Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Horsemen Fall Off

I think that I kind of reached my pinnacle today at work when I realized how important I really am at this point. The development effort that I'm a part of is a big deal, and I've worked with it so much that the other co-op and myself are almost experts on its actual functionality, and I now have four releases to get through next week in addition to taking on someone else's project. Things are going to get interesting real fast. Anyway, Slate has an article about the quarterly earning reports from Yahoo, eBay, AOL, and Amazon, all of whom made it through the dot com boom and bust and are now starting to straggle a bit. Actually, all but AOL reported an increase in revenues, but a decrease in operating income due to upgrades to make them more competitive. With Yahoo though, I think it's just a lack of confidence in their ability to keep up with Google, which probably spurred a big drop in its stock price. I don't think that this really spells doom for any of them though, except AOL. They posted less earnings across the board, and they may be pressured into become an advertising-supported portal because it's clear that they're bad at being an ISP and their AOL high speed software just never made sense to me. The others though seem to be on the right track and still have huge product recognition, but startup costs for upgrades are always going to set you back short-term while possibly producing great short-term results. I still have confidence in their future success, especially Amazon, which is becoming more and more of a trusted, household name every day.

Microsoft has decided that IE7 will be released in the fourth quarter of this year as a high priority update because of the various bug fixes from IE 6. This is what pisses me off a little about Windows: there are so many updates to get that if any of them are installed in the wrong order then it can totally screw over your system, and when you label things "high priority" it makes people more nervous. Today was the official kickoff of Intel's Core 2 Duo chips, and they also took this day as an opportunity to announce price cuts of 40 to 60 percent on its older chips. If you look at the actual price sheet though, it's really only on select last generation chips and not on anything from the Core line. Google has decided to compile information on all its services into a comprehensive help section on its site, which I think is pretty great because it's sometimes hard to remember the URLs of some of the more obscure Google services. They've also officially opened up its code repository, which they claim is just to create an alternative for open source hosting using the Google infrastructure rather than a competitor to SourceForge. I don't see the distinction between "alternative" and rival though. YouTube has decided that it will stay exclusively to hosting shorter clips rather than full-length TV shows or movies. I'm kind of glad for that because I think they'd saturate the market and if they've already found what they're good at then why try to stretch themselves too thin before they've found an acceptable business model? Lastly, Kazaa has caved under intense litigation to become a legal service and owes the record industry $100 million in damages. Once again, that was a futile win for the RIAA because they're not even close to stamping out P2P networks.

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My favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was always Leonardo, so I naturally had to put up his poster after discovering the release of TMNT character posters. Just one blurb from ComicCon today: Veronica Mars will have three mini-arcs in its third season rather than a continuous season, which sucks because watching season 1 started getting me addicting to the show and watching Kristen Bell. She's hot and talented! AICN dug up a bunch of reviews today, and the best one seemed to be for Miami Vice, which blew away Massawyrm's horrible expectations for the movie. I'm now actually a little excited about checking this one out after finding out that the trailers are a gross misrepresentation of what the movie is really like. Meanwhile, MiraJeff saw Little Miss Sunshine and sounded slightly disappointed in it, which is sad because it looked like it could've been a neat little weird movie. At least Borat, on off-beat comedy in the style of Ali G, was received very well received and gives us something fun to look forward to. I always think that comedies end up being the best genre of movies simply because when are you ever not in the mood to laugh? Batman on Film sounds pretty sure that the Joker in the sequel to Batman Begins will, in fact, be Heath Ledger due to a very reliable source claiming that an offer was made to Ledger last night. Apparently, they're going with him because the audience will have no pre-conceived notion of how he'll play the role, which gives them more freedom to work with the character, and I can level with that. Oh, and the movie's title won't be revealed until closer to the end of production once again, apparently. Lastly, we have a couple of new trailers. The first is from The Black Dahlia, which features an amazing cast directed by Brian DePalma of all people (of Scarface and Mission: Impossible fame). The other trailer is for Happy Feet, which my crappy Internet won't let me watch but I'm sure it's just as cute as the teasers were.

Now for the 3x Thursday meme:

1. How much email do you get on an average day? How much of it is spam?
Probably a couple hundred or so, but I don't know how much is spam because my Gmail has a pretty powerful spam blocker and I get practically 0 spam at work. If I had to guess though, I'd say about 20 spam messages a day.

2. Can you imagine life without the internet? What kind of life did you lead before the internet became an everyday thing? Did it change much afterwards?
No, I really can't. I don't remember much about how I lived before the Internet because that was before I was trusted to mess around on the computer on my own much, which is where my passion for computing started. My life was, needless to say, very boring before the Internet, although it took a little while for it to change much afterwards (i.e. getting involved with primitive web development and chatting).

3. What year did you start tinkering around on the internet? What did you do to pass the time? Do you still do it? Why/why not?
Probably 1997 or so, and I just surfed around to pass the time and just explored in the beginning. I don't surf as much any more because I have more stable sites that I visit nowadays and news aggregators.

Bonus Question: Did you ever do anything online-community oriented? What was it? Do you still do it?
I used to be on IRC all the time back in the day, and I still use forums regularly. Nowadays though, it's at a school organization's site rather than a global forum.

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