Sunday, June 04, 2006

Microsoft News Overload

This weekend was an enormous success. As expected, weekends are so much better when you don't have homework due! The other interns are really cool, and our outings including a bbq, watching the Mavs win at The Londoner, playing basketball in the insane heat, and grabbing some Chipotle. Things are definitely looking up for the summer! Also this weekend, a lot of Microsoft news seemed to hit the wire. First off, they've decided to go full force into releasing a 3rd beta of IE 7 by this August. Supposedly, it's feature-complete and so they've just been trying to iron out the many bugs that have survived the first two betas and working on compatibility issues. That's probably for the better, I just wonder how weak their in-house QA is to have to go through so many betas? Meanwhile, their Office team is trying to design Office 2007 such that an average user would require no training at all for it. I don't know if they can pull it off, but I think that they've made great advances in the right direction. Just a few days ago, I reported that they were allying with a number of Japanese companies to create an "iPod killer". Click to enlargeHowever, M$ is denying those rumors to claim that the alliance was related only to the unveiling of Windows Media Player 11 for Japan. What's curious though are these leaked pictures that may suggest otherwise. I suppose that they're pretty weak evidence to disprove Microsoft's official word, but you never know. I'm sure they wouldn't want Apple to know if such a thing was happening, and given that these partners are major device manufacturers it still it wouldn't be surprising.

Meanwhile, back at Apple, PR took a small dip over the weekend. They recanted on their promise for hundreds of new jobs in Bangalore, India. They had only hired 30 people so far and started operations in April, but there's no word yet on why they suddenly decided to halt things, especially since this wasn't outsourcing but rather a team local to India. I hope they'll make an official statement soon, because that really sucks. It only took a few days for The Pirate Bay to come back online what with the owners having been released from police custody and all. It's running at reduced capacity for now, but I'm sure that it'll be back in full force soon enough. Their resilience shows how ineffectual individual police raids are for P2P sites. Speaking of piracy, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are being accused of plagiarising a Tom Petty song, and the evidence is more surprising than I would've thought. Could it be true? Say it ain't so, Anthony! Ebay is entering the world of social commerce with wikis, tags, and blogs. Amazon has been using wikis for a while, so I suppose it was only a matter of time, but is this really going to help them? I don't see how the blogging part helps. Bit-tech got its paws on an early Core 2 Conroe processor with generally favorably results. It sounds like it could've been better, which is sad because it's clear that Intel is just trying to rush production in some sort of twisted arms race with AMD. Congress is planning on holding a session in just a couple of weeks to work on informing parents and children about in appropriate games. I'm not sure what they're intentions are, but let's hope they're constructive to helping younger kids rather than hurtful to studios' creative process. Lastly, at TI we learned a good bit about ergonomics and how you should stretch and such at work to avoid chronic back pain. CNet is highlighting this topic and I'd consider it a must-read for those of you at a desk job. Their tips are the same ones we got, but in more detail, and I think they really work.

Not much movie news this weekend, but the big thing was that The Break-up managed to overtake the #1 spot with $38.1 million, which bested X3 by just about $4 million. By the way, The Last Stand's sales this weekend marked a 70% drop from last weekend, which is much steeper from the previous two iterations, and I'm hoping that it's from bad word of mouth. Over the Hedge clung to #3 with Da Vinci Code extremely close behind it, and with Cars and The Omen dropping next weekend I'm curious as to whether sales will spike again anytime soon. I was surprised to discover that one reviewer of Cars really enjoyed it and considers it to be on par with Pixar's other movies, which I consider to be solid animated films. Maybe I should take off my cynic hat and go see it. Lastly, we also have word from an early screener of Young Hannibal that it's actually a mixed bag, but it sounds pretty cool to me. He admits that it's rather incomplete at this point, but he also has some spoilers in there so I didn't delve too far into it. Read it at your own risk!

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Fraud :: Phony

  2. Cure :: Race for the

  3. Slate :: MSN

  4. Pretentious :: Pompous

  5. Splendid :: Charming

  6. Geek :: Nerd

  7. Blister :: Bruise

  8. Pizza :: Box

  9. Revive :: Resuscitate

  10. Visionary :: Genius

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