Tuesday, 13 September 2005

The XBox 360 console will be released in late November, and Microsoft has announced that several games will be backward-compatible and will run on the new machine.

Here's your chance (for the next few days, anyhow) to vote on which games will receive backward-compatibility support:

"... when it comes to determining backwards compatibility, the ball is entirely in Microsoft's court. As you'd expect, they've already baked-in all the no-brainer Xbox games that will work on 360 (e.g., Halo 1 and 2, Knights of the Old Republic, Fable, etc.), but with the Xbox 360 launch just around the corner this November, the boys from Redmond are unofficially reaching out to the gaming community to learn what remaining games Xbox fans would like to see backwards compatible on Xbox 360.

"We present below (split into two digestible lists) 80 worthy Xbox titles Microsoft isn't sure about. 80 games that will, over the course of the next 5 days, battle it out to the death. While there are no guarantees that the top 10 or 20 games will make it into the backwards compatibility list, or even what the cut-off number will be for the top titles, the stakes here are unquestionably high. To be sure, Microsoft will be checking out these results to gauge consumer interest in many of these excellent games. And they will act accordingly. So know that your vote will make a difference."


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Random Stuff
Tuesday, 13 September 2005 00:51:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 12 September 2005

News broke this morning: eBay to buy Skype for 2.6 billion in cash, stock. Crazy.

And for exactly twice that dollar amount, Oracle is working to buy Siebel.

So, in essence what they're telling us is that Skype is worth 50% of what Siebel is worth? Does this make any real sense?

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Random Stuff
Monday, 12 September 2005 04:36:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 11 September 2005

9-11-ribbonToday I once again had the pleasure of working closely with Cops on Top, a non-profit organization that undertakes mountain climbing expeditions to the highest points in the world in order to remember and recognized the sacrifice of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Today expedition teams from across the United States and Canada took off for their respective state or territory high points to remember the first responders who were killed helping others on September 11th, 2001. We've enabled the teams to dial in via mobile or satellite phones, and their audio blogs are posted to the Cops on Top climber's weblog.

Congratulations and thanks to all the police officers and their team mates who undertook expeditions today. As a former cop and someone who's seen the positive impact the Cops on Top program has, I can tell you it means a lot to many people.

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Helping Others | Personal Stories
Sunday, 11 September 2005 20:53:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 10 September 2005

Hey, if all else fails, boot to a USB drive, right? Only problem is, who wants to haul around an external hard drive?

Actually, Tom's Hardware has an article on installing and running Windows XP on a USB flash drive. Windows in your pocket - it doesn't get much easier than that eh?

Boot up, access the Windows install and do whatever you need. Great idea.

Notes from the article:

  • A USB flash drive with at least 256 MB of storage is enough for the uses described in this article. Additional system tools or applications require more space. The upper bound limits for storage in this case is 2 GB - a byproduct of the tool's use of FAT16 for the local file system.
  • Most new motherboards recognize USB flash drives as valid boot media. But conventional motherboards that are more than two years old aren't likely to boot from a USB flash drive. But in many cases, this omission can be remedied through a BIOS update for that board.
  • 1.5 GB of unused disk space is the maximum needed for the tool to do its job, particularly if you want to pre-install Service Pack 2 and RAM disk capabilities. 190 MB of unused space is all that's needed to use PE Builder and the applications described in this article, however. Additional plug-ins will increase storage requirements, as will additional tools or software.
  • 512 MB of USB flash drive storage space is needed only if boot-up works from a RAM disk. Otherwise, 256 MB is big enough.
  • Access to a USB 2.0 port is not mandatory, though booting with a USB 1.1 port takes about five times longer.
  • A Windows XP Setup CD works fine as a foundation for PE Builder to generate the USB flash drive's contents.

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Geek Out | Tech
Saturday, 10 September 2005 19:39:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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We're not all perfect, bulletproof or even smart. Funny how it works that way. In fact, there's a certain percentage of IT and security pros out there that come up with bone-headed, stupid ideas - and who make decisions based on those ideas.

Marcus Ranum wrote about what he calls "The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security." It's a good read, and I agree with almost everything he says there:


In reality, anyone in the IT and security field should have a solid, well-formed opinion that they can back up on everything Marcus mentions in his essay.

(via Bruce Schneier)

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IT Security | Tech
Saturday, 10 September 2005 19:26:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Nano1Damn you, Apple.

Stop teasing me with higher-cost hardware that has that extra "woah dude, woah" factor.

I can't afford to be tempted like this. Stop!

Ya gotta admit it, that nano is pretty sweet. Take the smallness they went for with the Shuffle (which, by the way, is about as useless as the stick of gum it's often compared to) and then put back all the cool stuff about the iPod (you know, like menus and the touch control) and then double or quadruple the storage capacity compared to the Shuffle, and there ya go. Oh yeah, and that color display is nice, of course.

Okay, okay - I'll think about it.


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Saturday, 10 September 2005 10:32:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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