Thursday, June 29, 2006

Google Checkout Has Everyone Abuzz

My first project release finally happened today after some drama from my mentor and after I spent a few hours tracking down the source of a bug with an error window not appearing. I was proud of that fix though because I got to tell the guy with the highest seniority that I found a bug in his code and that was causing the problem. Everyone else seemed to be much more excited about Google Checkout though, which was released today. If you've got a minute (literally), you should definitely watch their tour video before continuing here. At first, I thought that this was a dumb idea, but now I can see why it's good. Everyone trusts Google but no one knows whether to trust these little Internet sites because of identity theft running rampant and shady sellers, so what if they only bought stuff online through Google's system? Better yet, what if someone told you that you could buy stuff online through an arbitrator that didn't even tell the retailer squat about your credit card information but just paid them off? Sound like PayPal? Yeah, it does to me, too. I don't know why Google wanted to hide it, but this sounds like a competitor to PayPal except that they're integrating it with AdWords and makes it attractive for their AdWords clients to use Google Checkout with discounts. You can read about that part of the deal from a merchant who gave a little review of the service. What's important is that they're combining their strong image with more convenience, which is what consumers like. Think about it, aren't you brand-loyal in certain things? Would it be smart to cheap out on something like computer hardware? Likewise, would it be smart to cheap out on credit card security? Especially when things are even easier on you. My point is that it's a decent idea that has room for improvement but is still a competitor for PayPal, I don't care what Google says.

It looks like our Congress isn't entirely full of lunatics after all: there are Democrats in the Senate fighting for net neutrality directly opposed to what the telcos are pushing for, which shows that they've got some balls. The stuff they brought up either tied or failed, and it just amazes me how the Republicans can spew out crap claiming that net neutrality supporters want individual access to the Internet to double when, in reality, we're being overcharged right now with people in crowded places getting horrible service. Microsoft has finally decided to push back Office 2007 to be released in early 2007, which aligns itself quite close to the release of Vista, which is a move that has been speculated on for many weeks now. I wonder how they're going to make up for losing holiday season sales though? At least they released Beta 3 of IE7, which I'm sure we'll see reviews of quite soon. I, obviously, will be sticking to my Firefox. Oh, and Microsoft's Research group has come out to state the obvious: their successor to Vista is going to have to support multiple core processors more efficiently. Why hadn't they be researching this for Vista? I'll bet you that Apple has been working closely with Intel to beat Microsoft to this. A common question I get from people is what they can get instead of the iPod, and now I've found a list of five mp3 players that actually don't look too bad. Still, those compete more directly with the Nano than the iPod, and I still think the normal iPod is on top for higher capacities based on its build quality and Apple's support. SCEA's president made a very slight comment hinting that PS3 games could be pricey, and likely starting at $60, which is what Xbox 360 games typically cost. I understand that studios have to pump more money to develop these games, but I wonder how this'll fare against Wii's competitively priced games, which I know won't be nearly as hard to make since the platform doesnt sound too far off from the Gamecube platform. Lastly, if you like seeing scandalous ads, then you'll enjoy this article. I'll even show you my favorite one from it:

Click to enlarge

The big thing today was the release of the teaser trailer for Transformers, which actually got away with showing no footage from the film at all, which I guessed since they're not very far along at all anyway. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing what Michael Bay comes up with. There's also a teaser trailer out for The Nativity revolving around, you guess it, the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. It's about as revealing as the Transformers trailer except that it's coming out this December so I would've expected a little more out of it. Sony has picked up the distribution rights to Richard Kelly's second movie, Southland Tales, and plans to release it domestically, but how wide all depends on how well Kelly can edit it. It seemed to get mixed reactions at Cannes, but so did Donnie Darko initially so I guess we'll have to hope that he really can make magic happen twice in a row. New Line has given Chris Weitz's adaptation of The Golden Compass the green light to start shooting in September with an impressive $150 million budget. The lead role of Lyra has been given to a no-name actress, but Pullman approved of her so I'm sure she'll be great. We now have a general plot overview of Resident Evil: Extinction, and it sounds pretty dumb to me to be honest. I just can't get over the fact that even with suspended disbelief we're supposed to believe that there's only a small group of people remaining alive and that they're getting along just fine on their own. Lastly, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman will likely be on the big screen together in a Rob Reiner flick where they play two terminally ill patients. Reiner isn't known for great stuff, but it could still work out.

Now for the 3x Thursday meme:

1. How much patience do you have with your job (this includes the work, co-workers, and bosses)? Why/why not?
I haven't been around for long, so I currently have a lot of patience since everyone has to have patience with me as well since I'm not as experienced as any of them.

2. How much patience do you have when it comes to your health? How much is too much? What do you do to fix the situation?
I'm relatively patient. I know when something is more wrong than usual with me though, so I don't think I'm too patient or anything like that.

3. What's the one thing you have zero patience for? Why?
I'm pretty impatient with computers in general because I'm just used to working fast on computers. I hate just sitting at a screen and waiting for a response from it. I guess I'm just spoiled by my own wonderful machine.

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