26 March 2007

Microsoft Claims Vista Sales Double XP

Microsoft Corp. ... said on Monday that it sold more than 20 million Windows Vista licenses in the first month since the operating system's general debut on January 30.

The world's biggest software maker said the pace of Vista adoption is at more than twice the rate of its predecessor, Windows XP, which had sold 17 million licenses after its first two months of release. [source]

Wow, sounds impressive, doesn't it? Too bad it's hooey. Sure, in raw numbers, Vista is trouncing XP. Unfortunately, when XP was released in 2001, there were far fewer computers in the world. Some publications claim that the number of computers in the world doubles every 6 years, although the pace could be faster as there were 150 million personnel computers in 1994 and 575 million in 2004, over 350% more in 10 years.

So, really, when Microsoft says sales for Vista are huge, they're not huge enough. Conservatively, in 6 years, sales should be double (24 million) XP's numbers, possibly as high as 350% more (59.5 million). Makes 20 million seem, well, like marketing.

23 March 2007

Things to Watch: Mr. Deity

Funny, funny stuff. Mr. Deity is a series of short vignettes detailing the trials and tribulations of being an all-knowing, all-powerful deity. The Boss has to deal with Larry, his annoying Holy Spirit, his son Jesse, and constant calls for attention from the cast-down Luci.

The show is available via YouTube or iTunes for free (podcast link). I'd recommend the iTunes version as the video quality is extremely high for a video podcast. Good for a chuckle, and not too blasphemous.

mrdeity

18 March 2007

Movies you don't have to see - The Prestige

Super short review: Well acted, tired plot, too cute for it's own good.

Short review: The Prestige is one of those movies that starts with a premise (voiced over by one of the characters) and then proceeds to build the structure of the movie on that premise. The premise of The Prestige is that there's three parts to a magic trick: the pledge (where the performer sells the trick), the turn (where the performer makes the ordinary extraordinary, and the prestige (the payoff).

It sort of works, but the disjointed timing of the flashbacks and staccato movement of the action is jarring. Many people have commented on the similarities to the director's (Christopher Nolan) previous work, Momento. The Prestige has that feel, although not nearly as jarring. In that vein, however, The Prestige falls down. Where Momento jumped around in order to draw you into the point of view of the main character, The Prestige manages to confuse and dare you to figure out the When of what you just saw. For Nolan, disjointed timelines are starting to feel like a fall-back position.

That said, the movie is visually stunning, building a sense of presence from the sets themselves. The acting is very good, perhaps superb considering the stiffness of the leads previous roles (Michael Caine aside). Christian Bale and Michael Caine are both excellent and the casting of David Bowie as Nichola Tesla was a wonderful surprise. Scarlett Johansson as always, played herself, only this time she had to wear older clothes.

In the end, you're left wondering exactly what happened. The movie tried far too hard to be a magic trick, working to whip aside the cloth and reveal the end of the illusion. But the "ta da" moment never really hits you and you're left wanting. While the film waits for the applause after the prestige, all I could muster was courtesy clapping for technical execution and acting, but not so much for the experience.

3.5/5 stars (liked it, won't buy)

16 March 2007

Final British bottle of HP sauce

The last bottle of HP sauce has been produced in England. Don't expect to see outrageous auctions for the bottles on eBay; parent company Heinz is moving production to the Netherlands.

Of course, this move came with a great deal of hand wringing and political posturing, with MPs attempting to get the sauce barred from Parliament cafeteria tables, because it somehow now symbolized less Britishness than before. Not that they did any of that went Heinz bought the company (from a French company who had previously bought HP) in 2005.

Wait until they find out that not everything is made where you think it should have been made.

Of course, this guy really hates Pachelbel

I don't remember where I saw this first, but..


I know I saw this on DataWhat first. Anecdote to all you music execs (and CBS); I bought this album after seeing this video.

Pachelbel's "Loose" Canon

Trying Yahoo.

Grr.. videos

They work! They work! Many thanks to the WPvideo plugin.

15 March 2007

Cisco Buys WebEx for $3.2 Billion

Cisco Systems announced the acquisition today. WebEx, the original online collabrative tool, posted sales of $380 million with profit of around $47 million (according to Om). How in the hell is a company with $380 million in sales worth nearly ten times that at sale?

A little anecdote for Cisco; I recently participated in an evaluation of your new acquisition. I know other people have done the same in our larger orginization. You weren't even in the running. Lack of bundled VoIP, a typical market leader's sales pitch, and stiff competition combined with out of market pricing.. what a winning combination.

I seriously hope Cisco has some major initiatives planned for WebEx properties. There are far better products out there for considerably less money. I would think for $3.2 billion, Cisco could have built, from the ground up, a better competitive product. I sure hope this isn't Cisco's Skype.

14 March 2007

Food for Thought

Randomly surfing tonight and ran across The Skeptic Report. Among the many interesting questions posed on the site was this one:

Gonorrhea
It is a strictly human disease. Did the Good Lord bestow the gift of gonorrhea on Adam, or was it Eve? Who carried it onto the Ark? Why would God instruct Noah to carry any disease organisms or parasites onto the Ark? One of Noah's family had to have been infected, but they were the only people worthy enough to be saved on the whole Earth. Which one had the clap? Why would He create anything so nasty anyway?

Well isn't that an nasty little problem. You can read many other niggling little issues with The Flood story here. Of course, the whole thing could be explained away by allowing that the Noah story was a rip-off amalgamation of many near east flood stories. But that raises nasty questions about the origins of Christianity.

Nah, it's just easier to dismiss all that troublesome history by claiming Christianity really existed before it ever came into being.

01 March 2007

Who the hell is running Sony? Part 2

I asked once, I'm asking again. After blackballing Kotaku, making Slashdot, Gizmodo, and half the tech blogs in North America, Sony relented and let Kotaku back into the fold. Oh, and basically confirmed the rumor that Kotaku had reported on.

This is the latest in a series of missteps by Sony. First, Sony Entertainment President Jack Tretton issued a "bounty" on any PS3s in the wild to the tune of $1200 per unit. Penny Arcade responded with a $13,200 per hour comic. Then, based on a disastrous presentation at E3 (actual sentence pairing: "Based on actual Japanese history. So here's this Giant Enemy Crab."), entrepreneurial webbies have remixed the speech into, well, stuff like this.

Since we now know that Sony execs actually can read, and tend to read people that write about them, you'd think they'd have been given a clue when vids like this show up on YouTube. Alas, it is not to be so.

I've sworn off Sony products. I've owned a Vaio, a DVD player, a PlayStation, and a camera. PlayStation was solid. The Vaio had it's issues at the end; I sold it after getting too frustrated rebuilding it every 2 months. The camera we bought for our vacation crapped out within six months of purchase. The DVD player, after one year of use, would skip at exactly 1:12 into any movie. I refuse to spend $600 on a gaming console.

How many more people like me are they creating every day? Makes you wonder how long they have.