Monthly Archives: September 2006

Zune set for $249.99

Microsoft have set the price of the Zune to $249.99, rejecting the $99 idea mentioned previously.

And they’re even saying they don’t make money with selling the Zune, even though Apple makes a healthy profit on a compariable product.

We had to look at what was in the market and offer a competitive price,” said Scott Erickson, Microsoft’s senior director of product marketing for Zune. “We’re not going to be profitable this holiday but the Zune project is a multiyear strategy.”

How crap are your entries?

Does your blog suffer from the scurge of poor entries? Does it look like it belongs in the MySpace / LiveJournal / Xanga / Windows Live Spaces crowd?

Yes, I realize it might be hard to be objective and each person has different tastes. Here is a better question: are you writing 5+ crappy quick entries or making 1 or 2 superb ones?

Google’s eighth

Today is Google’s eighth birthday, happy birthday Google. Although it didn’t get off to the best of starts.

.Mac webmail preview

Apple is previewing it’s new .Mac webmail interface, while I’m not convinced with mimicking another applications interface completely is such a good idea, it’s a very welcome update to a outdated .Mac service.

Update the updater

Why do you need to update the updater for the updater to update the application you wanted to update in the first place?

Know your rights: Bailiffs

If you’re at debt’s door, there are a few things you should know about bailiffs:

They are supposed to be Officers of the Court enforcing the law on behalf of the public. Instead I saw bailiffs cheat, lie and dissemble. I saw them illegally breaking and entering and I saw them fraudulently conning members of the public out of hundreds of pounds.

Windows Vista 5728 RTM download

A post RC1 build of Windows Vista is available for download from Microsoft, with a build number of 5728, which means it’s now in the RTM branch, although this is not the final RTM build.

It looks like Microsoft are plowing ahead with their release schedule for Vista, and we’ll see the final RTM release sometime this year.

Zune for $99

It has been recently speculated that Microsoft may price the Zune at $99 to undercut Apple’s iPod and take a serious chunk out of Apple’s market dominance as quickly as possible. After that, they can then rely on revenue from their subscription based music store and regain the loss from subsidising the Zune.

While this may be their policy on the Xbox, I think it’s unlikely that Microsoft would subsidise their player to that extent without some kind of subscription tie in, either restricting the Zune’s capabilities or just disabling the player until it can be confirmed that the owner has bought a year or two long subscription and activated their Zune. The subscription wouldn’t be essential to fully enjoying using the Zune, unlike Xbox Live being a bit part of the fun in playing the Xbox.

Where are the menu bars in Vista?

Shell Blog has the lowdown on how to incorporate new Vista UI designs into your own applications, with the slow death of the menu bar, and the rise of the command module.

One of the first things people notice when they start using Vista is the absence of menu bars. Explorer, photo gallery, media player, and IE all don’t show menus by default and just use the so-called “command module.â€? What is up with that? Do we hate menu bars? And more importantly — what is the guidance that third-party developers are supposed to follow?

Hand luggage rules relaxed

Hand luggage rules are to be relaxed at British airports, and form Friday will allow one small roller-suitcase measuring no more than 56cm x 45cm x 25xm. Very good news to people like me, who will be flying four times in the next month and a half.

Lamborghini Gallardo Nera

Lamborghini has unveiled a even sexier looking Gallardo, the Gallardo Nera.

The vehicle features a glossy black paint scheme with matte black inserts. The Nera has the same 520 horsepower V10 engine as the standard Gallardo, and the standard all-wheel-drive system. A total of 185 units will be produced.

This has to win the prize for the sexiest production car alive.

New iPod firmware brings better battery life

It’s interesting to note that upgrading your 5G iPod’s firmware to version 1.2 also increases it’s battery life during video playback, as I no longer completely drain my battery on my two-hour plus commute to work, although not to the extent of the new 5.5G iPods.

The brighter screen and the search feature, are only available on the 5.5G iPods. The remaining [new] features are enabled for all 5G iPods updated with the latest firmware (version 1.2) — including improved battery life for video playback.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and in true pirate fashion, I’ve installed Dougal Campbell‘s Text Filter Suite plugin for WordPress, with the Pirate filter.

For one day only, all my posts will be in pirate-speak. Yarr!

Xtorrent public beta 1

The public beta of the BitTorrent client from the maker of Acquisition and Inquisitor.

It may be lacking a bit on the advanced features, the the interface is second to none (finally a decent structured file manager.)

Boing Boing on Amazon Unbox

Boing Boing reviews Amazon’s Unbox:

The difference between Amazon and Amazon Unbox is like night and day. When you sign onto Unbox, you sign away all the amazing customer rights that Amazon itself is so careful to protect. Amazon Unbox takes away your privacy and every conceivable consumer right you have, and then tells you that the goods you buy from them don’t belong to you, and they can take them away from you at any time, or change the deal you get from them without any appeal by you.

Picasa 2.5 released

Google’s excellent photo management tool Picasa version 2.5, is out of beta and ready to download. There are release notes too.

Zune gets official

Officially vapourware that is, although Microsoft announced it yesterday (with far less fanfare than Apple’s announcement of it’s new iPods), there is no release date or even pricing set. They’ve even gone as far as stating that they’re still working on it in an interview with Gizmodo:

Gizmodo: OK, if I’m using a Zune, am I really going to troll Wifi for other people’s music? What is that going to do for battery life?

J Allard: It’s a tough problem, and we’re not done with it yet. What we have is different power modes. Oversimplifying, we have a beacon mode that says “I’m around.” The next level that uses more power says “hey, I want to do something, and share, whether that’s music, photos.”

Many people have proclaimed their disgust at the brown colour, and that it just looks like a previous generation iPod with a bigger screen. But I think Microsoft has done a pretty good job (it looks much better than other third party devices), and the brown colour will match my coat.

Perhaps the one big feature that could’ve made it stand out is integration with Windows Media Centre or the Xbox Media Centre, being able to stream video and music, to and from that through it’s WiFi connection. If you’re going to compete with Apple, at least one-up them with something big, rather than a feature that lets you send pictures of your genitals to other commuters on the bus (you heard it here first).

Microsoft, the king of vapourware, strikes again.

(Update: Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite has some pictures of Zune in action.)

Office 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Download

Microsoft has released it’s long awaited Technical Refresh to Office 2007 Beta 2, bringing the product name to a memorable “Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh”. This is about as close to a release candidate as you’re going to get from Microsoft. Be sure to download the “Save as PDF or XPS” plugin now that Adobe made them take it out.

If you already have an existing beta 2 installation, then you can download the Technical Refresh as a free patch, otherwise you’ll have to pay a whopping $1.50 for the full download.

Original 2001 iPod release coverage

It’s interesting to read the reactions on Apple’s release of the original iPod, both from CNet and Slashdot. I think we can safely say that the media (and Slashdot) are sometimes a few steps behind the current popular culture.

The Simpsons on Tracey Ullman

You can now watch all fourty eight episodes of The Simpsons from the Tracey Ullman Show, of which lead to the The Simpsons getting their own show way back in 1989.

(Via jarkolicious.)