Does “Wal-Mart” = “Download” To YOU?

February 6, 2007

Whenever you think digital video download in the next few weeks, try to catch yourself to see if the term Wal-Mart is anywhere in the neighborhood — or even the same fucking planet.

One headline: Breaking! Wal-Mart First to Offer Digital Movies From All “Big Six” Studios

Everyone(-with-a-brain)’s reaction: This is gonna be a bigger trainwreck than AOL buying Time Warner!

Update 12/28/07: What did I say? Huh, huh? Wal-Mart Kills Video Download Store Before Christmas, No One Notices — hey, Zucker, are you listening?


Cue Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A-Changin’

February 6, 2007

Microsoft Revisited: Vista, Apple and the Sony/Nintendo Phenomenon

We may be witnessing an historic changing of the guard, which takes place in every generation. Remember IBM? They were invincible. How could they be beat? By a couple of geeks in a dorm room, that’s how. Microsoft rises. And then another snot-nosed kid with a great idea and a dorm room made it happen in the box business, enter Dell. Then others got wise and squeezed their efficiency-based margins to nothing. Apple rose like a phoenix, crashed and rose once again, by virtue of innovation and a customer-centric ethos. Sony was like IBM. Now they’ve been bloodied by the customer-centric and community-oriented Nintendo. And now there’s Google, the poster-child for the democratization of the Internet and the ever-flattening, increasingly frictionless world. When put in this context Microsoft just seems so big and slow and old, hidebound by 30 years of culture and organizational silos that seem impregnable. And it appears that Vista – the product, the PR, the marketing approach – is the result of such an organization. At times brilliant, very heavy, complicated and expensive. This is not a product for today. This is a product for an era when the desktop ruled. And that era is long gone.

A really Grade-A++ essay that is a must-read.


Sidebar Changes

February 6, 2007

Noodling around, I found widgets I can use to change the Sidebar.

Now I can bloody search my own blog while in it. Hooray!

Now I can also see what’s popular without a trip to the Dashboard.

And, if I did it right, just click on that wee orange icon to get this stuff via RSS.


Behind The Blog Scenery

February 6, 2007

I love that WordPress lets me see search results that lead to this blog.

Today, three searches were done for Officer Joe Bolton!

He has not been forgotten and this pleases me very much.

I’m personally surprised by how many searches have been done for fake iPod nanos [entry 1, entry 2]. I didn’t know they were that widespread. (Short version: They’re garbage! Stay away!)


Another N-Word Post: Newton Vs. N800

February 6, 2007

The Nokia N800
And Its GUI Shortcomings From a Newton Developer’s Perspective

I’m a former spare-time Newton MessagePad user and software developer. I wrote, among other things, the Waba for the Newton Java virtual machine and the Hemlock Internet Search Tool for the Newton. And a lot of Chinese applications. I think I qualify as a power user and developer. I’m also an okay UNIX hacker, though I’m better on BSD than on Linux, much less uLinux/BusyBox.

I recently purchased a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet to replace my aging Newton MessagePad 2100. The MessagePad’s touchscreen is going bad and with the advent of Intel Macs, I can no longer do any software development for it. This is what makes the N800 particularly attractive to me: it’s a 100% Linux box with phenominal features, and enables me to throw some code around again. Woohoo! Plus eventually, with luck, I might get Einstein running on it. Einstein is a Newton emulator which runs (slowly) on N800’s predecessor (the 770). The idea is not to convert the N800 to a Newton — for me, that would be foolish — but to give grumpy Newton users an easy way to migrate to a new platform. And to open up a whole new set of applications to N800 users. Indeed, in the primary Newton forum I told others that the N800 was the first PDA I’d recommend as a Newton replacement.

This is a very long and detailed essay of the kind I would have at one time written, except that I’m through giving bastard global corporations free advice that they ignore while careening towards self-destruction.
— linkswipe via Mobility Beat -> The Law of Mobility


WTF?!!? Will The Nokia N800 Be Worth Buying After All? (Updated: No.)

February 6, 2007

Really, I was not looking for this. But a debate at JK On The Run over whether a Chinese Linux-based UMPC is running Linux or Maemo made me seek out those still interested in that abomination from Nokia.

And I came across two videos demonstrating an intriguing new UI for the N800.

YouTube links you should go see:

WindowMaker on Nokia N800
WindowMaker on Nokia N800 (2)

I just love it when users basically condescend to a vendor: “Yes, what you’ve done is all very nice and cute. But we’d really rather have it work like this.”

A round of applause from me.

Update: No, not worth buying unless this UI somehow takes care of the same shit that crippled the 770:

Adding virtual memory improves the N800’s multitasking ability and also running more memory intensive applications. When running an application, it is first loaded into RAM (Random Access Memory). N800 has 128MB RAM at it’s disposal, if you keep opening more applications eventually the 128MB RAM will all be used. The N800 will start to run at a sluggish pace, this is where the virtual memory comes in handy. Since you can’t physically add more RAM to the N800 your only choice is to add virtual memory. The virtual memory acts like a slower form of RAM, so the operating system will start prioritizing applications by which ones are being used most often to least. The most frequently used applications stay loaded in RAM, while the less used applications are loaded into virtual memory.

— quoted from here. Emphasis added by me.


Mother Of Mercy, Is This The End Of Ken Kutaragi?

February 6, 2007

How a PlayStation speculator misread the market and lost

PlayStation 3 has it all: a Cell Broadband Engine chip, a built-in Blu-ray disc player, a 60-gig hard drive and full online capabilities.

You Would Think this would be the best-seller! Look at that frikkin horsepower!

But…

“It’s really common to see people buy it, put it on auction, and then take it back,” Mr. Canam said. “It just sits on the shelf. [Nintendo] Wii’s don’t, [sit on the shelf] because they have more to offer. They have what most gamers want.”

This surprises me, but I guess if I’d paid attention to my own reaction to each system, it wouldn’t have.

When I saw the PS3 at Digital Life Expo, I just wasn’t impressed. It seemed like the same old stuff: someone transfixed by the same old graphics, zoning out.

When I saw the Wii at its intro (which I didn’t blog about, but should have), I was really entranced by the idea of moving around that controller to play games. It just looked like simple fun. The kind of fun even a total, worthless, useless game-spaz like me could try without feeling like a total eejit.

I like Ken Kutaragi. I’m rooting for him to recover from this.