notes: tech this, tech that

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For a change, I decided to jot down the thoughts that were coming to me while I waded through month-old Reader items. Warning: It gets pretty long.

[Yes, I actually have a set of Reader items that I ensure I catch up with daily, and another set that I’m sure I will always be behind the curve on reading. What’s the point? Its the only way that I can ensure that I’m somewhat current with what goes on in the world.]

Some background: the launch of Buzz meant I went about adding a bunch of people on Reader/Buzz that I wouldn’t have known of otherwise. Louis Gray, Tyler Romeo, Jesse Stay and a whole host of other active “technologists” came to my attention as a result of Buzz. Given my aforementioned division of current and ancient news, clearly, I’m always going to be behind the curve on the most happening stuff in the internet-verse — even given how I’ve tried to balance out the “breaking news” feeds and the “info” feeds.

Over the last couple of days I realized that as long as I stay somewhat current with my “friends” shared items… I’m just fine for the latest and greatest in the tech-verse. Twitter’s Chirp conference notes – check. iPad notes – check. Latest Gmail features – check. Expectations for iPhone4, FB F8, Google i/o – check. Of course, when I say “friends” I mean the aforementioned list of people… all of whom are probably wonderful but barely know I exist. In fact most of them probably don’t know I exist at all. But their connection on this Google network is probably the best thing ever. I don’t miss out, and I get to stick to my own reading trends. This use of social networking really appeals to me — really defines what I would like from it.

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windows 7 – quirks, quips and quarks

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So I finally moved to Windows 7 on one of the machines I use regularly. It wasn’t without its share of weird-ass issues – I don’t think any M$ OS can be without its quirks. Not issues/problems, mind you. Quirks. I will try to update this based on what else I figure out in the future as well. I’m not attempting a detailed critique of what its like, there are ton-loads of such reviews online (most comprehensively, here). I’m merely noting stuff that stood out to me, personally. I’ll try not to degenerate to ranting or raving about anything. Continue reading

notes: is the zune HD not awesome at all?

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[opinion due to : Betanews – Zune HD: The best portable media player you may never buy ]

Like many other reviews have done before him, the author demonstrates real love for the Zune HD. He also stresses limitations – both artificial and real – which apparently translate to it being the device that nobody will ever find utility for. This is a tack that a lot of people have taken when it comes to this device. I completely disagree. Continue reading

interface renewed

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for the last 5 days, i’ve been on the ‘new’ microsoft interface. one simple comparison:

newie.jpg oldie.JPG
IE

newexplorer.jpg oldexplorer.JPG
Explorer

newoffice.jpg oldoffice.JPG
Office

having followed the classic menus of ‘File’, ‘Edit’,’View’ over all their interfaces for the last 12 years, microsoft went ahead and completely revamped their interface. those buttons are hidden away, far from the human eye.

sleekness is one thing, i wonder which genius decided that those menus detracted from the UI…

backward compatibility

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and so, microsoft decides to kick their best product (outlook, duh!) in the balls by removing support for web standards… nice.

idiots.

and this after i had pretty much decided that microsoft rocks for taking something as complete as office forward.
looks like sticking to thunderbird for the last 5 years is going to put me with having the best email client this year.

[via digg]

welcome zune

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via digg, a coupla videos of the zune in action.

it looks like an interesting competitor to the slickness of the ipod, and being the latest gadget will help. sometimes its not good to be the no.1 in a market πŸ™‚

amongst things showcased, the really interesting one is the ‘share music’ feature. apparently those songs will exist for 3 days after sharing, then self-destruct in M:I style… but once again, an interesting compromise option by a media player with the RIAA.

the 3 day self-destruct is the latest form of DRM – viral DRM. and so, microsoft has managed to kill their product quite beautifully..

the fact that it has DRM support takes it completely off my list, but i think that sadly the media player companies are catering to the RIAA a great deal… making it increasingly crappy to find an upgrade to an iRiver h140. i’m not including the concept of being able to hack the firmware a la rockbox. i refer to john q. public who could care les that DRM exists.
ah well. sometimes, old is the only way to be. even in the super-fast tech world, the tortoise adage seems to be holding up well πŸ™‚