RossCode Weekly #051

posted on 06/10/06 at 12:59:40 am by Joel Ross

RossCode Weekly #051?- 06.09.2006

You'd think I could get this out on time, since it's the only post I've done all week. Too much summer fun, I guess.?

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News & Views
CEO of Yahoo demands pay to match Google's CEO?- On the plus side, I now earn more than both Yahoo's and Google's CEOs - combined! Of course, I don't get quite as many stock options...
Slashdot gets a new look?- and it looks pretty good. Much better than the old look. Still the same Microsoft bashing, but they make it look good!
300,000 free ebooks?- From the World eBook Library and Project Gutenberg, and you can get them from July 4th through Autust 4th. They usually charge $8.95 for yearly access, so it sounds like a much better deal than it really is. Anyway, there's a lot of older "classics" available to go grab.
ABC signs ad deals based on live-only viewers?- They caved on their claim that they would only sign ad deals based on DVR and live viewers, basically after the other networks caved to. Eventually, this won't be the case, but for now, advertisers are winning. That'll stop as DVR use continues to increase.
Tom Green to host online talk show?- It's a weekly call-in show and will start June 15th. He's onboard for?50 shows, so he'll be around for another year or so. Maybe.
Jay Leno's monologue on iTunes?- more and more content for Apple, but seriously - $1.99 for his 15 minute monologue? $9.99 for a month is better (that's 20), but still. Thats a lot of money for not a whole lot of content.
Two more Live services hit beta?- Security Token Service and Relay Service. STS allows you to use Infocards online. RS is focused at developers, and will help build software with connectivity without having to worry about firewalls or NAT routers.
Microsoft announces Rev 2 of BizTalk 2006?- This won't mean a lot to most, but Microsoft prioritized this one. Why? RFID.
MSDN Wiki announced?- Ever thought the MSDN documentation wasn't quite good enough? Well, now you can change it!

The Cold Wars
Windows Live Messenger to hit final release June 16th?- I wonder if there's any significance that Tech Ed is next week, and this'll come on the last day. Interesting that this'll be the first "Live" branded software to come out of Beta.
Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta announced?- The sign up has been around for a while, but details are starting to come out. They're also saying the name will change.
Windows Live Expo API available?- This could make some very nice mash ups to pull classifieds to your website - or to a map, given that everything is geo-tagged. For those technically inclined, it's got both SOAP and REST for you to use.
Ubuntu 6.06 released?- If you're not familiar, Ubuntu is quickly becoming one of the most popular Linux flavors. It's got a pretty good interface, and fairly easy to use. If you want to start using Linux, Ubuntu is the way to go.
Windows Vista beta 2 publicly available?- Maybe since Office was released at the same time, and it was public, I thought Vista was public too, but apparently not. Now everyone can realize their computer isn't sufficient to run it.
Comcast launches variable download speed service?- it's called PowerBoost, and can potentially double your download speeds when there's low traffic on the network. Best of all, it's free to 6 and 8 meg customers.
Microsoft drops PDF support in Office?- bowing to pressure from Adobe, Microsoft will yank PDF support, and instead push the XPS document format. This is one of those issues where a lot of surprising folks have come out in support of Microsoft. Adobe offers their API for free to others (OpenOffice), but suddenly Microsoft can't use it. Adobe threatened Microsoft by saying they'd go to the European Commision if they did. The EC is quickly becoming a place to compete with Microsoft, rather than the worrying about competing in the marketplace.
The Pirate Bay is back online?- As promised, they've set up shop in a new country and are back online. Good job, MPAA. You took the site down for four days!
Net2Phone sues Skype?- Would you be shocked to find out it's about patent infringement? Me neither. That must be pre-stamped on legal documents now. If you read the patent wording, it sounds pretty vague, and could cover all p2P software. Why pick Skype then? Oh yeah, eBay has lots of money. I forgot.
Yahoo and YouTube launch "channels"?- You can now watch channels, which are basically a collection of videos that are related, either by artist or topic. Odd that they both launched within days of each other.
Yahoo Photos launches?- Once again, the right hand knows not what the left hand is doing. Hey Yahoo, you own Flickr! You don't need a Photos service! You already have one!
Yahoo relaunches MyWeb?- Does the MyWeb team know about They're working independantly (or so it seems) from each other. Anyway, it's a new version, and they've dropped 2.0 from the name.?I just haven't quite been able to get into this.
Google launches online spreadsheet?- Sort of. This time they were relatively smart - instead of letting everyone sign up, they gave a signup sheet and are adding users as they have capacity. As a result, not a lot of people have actually played with it. But that hasn't stopped the death toll from sounding for Office.
Sony PS3 to be 100% backwards compatible?- They've said this all along, but with deadlines looming, the emulator may not be completely ready. What to do? Put a PS2 right in the PS3! They're going to be including the full chipset right in there, which guarantees all games will work. For once, a good thing coming out about the Sony game system!
Microsoft adds BI to Office?- It's called Office PerformancePoint Server 2007. It's aimed at mid-sized and large companies.
Pioneer joins the Blu-Ray camp?- They're going to drop their current DVD business and go all Blu-Ray. I guess they're going all in with Sony.
TiVo offering Web Video to subscribers?- For subscribers with a Series2 bo, they can watch online clips from the NBA, iVillage and others.
FeedBurner and TypePad team up?- So now, Typepad users get Feedburner stats if they want them. Interesting move, but odd that TypePad couldn't just come up with their own stats package and resorted to going with FeedBurner. Money maybe?
MSN Spaces URL change coming?- This is the second URL change for Spaces. Instead of[member], it'll be [member] Much simpler!
Cablevision countersues networks?- And announced they're delaying their network DVR at least until Fall. They're suing saying it's covered under fair use, and it'll be hammered out in court this summer.
AOL to offer free security tool?- It's called Total Care, and will be available to testers in a "coming weeks." It basically matches Windows Live OneCare from Microsoft, except it's free.

