Apple, Microsoft, Imagine Cup winners and lots of other news in the reading pile last week

A quick reading list as I post before leaving the office (yes, early today… we have a busy weekend and I was up until too late last night working on, well, work ;).  On top of that, I’m a week behind in posting the reading list.  I have to go home and set up a Dance Dance Revolution on Xbox360 for a throng of kids on our block… priorities.  I’ll add another update this weekend as time allows.

But first… a belated shout out to Long and the team that Won the Imagine Cup world finals (istartedsomething) — “Who would have guessed, a rookie team from Australia whose representatives in the past has never gone as far as the world semi-finals with a blow-up Kangaroo as a mentor would actually come out first-place champions in the Imagine Cup world finals.” 

Very cool. 😉

Have a good weekend.

Q&A: Iron Mountain Digital president talks off-site storage (Network World) — By Jon Brodkin, 072508 — “Once you go 10 or 15 feet below the surface of the Earth, you’re at 58 degrees.” Here’s an interview with John Clancy, president of Iron Mountain Digital. The co. provides storage services, including remote archiving…”

Microsoft Security Advisory (956187): Increased Threat for DNS Spoofing Vulnerability and A guide to the attack plugged by MS08-037 By the way, this explanation by Kaminsky is among the few around we think is understandable to the DNS layman. Recommended reading.”

Microsoft vs. VMware: What’s the next move? ( — By Christina Torode, 25 Jul 2008 — “Between Microsoft’s minimal pricing strategy with its Hyper-V hypervisor and VMware’s recent decision to make its own ESX hypervisor free, such technology is now affordable to IT shops of all sizes.”

Survey: Vista Adoption Weakens, as IT Pros Eye Apple (Redmond Developer News) — by Kurt Mackie, 23 July 2008 — “A KACE-sponsored survey on Windows Vista adoption represents more bad news for Microsoft’s flagship operating system, even as Microsoft prepares to pour an estimated $300 million into a new Vista marketing campaign…”

Data Dilemma (Redmond Developer News) — Mapping a strategy for Microsoft’s new data-programming models. by Roger Jennings, July 2008

The Personal MBA: DIY Business Education – Mastering Business Without B-School – More than 1416 people can’t be wrong.

Media Converter – the fastest free online audio and video converter – saved by 2,091 others, and to “Download any file from any site”

Compostable flatware okay in Santa Monica green bins (Los Angeles Times) – “So-called biodegradable or compostable flatware come with their own problems, an L.A. Times article pointed out yesterday. Since most of these only biodegrade in industrial composting facilities that get things really hot — and since few cities have such facilities, let alone city-wide collection programs for these newfangled disposables, most of the allegedly greener food containers and utensils go to landfills, just like non-recyclable goods.” By Siel, Jun 20, 2008 – see also  

Oh gawd, Dell releasing Zing-based DJ Ditty in September? – Engadget — The “Wall Street Journal says that “several Dell officials” have confirmed in-house testing of a new sub-$100 digital music player that could go on sale as early as September. So… if you’re wondering how Dell’s acquisition of Zing might play into this…”

Hitachi Starboard FX 77 Duo white board gets demoed on video – Engadget“Hitachi’s StarBoard FX 77 Duo multi-touch white board seemed impressive enough when the company announced it late last year, but if you’ve been waiting to see one in action before you transported your classroom into the future, Hitachi has now got you covered.”

LG’s BD300 Network Blu-ray player to stream Netflix in September – Engadget — This new “Blu-ray Disc Player will begin streaming Netflix movies in the US this September. The player will cost “well under $500″ and allow Netflix members to stream more than 12,000 standard definition TV and films…”

ASUS prepping “high-end” Eee PC S-series for September – Engadget — engadget offers the “ASUS Eee PC roadmap… that lists the new Ultimate S-series and Pro Fashion Eee PCs amongst the 23 models. Turns out both categories are planned for a 2008 launch with specs like dual-core Atom processors, 120GBs of hard disk…

VIA Nano and Intel’s Atom benchmarked head-to-head – Engadget — PC Perspective, Eee PC News, and Hot Hardware all ran some tests recently, and a 1.8GHz Nano L2100 with Chrome9 graphics was usually able to outperform a 1.6GHz Atom 230 with GMA950 graphics at everything from MP3 ripping to 3D benchmarking.

