Sorry to have missed last night's post everyone, but I ended up watching half of the Mavs game with a friend and then grabbed some dinner. Don't get any ideas though, I would definitely have at least a footnote here if something really cool was going on in my life. The past couple of days saw quite a few Bill Gates related articles since it was revealed yesterday that Gates will be stepping down from his position at the helm of Microsoft in the summer of 2008 to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and CTO Ray Ozzie will reign supreme instead. I'm actually sad to think about that because as much as we all rag on M$ sometimes, the fact remains that Bill Gates is and always will be a legend in computing. Anyway, he's not perfect and so Microsoft Watch compiled a list of Microsoft's 10 biggest flops while he's been in power. After thinking about some of the items on that list, I think I agree with them all: they were pretty big oversights. Personally, I don't think he cares about the company anymore because he's just burnt out. I can't blame him though. Joel Spolsky actually worked on the Excel team for a while back in the early 90s and wrote a blog post about pioneering something better than the macros existent at the time in Excel, and he talked about how Bill Gates personally reviewed his project and read his specs and everything. It made me wonder what Microsoft would be like today had Gates continued this strategy. When you have a programmer running a software engineering company you have someone in a great position to oversee things and keep his people in check, and when you don't you have Lotus. His problem was that he started getting too caught up with the business side of things to realize that he was letting bureaucracy run rampant in his company. I'm not sure that things will get better or worse without him, but the fact remains that he's a brilliant man who started some pretty amazing things, without which the world as we know it would be crippled. I think we can all appreciate that.
I've got a lot to get through and I actually have to head out soon so I'm going to have to rush through this stuff. Going off my little rant about how bloated Microsoft has gotten over the years, another blogger who used to work at M$ posted his thoughts on why Vista is delayed, which centers on things being too unnecessarily complicated. I think he's exaggerating a bit, but I'm sure that what he cites are causing major issues in the development cycle. We all know that the RIAA has been getting rather unruly for a while now, and their latest exploit is to sue YouTube users who dance to the beat of copyrighted music. So far they've just sent out threatening letters, but I think that this whole situation is stupid in general. What can you do to fight the good fight? You can support artists without paying the RIAA's lawyers by doing stuff like trading CDs, supporting local bands, downloading free music, and the like. Unfortunately, I can't see this as having an effect unless a concerted effort is actually made. Neilsen, the company that tells advertisers how much commercial time is worth during your favorite tv shows, is now investigating a ratings system for online television, which is great news because that would legitimize bringing more televised content online. There are rumors from analysts that Apple may be developing ultra-mobile PCs and notebooks with flash memory (to speed up their boot time, which has been speculated on for several months now). The latter is expected to appear in early 2007, so you may want to hold off on your next laptop purchase until then just in case this is all true (which I think it probably is). Lastly, the Blu-ray format will be launching next week. However, as I've mentioned before, Sony is pushing back the release of its players until August and even Pioneer has delayed theirs to lower the price a few hundred bucks, and so you'd have to splurge on a Samsung player if you were really desperate for Blu-ray.
Not much other movie news today, which is good because I'm starting to run out of time here. As I had suspected, World Trade Center doesn't seem to be a very good movie at all. The acting in the trailer apparently was an indication of the rest of the movie, which doesn't sound good at all to me. Another movie that sounds pretty bad is the Garfield sequel. I don't know what possesses people to make sequels to horrible movies. We have a plot for the 3rd installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it does have a minor spoiler so I wouldn't read it if you don't want to know. It doesn't sound like much without a trailer to back it though. Lastly, I have a bunch of clips for you. Some are for the Adam Sandler comedy Click, which I personally have some faith in. The others are for a movie I care much less about: The Devil Wears Prada. I figured that some of my female readers would be interested in them though.
Let me go ahead and end with a funny postcard since it is the weekend.
Now for Friday's Feast:
What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
I don't use that many weird words. I use "hella" sometimes just to mock that Southpark episode about it, but not sure if I use much else strange slang.
What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?
Nothing actually. As a poor college student, I've decided that investing in a calendar is dumb as I always rely on my computer one (I use a widget for even quicker reference).
Name 3 people you speak with by telephone a regular basis.
My parents, my brother, and my brother's fiance. I don't like using the phone much, but those people are important to me so I swallow my pride and do it anyway.
If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know - who would it be and what would you purchase for them?
I really don't know. I don't like messing with people's styles, because that's part of them.
What is the last beverage you drank?
Just water. I had chocolate milk this morning. However, I'll be drinking very different beverages very soon. Have a good weekend everyone!
Security Now 625: Security Politics
5 hours ago