The Grapevine
Comcast to start testing HD TiVo? Comcast and TiVo signed an agreement a while ago, and maybe their users will finally start to get some benefit from it.
XBox 360 backwards compatibility update coming soon?- last week, there was a lot of buzz around an MS exec who said backwards compatibility wasn't important anymore. This week, we get word that an update is coming soon.
IE 7 beta 3 coming in August? This wasn't planned, I don't think, and it stems from compatibility issues. It sounds like it'll most be under the hood changes, but bottom line, this just means IE 7's release is pushed back just a bit farther.
New XBox 360 peripherals coming for the holidays?- Starting in September with the XBox Live Vision, but definitely not stopping there. They've also got a wireless headset, a 256 MB memory module, a few game-themed faceplates, and a $20 adapter to use your 360 controllers with your PC.?Also rumored are a wireless steering wheel, and the HD-DVD add-on.
Yahoo integration with Live Messenger coming soon?- I thought they said this was going to be available earlier this year, but it never happened. Now, there's word that it's coming. Probably not before the current Windows Live Messenger goes live though.
Mac Slingplayer delayed one quarter?- I didn't even know it was coming for Macs, but then again, I don't have a Mac, so why would I? Anyway, it's coming, but delayed.
AppleBerry? Apple rumors usually run rampant, and a lot don't pan out. The interesting part about this is that the rumor is coming from the RIM side, and not the Apple side, which oddly adds credibility to it. According to the Buzz out loud podcast, this is the mullet of phones - business in the front (blackberry) and pleasure in the back (music phone)!
Wireless USB is coming?- Iogear and Wisair are demoing it, and it looks pretty good! 480 Mbps transfer speeds, and up to four connections at a time. Nice.
Bluetooth 3.0 coming? It'll offer similar distances, but it offers 480 Mbps transfer rates. Hmm. Is Bluetooth 3.0 the same as Wireless USB?

Odds & Ends illegal in the UK?- Britons were warned that using could result in legal action if they download from them. has come under fire recently, as has Russia for allowing them to operate.
PubSub going down? That seems to be the indication. They just got rid of their CEO in March, and now comes word that they had massive layoffs after merger talks fell apart. That's too bad for them, although lately, their service just hasn't been that impressive.

Bonehead of the Week
MLB hates Slingbox?- Since baseball is a regional sport, and revenue is based on seeing games locally, MLB doesn't like that the Slingbox allows you to watch games where ever you are. Seriously? They're watching games, and MLB is complaining? Boneheads!

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