Well, it's been a busy week at home and at the office already, and it's only Wednesday.  Microsoft will report second quarter earnings tomorrow afternoon so don't ask me anything 'til Friday please.  At the office early, home late. 

But a word on a quick exchange I had tonight with Long Zheng after noting his Tweet…

longzheng "Windows Vista to Windows 7 is like Windows 98 to Windows 98 SE… 

Hmmm. Really?

Long is a bright fellow, and his blog is not to be missed.  So I had to note to Long that WRT the progression from 98 to 98SE, the experience in Windows 7 is different than one has in Vista SP1 today. I remember that as a customer in the late 90's, the fixes going from Windows 98 to 98SE w/ USB and DV improvements plus a few more fixes.  It was an update – a good one, but still an update. 

In the end, I noted that my impression was that Windows 7 is to Windows Vista SP1 what Windows XP was to Windows 98SE... with a short detour on Windows ME for me (a folly as as a customer of Microsoft at the time, let me assure you).

On to the reading list.

My favourite quote of the week goes hands down to Carol Bartz when she put her foot down on her first day on the job as the new Yahoo! CEO (as reported on January 13, 2009, posted by Stephen Shankland). When I was at Autodesk, I had the great opportunity of working on occasion with Carol, then Autodesk's former CEO and executive chairman.  This is a look at her first concall in the CEO slot at Yahoo!, and an example of one of the reasons I like and respect this lady:

"During a 20-minute call with press and analysts, Bartz mostly stuck to a predictable script--Yahoo's valuable assets, strong employees, shareholder value, blah blah blah--and avoided any mention of strategic options such as selling Yahoo's search business to Microsoft. "Let's not put ourselves in some crazy timeline. Let's give this company some frigging breathing room. Everybody on the outside deciding what Yahoo should or shouldn't do--that's going to stop," she said. Her first meeting with Yahoo's managers was set for 10 minutes later, she also said."

Jim Cramer on the rise of Apple. And my POV. from Just Another iPhone Blog – "Well, this video that was posted at TheStreet.com does a pretty good job of summing up why I think we may be on the brink of a change in the marketplace - and change that tends to favor Apple really well."

The Curious Cook - Wine Enhancement Devices Are Put to a Test - NYTimes.com, by HAROLD McGEE, Published: January 13, 2009 - The Pour blog on the pleasure, culture and business of wine, beer and spirits. "I have used my carbon steel knife to cut up all kinds of meats and vegetables, but I had never thought of using it to prepare wine. Not until a couple of weeks ago, when I dunked the tip of it into glasses of several reds and whites, sometimes alone, sometimes with a sterling silver spoon, a gold ring or a well-scrubbed penny. My electrical multimeter showed that these metals were stimulating the wines with a good tenth of a volt. I tingled with anticipation every time I took a sip."

Steve Jobs Is Sicker Than We Thought. Now What? - Faster Forward  "Apple chief executive Steve Jobs will be taking a little more time off from work -- he now won't return to the job until July, because his health issues have become "more complex" than thought before."

SecretTweet.com - Post your secrets anonymously to Twitter is for Tweets on the sly.

Tech lobbyists: Spend $30 billion in tax dollars, get a million jobs | Politics and Law - CNET News

Obama aide: Full broadband plan won't be in stimulus package on CNET News, January 14, 2009 12:00 PM PST Posted by Stephanie Condon – "Don't expect to find a comprehensive national broadband policy in the so-called economic stimulus package that President-elect Barack Obama hopes to sign in his first days in office, Blair Levin, a top technology adviser for Obama, said Wednesday. While funds for broadband deployment will be a part of the stimulus package, Blair cautioned groups interested in seeing more federal investment in broadband from expecting too much right away."

Windows 7 beta wrecks your MP3 files (already has a patch) by Microsoft Subnet on Wed, 01/14/2009 – "Apparently, with every edit to an MP3's metadata (such as adding the album cover art), [the public beta release of] Windows 7 will delete a portion of the audio. In support documents for the Windows 7 beta, the following tidbit is revealed."

8 Tech Predictions for '09 - Columns by PC Magazine – From Windows 7 to Apple netbooks, here are eight tech predictions for 2009, by Tim Bajarin, SiValley prognosticator extraordinaire, who offers his own list of seven tech predictions for 2009. I've met Mr. Bajarin on several occasions and believe him to be a balanced and thoughtful follow with excellent insight. His Number 1?

"1. Windows 7 will bring tech out of the doldrums. Sales of PCs and other tech will be down in the first half of 2009, but when Microsoft delivers Windows 7 by Q3 (as many expect), it could catalyze the tech economy."

Teachers Ask President and Congress to Bring More Computers to the Classroom – ReadWriteWeb by Frederic Lardinois, January 14, 2009 who covered how "education and business organizations called upon Congress and the Obama administration to invest heavily in classroom technology and teacher training as part of the forthcoming economic recovery package."

Kodu from Microsoft Research is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.

