Eric Richards' place of techno (as in technology) happiness, rants, and corporate love.

Browsing Posts published in December, 2006

I can only hope that the clamshell Star phone comes to T-Mobile. I have my doubts about Cingular, the current provider for Star Trek (which many people in my building at work recently picked up). I’ve been wanting to get a new smartphone to replace my aged Nokia 3650, but it has to have GPS and Wi-Fi. 

Finally, a new clamshell Smartphone will pick up where the Star Trek left off, rocking a GPS receiver and more wireless radios than its predecessor. If you can’t find yourself an ’07 HTC to your liking now, well… that’s just crazy talk, but we know a Finnish outfit that might like your business.

Source: Meet your shiny new 2007 HTCs – Engadget

Wow, #1 looks like some kind of airbrushed head art from the 70s: Bad Astronomy Blog » The Top Ten Astronomy Images of 2006.

I also like #9 very much.

So, when Microsoft announced video content download for the Xbox 360, the echo-chamber, as tracked by Tech-Meme, was all over the reports of slow-downloads and the overwhelmed service.

Apple suffers its own iTunes post-Christmas meltdown… and narry a peep: Music denied – shoppers overwhelm iTunes –

What’s the rage right now? Something about outrage over Microsoft sending out nice laptops with Vista pre-installed.


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Dave Winer says that Scoble has something to write about this week that’s currently secret and that will end up being somewhat political. Scoble touches on it here: Back from Christmas « Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger.

FYI: Scoble is a former Microsoftie video-blogger who interviewed me and a posse of InfoPathers for a Microsoft MSDN Channel9 feature on InfoPath and recently interviewed Elisa’s friend Kimberly Sacha on Kimberly’s Zuma skills.

My guess? Well, given that John Edwards said that he’ll make an announcement on his presidential run decision and that Senator Edwards showed up at the Gnomedex 6, my guess is that Scoble is going there to video blog the announcement as part of Senator Edwards reaching out to the blog-space.

Nothing like a little post-Christmas mystery.

Update: yup: Full disclosure… « Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger. I guess it wasn’t that hard to figure out. I look forward to watching the results.

Oh, and geez, someone sick a talented web designer on Edward’s web site and dial the visual noise level down to the “usable.” Seven plus or minus two, right? Tufte weeps.

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Blake Ross takes some time to look at what Google is doing around decorating the HTML you get back when you do certain queries. HTML decorating to throw in pointers to Google properites.

[...] in many ways, Google’s new age “bundling” is far worse than anything Microsoft did or even could do. Microsoft threw spaghetti at the wall and hoped it stuck, and likewise there’s nothing wrong with Google’s arbitrary front-page ads. The difference here is that Google knows what users want and can discreetly recommend its products at the right time.

Source: Blake Ross on Firefox » Tip: Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose.

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The latest Wired magazine has an article about improving your brain in four weeks. One thing it suggests is an improved diet. Highly recommended for breakfast: the English standard of beans on toast. What the? I did some quick digging around and came across: Top 10: Steps to a better brain – brain – 04 September 2006 – New Scientist.

Sure enough:

Beans on toast is a far better combination, as Barbara Stewart from the University of Ulster, UK, discovered. Toast alone boosted children’s scores on a variety of cognitive tests, but when the tests got tougher, the breakfast with the high-protein beans worked best. Beans are also a good source of fibre, and other research has shown a link between a high-fibre diet and improved cognition.

Well I’ll bean – I mean – be!

Wow, this will fill your weekend with cartoon shorts: cityrag: 50 Greatest Cartoons – includes many of my favorits, including one of my most favorite contemporary cartoons:

32. The Cat Came Back (1988)

Oh no, now that tune is back in head!

Okay, so now I’m not so jealous of The Fifth Element being released on Blu-Ray: Best (and Worst) High-Def Discs of 2006 | High-Def Digest – it sounds like it was a stinker of a transfer.

Good list to see what the worst transfers are. Mostly Blu-Ray. Encoding a movie, scene by scene, is an art. What I’d like to know is the graph for the VC-1 encoding adoption rate over time for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. So far, I think it’s the superior choice. I’ll have to dig in and see what the “Best” disks use for their encoding.

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Even if you only have a passing interest in physics, this is a fun read: Moving Through Matter with Buckaroo Banzai.

And of course, if you’re a Banzai fan (you know you are’ah, monkey boyee!): BANZAI INSTITUTE Main Menu.

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Software as a service is great… until the service goes away. One small example is Google turning off future use of their search API in preference to an opaque set of JavaScript routines that shoot out whatever HTML Google wants as part of the query.

The O’Reilly Google Hacks book? Time to go to that big recycler in the sky. What’s interesting to me is that Tim manages to get a dig in at Microsoft within the O’Reilly Radar post on Google turning off this API:

Update #2: Tim writes: On the other hand, SOAP has always been a political football shaped by big companies who were seeking to use it to turn web services back into a controllable software stack. (I remember the first web services summit we did, where a Microsoft developer who I won’t name admitted that SOAP was made so complex partly because “we want our tools to read it, not people.”)

Source: O’Reilly Radar > Google Deprecates Their SOAP Search API.

What The Fudge does that have to do with Google turning off an Alpha-Geek service? Microsoft certainly didn’t twist Google’s – or Amazon’s – arm to adopt SOAP. It was their choice. No football game involved. It was the XML-hotness at the time. I’m leaning more towards XML RPC and Plain Old XML, myself. SOAP is nice for when you want to do some heavy object lifting and need something more standard to connect pieces together. But if you can URL paramter encode your request and throw on something like “?response=text\xml” and get XML back, all the better.

Use the big SOAP hammer for the big SOAP nail.

Anyway. Google Search SOAP API is dead. Or at least checked in to the bit-bucket hospice. And I’d say everyone who relies on Google (or any third party) remote service had a nice little, “Hmm…” to roll around in their head today: “What would happen if they went and shut off their service I’m using tomorrow?”


Might be mighty nice to think about having some rich client content.

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