If you weren't at the TED conference this week, you might've missed Bill Gates' mosquito stunt as noted in TechFlash by Todd Bishop (February 4, 2009)…

"Yes, they were real. No, they didn't carry malaria. And they definitely didn't qualify as a swarm. But they sure did get a lot of attention.

"That's the word from a reliable source after the Microsoft chairman set the tech world, ahem, abuzz by opening a jar of mosquito at the TED conference today -- reportedly telling the crowd that not only poor people should experience the problem. We made a few calls and found out that the jar contained a relatively modest collection of mosquitoes: more than a few, but probably fewer than ten.

"The dramatic move was meant to highlight the issue of malaria, which was one of two subjects of Gates' talk at the hip conference. (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.) Gates also spoke about education. For a good rundown, see this detailed blog post by Ethan Zuckerman. A video is also expected..."

If you're interested, you can find many in person, play-by-play accounts from TED 2009 on Twitter.com.

Now, back to something on everyone's minds: the economy.

j0145504[1]Microsoft's Ballmer likens economy to depressions of 1837, 1873, and 1929 | Politics and Law - CNET News -- February 6, 2009 6:23 PM PST Microsoft's Ballmer likens economy to depressions of 1837, 1873, and 1929 Posted by Declan McCullagh -- "Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer sketched a dire portrait of the world economy on Friday, likening it to market conditions in 1837, 1873, and 1929, each of which involved bank failures, high unemployment, and a depression."

I recall (not that I was there) that the 1837 depression lasted five years. 1873's 'til the 1890's, and after 1929, the market hit bottom in early 1933. My hope for this "economic downturn?" Recovery within two years.

I mean, c'mon… as I noted here, in 1920's it took nearly 5 days to cross the US by train. Today things move much faster, and I expect that the economy will recover accordingly.

What parent couldn't use some sage advice on What to do when your kid provokes you into an inhuman rage. - By Alan E. Kazdin and Carlo Rotella - Slate Magazine

"Decreeing an extravagantly harsh punishment may immediately address your sense of justice, but it's unlikely to make the annoying behavior go away, and once you calm down, you're unlikely to stick with the punishment, anyway. Grabbing, shaking, hitting, or screaming at your kid may stop the behavior and be cathartic for you, but only for a moment (after which you may well begin to feel bad for losing control of yourself and overreacting), and over time such responses will likely lead to further behavioral problems. Ignoring the unwanted behavior and finding ways to encourage its positive opposite will be most effective in getting rid of the unwanted behavior in the long run, but this approach won't satisfy your overwhelming short-term urge to do something right now that addresses and fits the crime."

At home, we combine the Mona Lisa approach with the Parking Ticket, which combined make for a most effective way of dealing with tantrums and indignation.  I have found that this same approach also works in other settings, too, but modified appropriately: taking away TV privileges may work on my seven year old, but you have to find the right incentives to match for other ages. ;)

So Many iPhone Apps, So Little Time - Pogue’s Posts Blog - NYTimes.com -- "Apple's rotting retail sales will taint the electronics food chain, Barron's Plugged In author Mark Veverka says. While foot traffic at Apple's 250-odd retail stores more or less held up (-1.8% from last year), customers aren't walking away with all that much - as same-store revenue fell 17.4% in the December quarter vs. a year ago."

My big TED idea? Have breakfast with Jeff Sandquist of Microsoft. He gets stuff done. What's your big TED idea? - FriendFeed

Ominous Drop in Sales Bodes Ill for More than Just Apple - Barron's -- Feb 1, 2009 -- "Apple's rotting retail sales will taint the electronics food chain, Barron's Plugged In author Mark Veverka says."

Microsoft's first environmental chief engages company critics - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source By Todd Bishop on February 6, 2009 at 6:20 PST -- "Rob Bernard developed a love for the outdoors while hiking New England’s White Mountains in his youth. Nowadays, he’s so attuned to the environment that he installed a device in his Microsoft office to monitor, in real time, his precise energy usage. And his vehicle? A 2001 Volvo. No, it’s definitely not the latest hybrid. But the story behind Bernard’s choice of car demonstrates the analytical approach he applies to the environment — and to his role as the Redmond software company’s first chief environmental strategist."

