Friday, June 10, 2005

Microsoft in the News

The news today has been rather slow so the only stuff suitable for a main topic has been regarding Microsoft. They're going head-first into the mp3 arena with their own subscription service. How much will it cost? What will it cover? Good questions, but M$ is light on answers. We can expect it to try to attack iTunes and it sounds like they may want to provide songs you'd find on iTunes but in a Windows-friendly format so that it can work on other players. I think the mp3 download market is beginning to reach saturation and I wouldn't be surprised to see a key player drop out of the race. Apparently, Microsoft is launching a war on Adobe because in addition to their alternative to pdfs, they're also coming out with a graphics application to rival Photoshop. It'll have pixel-based painting and vector graphics support, but early impressions of it seem to be bleak. They seem to be unveiling a little more than they should be at this stage and it's making them look bad. It looks like Gates is getting sloppy.

There are a few others items of note for nerds. I'm sad to say that we'll likely have two new DVD formats as negotiations between Sony and Toshiba over the Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs have almost completely failed. Sony needs the Blu-ray because the PS3 supports it, but Toshiba believes that 30GB is enough and that the cheapness of producing HD-DVDs is a huge advantage. I think Sony needs to focus more on the HD capabilities of the PS3 because if it's not going to be built in they should start planning out what they'll offer to compete with the Xbox 360. Many geeks are hooked on MMORPGs and it's sad that one gamer was so into one that he killed a peer over an argument regarding a virtual sword. That's gotta be the worst reason to kill someone. Lastly, if you're curious as to where laptops come from then you should check out this terse article about just that.

The movie news today is short and sweet, which is good because I'm running out of time to write this post. I mentioned the trailer for The 40-year-old Virgin yesterday and now we have an early review from a screening suggesting that the movie is indeed funny and apparently a cross between American Pie and Revenge of the Nerds. It sounds like some of the problems he had with it, like the length, could be solved in an editing room so I guess we'll see what happens. IGN had some words with the two best Batman actors (Keaton and Bale), but it sounds like Keaton hasn't kept up with the new film at all. While I'm on superheros though there is word that very early gears are moving for a Wolverine spinoff after X3. I wonder if they'll go through with it if the script is good but X3 blows like all the fans are fearing? Microsoft got lucky and bagged Fox and Universal for their Halo script, which sounds pretty meager. I'm not expecting good things for that flick. You can check out a new trailer for Cronicas, a Mexican thriller movie, over here. It looks really good and has some great people creating it. Lastly, Wonder Years (an old favorite of mine) star Danica McKellar is trying to get back in the game and wants to prove that she still looks good in a Stuff magazine photo shoot. She has really grown up:

I think she's damn hot

Just a few random things I'm going to briefly cover. I think it's hilarious that Howard Dean spoke the truth about the Republican party given his rather high place in the Democratic Party. You have to admit that the Republican party is taking a very religious right turn. The supposed housing bubble stateside is still building up with low mortgage rates causing some distress at the Fed. I'll talk more about this later. Lastly though, I'll leave you with paper voting to ponder.

And now the Friday Fiver:

From your vantage point in front of the computer, you spy, with your little eye...

1. Something that is red:
Indian tapestry on the wall

2. Something that is shiny:
The buckles on my guitar case

3: Something that is ugly:
A Warcraft Orc action figure

4. Something that is made of wood:
Another desk at the far end of the room

5. Something that is sharp:
Just a pair of scissors in a pencil jar

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