HP responds to MediaSmart Server issues, offers no real solution at all – Engadget reports that “HP MediaSmart Server owners have been having an awful time getting their device to operate correctly… since [a] recent software update…”

Fabled Opus motherboard appears in Xbox 360 – Engadget — “According to an image put forth by one Electric Tuner” engadget claims to have info on the new Opus motherboard. “We heard back in February that Microsoft may be utilizing the Opus mobos in order to fit the newer 65 / 90-nanometer CPU / GPU combo…”

Intel, HP, and Yahoo to build joint cloud-computing research labs – Engadget — HP, Intel, and Yahoo are teaming up… to build six cloud-computer research data centers around the world, stocked with anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 nodes each, with the goal of bringing them online later this year for pre-selected researchers to work on…”

Dell’s new Latitude E series for suits detailed by elaborate PowerPoint presentation – Engadget has a “few leaked Dell PowerPoint presentations” on the new Latitude E series presentation, compete with “Roadmaps? Charts? Bullet points? They’ve got it all…”

How to Get Your Passport in a Hurry – For US citizens who need to know. 😉

Qr Codes: QR Code Jacket Patches Take Strangers On the Street to Your Blog, Stat! — “QR codes are actually useful is still good ol’ Japan (where they’re everywhere)… and there are readers available for just about every mobile platform (including iPhone). The $20 patch points to a proxy server which redirects phone browsers to the URL o

Privacy: Face-Swapping Tech Keeps Your Privacy Online By Making You Look Horrifying — “Well, this new “Face Swapper” software found on Boing Boing automatically switches out features on peoples faces with features from photos in its database, creating horrifying cross-gender hybrids.”

Gaming: Nintendo Sues Piracy-Enabling R4 Cart, R4 Sales Predictably Skyrocket — “Yesterday, Kotaku reported on Nintendo and 54 software makers filing an injunction to stop the sales of the R4 and similar devices in Japan. For the uninitiated, the R4 allows you to download DS games online and play them on your DS.”

Airplanes: How the Cormorant Submarine-to-Air Plane Works — “The US Navy had to reconvert many of their Ohio-class nuclear submarines, giving new uses to their missile bays. They talked with Lockheed Martin about it, who came up with the idea of the Cormorant: a Halo-looking plane that launches from a submerged submarine.”

Up: New Pixar Movie Has Us Completely Puzzled — Wall-e still hot in our minds, Pixar has shown their new movie teaser at Comic-Con 08. It’s called Up and the movie plot has us completely puzzled.

John Mayer Giving Tech Support: John Mayer Does Apple Tech Support for His Dad, Fails Miserably “John Mayer… had to turn into tech support guy after his dad called saying “Hey, John Mayer’s dad here.” The musician tried to guide his father through Mac OS X in order to find his Entourage icon with no success, getting more and more frustrated with e

Netflix strategy focuses on subscriptions — “Netflix’s strategy will remain focused on subscriptions even in the digital space, CEO Reed Hastings emphasized Friday. “We don’t plan to enter the pay-per-view segment, where Apple, Amazon, Sony and others focus, or the ad-supported segment…”

Rickenplayer Games custom arcade joysticks and more — “This is not an empty do-it yourself cabinet. It’s a complete pre-built kit! The kit includes a 19 inch arcade monitor, pre-wired controls even built-in speakers. All you need is to add your own PC.”  Also see Dream Arcades.

Toshiba Launches Small, Cheap HD Palmcorder: Camileo H10 — Gizmodo on the $350 Toshiba Camileo H10, the new SD-based 720p camcorder that sports 64MB of internal memory, supports up to 8GB SDHC cards with “5x optical zoom, video stabilization, motion-detection shooting, night mode, HDMI output and a 2.7-inch display…”

The Personal MBA: DIY Business Education – Mastering Business Without B-School – More than 1416 people can’t be wrong.

Media Converter – the fastest free online audio and video converter – saved by 2,091 others, and to “Download any file from any site.”  Mp3: VidtoMP3 Converts Online Video Clips to MP3 – Enter a video URL and it spits back the MP3 file available for download.

