What $700 billion buys, Ina on something called Windows Strata, and the Giving Campaign (plus my reading list)

OK, deep breath for those of you watching the market today.  The weekend is here.  Markets are closed.  Keep in mind that as Cable Digital News reported last week, the financial bailout plan is enough capital to install fiber to every single home (FTTH) in the States with a few dollars left over for alternative energy…

“You know you’ve been covering the cable industry too long when you start employing a “cost per home passed” metric to economic issues far outside the broadband domain. In this case, it’s the $700 billion financial bailout plan that just crashed and burned in Congress. If passed, that plan would cost $6,250 per home passed. It’s a number that makes any cable or telecom industry watcher’s head spin. The figure is enough to cover the cost of installing fiber to every single home in the U.S. with enough left over to outfit half of all homes for solar electricity. (The assumptions for these zany scenarios are a cost-reduced $600 per home passed for fiber-to-the-home and $11,000 per home for solar as part of a massive national deployment.)”

But on to more fun, corporate items.  I’ve just returned from a fun Windows COSD information sharing event with lots of food, folks and more.  The company’s Giving Campaign (as I’ve mentioned previously) has kicked off this week, and I have a wonderful item available for Kathy Griffin fans: tickets to one of her sold out Seattle shows.  Local FTEs, check it out and bid high.  I’m not sure if Max will be offering another one of his Another Thousand Paintings, a series of companion paintings to Sala’s one thousand paintings of numbers.  His site was created using Office Live.  Last year, he once again provided a great painting (‘though it did take quite a while…).

So, here’s a few items from the reading pile, including this one from Ina Fried.  She posted on how Windows Cloud might in fact equal Windows Strata… (October 8, 2008 10:26 AM PDT)  “A screenshot of Microsoft’s PDC Web site, which appears to confirm the Windows Strata name.” “Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked about “Windows Cloud”–the company’s long-rumored cloud operating system. At the time, though, he noted that the Windows Cloud name was not necessarily the final name.”

Good thing PDC is just around the corner – we’ll find out soon enough.

A few more items that made the reading and resource list in my not-too-many spare moments this week.  Enjoy your weekend.  (I hope to as well: happy anniversary, Lisa 😉
When you try to install updates from the Windows Update Web site or from the Microsoft Update Web site, you may receive a “0x80246007” error code

FORTUNE: Trapped in cubicles – Mar. 22, 2006  — “Even the designer of the cubicle thinks they were maybe a bad idea, as millions of ‘Dilberts’ would agree. By Julie Schlosser, FORTUNE Magazine March 22, 2006: 2:03 PM EST NEW YORK (FORTUNE Magazine) – Robert Oppenheimer agonized over building the A-bomb. Alfred Nobel got queasy about creating dynamite. Robert Propst invented nothing so destructive. Yet before he died in 2000, he lamented his unwitting contribution to what he called “monolithic insanity.” Propst is the father of the cubicle. More than 30 years after he unleashed it on the world, we are still trying to get out of the box. The cubicle has been called many things in its long and terrible reign.”

Instant Eyedropper: Identify HTML-color code from any pixel of the screen with single-click and auto paste it to the clipboard – Instant Eyedropper is a free software tool for webmasters that will identify and automatically paste to the clipboard the HTML color code of any pixel on the screen with just a single mouse click. Thanks to Lifehacker for noting this Windows utility for the system tray utility.

How can I be less cynical? (Ask Metafilter) – “With each year that I get older, I get a little more cynical. I can’t even watch TV without spitting nails with all the product placement, I hate most movies, I lost faith in the God I was raised to believe in as a child and I find very little joy in most things now a days. My wife is pissed because I’m so negative and doubtful of everything. She’d like to see me a happier. I’ve been the counselor route before but most don’t understand me so I want to explore other ways to be less cynical (I’m open to books – I love to read) “So does anyone have a way I can start to change my attitude…?”

Inside G’s Infinity Penthouse | SFluxe – Thanks to Paula for this link on SiValley living.

Workspace: Clean Your Workspace—and Keep it That Way — “ether your workspace is miles from your home or right there amongst your books and Battlestar Galactica figurines, it probably has something in common with at least a few other Lifehackers’ (and mine)—the ability to attract clutter, make important documents and objects hard to find, and, over time, become an actual impediment to getting things done. Some of us are able to work in a way that doesn’t leave things a mess and clean as you go, but for those of us who can’t trust our instincts, a system that corrects itself is needed. Today I’ve rounded up a few of our best tips for getting your workspace in order and keeping it that way without a cerebral transplant.”

DIY: Make Your Own R-Strap for Camera-Slinging Convenience – “The R-Strap, a $44 sling for DSLR cameras that hooks into the tripod socket, makes it easy to keep a camera slung low during idle moments, then quickly bring it up for shooting without scraping your neck or twisting the strap. The Photojojo site points out two DIY R-Strap how-tos that require just a few dollars of gear and not too much hardware work to get the same effect. Best of all, you can use nearly any strap you like, so if you’ve always felt comfortable with your laptop tote or guitar strap, you can get the same effect while shooting.”

The New Xbox Experience is coming November 19th – Xbox Lives Major Nelson – “John Schappert, Corporate Vice President of Xbox LIVE, Services and Software, announced today during his Tokyo Game Show keynote that the New Xbox Experience will ship to Xbox 360’s around the world (in 26 countries, localized in 11 languages) on November 19th 2008.”