Dept. Of Bad Ideas: Those Adobe Ads in PDF Documents Just Weren’t Working by Erick Schonfeld on January 14, 2009. A moment, if you will, for the passing of an innovation.

"Adobe’s experiment with allowing publishers to place contextual ads directly inside PDF documents is coming to an end. The Adobe Labs project was launched just over a year ago in November, 2007. The idea was that out of the billions of PDF documents produced every year, some of them get passed around enough to warrant advertising, especially those produced by traditional print publishers. Adobe teamed up with Yahoo to provide contextual text ads similar to what you would find next to that document if you were reading it online. Hey, inventory is inventory, right?"

peHUB » Pierre Omidyar’s Next Venture? by Marshall Kirkpatrick (January 14, 2009) reports that the eBay founder is now part of a new startup, Ginx, "according to financial filings unearthed by PEHub. Very little is known about the company but based on passing whispers from early testers of the private data we have have some guesses about what the service does."

Text of Steve Jobs’s Letter to Apple Employees January 14, 2009, The New York Times notes the details from Steve Jobs letter to company’s employees explaining how he would retreat from daily Apple life until the summer to focus on his health recovery.

A storied role for technology at Sundance from CNET News, January 14, 2009, posted by Michelle Meyers. "The theme for this year's Sundance Film Festival kicking off this week is "Storytime," apropos considering stories are the heart of each and every film."

LiveSide - Windows Live news and interviews: "With the Essentials suite recently released and Live Writer 2009 going final, I’d like to take a moment and just point out some great collaboration work between the Live Writer and Live Spaces team. Here are my 5 favourite new things (in no particular order)..."

Comcast's Twitter Man - BusinessWeek, January 13, 2009. For Frank Eliason, managing the cable giant's customer service department means tweeting strategically, by Rebecca Reisner 

WSJ: Carol Bartz To Be Named New Yahoo CEO. Is That A Good Thing? by Erick Schonfeld on January 13, 2009 -- "Following up on an earlier report speculating that former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz has been selected to become Yahoo’s new CEO…"

Top 25 'most dangerous' coding errors revealed | Security - CNET News, January 13, 2009, Posted by Tom Espiner – "Security experts from U.S. government agencies, multinational companies, and academia have released a list of what they consider to be the 25 most critical errors made while coding software."

Also of interest: the SANS Institute - CWE/SANS TOP 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors, which includes the full list of coding errors, and information on how to fix them, is available from the Sans Institute Web site.

Microsoft Response Point Podcast With Richard Sprague – "In our conversation I had a chance to learn how Response Point is part of the company's startup business accelerator program designed to bring products to market more quickly. In past conversations I have learned that this group is always on, working hard and seems like any other entrepreneurial company I interact with..."

Wrapping Up CES: Blu-ray, Cameras And More - Faster Forward, Posted 01/13/2009. "It's time for the return of an annual feature here -- the post in which I see how the computers, gadgets and software I took with me to report on Macworld and CES worked out in the field."

A Quick Tour of Windows 7 - Faster Forward, Jan 10, 2008 by Rob Pegoraro. "Windows 7, the company's successor to Windows Vista, is available now as a public-beta download (or will be once its servers recover from the initial demand)."

notes and rants : The Pitch.  Monday, December 15, 2008 7:08 PM by alanpa "I attended a project review meeting today – one of those where a project team presents a problem, how they’re going to solve it, and ends with some asks for support (either in buy-off, resource commitment, or both). In this particular case, it was for a people improvement-ish project, but the format was pretty much the same as I see when reviewing software projects.

"Some tips include: Start with the problem. Don’t solve everything. Describe how you’re going to solve the problem. Make your “asks”** clear."

Announcing HWTSAM.com (notes and rants blog) Saturday, December 20, 2008 8:45 AM by alanpa -- "Announcing HWTSAM.com: I know, I know...just what the world needs - another web site. Alas, I created http://www.hwtsam.com anyway as a companion web site to How We Test Software At Microsoft."

My 2009 advice for programmers (on making - or keeping - testers happy) from Alan Page's notes and rants blog, Jan 03, 2009 5:06 PM -- "If you are a programmer and you want to make the testers around you happy, here are a few of my tips. Feel free to add yours in the comments."

Classic WTF: The Bug That Shut Down Computers World-Wide - The Daily WTF by Alex Papadimoulis. "Where were you the morning of January 1st, 1984? Some – like Robert Reagan – were actually working, desperately trying to fix the bug that shut down computers across the world. "With all the “oh no, the world’s gonna end” date problems out there – Y2K, DST, The End of the Epoch, and Y2070 – it’s surprising that most haven’t heard of the day that the world actually ended. On that day – January 1st, 1984 – a single bug was responsible for shutting down – and keeping down – a whole lot of computer systems."

Mystery Roar from Faraway Space Detected by Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer, SPACE.com – Wed Jan 7, 10:31 pm ET.LONG BEACH, Calif. -- "Space is typically thought of as a very quiet place. But one team of astronomers has found a strange cosmic noise that booms six times louder than expected."

Tags: articles, what I read, blogs.

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