Windows Explorer: Power Up Windows Explorer with Free Add-ons — lifehacker looks at “some free power add-ons for Windows Explorer that make dealing with your growing file collection faster and easier.”

Ozzie puts his own spin on ‘ThinkWeek’ | Latest Microsoft News – CNET News – CNET“Once or twice a year, Ozzie tries to find time for what he calls “white space.” Rather than be surrounded by the ideas of others, Ozzie prefers to lock himself away with the proverbial blank sheet of paper. His most recent such exercise was during a brie

Home inventory software ( — Nearly a 1,000 people have tagged this, and I’ve found it to be a very good program. “At, you can download the new home inventory software for free. This software makes creating a home inventory fun and easy. Once you have completed your inventory, it is easy to keep your information up to date.”

6 brand new, but unmissable tips, for any Windows Vista user (Windows Vista Magazine) — Your experience will be more rewarding and safer as a result. By Nick Peers, Published on 12 June 2007.  Also see Windows Vista Magazine’s “PC Heaven” where the magazine covers “heavenly habits to ensure a smooth and sin-free life for your PC.” By Mike Williams Published on 30 June 2008.

Desktop Media: adds drive icons to your desktop — Desktop Media is small application for Windows (any flavor) that automatically adds drive icons to your desktop. It will detect USB drives, fixed drives (ie. your hard drives), CD/DVD drives, network drives, and even RAM disk drives.

Dell Studio Hybrid – At A Glance – Reviews by PC Magazine — “The Dell Studio Hybrid, one of the most design-forward PCs out there, is a competitor to the Mac mini and the HP Slimline PCs. It’s stylish, compact, and unburdened by crapware.” Their words, not mine. 😉 072908

Mancrush: Downright adorable Flickr founder wishes Microsoft had bought Yahoo — not my Mancrush… ValleyWag’s: “Flickr cofounder Stewart Butterfield says that he wished Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo had gone through — and that the now-scuppered deal wasn’t the reason he resigned from Yahoo earlier this month.”

The Microsoft Index: ‘Blah, Blah … Google’ — “Steve Ballmer said “blah” 23 times during his Thursday morning presentation to analysts in Redmond…” Windows was mentioned 30 times, and Google: 35. July 25, 2008

Software Notebook: Microsoft ramps up efforts to counter Apple — By TODD BISHOP, July 28, 2008 — “With Windows Vista’s reputation suffering and Macs continuing to gain ground, Microsoft made it clear last week that Apple is on its competitive radar as much as ever.”

Apple Extends iPhone Lines Additional 2 Hours | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD — John Paczkowski reports that “Responding to unprecedented demand for the new device, Apple (AAPL) is opening its retail stores two hours early. And it’s pre-qualifying customers as well.”

Mini-Microsoft: Exit One Kevin Johnson– Mini comments on Kevin Johnson’s departure from the company.  Also see (old news) Kevin Johnson’s reorg rundown — A blast from the past: KJ’s PSD reorg mail from 2006… “In the second part of Kevin Johnson’s leaked internal memo, the MS co-president outlines who’s coming and who’s staying in Windows Live, the Core Operating System Division, the Online Business Group

Poll: Whom should Microsoft pursue next? — “After the withdrawal of its Yahoo bid, what should Microsoft pursue next? Options… AOL; Digg; Facebook; LinkedIn; MySpace; Twitter; Yahoo (again); other; or none of the above, focus solely on internal development.”

Jim Allchin’s Mac message: The full text —  Posted by Todd Bishop at January 10, 2007 – “Jim Allchin’s “I’d buy a Mac” e-mail… was previously excerpted but not available in complete form. However, the full message has now been posted among the plaintiff’s exhibits online.”

Mini-Microsoft: The Tumbling Tumbleweeds of Summer — Mini says that “we continue to balloon and expand with no rhyme and reason, and cutting back in employee size is the tune I came here to sing. So, enjoying a breeze off of Puget Sound is a lot more pleasurable than thinking about our constricting bloat.”

