A recent mail: "Where are your blog postings? Are you still around?"

Let's just say that it's been a busy week.  Thanks for asking.

Brazil "Sprang Forward", my taller son has decided that he is going to be Master Chief from Halo for Halloween (you know, we found that no one makes a Master Chief from Halo Halloween costume... big licensing miss, IMHO) and much of North America "Falls Back" on November 4th.

The really important news is that I completed my first (and last ;) Pepakura of the Chief's spartan helmet - more on that after we actually get it finished this weekend.  And of course a second costume for our younger son from scratch, as there's not a Pokemon Ranger costume to be found either.

Well, while you're building a costume from the ground up for your kids, here are a week's worth articles from the reading file for you. As noted these are all (for the most part) available for download, making it easy to read the files off-line.

Have a good weekend.

How Microsoft Blogging PR Works (Microsoft Watch - opinion)  Interesting to see through the eyes of the press... from Sept 14, 2007. Joe Wilcox looks at "Microsoft's handling of the Windows Update controversy is a good case study for how the company's public relations efforts work. The lessons are important for Mi

Google Docs and Spreadsheets clause gives pause (InfoWorld News)  By Shane Schick, ITbusiness.ca, Sept 14, 2007. For a company whose motto is "Do no evil," it's interesting how often Google's customers suspect them of it. Google is in damage control mode over a clause in the user agreements for its Google Docs and

Tech Trader Daily - Barron’s Online : Yahoo: Outsource Search To Google, Cut Staff 25%, Bernstein Advises  Posted by Eric Savitz 9/14/07. Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay has some aggressive advice for Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang. He thinks the company’s current slow and incremental approach to fixing the business is actually a risky strategy

New WMV PowerToy & registry key documentation | Ben Waggoner | Channel 10  Posted by Ben Waggoner on Sep 8th at 2:36 PM. The birth of the VC-1 Encoder SDKs will reduce the need for these over the next few months, but Alex has updated his WMV PowerToy and also revised our documentation about the registry key options.

A Baffling New Phenomenon: Customized Ringtones (New York Times)  Question 1: Apple is selling a ringtone and the full song together for $2, and claims that that's a bargain. Three bucks for a 30-second snippet that lasts a year—when you can buy the entire song online for $1 and own it forever? By DAVID POGUE

How the Wii is Winning (Businessweek)  September 12, 2007, 12:02PM EST. It's all about intent. A new report claims more people intend to buy a Wii than jones for a PS3 or Xbox 360, by Kris Graft

Online Games Business To Triple in Five Years? (Businessweek)  September 12, 2007, 11:56AM EST. A new report suggests that the revolution won't be televised; it'll be downloaded, by James Brightman

How to Sell Your Invention (businessweek)  September 12, 2007. Deciding how to bring your revolutionary new product to market is a challenge. Here are some basics to set you on the right road by John Tozzi

gaping void blogcards  "blog cards" - printed bizcards with a Hugh MacLeod cartoon on front, your personal details on the back. Prices start $22.50

Steal Office 2007 (Richard Sprague WebLog)  Well, at $60 it might as well be stealing. If you're a student, you can get Office Ultimate 2007 for only $59.95.

ANALYSIS: The “Disastrous” Xbox 360? (Next Generation)  By Kris Graft Print, from April 2007. "A financial analyst says that Microsoft needs to “own up” to the “disastrous” money-losing Xbox business. However two games analysts tell Next-Gen that the analysis is short-sighted and Microsoft unsurprisin

More Hype for Halo 3 (BusinessWeek)  September 14, 2007, 12:00PM EST. A visit to game developer, Bungie, to check out the next, hotly anticipated episode in Microsoft's gaming saga by Edge

Microsoft User Research - Participant Recruiting : Music Enthusiasts Encouraged To Join Microsoft Usability Program

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : The Internet has stopped working

Sharepoint Conference 2008 (The ShiSh List)  The Microsoft SharePoint Conference will be held from March 2-6, 2008 at the Washington State Trade and Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. 

VMworld 2007: bigger, broader and Viridian (Windows Server Division WebLog)  Sept 11, 207: With today’s news of a pending CTP of Viridian, the crowd seems interested to kick the tires. I had one customer from Sanofi-Aventis tell me how much they were paying in license and training fees for VMware to do server consolidation...