Roger's Security Blog : Both Sides of the Windows 7 UAC Problem -- "I have to come back to the UAC problem again. I just read a good article from Larry Seltzer on eWeek.com: "Now, let me get it straight (after all the pretty emotional comments I got on my last post): I definitely understand your view and your argumentation. What we need – however – is a balanced discussion about what makes sense and what does not."

Ask Engadget: Best flash / HDD-based camcorder under $400? – Engadget -- by Darren Murph, posted Feb 5th 2009 at 11:04PM -- "With CES over and done with, there's really just one thing left to do: wait for all those wares that were announced to actually ship. To that end, we reckon this question is particularly timely being that a whole slew of camcorders were introduced in Vegas. Feel free to suggest an oldie-but-goodie, though."

A closer look at the Windows 7 SKUs - Windows 7 Team Blog -- Posted by: Brandon LeBlanc 10:09 PM Wednesday, Feb 04, 2009 -- "Today, I wanted to take a closer look at the Windows 7 SKUs since there has been some discussion about them for the last couple of days. By the end of this post, I want you to know exactly which edition of Windows 7 is right for you and help you understand how we approached addressing the large amount of feedback we received. Our SKU line-up is based on listening to feedback from customers and partners and here is what they have told us and how we are addressing their feedback in Windows 7:"

Ballmer: Stay on Windows XP and You Will Face a Backlash - PC World -- Shane O'Neill, Computerworld UK, Feb 5, 2009 10:17 am -- "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is warning IT organisations that they risk provoking an end user backlash if they don't move off the XP operating system. "If you deploy a four or five-year old operating system today, most people will ask their boss why the heck they don't have the stuff they have at home," the Microsoft CEO said."

War Of The Words: Sony Responds To Microsoft's Netflix Numbers, Regrettably, by Michael McWhertor, 7:30 PM on Thu Feb 5 2009 -- "Microsoft's public bragging about its success with Netflix adoption among Xbox Live subscribers did not go unnoticed by the press release maestros at Sony. Which is unfortunate, really. So how does Sony respond?"

Diary of a Self-Help Dropout: Flirting With the 4-Hour Workweek -- http://tinyurl.com/8vr4rv

Mac sales outlook sags under weight of recession By Gregg Keizer, February 4, 2009 (Computerworld) "The short-term outlook for sales of Apple Inc.'s Macintosh computers has significantly slipped in the past month, indicating that the company isn't immune to the recession, a market research company said today. "

Windows Mobile: What’s coming when | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com -- Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 11:49 am -- "Much was made of this week’s slip-up by Motorola’s CEO that Windows Mobile 7 is due in 2010 (something that’s actually been expected for a few months now). "I’ve been curious about how Microsoft plans to try to catch up with its mobile-phone competitors given the slow, plodding pace at which it has been rolling out new versions of its Windows Mobile platform. After asking around, it sounds like the Softies are definitely aiming to speed up development. "While Windows Mobile officials won’t talk about ship-date targets (hmmm… sounds like Windows client)..."

25 Stretch Goals for Management - Gary Hamel - HarvardBusiness.org -- 5:00 PM Tuesday February 3, 2009 -- "In May 2008, a group of renowned scholars and business leaders gathered in Half Moon Bay, California, with a simple goal: to lay out an agenda for reinventing management in the 21st century. The two-day event, organized by the Management Lab with support from McKinsey & Company, brought together veteran management experts such as CK Prahalad, Henry Mintzberg, and Peter Senge; distinguished social commentators including Kevin Kelly, James Surowiecki and Shoshana Zuboff;"

How to link to specific piece of content on web Marketplace - Xbox Live's Major Nelson -- "The Xbox.com team has rolled out a tiny new feature that I wanted to point out. Now when you are browsing the Marketplace on Xbox.com, you can click the SEND A LINK tab for a link to a specific piece of content. No more scrolling page after page looking for something when someone tells you about it. Want to tell someone about a free piece of DLC? You can now copy a direct link or hit the‘Click to create and send a link using your email application’ link to fire up your default mail application and open a new mail with the link. It’s a little thing…but I wanted to point it out in case you missed it."

