RossCode Weekly #050

posted on 06/02/06 at 04:41:34 pm by Joel Ross

RossCode Weekly #050?- 06.02.2006

In case you noticed last week, RCW was rushed out the door. I had it pretty much ready to go - I just wanted to organize each section a bit, and remove unused sections (like Odds & Ends). I planned to do that Friday night, and publish it then. Instead, I got a call from the wife, and we decided to go camping for the weekend. I rushed home, we packed, I published, and that was that. On Monday, I realized my mistake, but then it was too late.

I kind of thought things might slow down a bit (news-wise) as summer approached, but that doesn't appear to be happening. Lots and lots of stuff going on!

One question for you: Is it too hard to read when the articles are squished together? Would it be better if there was some sort of seperation between stories?

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Previously From RCW
Verizon released GPS service?- It's only available on a few phones right now (RAZR and a couple of others). It's called VZ Navigator, and is $2.99 for the day or $9.99 / month. They also have a FuelFinder for $1.99 / month that will show you the cheapest gas location. More: Vindigo City Guide for restaurants ($2.99 / month). Roadside assistance for $3 / month.

News & Views
Critical Flaw in Symantec AntiVirus?- it appears to only be in the corporate versions, and has been fixed already, but if you don't have the fix installed, you could be subject to?a flaw that would allow hackers to seize control of your computer.
Microsoft adds Office 2007 Ultimate?- It's aimed at large businesses, and will cost $679. It'll include all components available - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, Groove, Access and Infopath. This'll be similar to the Enterprise Edition, but EE is only available to volume license customers.
Microsoft adds Visual Studio for database developers?- A new addition to the Visual Studio Team System editions that basically came out of left field. Looks pretty good, and comes with source control, refactoring, data compare, schema compare, data generation and unit testing. If it works as well as Red Gate's products, I'll be shocked, but still might be worth it if you can do it all under source control and in the same UI.
Microsoft's Tech Ed sessions will be broadcast live?- if I remember last year, they were also broadcast live. I was at them, so I had no need. This year though, I might have to watch a few of them. Of course, you won't get your?swag!
XBox 360 camera coming in September?- No longer do you have to rely on dated technology like audio to communicate in games - now you can see everyone's mugs. Interesting side note: Gesture Recognitions are coming, and will require two Live Visions (that's what it's called). No word on pricing yet though.
Google launches Picasa for Linux?- You had to know it was only a matter of time before Google slowed their new software releases and went back and filled out their lineup to make them cross platform. Remember, Microsoft is a competitor and since they control the OS that most of Google's software runs on, it only makes sense to branch out a bit.
Google launches AdSense API?- It's a free beta (What? Google released software in beta?!?) that lets you integrate AdSense into your website. So, if you have a bunch of users who generate content, you can allow them to create AdSense accounts and share revenue with them - all without leaving your site.
eBay launches blogs and wikis for sellers?- It'll officially launch on June 13th, during the eBay Live conference, but it will allow sellers to communicate with buyers about their products and stores.

