a case very differently from the way an office in another part of the country would. Horror stories of people's files being lost abound. That these things happen in high-tech America is preposterous and intolerable.

Our visa program for visitors could also use an electronic prod, since applications can take months to process. This is especially damaging to our efforts to attract high-caliber foreign students. In fact, foreign-born students in high-tech disciplines should have green cards embossed on their diplomas: If--when they graduate--they have a job offer, they should automatically get to stay.

Removing caps on the H-1B program that permits crucial scientists and engineers to come here for six years is imperative. The quota is now set at a ridiculously low 65,000. Let market forces dictate the number. At a time of rising pressure from India, China and central and eastern Europe, we can use all the bright, ambitious talent we can attract.

Instituting a guest worker program--in which people would come for specific jobs for a specific period of time and then go home--would help enormously in alleviating a future influx of illegals. The Senate panel's version of such a program would allow some 400,000 foreigners to come here each year to work. Realistically, after several years--and assuming they have a clear record--these workers should be able to apply for a green card.

[...]
Very insightful, isn't it?

I disagree totally and explicitly with in on the 11-year processing period to citizenship. However he in on point on the others.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

$3.69 For Gasoline???

This is really ridiculous!!!

In RB, California, today, I just purchased premium gasoline - 91 octane - for my rig at $3.69 a gallon.

$3.69 a gallon for gas!

Are you fucking kiddin' me?

$3.69?

You can tell how happy I am!
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Monday, April 24, 2006

IE7 beta 2 released into the wild!

From Sandi Hardmeier's blog:

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 has now been released for download and evaluation by all Technology Enthusiasts. This is the 'full' Beta 2, not just a download.

For the IE7 Beta 2, Microsoft is providing consumer customers with unlimited phone support at no charge! They are doing this to encourage adoption because we feel that IE7 – even in the beta stage - will help keep customers safer online and provide them with an improved browsing experience.

Also, IE7 Beta 2 is available in English and will now run on Windows XP 64-bit Edition and Windows Server 2003 SP1 in addition to Windows XP SP2.

New! IE7 Beta 2 for Windows XP Fact Sheet:

New! IE7 Add-on Site: www.ieaddons.com

You can find the IE7 Beta 2 Preview here:

Release notes:

Installation tips:
Please remember that this is a Beta build, and some stuff may still be broken. There is a risk to downloading and installing beta software. Please do not install it if problems are going to cause a crisis for you.

Note: The activex update commonly known as the 912945 update is an integral part of IE7 Beta 2. Please review this Blog post to familiarise yourself with the changes to activex behaviour:

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Schumacher wins at Imola

Michael Schumacher proved that he is the King of San Marino, winning the 2006 FIA Formula 1 Grand Prix race today at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, in Imola.

Driving his Ferrari 248 F1 and with a two-stop strategy, Schumi held off Fernando Alonso to win the race.

Hopefully, this late first win for Ferrari will signal the end of the nightmare that was the 2005 FIA Formula season, and herald in a victory-laden 2006.

After passing the late, great Ayrton Senna for number of pole positions this past weekend, Schumacher notched his 85th Formula 1 Grand Prix win, also a record.

He had passed Juan Manuel Fangio for total number of world titles, a while back, with a total of seven to Fangio's five.

Digital cameras with unique noise fingerprints!

This story from Boing Boing has got to have privacy advocates hoppin' freaked out!

"... Like actual fingerprints, the digital "noise" in original images is stochastic in nature - that is, it contains random variables - which are inevitably created during the manufacturing process of the camera and its sensors. This virtually ensures that the noise imposed on the digital images from any particular camera will be consistent from one image to the next, even while it is distinctly different.

In preliminary tests, Fridrich's lab analyzed 2,700 pictures taken by nine digital cameras and with 100 percent accuracy linked individual images with the camera that took them."


Wow!

First laser printers, now cameras!