Nine-year old whiz-kid writes iPhone application -- Wed Feb 4, 2009 9:46pm EST, SINGAPORE (Reuters) - While most children his age sketch on paper with crayons, nine-year old Lim Ding Wen from Singapore, has a very different canvas -- his iPhone. Lim, who is in fourth grade, writes applications for Apple's popular iPhone."  More after the jump.

Bill Gates' mosquito stunt: What really happened at TED today - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source -- By Todd Bishop on February 4, 2009 at 4:49 PST "Yes, they were real. No, they didn't carry malaria. And they definitely didn't qualify as a swarm. But they sure did get a lot of attention. "That's the word from a reliable source after the Microsoft chairman set the tech world, ahem, abuzz by opening a jar of mosquitos at the TED conference today -- reportedly telling the crowd that not only poor people should experience the problem. We made a few calls and found out that the jar contained a relatively modest collection of mosquitoes: more than a few, but probably fewer than ten. "The dramatic move was meant to highlight the issue of malaria, which was one of two subjects of Gates' talk at the hip conference. (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.) Gates also spoke about education. For a good rundown, see this detailed blog post by Ethan Zuckerman. A video is also expected..."

HTPC Cases With LCD Screens: Bringing Bling - Review Tom's Hardware, February 3, 2009 by Don Woligroski -- "Like many computer enthusiasts, I’m an early adopter. At the turn of the millennium, I decided to construct a home theater PC (HTPC)--before Windows Media Center Edition was readily available as a standalone product. Armed with AMD’s Remote Wonder, a Radeon 7500 with an S-video output, some game controllers, and a DVD-ROM drive, my HTPC was tasked to play DVDs, music, and PC games on the 27" TV in my living room. Let’s find out by taking a hard look at three HTPC cases with integrated LCD touch screens: the Moneual 972, the SilverStone CW03, and the Thermaltake DH102. All three offer full ATX compatibility, iMedian HD media player software, a handy IR remote, and a 7" LCD touch screen."

WebMetricsGuru: Ultra Light Startups written up in BusinessWeek -- Posted by Marshall on February 04, 2009 -- "Here’s the presentation I prepared for Ultra Light Web Analytics, which I had help with from my friends. The fact is - I can imagine, in the era of Social Media and Transparency - that knowledge is not anything but Collaborative. I am fortunate to have so many great people to draw up to help me with the ideas and challenges we face. "Defining Web Analytics for Startups, btw, isn’t an easy subject, little is written on it, up to this point."

Charlie Rose: The MySpace Interview with Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson by Leena Rao on February 4, 2009 -- "MySpace founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe got the Charlie Rose treatment on Tuesday night in a wide-ranging interview that lasted about a half hour. Rose starts with a few general questions, but he does get a few tidbits of new information. For instance, DeWolfe reveals that 18 million people a month get MySpace on their mobile phones. To put that into perspective, that is about the same size as the worldwide audience for the NYTimes.com (comScore). DeWolfe also claims: "We have the biggest library of professional videos in the world."

Families Changed Microsoft's View of Autism -- SmartMoney Magazine by Amanda Spake - "Brian Rosenberg suffers from autism. And while that term can describe a wide range of developmental problems, says Jon Rosenberg, Brian's father, "My son is at the severe end of the spectrum." "Brian has learned these skills by working one on one with a behavioral therapist, day in and day out, since his diagnosis. Behavioral therapy for autism can cost as much as $60,000 per year, a serious financial challenge for a family whose insurance won't cover it. Indeed, many families have no coverage for the services that autistic children need most. The Rosenbergs are lucky: Jon's employer, the software giant Microsoft, covers behavioral therapy as part of its health-benefits package. But that wasn't always the case — and the story of how the policies changed at the Redmond Empire is instructive for any family facing a costly medical problem." http://tinyurl.com/bqsd7f 