The Cold Wars
Opera 8.6 for PPC released?- $24 for a browser seems pricy, but if you're an Opera fan, you can get this for your PPC. It's got tabbed browsing, downloading, zoom, and a whole slew of other features.
Firefox 2.0 Alpha 3 released?- It's still alpha, but Bon Echo is available, and it's added a SQLite based database for bookmark and history storage, inproved search, enhanced security, and anti-phishing. The anti-phishing was "donated" by Google. Now, when Google claims that Microsoft is wrong to default to MSN search in IE, will they offer to donate the code to fix it?
Vista will have IE 7+?- It'll basically be the same features as IE 7 on XP, but will have a few more features that Vista enables: Protected Mode, Parental Controls, and better network diagnostics. From a web developer's perspective, not much changes - they'll both have the same rendering engine.
See Windows Vista site launches?- Interested in what Vista holds, but don't have a machine that will support it, or just don't want to take the time to do it? Well, now you don't have to. Yeah, you won't get the true feel for it, but there are lots of videos to show you what it'll be like.
Microsoft launches Mac-only hardware?- Kind of an interesting move from the folks up in Redmond. It's a wireless Laser Desktop - mouse and keyboard. No start button, and it's patterned after other Mac-only keyboard layouts.
Windows Live OneCare officially launches?- It's now fully Windows Live branded, and has been in beta for a while now. They have antivirus, antispyware, two way firewall, disk management tools, backup utilities and instant support (24/7).
Networks offer taste of fall schedule online?- in a move that definitely reflects the changing times for networks, the big three (CBS, ABC and NBC - the big three in my mind, despite higher ratings by FOX over NBC) are all offering video clips of their new shows this fall.
Time Warner sues Cablevision?- It's not surprising really. TW (network side) is joining the lawsuit against Cablevision's network DVR plans. But what's funny is that I'm sure they didn't get involved when it was TW (cable side) looking into building a network DVR. Shoe. Other foot.
Pirate Bay raided?- There's definitely some confusion about this one. They're in Sweden, so when they were raided, it's questionable if they are actually breaking laws. They've been offline for a few days, but have stated they'll be back soon. No official word on why, but rumor is that it's probably either the RIAA or MPAA behind this one. If you're a torrenter, beware, and maybe time to move on to a different torrent search engine (but not - they're being pursued by the MPAA to!)
Skype to ship on Dell hardware?- So Dell's already going to install Google's software - why not throw in Skype. Crapware is what I believe it's called, right? They even recognize the agony they cause the users - higher end systems come with an option to exclude crapware (I wonder if that's what the option says "No Crapware, please"). Lower end systems don't have that option, though.
Yahoo launches YouTube competitor?- I thought they already did, but apparently, it wasn't live yet. It was supposed to have a bunch of Yahoo generated content, but instead it will be mostly user generated content. The front page, however, will have some professional content, and everything on it will be reviewed by Yahoo's editorial staff first.
C|NET launches AllYouCanUpload?- It's a picture hosting service, a la Flickr or Photobucket.?No limits on the number or size of image uploads, nor is there a limit on bandwidth. It's pretty barebones, but if you need a place to stick a picture without bandwidth concerns, this is the place.
Red Hat ships open source MySpace clone?- That's all fine and dandy, but who cares if it's open source? Remember, the appeal of MySpace is that everyone is there. If you release something like this in open source, you're watering down your own ability to develop a social network. Remember, social means people at your site. Anyway, it's called Mugshot, and is supposedly pretty good, despite it's already doomed future. adds blog search?- Bloglines also gets a backend upgrade (no UI changes) too. It took them a bit (maybe Jeeves wasn't a blogger?), but finally got around to doing it, and it looks pretty good. You can subscribe right from the results, you can preview the site without leaving the search, and you can save them off to your favorites site - your own little link blog.

The Grapevine
Microsoft searching for partners?- Pure speculation here, but Microsoft is said to be interested in partnering to be a bigger threat to Google. They had pursued eBay, but the Yahoo deal seemed to cool those talks. Now they're potentially looking at both MySpace and Facebook as potential partners to drive traffic to MSN and serve ads on.?Wasn't MySpace just in the news recently because their ads didn't generate much revenue?
Vista Ultimate: $450? Who knows how legit this is, but that's the word on the streets. Pretty expensive when you consider you can get a low end machine for the same price.
Xbox Portable coming in 18 months? The back and forth between speculators and Microsoft contine, this time with speculators (conveniently calling themselves "analysts") say a microsoft portable gaming system is coming?- and they even give a timeframe - 18 months. Now, we can't even get Microsoft to commit to a date for Vista. How can an outside group commit a date to a product that's pre-vaporware?

Odds & Ends
Word 2007 has a new default font?- The article doesn't have any confirmation, but I can confirm on my local install that Times New Roman got the boot, and Calibri has been selected in it's place. Interesting. Will this stay that way when it's out of beta? I guess we wait and see.
AMD to buy ATI? It's been a while since we've had a good acquisition rumor (with some potential - MS buying Yahoo was?a little far-fetched), and this definitely fits the bill. Of course, this sounds more like wishful thinking than actuality.
BlackFrom to take up BlueFrog's crusade?- BlueFrog was Blue Security's product that (tried to) overwhelm spammers with unsubscribe requests and went out under when spammers fought back. Well, BlackFrog is the open, distrubuted answer?- the DDOS attack that spammers attempted won't slow BlackFrog, because of the P2P network being used, called FrogNet.
Cambodia bans 3G networks for 10 years?- Why? Porn. They seem to think that since you can get porn on your phone, banning the technology that delivers it will work. Why 10 years? They figure a solution will be in place in 10 years. Good theory. The internet's been around for more than 10 years, and we've completely eliminated all the porn there...
BBC will broadcast World Cup games online?- Sounds like it will be UK only, but if you live across the pond, and can't make it to Germany, you can watch the qualifying games online, as well as England's quarter- and semi-final matches.

Bonehead of the Week
Vonage IPO?- There's more to this story than just the link on the right. Basically, since the IPO, the stock has dropped, which obviously was not the plan most people buying the stock had in mind. Yeah, it's a risk, but here's where Vonage screwed up: I could have guessed it was going to drop just based on the way Vonage has been treated lately in the news, so they should have seen a drop coming. If your stock is going to drop, keep your customers out of it?- or at least don't actively send your customers down a money-losing road. Well, Vonage offered all of their customers a chance to get in on the IPO, and those who did are now probably not too happy. If they leave en mass, how do you think that will help the stock price? Oh, and there were rumors that Vonage said they would cover any customers who didn't pay up, but are now backing off that claim. What a mess!

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