Monday, May 09, 2005

The Receding Dominion of Microsoft

Maglites are huge

If you've always wanted to see two Indians barbequeing I guess you've gotten your wish now. That is from the ACM officer debriefing, and there are pictures from the potluck here. Dinner last night at Buca di Beppo was nice, but the meal was a little pricey given how many of us were there and that only the new officers of NSC were paying. I think it's a good restaurant for 4-10 people though. I don't like talking about Microsoft much, but the most intriguing article today was about the challenges to their monopoly. The assault is really coming from all fronts: e-mail (Gmail), word processing (Open Office), OS (Linux), browser (Firefox), and music (iPod). I think the article gives more credit to the open source revolution than is due because while it is causing quick advances it hasn't gained enough market share. Of course the fact that all these things are hitting together could really take down Microsoft at the knees if they don't brace themselves for it, especially with all the delays of Longhorn. I guess we'll find out in the followup on Wednesday something of more interest: how will they respond? Surely the biggest software empire in the world won't give up that easily.

There are only a few other articles of interest today for nerds. So it turns out that even the former CEO of the RIAA agrees that Steve Jobs is a punk for forcing iPod users to buy their mp3s from iTunes when there are songs that iTunes doesn't sell that others do. That's actually one of the reasons I didn't jump into the iPod boat and I think he'd make more money by allowing more mp3s, but I guess they're not a fan of money. A California semiconductor company has figured out a way to make denser computer memory chips by layering chips of older technology to maximize production yields along with the memory. It'd be ROM only, but that could still be pretty useful and would be cheaper than flash memory. And lastly, I have a couple of articles supporting the benignness of cell phone viruses. A company that handles major mobile operators claims that Symantec's reports of cell phone virus awareness is overblown and that there are still no sufficient grounds to start a scare. One blogger investigated the effects of a Bluetooth virus on a Toyota Prius to find out that the only problems he got out of it occured from low battery after all the tests they had run. I guess that users of fancy cell phones can sleep safely tonight.

The movie news is also a little lackluster. There's a new trailer up for Dukes of Hazard, which sounds almost sure to be at least mildly funny, especially for those of us in the South. Plus, it reminds us that Jessica Simpson actually is pretty hot. I think that Elisha Cuthbert is slowly working her way up into better movies with a leading role in the thriller Captivity, in which she portrays a fashion model who is kidnapped along with her chauffer by a serial killer. And the article also reveals something else I didn't know: the movie Dot that she was in where she plays a deaf orphan girl has been renamed to The Quiet. And lastly, Hugo Weaving has been confirmed to star in V is for Vendetta opposite Natalie Portman. For those who have forgotten, the movie is based on the very intriguing graphic novel by the same name.

I decided to go with the Monday Music Mambo this week:

01. How many music files do you have on your hard drive?
About 800, but more than half of those are songs my brother legally ripped onto it (this computer is his old computer and he just gave it to me).

02. What was the last song that you heard that made you want to buy the cd immediately?
Probably seeing Jars of Clay in concert, namely And They Will Know We Are Chrisians By Our Love. If they can make a song with a title as dopey as that sound awesome and move you, they're obviously something special. I have yet to get their CDs, but I will in the near future.

03. Name at least four of your favorite "oldies but goodies".
Unchained Melody - Everly Brothers
Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You - Frankie Valli?
Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
Crazy - Patsy Cline

04. What is the last song that you like so much you just HAD to learn the lyrics?
Close Edge by Mos Def because he sounds like such a badass in it.

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