Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 Year in Review - The good and the bad

2005 was a year of ups and downs. Here are the highlights from my point of view:

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Second Life reaches 100,000 residents!

The online virtual world of Second Life announced today that they have reached 100,000 residents. This is a huge milestone for a "game" where there is no monster killing, level grind, or even plot for that matter.

It is a testament to the fact that there is a niche market for a creative outlet where digital artists, programmers, architects, business people, and socialites can gather together to build a virtual world all their own.

For those of you who know me, I have been involved with Second Life since their early beta in 2003. My blog portrait is actually a picture of my avatar in Second Life. It's nice to see SL grow and mature, and here's hoping to an even better 2006!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My new music/technology blog

I noticed that I kept posting here about how technology and music come together, so I decided to start a blog dedicated to the topic. Come see Silicon Music!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

What I got for Christmas!

Well, it's Christmas, and that means there's torn wrapping paper all over the floor in the living room, the cats are trying to eat it, and I'm slowly slipping into a chocolate induced coma. Gotta love this holiday!

So what did I get? Well, here's the list!
It's been a good Christmas :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Self tuning guitar

Engadget reports on the Transperformance System, which allows for a guitar to tune itself. Quickly change your tuning at the touch of a button! Very interesting!

Microsoft faces $2.4 Million/day fine

This is freakin' ridiculous. The European Commission has threatened to fine Microsoft up to $2.4 million a day if it fails to open up Windows to competitors. Microsoft legal chief Brad Smith says "We've shipped a new version of Windows, we've paid a historic fine, and we've provided unprecedented access to Microsoft technology to promote interoperability with other industry players...In total, we have now responded to more than 100 requests from the Commission."

What ever happened to free enterprise? Why should Microsoft have to bow down to the competition just because they got to be so powerful? Screw that! Microsoft owns Windows and they should be able to do whatever the hell they want with it. Period.

Things like this reek of socialism to me. If Microsoft makes it difficult for rivals to compete, then they are doing their job right. That's business. Competitors need to innovate and think outside the box to try to one up Microsoft. Don't go crying to governments saying they aren't playing fair. Makes you look like big cry babies who can't make a better product or can't market a better product properly.

Stop crying, you little pussies. Start competing the right way. Remember, if you can't stand the heat...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Microsoft trying to be more like Apple?

People who know me know that I have an aversion to Apple, and a soft spot for Microsoft. I know, it seems backwards by today's concensus, but Apple has always proven to be an arrogant, elitist company, which rubs me the wrong way.

That being said, I have always acknowledged Apple's talent for user interface design and style. Sure, it pisses me off that I have to say I like something about them, but I have to be honest. Their designs rock...more than Microsoft's.

Well now, that may all change. ZDNet has announced that Microsoft has hired user interface guru Bill Buxton, a designer known for his work in human-machine interfaces. This is an attempt to bring Microsoft up to speed on better usability for their products, and hopefully add an Apple-ish flair for style.

GO BILL (both Gates and Buxton)!

Friday, December 16, 2005

'Second Life' turns attacker in to FBI

The online virtual world of 'Second Life' is so open ended that the entire world is created and programmed by it's digital citizens. This open-endedness can come at a price, though. It is fairly trivial within the world to create a denial of service attack that can bring down the entire grid. The scripting tools to do so are built right into the environment.

But hackers and script-kiddies take note: C|Net reports that Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life, are coming down hard on the attackers...turning them over to the FBI. Second Life citizens are actualy happy about Linden Labs hard keeps their world up and running if attackers fear the consequences.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Google expands portal services

Yes, Google keeps adding stuff! This time around they added user created content to their homepage portal. Check it out.

Also, they've added Web Clips to Gmail, which is basically customizable RSS feeds that display over your inbox. More ways to get the info you want!