The Whole Enchilada

Thoughts on life, work, tech & biz and the whole enchilada

Archive for December, 2007

Fortune Mag lists 101 Dumbest Moments in Business 2007

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 19, 2007


Fortune Mag has a a list of 101 Dumbest Moments in Business. Here are a few that caught my eye:

High-tech toilets digital toilet
Japanese manufacturer Toto apologizes to customers and offers free repairs for 180,000 high-tech toilets – thrones that feature heated seats, air purifiers, blow dryers, and water sprayers – after at least three catch fire. “Fortunately nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out,” says a company spokesman. “The fire would have been just under your buttocks.”

Disneyland — it’s a fat, fat world
Disneyland announces plans to close the “It’s a Small World” attraction to deepen its water channel after the ride’s boats start getting stuck under loads of heavy passengers. Employees ask larger passengers to disembark – and compensate them with coupons for free food.

VA

The Virginia Tourism Corp.
The Virginia Tourism Corp. scraps an ad campaign featuring people making heart symbols with their hands after it’s noted that the gesture is also the gang sign of Chicago’s Gangster Disciples.

Co-op Funeralcare
Co-op Funeralcare, a funeral home in Dunfermline, Scotland, says it is investigating reports that employees routinely used the cremains of the departed to keep passersby from slipping on icy sidewalks. “There’s every chance people living nearby will have walked through the remains,” an ex-employee says. “Some of them probably even inhaled them.”

You can check out the complete list here: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/101dumbest/2007/full_list/index.html

Or use the slideshow version: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0712/gallery.101_dumbest.fortune/index.html

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Windows Vista labeled the #1 most disappointing product of 2007

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 19, 2007

From a post over at Slashdot:

vista“No surprise here, but to complete its humiliation, PC Magazine has declared that Windows Vista is the most disappointing product of 2007. Quoting: ‘Five years in the making and this is the best Microsoft could do?… No wonder so many users are clinging to XP like shipwrecked sailors to a life raft, while others who made the upgrade are switching back. And when the fastest Vista notebook PC World has ever tested is an Apple MacBook Pro, there’s something deeply wrong with the universe.'”

Read more of the post here: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/18/0125207

Read more from the PC World article, quoted in the above clip:

The 15 Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2007
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140583-page,5-c,techindustrytrends/article.html

It’s not that Vista is awful. The integrated security and parental controls are nice, and the Aero interface is as whizzy as it gets. Searching and wireless networking are much faster and easier than under XP.

It’s just that Vista isn’t all that good. Many of the innovations the operating system was supposed to bring–like more efficient file and communications systems–got tossed overboard as Microsoft struggled to get the OS out the door, some three years after it was first promised. Despite its hefty hardware requirements, Vista is slower than XP.

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Do You Have A False Sense Of Security While Online?

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 13, 2007

From Slashdot comes this interesting information –  Most In US Have False Sense of Online Security:

“More than half of computer users who think they are protected against online threats like spyware, viruses, and hackers actually have inadequate or no online protection, according to an independent research study conducted for Verizon… While 92 percent of participants thought they were safe, the scans revealed that 59 percent were actually vulnerable to a variety of online dangers. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they would find it helpful to be able to diagnose or check their online security status on a regular basis to make sure their PCs were safe.”

Read more here: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/06/1537256

Scary! Make sure you have current spyware, adware, malware, antivirus protection that updates regularly to keep up with the latest threats and make sure your wireless internet connection at home is secure. Even then you are only protected to a certain extent and can still find yourself a victim of indentity theft or hacking if you’re not careful when going online in  coffee shops, airports and other public/open networks.

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Interesting thoughts: Why Facebook is not the future of the web

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 11, 2007

The internet is full of chatter on Facebook – they’re getting sued, they’re growing like crazy, and let’s not even bother with the whole “beacon” ad fiasco. Have you seen this post from Matt Frye over at o’reilly: ? Pretty interesting opinions:

1) Facebook is experiencing – With more than 150,000 new users signing up daily, it is growing three times as fast as rival MySpace. Growth like that can’t last forever and the investiment to maintain either the growth, the infrastructure to handle the growth, or both, is huge. Despite all the hype, MySpace is still the leader in social networking. Facebook still has quite a way to go before catching up with MySpace, and if that ever happens, it will also reach a plateau.
2) Facebook is not for sale – While independence is a nice sentiment, Facebook needs cash to survive. Initial investors are all smiles and “we want you to succeed” when handing over that initial $38 million, but the whole point is to make a profit. In July, Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’re not looking to IPO anytime soon. It’s just not the core focus of the company.” The next wave will come from the $1 billion that Facebook refused or from investors in some other IPO.

