Saturday, 12 April 2008
Since I "needed" a new high-def disc format player (specifically Blu-Ray Disc) to take the place of my suddenly-antiquated HD-DVD hardware, and since Thursday was my 41st birthday, I decided to get what is arguably the best Blu-Ray player out there. The Playstation 3. Ah mid-life and gadgety toys, heh.

As luck would have it, my dad called me and asked what I'd like for my birthday. We go through the same conversation each time, and it's really kind of funny. I say I don't know and we end up in a friendly stalemate. I told him what I was looking at buying for myself, and he got interested. It was too much money, really - but he insisted (thanks, dad!). And so I went to the local big box store and picked one up and brought it home last night.

I'm not going to do a PS3 review. Yes, it's great hardware and the Blu-Ray discs play great. Watched 3:10 to Yuma last night (good flick). I was impressed, just as I was with HD-DVD.

But you know what impresses me more? In the past few weeks I have seen device after device - from different, even competing manufacturers - communicating with each other to share media on the network.

My Windows Home Server and Windows Media Player devices can share out media with the Xbox 360, with my DirecTV HD-DVR receiver, and now I see also with the new Playstation 3. Streaming audio around the house that's stored on the Home Server is a daily occurence around here. The XBox 360 is, of course, also a front-end for Media Center (which runs on my Vista Ultimate machine), and once we see a real-world version of the DirecTV USB component receiver (dubbed the HDPC-20 and currently in limited beta we're told), that's going straight into my den and should truly round out my interconnected, media-driven home.

With about 2TB (yeah, terabytes - who woulda thunk it a few years ago eh?) of Home Server storage and all these devices spread around that stream various media, it really is turning into a whole different kind of user experience - and a good one at that.



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Home Servers | Tech | Windows Media Technology
Friday, 11 April 2008 23:28:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 08 April 2008
A technical event for the whole family? Yep. With content for technical and non-technical people alike. This weekend. Passing along some info here...

Load up the whole family (seriously) and get your geek on this Saturday, 1 p.m. at the OGI School of Science and Engineering at the PDX Webfoot event. The registration page is here and the PDX Webfoot site with all the info is here.

From the site:
On April 12th, we'll be participating in the first Webfoot event in Portland. Webfoot is a web-focused event for all creatures, techie and non-techie alike. Bring the whole family for a day of education, entertainment, and fun!

Technical topics include Silverlight 2, Internet Explorer 8, and hopefully some sessions from the Firefox and Adobe gang if we can get them to show up. :)

Non-technical topics for the normal people include safe Internet browsing.

We'll have food and even some activities set up for the kids, such as Lego Mindstorms.

When: Saturday, April 12th
1:00pm to 7:00pm (dinner provided)

Location: OGI School of Science and Engineering
Wilson Clark Center for Lifelong Learning
20000 NW Walker Rd
Beaverton, OR 97006



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Tech
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 10:03:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 07 April 2008
Today in the mailbox I received a letter from Best Buy with the previously-promised $50 gift card to help compensate for the fact that the HD-DVD player I bought from them is a no-longer offered format. Cool stuff, and well ahead of the "expect it by May 1st" timeframe they established in their original communications.

Great service on this one, and again kudos to Best buy.

Some interesting trivia from the letter in the mail: "Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD DVD attachment they purchased. While we can't supply a specific number of gift cards that will go out, it's safe to say that, through this program, Best Buy will distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to customers across the country."



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Random Stuff
Monday, 07 April 2008 15:56:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 06 April 2008
Mark Russinovich, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, presented a very good session at the TechEd IT Forum last year on the topic of advanced eradication of malware on Windows machines. It's a great session and has some useful advanced techniques for removal. It is also a very good resource for those who want to better understand how malware infects and what some of the risks are. Lots of practical information and how-to's in this one.

Fortunately, the session was recorded and is available online for anyone who wants to see it. If viruses and malware are a part of your job or if this type of security topic is of interest to you, it's an hour and twelve minutes well-spent. I went looking for this session online hoping to find the PowerPoint and found the whole session with video and demo and everything - terrific stuff.

(Updated 4/7 - link to video fixed)



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IT Security | Safe Computing | Tech
Sunday, 06 April 2008 22:16:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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˙ʎoɾuǝ ˙ǝɹǝɥ ʇı ʇǝƃ uɐɔ noʎ 'ƃuılǝǝɟ ʇɐɥʇ ʇsnɾ ɹoɟ ƃuıʞool ǝɹ,noʎ ǝɔuɐɥɔ ʎq ɟı ʇnq ˙ƃuılǝǝɟ unɟ ɐ ʇou

¿noʎ uo ɹǝʌo pǝlloɹ pɐɥ ʇı ǝʞıl ʇlǝɟ plɹoʍ ǝloɥʍ ǝɥʇ puɐ pɐǝɥ sʇı uo pǝddılɟ sɯǝǝs ʇsnɾ ƃuıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ uǝɥʍ 'sʎɐp ǝsoɥʇ ɟo ǝuo ǝʌɐɥ ɹǝʌǝ

(via Guy Kawasaki on Twitter)



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Humor | Random Stuff
Sunday, 06 April 2008 09:48:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Count me in as one of the people who will line up to get a 3G iPhone - whenever it comes out. It looks as if the community has determined via tear-down methodology that the chipset inside the current iPhone is not 3G capable, so a software upgrade doesn't seem likely (something I had hoped might be possible based on early information, but ah, oh well...).

The most recent oh-by-the-way rumor/news about a 3G iPhone comes via Walt Mossberg, who says it will available in 60 days. And Walt is certainly a person to be in-the-know. In the video where he made the side comment also discusses the current state of "broadband" around the world and talks about where technology bottlenecks are preventing future growth and areas where consumers are not yet satisfied. It's a good clip to watch.

The 3G iPhone part is about 6:50 into the video.

Add to Mossberg's comment the recent orders of 3G chipsets and related ramp-down of 2G production at the company Apple sources their equipment from, plus side comments by other industry execs and some good Apple-style business common sense thinking, and it all really does start to add up.

Looks like it's time to start tossing that loose change in the ol' jar again each day.



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Apple | Mobile | Tech
Sunday, 06 April 2008 09:02:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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