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Archive for October, 2005

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Vista Watch – Beta 1.99

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

InternetWeek has a review up of the latest Windows Vista beta. Some quick thoughts:

DISCLAIMER: It’s never a good idea to review software based on someone else’s review, rather than seeing the software yourself. So everything here is just speculation based on what the reviewer (in this case, Scot Finnie) wrote and the screen shots he’s included:

- Performance is better.
Good news. Not surprising, but still good news. I like the goal they’ve set for themselves – “Windows will turn on & off in two or three seconds – like a television.” I have no expecatations of that actually happening, but I like the way they’re thinking.

- Live Thumbnails
Hover over the taskbar, and you can see a minature version of the minimized window (complete with working video, etc. if it exists on the page). This sounds moderately useful, but I’ll need the actual user experience to know for sure. It also occurs to me that if your machine is a little light on memory, this is the kind of thing that could make the hard drive thrash just by navigating around. If it’s snappy, though, it could be a good thing.

- Flip
They built the same minatures into the Alt-Tab function (which I basically have in XP through some add-in someone sent me years ago). That’s probably more useful than the live thumbnails. Again, though, time will tell.

Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Expose. I liked Expose when I saw it, but Microsoft’s answer sounds better to me. Expose was a little invasive (all the windows moved all at once). This seems more seprated from the actual user experience – sort of a timeout while I select a new app. As above, we’ll see…

-Windows SlideShow
Finally, the ability to re-create those movies where the person’s screen saver says “You’ve got e-mail” over a floating envelope graphic or some such nonsense. Cute idea when integrated with other, non-PC devices. Another example of using the new OS as an opportunity to expand the human-computer interaction beyond the current paradigm (rather than just making everything faster or slicker).

-Windows Gadgets
Sounds like a direct competitor to OS X’s widgets. The review doesn’t say too much about them. I found them kitschy on the Mac, and expect the same on Vista.

Categories: Tech Talk | No Comments »

Why Statistics Professors Don’t Enjoy Baseball Games…

Monday, October 10th, 2005

So, what’s more amazing? The fact that one guy caught two homerun balls in a single baseball game (alright, a double baseball game – it was 18 innings long), or the fact that the Chairman of the Department of Statistics at Stamford University calculates the odds of catching a homerun ball, without factoring in the thousands of seat-sized spaces in the outfield where a homerun could land and no one would catch it?

(Side note: I bet the guy figured he had million dollar souvenirs on his hands. Must’ve been a letdown when someone offerred him $20 for the pair…

Categories: Sports Talk, The World Wide Weird | 2 Comments »

Al Qaeda – Take Your Business Elsewhere

Friday, October 7th, 2005

I’m writing this from on board the uptown E train, which started at the World Trade Center station and is heading toward my office in midtown Manhattan. This is the same subway I rode on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Apparently, Al Qaeda would prefer that I be too scared to ride this train today

Well, consider this a big, old fashioned !#*@(‘ Off, Al Qaeda. Take your terror threats someplace where people care, OK? It’s our subway, and we know better than to run scared from the likes of you

There’s my stop – I gotta go. You lose this round, guys…

Categories: Political Rantings | No Comments »

TiVo In Your Pocket

Friday, October 7th, 2005

It sounds like there a still a few glitches to be worked out, but we’ve finally gotten to TV In Your Pocket.

It’s not exactly a click-and-go sort of thing, but neither is it very difficult to send your favorite programs to your Windows-powered mobile device.

Categories: Tech Talk, The Future is Now | No Comments »

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