12 Effective Strategies Apple Uses to Create Loyal Customers - Inside CRM  Find out more about these and other strategies that Apple employs to achieve its tremendous customer loyalty... saved by 138 other people

Vista Made Easy: 50 Tips And Tricks (PC Magazine) Like driving a new car, adjusting to a new operating system takes time. Discovering new features and functions (so that's how you adjust the steering wheel!) helps to shorten the acclimatization period... saved by 23 other people

Should You Buy a New Mac Mini, iMac or Mac Pro? (Tom's Guide)  By Anthony Celeste, September 6, 2007 07:36. Apple recently released what some have called long overdue updates to its lineup of desktop computers: the Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro. This update marks the third version of desktop Macs....

Information Overload: Tips to Thrive on Surplus Information - Lifehacker  Information overload doesn't have to be overwhelming, and author Ross Dawson shares eight principles that will prevent you from drowning in the surplus of available information.

Search Flickr Images by Color with the Color Fields Colr Pickr - Lifehacker  The Color Fields Colr Pickr webapp searches Flickr for images using only a color wheel, and no other search fields. Simply click on the color you're interested in and Flickr images made up of mostly that color surround the wheel.

Cisco Gears Up to Embrace Managed Services (channel insider) 12-SEP-2007 By Michael Vizard. Next month Cisco plans to formally roll out a channel program for managed services after piloting the program for a year and half with a small select group of partners.

Orbitz Lures Travelers With Free User-Generated Travel Tips (WOMMA)  Orbitz recently launched a user-generated tip website offering real-time updates from travelers -- including security line wait times, traffic, parking, taxi lines, air-traffic updates, weather information, the best place to get an airport snack, and more

HDTV Recordings Need More Room (New York Times)  By J. D. BIERSDORFER Published: September 13, 2007. Q. How much more hard drive space does it take to record a program in high definition than it takes in standard definition? (A: Generally, figure 10:1 HD:SDTV)

Why Pirate? Microsoft Offers $60 Office to Students (PC Magazine)  09.12.07 By Chloe Albanesius. Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a $60 Web-based version of its new Microsoft Office Ultimate suite of applications that will be exclusively available to college students.

Vudu Reviews. Digital Media Receivers Reviews by CNET  Set-top box that plays Internet-delivered movies on your TV; solid movie selection includes major Hollywood studio titles in the same week they hit DVD; no monthly fees; very good video and audio quality; no waiting--movies start immediately; excellent on

Sprint's Q4 lineup: Rumor, Centro, Touch, and Pearl 8130 - Engadget 

Microsoft Launches Own 'Babel Fish' (BetaNews)  Windows Live Translator is based on technology from Systran. Users can input a block of text to translate, or select a Web site to translate. There is an option for "computer related content" ...

Web OS Aims to Mimic Windows (BetaNews)  By Ed Oswald, BetaNews, September 11, 2007, 11:12 AM. A web applications company is hoping to legitimize the web operating system concept with the release of ajaxWindows, an application that behaves much like its Microsoft counterpart.

Amazon Does Downloads, Sort Of (BusinessWeek)  SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 Why its push into digital delivery of books, movies, and music seems halfhearted

The Big Divide In Tech Support (BusinessWeek)  SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 Top executives get hands-on, 24/7 assistance while the rank and file have to call India. By Aili McConnon, with Michael Arndt in Chicago, Tom Lowry in New York, and Ronald Grover in Los Angeles

The Case For Nuclear Power (BusinessWeek)  IDEAS -- OUTSIDE SHOT By Christine Todd Whitman. Sept 17, 2007. It's a chance to meet our future energy needs while preserving the Earth's climate

Hardware Virtualization - A Reality? (Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 for developers)  The Virtualization market is certainly going through a number of radical changes and will continue down this path for a number of years. This week ZDNET asked the question about whether all or part of the hypervisor would be placed in silicon...

Apple Averts a 'Fanboy Rebellion' (BusinessWeek)  BW's Web Picks September 7, 2007, Amid outrage from even his most faithful fans over a surprise iPhone price cut, CEO Jobs issues a rare mea culpa and an even rarer rebate. by Douglas MacMillan

ARC Thoughts : Indian Retail Observations  As I said in July, I spent 4 weeks in India. It was a great trip, mainly a person one however I did take time out to do official work as well. Had the pleasure to visit Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Across all the metros, two things are common

Halo 3 Lives Up to the Hype (businessweek)  If you want to use the Man Cannon or the Mongoose in the eagerly-awaited final chapter of the Xbox franchise, your wait is almost over. by Chris Buffa, sept 7, 2007

Online Extra: HTC: Stepping Out of iPhone's Shadow? (BusinessWeek)  THE ASIA BW50/Online Extra, By Bruce Einhorn. A standby in the Taiwanese electronics industry, High Tech Computer struggles to stay ahead of the competition, namely Apple

