Assessing Microsoft’s Soapbox

Thursday, February 23
Microsoft’s Soapbox is no YouTube killer
Business 2.0
Owen Thomas takes a look at Microsoft’s Soapbox video sharing site.

“A fresh job posting on Apple’s site is soliciting a “Manager of Mobile Mac Architecture”. While the job description is typically vague, sources with proven track records who brought the posting to the attention of Think Secret say the position is with a team working on a new line of Macs.”

What’s your opinion?

Novell drives nail into Office coffin
IT Wire

Stan Beer finds a problem in Office.

“The news that Novell has released an Office Open XML (OOXML) translator for OpenOffice.org is yet another nail in the coffin of the office productivity franchise known as Microsoft Office. However, if the open source crowd is really serious about denting Microsoft’s dominance in this space, what is needed is a little Evolution.”

What’s your opinion?

Paul Allen’s tiny PC
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Todd Bishop uncovers one of Paul Allen’s pet projects.

“Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, has been pursuing the notion of a handheld but full-fledged computer for many years now. We first published a story about the project way back in January 2003. In the meantime, a variety of companies have come out with their own small computers, including some running Microsoft’s specialized Ultra PC software. Four years later, after a series of hardware redesigns and complications with the original processor supplier, Allen’s computer – now dubbed “FlipStart” – is due to go on sale later this month for about $2,000. As you might expect, it runs Windows – either Vista or XP.”

What’s your opinion?

Monday, March 5

DRM drop dead
Bit Player

Jon Healey on Hollywood’s love-hate relationship with technology:

“It’s not really about music, though; it’s about the way the major record labels have been selling their products online. In particular, Jobs urged the labels to drop their demand that downloadable tracks be fitted with electronic locks, enabling Apple to sell songs in open formats such as MP3 or AAC.”

What’s your opinion?

VMWare Fusion Beta 2 arrives
Wired

Michael Calore blogs about VMWare Fusion and its market place arrival.

“It’s been a good week for all those Buck Rogers types hoping to get Vista running virtually on an Intel Mac.”

What’s your opinion?

Hacking Vista by guessing
News.com

Joris Evers covers security for C/Net News.

“Fighting Vista’s piracy protection? Perhaps trying to guess a product activation key will solve the problem. A “brute force” key generator that randomly tries a variety of 25-digit codes until it finds one that works is now available, according to KezNews, a Windows news Web site. The tool, available for download from KezNews, can use up quite a lot of computer processor resources and will check about 20,000 possible keys an hour, according to the Web site. One user reported finding three usable product keys in five hours.”

What’s your opinion?

March 2, 2007
Vision of India

San Francisco Chronicle

Thrilled to read a new report out from Forrester Research, in which analyst Navi Radjou called on the Indian IT sector to ramp up its efforts to innovate new technologies, rather than just providing low-cost services.

“What’s driving India’s identity crisis? Isn’t everything going swimmingly over there? Well, the money is certainly rolling in, but the brains behind the world’s leading outsourcing industry realize that their value proposition is too heavily based on cheap labor. Bangladesh and North Africa have already stolen some marketshare for basic services, according to people we spoke to during our recent visit to India.”

More on YouTube

Tech Culture

Ben Pimental writes about a guy in Canada’s experience with YouTube.

“That episode inspired another YouTuber named Coconutcolin (“brown on the outside, white on the inside”), a young Indian guy living in Canada, to post his own version of “Telling My Parents About YouTube.”

With Dell make smartphones

TechWeb

Here is a rumour sure to make the channel happy over the weekend.

“Apparently it is smartphone rumor week. Earlier today we brought you news that Nokia may buy Palm. Now rumors are flying that Dell may enter the smartphone market.”

Thursday, March 1
Photoshop Online
Tech Crunch
Michael Arrington writes about one of the risks when you try to compete with Adobe.

“Adobe is both a platform company and an application company. Conflicts are not avoidable.”

What’s your opinion?

What is going on with U.S. IT retail?
Daily Tech

Brandon Hill tries to make sense of the mess that is North American computer retail.

“Earlier this year, Circuit City announced a handful of store closings in the United States along with 60 more in Canada. Today electronics retailer CompUSA is following suite, but more drastically. The company announced that it is closing 126 stores nationwide leaving just 109 stores in 39 states and Puerto Rico.”

What’s your opinion?

Banning YouTube in schools
Tech Dirt

You know schools are cleaner and maybe safer but in then end they never change their M.O., which is stifling student creativity.

“So why give away your company to venture capitalists? It’s not about the money. It’s about protection. And that’s where Sand Hill Road starts to resemble La Cosa Nostra.”

What’s your opinion?

Wednesday, February 28
The URL taste test
Pink Slip
Maureen Rogers gets a taste of tasters: people who try out a URL to see if they can make any money on it before actually buying it.

“The article described a grace-period that’s available to those who put a claim on a URL. Apparently, you have 5 days before paying to figure out whether there’s going to be any interest in the URL as a mechanism for generating advertising revenues. The practice of grabbing lots of URLs and figuring out whether there’s any there there is called “tasting,” and is aimed at trapping those who mistype in an address. Instead of getting “site not found,” you got to the faux site that will contain ads and links – as likely as not, to the offers and sites of rivals. In December the number of daily tastings averaged 1.2 million.”

What’

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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