Today's topic is actually a spinoff of the simplicity post I made last week, which piggybacked on a post from Joel Splosky. Funny chain there, huh? Just to jog your memory, Joel systematically debunked the necessity of the 15 ways he counted to shut down your machine in Vista and reduced the list to one, and now a former Microsoft employee who was a part of creating that menu very early on has kind of pulled back the curtain on what caused the menu to become so nebulous. In a nutshell, Microsoft has too much bureaucracy for its own good. You could argue that it's just this one team, but that one team happens to be working on its most popular (and arguably most important) product. Doesn't the story that he tells sounds like what someone from the Zune team would be telling? Granted, the Zune really isn't a total failure and had some nice things to it, the WiFi stuff had stupidity written all over it among other features that just felt thrown together. I think it says something about a software company when the guys doing the actual programming have their opinions so readily tossed to the side, and that's another reason why I'm glad to have not applied there. Again, I don't think that it's fair to consider this post a blanket description of the company, but this really isn't the first I've heard of red tape getting the best of Microsoft. I don't necessarily believe that it's because they've become worse at recruiting so much as I think that employees are getting frustrated and leaving (or fresh talent is heading for greener pastures). A large part of me also believes that it's not the company's fault, it just got so big because it has grown so much over the years, and I believe that something similar will happen to Google within the next 10 years. How long can then steer clear of being "evil" for before they get too big for their britches? If you look at the governments of the world, bureaucracy just seems to be a natural evolution for large organizations, but still unfortunate.
If you've heard the term "HD Radio" batted around the past several months like I have, you're probably just as curious as me. How Stuff Works now has a really great, easy-to-read, article on what it is and how it works. I wonder when non-luxury cars will start touting HD Radios out of the factory? If you care more about HD television though, then you may be interested to know that plasma is facing a downturn. I always thought it was the worst HD television system (dims over time, burn-in, not susceptible to economies of scale, etc), so you should be buying LCD or DLP (or probably SED, soon enough) anyway. For those of you without a nice television set, there's another site called Streamick to watch TV stations online, though I've seen better in the past. Still, the more the merrier. Fans of embedded video sites may want to check out this page for a comparison of the top dogs; the results may surprise you. I'm pretty sure that it's the same video on all the sites, some are just better at compressing it, I guess. There's a pretty funny video on YouTube about the evils of 1337 Speak that I couldn't pass up plugging because it's so ridiculous. Lastly, I think I was wrong yesterday about that online desktop, eyeOS has been in development for a while now and also looks spiffy, but a bit amateurish in comparison. It's not integrated with desktop applications and looks like some really bright students put it together, which is nice but it still needs some work.
Not much movie news today. Peter Jackson may not be out of the running after all to direct The Hobbit as MGM may get the rights to make the movie and, in turn, hire Jackson as director. He said he'd still be interested in it, so we'll see what happens when New Line's deal expires. The trailer for Epic Movie is up, and it is stupid but it has enough funny scenes to make me wonder if the movie will actually be a decent B- parody. These sorts of movies have gotten worse over time, but given that no one has done one on epics before and there are so many to easily poke fun at I think it has a chance. Lastly, some real intense posters for Letters from Iwo Jima have been released, so I just thought I'd plug them for looking so good.
Now for some Monday Madness:
1. Which of the holidays that you celebrate, do you feel is the most important?
Probably Easter. I like that it hasn't been commercialized to the point of Christmas and that it actually signifies and extremely important event: the cornerstone of Christianity (and the end of Lent). It's usually the most beautiful mass of the year, too.
2. Which holiday do you most enjoy?
Probably Christmas, because I like the time off to spend with family and just the general spirit. Plus, I long for cold weather for a good portion of the year.
3. Is there one holiday that your family tries to get together every year? If so, which one?
Not really. We just all try to get together for whatever we can depending on who's in Houston.
4. Share one special memory from a past holiday.
Getting up early on Black Friday when a bunch of us stayed at my Uncle's place in Midland.
5. Name one holiday coming up, that you're really looking forward to, and why.
Christmas. I like giving gifts to the few people I do give to and making Christmas sweets and all that jazz.