Twitter Optimization Part 4: 10 Tools You Need for Business — by Tad Chef on February 2, 2009 "Last time I promised a post about the 10 Twitter tools you need for using Twitter for business and in a professional manner. I used Twitter just for fun, testing and finding out what it is about for a while and decided to professionalize it myself. You can’t even follow tweets about you right unless you use some special tools. You will miss opportunities due to overlooking important tweets in a mess of info overload. In the Twitter optimization series overview post I wrote about 5 tools you’ll need, this time I’ll add another 5…"

Netflix May Be Considering HBO Downloads -- Online Video – InformationWeek -- "In addition to the HBO content, subscribers would still have access to the 12,000 movies and TV episodes Netflix currently offers online at no additional charge. By Antone Gonsalves InformationWeek February 3, 2009 03:00 AM Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) has reportedly sent a survey to customers asking if they would be willing to pay an additional $10 a month to watch HBO movies and shows online. In the survey, posted on the blog Hacking Netflix, the movie rental service asks subscribers if they would be willing to pay to have HBO content streamed to their computers or to an Internet-connected device attached to their digital TVs. Such devices could include the Netflix Player built by Roku, Microsoft's Xbox 360 video-game console, a TiVo digital video recorder, or select Blu-ray disk player from LG Electronics and Samsung."

Issa invokes Clearwire conflict, wants to halt DTV delay bill - Ars Technica, By Julian Sanchez | Last updated February 4, 2009 11:45 -- "A Republican Congressman is seeking to postpone a vote on a DTV transition delay, and seeking an inquiry into the role of telecom executive and former lobbyist R. Gerard Salemme in shaping the Obama team's DTV policy, a troubling conflict of interest Ars uncovered last month."

MAKE: Blog: Web designer sketch book -- Posted by Phillip Torrone | Feb 4, 2009 08:53 AM -- "I really like this Web designer sketch book via BBG. Paranaiv writes - "I'm glad to announce that the Norwegian design store, Hunting Lodge, are now selling the Web Design sketchbook. Their online store is currently down, but if you send them an e-mail I'm sure they'll help you out. I will also be selling the book from my own upcoming Merchline store, but it might take a few weeks before that is up and running. The book contains 60 pages. 45 with normal browser windows and 15 of web ad formats. I often use it in client meetings for sketching and mock-ups and the clients love it."

FOXNews.com - India's '$10 Laptop' Revealed as Nearly Useless Brick, February 04, 2009 -- "When is a laptop not a laptop? When it's introduced by Indian education officials, apparently. "The buzz and hype surrounding the Indian Education Ministry's breathless announcement last week that it would be unveiling a $10 laptop aimed at the poor fizzled out like a wet firecracker Tuesday evening when officials finally debuted the device. "A photo displayed at the press conference in the southern city of Tirupati showed it to be nothing more than an external storage brick, the sort of thing you'd plug into a real laptop to hold your MP3 files. "There are a lot of things you can do for $10," said PCMag.com Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff. "Buy 10 cups of coffee. ... Get a cheap T-shirt or two. What you can't do, however, is build a PC."

Removing admin rights stymies 92% of Microsoft's bugs (Gregg Keizer, Computerworld) -- BeyondTrust CEO says nine of out 10 critical bugs easily could have been less dangerous By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld, February 04, 2009 -- "Nine of out 10 critical bugs reported by Microsoft last year could have been made moot, or at least made less dangerous, if people ran Windows without administrative rights, a developer of enterprise rights management software claimed Tuesday. "The vast majority of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities -- 92% of them -- could have been mitigated by stripping users of administrative rights, said John Moyer, the CEO of BeyondTrust. "This speaks to what enterprises should be doing," Moyer said. "Clearly, eliminating administrative rights can close the window of opportunity of attack."

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