HearVox News » A CDO Sub-Primer — From May, 2008: LM 2008.05.11 HV/Webwork/Writs/Econ 101 tags: business, media, npr [Mr. Massett explains why the media explanations of the mortgage crisis explain nothing.] When the US credit markets began to blow up last year, every newspaper in the country served up two explanations for the mess: “sub-prime mortgage” and “collaterized debt obligation,” or “CDO.”

HP Mediasmart Connect HD Video Streamer Lightning Review — Gizmodo offers a review of the new HP Mediasmart Connect, “a networked receiver that plays back H.264, DivX, XviD, MPEG-2, WMV video, photos, and even connects to your Media Center to act like an extender. It’s also expandable space-wise with HP’s Pocket Media Drives, and supports 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g/n. It comes in a glossy piano black finish which attracts dust and fingerprints as easily as an actual piano. The Price: $299 The Verdict: The Mediasmart Connect is a decent video player, Media Extender and photo viewer, but it doesn’t shine in any area other than video quality. “At $299, it’s hard to recommend the Mediasmart Connect over something like an Xbox 360 because of everything else the 360 can do.”

Personally, I see value in this box over an Xbox 360 in the wireless streaming and web-based video playback from the likes of Live Video, YouTube and other services. I also like the on-board storage option as I have other HP PCs with USB drive bays.

gOS – a Google good OS for your Mum • The Register — “Mac-like Linux serves the Windows crowd By Scott Gilbertson • Get more from this author Posted in Operating Systems, 25th August 2008 19:06 GMT Review What’s free, looks like Mac OS X, just works and is actually Linux? The answer is gOS, which recently launched a new beta that builds on the distro’s initial success and adds new tools like integrated Google Gadgets for Linux. When it launched onto the scene late last year, gOS (which stands for good OS) made quite a splash for getting Linux into the U.S. retail giant WalMart. Through a partnership with PC manufacturer Everex, gOS brought Linux to your parents’ generation via WalMart. But chances are, if they picked up a gOS equipped machine, Mom and Dad would have no idea the

‘Windows Cloud’ to descend this month, says Ballmer • The Register

By Kelly Fiveash Posted in Operating Systems, 1st October 2008 13:53 GMT “Microsoft will let loose a new operating system, Windows Cloud, at the company’s annual developer conference later this month. “Boss Steve Ballmer announced Redmond’s plans at a Software plus Services partner event in London this lunchtime. He playfully gave the OS the temporary name of Windows Cloud. Apparently, we’ll learn more from Microsoft about the platform at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, which takes place at the end of October. “We need a new operating system designed for the cloud and we will introduce one in about four weeks, we’ll even have a name to give you by then. But let’s just call it for the purposes of today ‘Windows Cloud’,” said Ballmer.”

Toshiba Media Server Concept Looks Awesome — Of interest from CEATEC 2008, Sep 30, 08 03:03 AM PDT “First of all, this media server is a concept – not a commercial product (how unfortunate!). It was part of a Toshiba demo about how the telephone, the media server and a TV (with wireless HD) could interact. The media server automatically downloads media files form the cellphone as soon as the user drops it nearby (using near field communication or NFC). The media files can then be displayed from the media server to a wireless HD 1080p TV (I’m sure that in their concept, it works better if everything comes from Toshiba…).”

Netflix API – Welcome to the Netflix Developer Network — Engadget reported today that “the Netflix API will be open to all starting tomorrow. As of October 1st, absolutely anyone can self-signup by visiting the read link, and while details are a tad sketchy at the moment, it sounds like this could hold some serious promise. The API itself allows access to data for 100,000 movie and TV episode titles, is completely free and (most importantly) allows commercial use. In other words, it’s kosher if a bright developer out there somewhere feels like “creating an iPhone app to sell for $0.99 (Netflix’s words, not ours).” On the technical side, the API includes a REST API, Javascript API and ATOM feeds, and it also uses OAuth standard security “to allow the subscriber to control which applications can access the service on his or her behalf.” It’s time to get creative, folks.”

Net neutrality: An American problem? — This story was written by Brett Winterford and Julian Hill. The leaders of three of Australia’s largest ISP’s have declared the Net neutrality debate as solely a U.S. problem–and further, that the nation that pioneered the Internet might want to study the Australian market for clues as to how to solve the dilemma. Net neutrality is a term coined by Internet users who oppose the increasing tendency among network owners (telecommunications companies) to tier or prioritize certain content on the network.

Can I Recover from Recovering My PC? – — “Lincoln Spector, PC World PC World Tuesday, September 30, 2008; 12:19 AM “When his PC wouldn’t boot, Stargazer ran its recovery tool and thus lost all of his files. Then he asked the Answer Line forum how he could get back his pictures, video, and music.”

Adobe Talks Open Source, Innovation and the Future of Flash — By Darryl K. Taft 2008-09-25 “Kevin Lynch, CTO of Adobe talks with eWEEK about open-sourcing Flash, the new Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4), mobile technology and more. Lynch also talks of competing with Microsoft Silverlight and Expression and possibly with Google Chrome.”

Security Hole in Adobe Flash Allows Free Amazon Movie Downloads — A security hole in Adobe Flash video server software, used to distribute movies and TV shows over the Internet, is giving users free access to record and copy from’s video streaming service. The Adobe Flash video server software doesn’t encrypt online content, but only orders sent to a video player such as start and stop play. To boost download speeds, Adobe dropped a stringent security feature that protects the connection between the Adobe software and its players. The Adobe Flash video servers are connected to Adobe’s Flash video players installed in nearly all of the world’s Web-connected PC computers.

Tags: articles, what I read, Microsoft, blogs (101008)

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