Believe it: “The X-Files” are at the Smithsonian (Around The Mall – Sightings at the Smithsonian Museum) — Jesse “was able to attend the ceremony commemorating the donation of X-Files memorabilia to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I was able to take an up-close gawk at Mulder and Scully’s FBI ID badges…” 

Also see ‘X Files’ icons go to Smithsonian American history museum – Who’s News Blog – from — By Lorrie Lynch with Kathy Rowings, July 16, 2008 – “Intern Lisa Gartner just got back from the National Museum of American History, where she saw Chris Carter, creator/director/producer/writer of The X-Files, donate a bunch of sci-fi goodies…”

HP TouchSmart IQ506 Desktop reviews – CNET Reviews — 7.2/10: “HP’s new-and-improved TouchSmart all-in-one PC refines the touch-based concept it introduced last year. Faster all-in-ones, and Apple’s iPhone, make the TouchSmart seem a bit behind the times, but the convenient software and its kitchen-friendly…”

Also see HP TouchSmart IQ506 Desktop PC review ( as they describethe new PC as “Sleek, classy all-in-one PC gets points for design, but it lacks the same wow in its performance.” By Darren Gladstone, July 17, 2008

HTPC Case : — The Moneual 300, 800 and 900 series cases for your custom HTPC.

Dave Froslie – Microsoft Development on the Prairie : Have you made a Developer better today? — James Whittaker now blogs, and Dave noticed. “[He] is one of the most distinguished testers at Microsoft. He’s written a couple of books and is a well known in the industry for his work in testing – particularly in the Security field (see this interview)…”

TechLeaders : A New Perspective — “In response to your feedback, we’re switching gears and taking a break from video content. This past week, we posed the following question on LinkedIn: If you could give ONE piece of advice to a new or aspiring manager, what would it be, and why?”

Architecture + Strategy : Cloud Computing and Software Clients — David discusses “innovation in Web application platforms and Web-oriented architectures, and associated mindshare shift towards Web development models, do show that client-side software is becoming less relevant than the heydays of client-server computing…”

E-Commerce News: Tech Buzz: The Fall of Google, the Rebirth of Microsoft and the Changing Face of Apple and Linux — By Rob Enderle, 07/14/08 — “Microsoft is evil and Google isn’t, right? Maybe not, after recent events, writes columnist Rob Enderle. He also is revising his impression of Richard Stallman as an advocate of freedom…”

10 Reasons Enterprises Aren’t Ready to Trust the Cloud – GigaOM —  “Because as important as cloud computing is for startups and random one-off projects at big companies, it still has a long way to go before it can prove its chops. So let’s turn down the noise level and add a dose of reality.”

Success Stories: Please, I Beg You, Do Not Send Another Useless Comcast Truck To My House — “Chris L. writes in to let us know that the EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) is probably the only way you’re going to get Comcast to fix a network problem that affects your entire neighborhood.”

The smartest advice I ever got – From Bill Miller to Derek Jeter: 40 great minds share the best money lessons they ever learned. July 2008

Apple: Apple Doesn’t Know How To Handle The MobileMe Crisis — Consumerist reports that Apple’s “new MobileMe service has had problems since it launched two weeks ago, and even now there are thousands of users who can’t sync, or whose email has been deleted (oops, should’ve set up Time Machine).

Why is it So Hard to Wake Up in the Morning? | Popular Science Jessica Cheng notes on PopSci that “sleeping in on the weekend makes it harder to get up on time during the week. The concept may be common knowledge for most, but the article backs it up with science for those who still aren’t convinced.” Thanks, Lifehacker.

Jobs: 7 Steps To Developing A Strong Network In Case You Get Fired – I was talking about the importance of building strong personal networks. Lifehacker asks “What’s the first thing you would do if you were fired? Punch your boss? Cry like a baby? Throw a party? Financial blogger JD Roth at Get Rich Slowly” has suggestions.

Ebook: What Do You Want to Do With Your Life? Ebook Helps You Answer That Question — saved by lots of people on Delicious,  Lifehacker asks “What the heck am I doing with my life, anyway? It’s a big scary question… But if you’ve decided to tackle the beast, reader William Mize recommends a free ebook entitled What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?.”

Set Up Port Forwarding on Your Xbox 360 – Wired How-To Wiki — gaming on the Xbox360 through a router? as noted on Wired, you may run into “lengthy wait times between games and [other] problems. Chances are you need to tweak the port forwarding settings… Here’s a quick rundown of this fairly straight-forward process.

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    Tags: iphone, misc, articles, what I read, Microsoft, Windows Vista, Xbox 360.