Hard to stay anonymous in the digital age.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Suzanne L., NoCal Partner Manager

Suzanne L., the Northern California Partner Community Manager for Microsoft is one busy bee.

She keeps us informed about partner events and engagements at a level I have not experienced prior to now in my Microsoft relationship.

Props to her.
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Yahoo! defends the indefensible

In a story here, Yahoo! defends the indefensible it's China policy.

Hopefully, with a straight face.
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

HD DVD, Blu-Ray, & DVD Alliance DVD+R DL

Am I the only one shaking his head in wonderment about all the optical disc formats going around?

HD DVD

Blu-Ray

Now, you have the geniuses at the DVD Alliance certifying a new standard, the DVD+R Double-layer with a capacity of 8.5GB or thereabout.

What???

I think the problem with all the next-gen optical formats is that consumers are now are of their shortcomings, especially as it relates to DRM.

Purchased a DVD and mow your toddler has scratched it? You are supposed to bin it and purchase another copy. This is the restrictive policy of the DVD era.

Thanks to Microsoft and Intel for breaking with the mould as regards next-gen optical drives and requiring that any format requiring their blessing must have 'mandatory managed copy' functionality built in.


Then there is the intro cost of the HD DVD and Blu-Ray drives: from $499.00 for the cheapest HD DVD drive to $1000.00 for Blu-Ray's entry model.

Yeoww!

Or, in Yoruba, "Kin'Gbo?"

What, are you kiddin' me???

This, when I can buy a DVD player at any mega-mart for $29.99!

And remember, these are players! Not recordable units. Players!

I don't know much, but apart from early adopters, will the proletariat shell out 5 Bones for an HD DVD player, or 1Grr for a Blu-Ray?
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Trevor's (1st) Birthday Party at School



At his daycare today, Trevor had a birthday party.



The kids had pizza, a clown, balloons, gifts,...... the works!

This is just the preliminary thing, since we are planning a big event for the summer.

He loved it.

The other kids at his daycare, including his Big Bro' John, loved it as well.

Thanks to all who made it happen:

God, without whom we won't be here


His mom (and my wife) Kehi - always doing whatever it takes to be make them happy



John III - consummate big brother

Rhonda Glenn - owner and operator of Rhonda's Rascals, the daycare my sons go to, a totally fun and educational facility, best in Red Bluff - as I have blogged here, here, here, and here before. (Also thanks to her husband Terry, son Anthony, and daughter Amanda.)

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Xbox 360 CPU to get upgraded.

From Bink.nu

Microsoft will be upgrading the Xbox CPU, going from the current 90nm process to a 65nm process.

This is where I believe Microsoft can do a lot of damage in Xbox 360/PS3 space: they are used to the software upgrade treadmill!

Thanks, Steve, and Ryan.
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Happy Birthday, Trevor!

My (2nd) son, Trevor is one year old today!

Hurrah!!!

Thanks be to God for him.

Off to his daycare for his party and will expand on my thanks later,

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Visual Studio Express Editions are now free!

In his blog, found here, Dan Fernandez, Lead Product Manager for Visual Studio Express, announces that as of today, all Visual Studio Express Editions are now permanently free.

This is a good development since it lowers the cost of entry for high school & university students in the 3rd World, thereby seeding the market nicely.

Cool!
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1

Seems like just yesterday I was at the SQL Server 2005 Launch event - where I scored a full copy of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition and Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition as well. (Haters, don't hate!)

Today, SP1 has been released.

Wow!

This is the Microsoft I know, always looking out for developers, appreciating the value-add we bing to it's products.

Keep it up!
Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

NYKO debuts Xbox 360 Faceplate Customization kit

NiKO's GameFace 360 is a cool idea, allowing for instantaneous customization of Xbox 360 faceplates.

When victorious after a match, you can MAKE the loser a faceplate that declares you his leader.

Nice.