AMD's Latest Intel Counterattack (BusinessWeek) Technology September 11, 2007. With the release of its new Barcelona server chips, AMD is pushing a new way of measuring performance that focuses on power needs by Arik Hesseldahl

Apple Eyes the Wireless Auction (BusinessWeek)  Telecom September 10, 2007. Steve Jobs & Co. consider joining the FCC's auction of wireless spectrum, and a win would give Apple many intriguing options—for the iPhone and more by Peter Burrows

Windows Live Suite's hidden gold (Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise)

Blogging with OneNote (MSDN Blog Postings)  Microsoft Senior Program Manager Janet Galore gives a prominent shout-out to OneNote 2007 in her new Office Hours column, Stir up your best ideas with a group SharePoint blog. The column focuses on tips for using SharePoint to create a sense of community

How Software is Built: Deep dive analysis and community conversations about software development models.  A blog forum to provide deep dive analysis and community conversations about software development models.... saved by 11 other people 

How do we create software at Microsoft? (Carpe Datum)  I thought I would follow that up now that I’m in a new group and explain where the basic thoughts come from for the design of SQL Server features.

Windows Live and Windows Mobile 6: Free push email for the masses (MSDN Blog Postings)  Did you know this? (I bet most of you don’t.) If you have a Windows Live Hotmail account (now with 5 GB of free storage, btw.), you can stay always up to date with your inbox on the road with your Windows Mobile 6 device.

Microsoft Shatters the PC-to-Television Barrier, Releases First Details on Extenders for Windows Media Center - Forbes.com PR Newswire - Press Release - "Microsoft Shatters the PC-to-Television Barrier, Releases First Details on Extenders for Windows Media Center"

Microsoft releases Windows Media Extenders  Devices based on the old spec, developed to work with Windows XP, will no longer work with the new system for Vista By Peter Sayer, IDG News Service September 06, 2007

Microsoft debuts Extenders for Windows Media Center, adds DivX and XviD - Engadget  Extenders for Windows Media Center. Ok, the name totally sucks, but the important part is Microsoft upgraded its wayward Extender system with a new version that takes full advantage of Vista (including live HDTV streaming), supports 802.11n... saved by 9 other people

Businesspundit: Switching To Mac is Great  "Ok. Ok. I give up. Macs are wonderful. Anyone that doesn't use them is an idiot. Bloggers should only post their opinions and experiences when they are pro-Mac. There is no such thing as anti-Mac because..."saved by 4 other people

CPU Charts from Tom's Hardware - The interactive CPU Charts provide a true performance comparison between AMD and Intel processors. They allow ambitious users as well as decision makers and dealers to compare their favorite products in 20+ benchmark disciplines.... saved by 60 other people

What You Should Know About Dual-Core Technology (PC Magazine)  - 081406. But the bigger question for owners and managers of small and medium-size businesses is whether to buy such gear and, if so, when. This Q&A highlights key considerations on this topic.

Spring 2006 Interactive CPU Charts Update | Tom's Hardware

Employees Are the Most Critical Customer Service Asset (The Ken Blanchard Companies Study on Customer Loyalty) Aug 29, 207. Employees are in fact an organization's most critical customer service asset -- one that requires focused development and nurturing. These "sound-simple-but-difficult-to do" revelations are among the findings from a recent customer loyalty...

Japan's Warp-Speed Ride to Internet Future - washingtonpost.com  By Blaine Harden Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Page A01 TOKYO -- Americans invented the Internet, but the Japanese are running away with it. Broadband service here is eight to 30 times as fast as in the United States -- a

Apple's iWork Package Is Elegant but Wimpy Compared With Office (WSJ.com) By WALTER S. MOSSBERG, Aug 16, 2007. "My verdict: iWork '08 is a nice product, capable of turning out sophisticated and attractive word-processing, presentation and spreadsheet documents. ... But iWork simply isn't as powerful or versatile as Microsoft Office...

Telephones: Get Reverse Phone Lookups with Sullr - Lifehacker  Web site Sullr provides reverse phone number lookups with an attractive AJAX interface and Google Maps mashup. Next time you get a call on your phone from an unrecognized number, enter in the number and see if Sullr can grab the listing.... saved by 41 other people ...

25 Tips to Become More Productive and Happy at Work (lifelearningtoday.com) Aug 28, 2007: "Follow these tips and you’ll see your work life improve. And that improvement will trickle into the rest of your life too." Thanks to Lifehacker.com... saved by 329 other people

Photography: Take Better Shots with the Nikon Digital Learning Center - Lifehacker  Better your photography skills with tips and techniques from expert photogs by joining the Nikon Digital Learning group on Flickr ... saved by 68 other people

Tags: misc, articles, what I read. (thru Sept 12).