Particle Debris (Week ending Oct 3)

| Particle Debris

This week's debris was full of juicy side items that we need to catch up on: Watching high definition TV, Stallman's slam on cloud computing, a change in thinking about work environments, the World Computer Chess Championship, amateurs at work, buying or manipulating Apple stock and more.

On Monday, I found Loyd Case's story about his experience with high definition TV fascinating, and it really hit home. Mr. Case talked about how there really wasn't much worth watching on TV until a convergence seemed to happen. HDTV, Netflix, and a raft of SciFi oriented shows have all combined to draw him back to the Big Screen and his compulsion has grown. Required reading if you have an HDTV.

On Tuesday I found another compelling article in which the founder of the GNU license, free software and legendary figure in the world of computing, Richard Stallman, slammed Cloud Computing as a trap.

"It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign," he said.

"Somebody is saying this is inevitable Ð and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true."

In essence, we'll all be cut off from our personal files and resources and end up having to pay a toll to access our own data. Stallman believes it's a sham, and I can't disagree with him. In my own life, I have found myself instinctively shying away from depending on the emerging Cloud and will continue to do so. It's something to ponder because every home user needs a computing strategy with respect to operations, security, sharing, backups and now the Cloud.

Speaking of strategies, have you ever seen those ads where the businessman in on the beach in St. Johns with his cell phone and notebook computer? I don't know if those kinds of ads sowed the seeds or have just been a symptom of an emerging cultural change about how to get work done. The applicable buzzword is Results-Only Work Environment, ROWE. Sounds good to me -- check it out. Maybe you'll be on the beach sooner than you think.

In the World Computer Chess Championships, a cluster system from the U.S., Rybka, is tied for the lead. This story shows the standings, documents a Rybka game in which it announced mate in 29 moves, an informal game between Rybka and a top Chinese women grandmaster Gu Xiao Bing.

On Friday, there was lots of debris. Jim Goldman with CNBC told the world that amateurs are at work when they sell off Apple stock on an unverified story about Steve jobs having a heart attack. Goldman was stern:

"..such is the ridiculous climate on Wall Street right now. I hope they find this guy who wrote this post. But all the traders who dumped Apple shares based on that garbage have some searching of their own to do. Soul-searching. Selling first and asking questions later is the work of amateurs,"
Mr. Goldman wrote.

Amen.

Have you noticed that Apple and AT&T are sending free SMS messages out about updates to iPhone owners? It's the fastest way to get to every iPhone. In the "Windows Vista Capable" lawsuit against Microsoft in which the plaintiff claims that Microsoft deluded customers into believing some PCs they bought would be fully capable of running Vista, the question has come up about how to notify all those in the class. National ads and Websites just can't reach everyone who bought computers with Vista.

How about this? Create a Vista Update that must be installed and then notifies the customer.

"I further understand that Microsoft can classify the update as 'Important' so that each end-user must affirmatively 'accept' the update so that it appears on their screens -- even if they had previously disabled automatic update settings."

"We believe this is a very reasonable and cost effective way to get closer to personally notifying the people who would be in the class," Jeffrey Thomas, an attorney for the plaintiffs proposed.

And Microsoft has to pay for the Vista update if the plaintiffs prevail.

Cute.

Awhile back, I commented on the Kodak Zi6 video camera as a good alternative to Flip video for Mac users. Christopher Breen at Macworld said it's his favorite too, and wrote up an initial impression. I suspect the Zi6 will be on a lot of our readers' Christmas list. Kodak! Gear up!

Finally, there was an interesting story at InternetNews about the pissing contest between Adobe and Apple over Flash. Adobe wants it on the iPhone and Apple doesn't. iPhone customers suffer, but in this case, Apple has much bigger fish to fry, and they're working on their own technology from what I've read. Once Adobe gets the keys to Internet video on the iPhone, Apple loses control. The story has some interesting background.

Have a great weekend!

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