Particle Debris (week ending 3/20) Movie Tizzies, Sigma Iotia, and Fizzbin

On Monday, I saw an article about how Norway's police department has been using Windows NT4 to handle criminal matters with sensitive personal information. They got into some trouble doing that. A news report said, "Apparently large parts of the bureaucracy that is responsible for the confidential and correct processing of criminal matters and all sorts of sensitive personal information associated with the crimes runs essential services on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0."

You either run with the herd or get left behind and eaten. That's all there is to it.

Also, on Monday, there was an interesting New York Times article about how the escalation in use of cell phones on the 3G networks is revealing infrastructure problems. Even though AT&T has been spending billions, technical issues persist. One of those is the complex quilt of networks by competing companies in the U.S. This one requires a registration to access, but it's worth it for the New York Times.

On Tuesday, I saw that Samsung's sales of LCD HDTVs are still booming despite the world economy. Several reasons were given: people tending to watch movies at home, wide screen computer screens influencing TV purchases and plummeting prices for LCD HDTVs. Who would have thought that 16x9 notebooks would propel people to have the same thing on their TVs for movies? It's an unexpected, unintended consequence of TV/movies on the Internet.

Also on Tuesday, in an interview with Sirius Satellite Radio founder Martine Rothblatt, she essentially wrote the epitaph for her company: "...there's going to be ever more bandwidth available to distribute content totally via terrestrial cellular infrastructure. And that will leave fewer and fewer unique market attributes to satellite radio."

Apple's iPod played its own roll as well. Why pay for satellite radio in the car when you can have your own radio station on your iPod plugged into the car's audio system? Traffic jams are a great place to catch up in podcasts. That is when you're not eating with one hand and chatting on the iPhone with the other.

Also on Tuesday, PC World discussed the ins-and-outs of iPhone 3.0 and how to deal with jailbroken iPhones. Few developers will fall for this trap, but for users, the article has a lot of good reminders about how to wade through the upgrade process on for those who've unlocked their iPhones. For many who kept their first generation iPhone and unlocked it, iPhone OS 2.x is fine for the luxury of being on the desired network. Then one can stay up-to-date with the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 3.0 when it comes out. Will Apple really wait until September 20?

Isn't it great to see these articles on the iPhone at ... PC World?!?!?

It's happening again. Not happy to just deliver good products for a good price, FOX is tinkering with the Bu-ray discs that we rent versus the ones that we buy. FOX isn't happy with getting us to spend money, they have to tweak just exactly how we buy and confront us with withering, confusing, frustrating decisions to extract a few extra bucks. That's a trend, left over from the Bush/Republican thinking, that I hope will pass. Good products for a good price is the Name of the Game in the Obama times.

In a similar vein, Netflix is having to wrestle with the popularity of its streaming product. As I've said before, I believe that as soon as Netflix figures out a business model for streaming only, we who've been getting Blu-ray discs in the mail will be charged for streaming content. Right now it costs $0.09 for netflix to stream an HD movie. Sounds cheap until you multiply by the 10 million customers Netflix has and the frequency of viewing. This is a helpful article that sorts out the issues.

On Friday, The Register published a great article on how the cell phone makers hosed up for years and it was to Apple's advantage to enter the game very late.

"For Apple, coming late to the phone business has actually been a huge advantage. The success of the iPhone is down not just to great engineering, but profiting from several years of desperate and outright stupid behaviour by the mobile phone networks, who set the terms for the manufacturers. The received wisdom of the industry - that you had to know the wiles of the mobile networks to succeed - turned out to be completely mistaken. And to explain this we find another paradox..."

Finally, I ran across something that got me thinking this week. Why hasn't an iPhone developer come out with the Fizzbin card game? Remember that from Star Trek: TOS "A Piece of the Action"? I'd love to have Fizzbin on my iPhone just so I can talk (geek out) about it. Of course, actually playing it would be no fun at all.

Will someone please get on the blower and fire up a developer about this? I left my iPhone on Sigma Iotia II.