Story from DailyTech.com

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Tab control in IE7

Using IE7 since the last refresh has spoiled me with it's 'close tab' control on each tab.

Since I use both IE and FF daily, I find myself trying to emulate IE7 when I want to close tabs in FF.

I wonder which will win out......

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Monday, April 17, 2006

China Piracy Decision = $$$ to Microsoft

What a windfall the impending visit of China's President to Bill Gates' home recent edict in China banning barebones computers has been to MSFT.

I like it.

If I can be hired to do the same, I WILL go to every African leader and tell him/her of the benefits of such a law on the future of their populations.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Mega-batch fix for Firefox

Mozilla fixes 24 bugs in Firefox, most of them rated 'critical'.

Wow!

I guess IE isn't the only browser out there with security issues!

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Sunday, April 16, 2006

On The Wheels of Steel

I have Afrigroove Naijamix Select VI for *DJ Jimi D Balheaded Guy (London, UK) blasting out.

This is a dancehall-ready mix of Nigerian Hip-hop tunes.

The artists and songs on this mix are: 2 Face Idibia - Right Here; Stonecold - Girlfriend; Sunny Neji - Oruka; Mad Melon & Mountain Black - Danfo Driver; El Dee - Run Dem Mouth; Twin X - Cinderella; Eedris - Segarin Kano; Trybessmen - Roc-d-mic; Ruggedman - What u got; Sasha - Emi le gan; Abounce - Akwa Ibom Chicks; Lagbaja - Konko Below; Maintain - Mosquito; Maintain - Wifey; Jazzman Olofin - Raise D Roof; Styl-Plus - Olufunmi; TicTac & Tony Tetuilla - Fefe na Fe

The song, "Akwa Ibom Chicks", by Abounce, is totally hilarious!!!

*DJ Jimi D's mixes have to be listened to to be believed! I will have more on him and his mixes as I feel physically better and up to it. DJ Jimi D Baldhead Guy can be contacted at jimi@afrigroove.com

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

The Hive

SmallBizVista.com has been elevated to the position of Sponsor of The Hive, a community of community leaders.

We are immensely pleased at this honor and pledge to be - and continue to be - worthy of this position.

Thanks.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Lakers clinch playoffs

Whew!

The nightmare that was my 2004/2005 NBA season is over!

The Los Angeles Lakers have clinched a playoff position for this year's NBA playoffs.

Our position is dependent on or finish, and hopefully, a slide by the Queens of Cowtown, the Suckramento Kings; as misnamed a team as you can get.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to All

Saturday, April 15, 2006

DIABETES

I was almost felled by diabetes on the 28th of March of this year.

Prior to that day, I was totally unaware of the insidiousness of the disease.

Now I know.

I will be spending more time on this subject, relaying my experiences on this subjuct.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Kwame Brown?

We MUST be living in Bizzaro World!

Trip this: Kwame Brown resurging for the Lakers!!!

When the trade was made, I wondered, "Kwame Brown? For Caron Butler? What were they thinking?"

And Kwame did not disapponit, giving Oscar-class sleepwalking performances in the same vein as Benoit & Olowokandi. (I know Olowokandi is a Nigerian, but, truth is truth!)

Then, five weeks ago when Mihm went down, this guy truned on the switch. Now we're getting double-digit games from him. If this keeps up, I'll have to issue a public apology to Kupchak for doubting this trade.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Friday, April 14, 2006

SmallBizVista.com

SmallBizVista.com will be undergoing a complete redesign based on input from Kehi.

We will re-focus on reviews, opinions, and, if necessary, breaking news.

This will allow us to bring you more, and relevant information about Vista from the perspective of our target audience.

The change will be phased in over the next five weeks.

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®

Been in the Basement

I have not blogged since March 20 since I have been in the Basement (sick).

It was touch-and-go there for a while.

Thanks to God I pulled through.

More on it later.

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Copyright © 2006, John Obeto II for SmallBizVista.com®