3) Facebook doesn’t respect users – Social advertising and features like Beacon have led thousands of users to sign petitions opposing them. Facebook is alienating its core audience. According to security researchers at Computer Associates, Facebook is collecting shopping information even when users are logged out of their system and have opted out of sharing their purchases.

4) Facebook is getting sued – Zuckerberg’s Harvard buddies claim he stole the idea. Even if the lawsuits are bogus, lawsuits tend to drive away investors and users who worry about getting entangled in bad situations. Lawsuits are also expensive, even if you win.


5) Facebook is full of useless crap and kinda slow – Poke, zombie, whatever.

Read more here: http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2007/12/why_facebook_is_not_the_future1.html

Some interesting thoughts, most I agree with. As for Facebook being full of “useless crap”, I think that’s based on perspective. A lot of folks use the internet for entertainment (maybe it should be called the Intertainmentnet?), to kill time, relax, and have fun, and calling their fun stuff, games and time wasters “poo” is probably a bit subjective.  

As for the future of Facebook? I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. A lot of us thought Yahoo! was just a fad and it’s still around, and that little company called Google kept growing until it bursted, and is often referred to as a Microsoft competitor. So who’s to say what the next 3-5 years will bring for Facebook. My bet is that they’ll still have a loyal user base, though something bigger, better, faster, and more-hyped will have lured away people looking for the next big thing and attract more new users through hype and word of mouth from the hip folks. But then again, what do I know 😉

image by Cor at Brainless Contemplations blog: http://hardcor.wordpress.com/2007/05/03/what-happens-in-facebook-stays-in-facebook/

Posted in Internet, life, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hooray! Vista SP1 release candidate will be available next week!

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 6, 2007

Good post with info on Windows Vista Service Pack 1: Vista SP1 release candidate will be available next week!

It looks like our wish of a Vista SP1 release before Christmas may in fact be coming true. Microsoft’s Windows Vista Blog announced that the Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) release candidate (RC) is now available via Microsoft Connect and will be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers tomorrow. Even better, this release will be made available to the public next week via Microsoft’s Download Center. Microsoft is still aiming at an early 2008 release (and the blog says they are on-track), but depending on the feedback fro the RC public release, we think we might see the final version out even faster.

Read more here: http://feeds.downloadsquad.com/~r/weblogsinc/downloadsquad/~3/195765733/

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Yep, Yahoo Messenger for Vista preview available

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 6, 2007

Want to preview Yahoo Messenger for Vista? Looks like a beta release will be coming out today (thursday). Check out this article from news.com:

It’s just a preview, or a very early version, so it doesn’t have all the features other versions of Yahoo Messenger do, such as voice, Webcam, chat rooms, text messaging to mobile phones, easy photo sharing and conferencing. Those features will come later.

What it does have is a new interface, and it lets you organize conversations into tabs and drag and drop tabs out to create a new window. You can also keep favorite contacts by dragging them into the Windows Sidebar gadget, send enhanced emoticons, change the color of IM windows, adjust the display size of the contacts, arrange your contact list into multiple columns, and send files as large as 2 gigabytes.

Read more here: http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9829733-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

Go here to download a copy of the Yahoo! Messenger for Vista preview (beta) release: http://messenger.yahoo.com/windowsvista.php

download squad has a bit more info in their post: Yahoo! Messenger for Vista Preview is live

Yahoo! Messenger for Vista is officially available as a preview download starting today. There are some important features that are missing in this build, but the significant additions might make up for the lack of features. The changes in Yahoo! Messenger include a complete change of layout, skin chooser, filter-as-you-type for easy searching, spell checker and a convenient tabbed conversation window that controls your desktop clutter. The rebuild also incorporates sidebar graphics that have the ability to show favorite contacts separated from conversation windows. Graphical elements in the new IM take Microsoft’s graphic subsystem into play for vector based interfaces and enhanced emoticons. IM’s can now be conveniently sent to both Yahoo! and Windows Live Messenger contacts, complete with up to 2GB worth of files.

Read more here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/12/06/yahoo-messenger-for-vista-preview-is-live/

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Top 10 technology flops

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 5, 2007

The news blog is reporting a list of Top 10 technology flops. Some you might agree with (digital watch – aye!) and others you might not have heard of (Gallium arsenide – huh?), but here’s the run down:

  1. Manned space travel. At the 1964 World’s Fair I saw a mechanical enactment of a space shuttle docking with a space station. Aside from a few moon launches, that’s exactly where we stand–43 years later.
  2. Bubble memory.
  3. Superconductivity.
  4. Digital watches. Come on, tell the truth; back in the ’80s you thought plain old analog watches were finished. Heck, we all did. Then retro came back. Go figure. http://researchfrontiers.uark.edu/7610.htm
  5. Gallium arsenide. In the ’80s, lots of experts thought GaAs would supplant CMOS semiconductor technology in computers. But CMOS’ remarkable scalability has limited gallium arsenide to relatively niche applications.
  6. Head-up displays. The technology has been around forever, but, for some reason, has not caught on in commercial applications. It’s been available in limited car models for more than a decade, but I’ve never seen one.
  7. Pen computing.
  8. Information appliances.
  9. Speech recognition. This has to be the biggest disappointment of all, especially for Star Trek fans. But here we are, still banging away on our keyboards. At least biometrics is starting to gain some traction.
  10. Virtual reality. Yes, I know we have Second Life and it’s still the early days of VR. Nevertheless, the technical issues are way tougher than with speech recognition and we’ve been waiting for decades for that to become mainstream.

Read more here: http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9827095-7.html?part=rss&edId=3&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

It’s an interesting list but nothing mind blowing. You could argue for years over what constitutes as a “technology flop” and what the real top ten list should look like!

Posted in gadgets, Internet, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Review of Facebook’s Applications & Mini Applets

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 4, 2007

ComputerWorld has an interesting article on the mini applets that Facebook supports: Review: The good, the bad and the ugly of Facebook apps:

Facebook Apps pageThese applications act as extensions to the basic Facebook post-a-profile/read-a-profile functionality. Interested in something serious, such as collaborating on documents, using your friends’ collective intelligence to discover useful blogs, or finding freelance developers to help with an IT project? You’ll find applications for that. How about the not-so-serious, such as playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker or perusing the collected wisdom of Homer Simpson? There’s something for you as well.

Where do all these apps come from? Third-party developers think they see gold in Facebook, and they’re flocking to write free applications for the site, which is a development platform in its own right. At last count, there were more than 7,000 Facebook applications, and no end in sight to new ones.

It can be tough and time-consuming to weed out the pointless from the useful and the winners from the losers. We’re here to help. We’ve listed for you our favorite Facebook applications in a variety of categories, from the useful

Read more here: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9049261&intsrc=hm_list

You can also check out the Facebook application directory which, as the article suggests, has over 7,000 + applications with continuous growth.

ags: facebook, Facebook Review, Facebook Applications, Facebook Applets, Facebook Technology, Technology

Posted in blogging, Business, Internet, Programming, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Video: Unique Ballet Dancing – hand in hand

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 4, 2007

My folks passed this one along. It’s a beautiful video of a man missing a leg and a woman missing an arm doing simply amazing ballet. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre, you’ll appreciate the talent of the dancers and the creative choreography. 

 Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP86v-ohKiI

The clip comes from “Programme “Centre Stage”, Europe – Satelite Hot Bird, TV CCTV9″ and is titled “Hand in Hand”. The ballet is performed by Ma Li (馬麗) and Zhai Xiaowei (翟孝偉), with choreography by Zaho Limin.

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Report: Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test

Posted by wholeenchilada on December 3, 2007

Have you seen this report: Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test ? It’s pretty interesting

New tests have revealed that Windows XP with the beta Service Pack 3 has twice the performance of Vista, even with its long-awaited Service Pack 1.

Vista’s first service pack, to be released early next year, is intended to boost the operating system’s performance. However, when Vista with the Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta was put through benchmark testing by researchers at Florida-based software development company Devil Mountain Software, the improvement was not overwhelming, leaving the latest Windows iteration outshined by its predecessor.

Vista, both with and without SP1, performed notably slower than XP with SP3 in the test, taking over 80 seconds to complete the test, compared to the beta SP3-enhanced XP’s 35 seconds.

Read more here: http://www.news.com/Windows-XP-outshines-Vista-in-benchmarking-test/2100-1016_3-6220201.html?tag=cd.top

Some pretty interesting info in the rest of the report, in particular this paragraph

Microsoft has not done enough to make users aware of the benefits of Vista, NPD analyst Chris Swenson said at the conference. “The problem is that there are a lot of complex new features in Vista, and you need to educate consumers about them…much like Apple educating the masses about the possibilities of the iPhone or focusing on a single feature or benefit of the Mac OS in the Mac-versus-PC commercials. Microsoft should be educating the masses about the various new features in a heavy rotation of Vista in TV, radio, and print ads. But the volume of ads (for Vista) has paled in comparison to the ads run for XP.”

And the rest is equally interesting including, as always, the wide ranging commentary in the comments following the article from Cnet.

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