Showing posts from January, 2008

The Economic Downturn


There's a saying that 'when America sneezes the world catches a cold'...or something of that sort. The question today with the rise of The East and the strengthening of the European Union is whether or not it still matters (that much) when the U.S. experiences a slowdown? This cartoon says it best.

from The Economist.

Microsoft Office Pricing

I predict that Microsoft will give away or charge under $100 to corporate users of their Office application by YE 2009. Perhaps it will be a downgraded version. Maybe they'll release the full-blown one. I don't know.

As Mac/OS X and Linux increase their market share (inevitable looking at worldwide numbers), Microsoft will be compelled to use their office application to tie users to their ecosystem.

Don't forget they have their success riding on users sticking with Windows. Why? Think of their development platform, .Net, which only runs on Windows. What about SQL Server, Windows Server, Dynamics, Silverlight, Sharepoint, Exchange etc. The reason these are more compelling than competitor products in that they are tightly tied to one another. Office and XP/Vista are the glue. It won't work on anything else. So as other operating systems become more compelling, free/open like Linux or just plain better like OS X and OpenOffice is free and collaboration i…

MacWorld Expo 2008 Keynote Address

Every year, the grand master of all that is Mac, or 'i' - I'm not sure anymore - gets up on stage on January 15th and announces everything that Apple has in store (pun) for the coming year. It's pretty exciting for Mac fanatics (of which I am not one...not at all).

You can find a blow-by-blow account of his Keynote here.

OK, I'm impressed - mostly. Good apps for my iPod Touch - e-mail, google maps, stock ticker, notes - why are these great? Notes will sync with my Mac. E-mail will download e-mails from my accounts and give me a better-than-Web interface in which to compose + will display PDFs, Word, and Excel files. Google Maps is very useful - I use it (in pain) on my Blackberry to find stores, my kids' friends' addresses etc. - frequently enough. But they're charging $20 (come on guys!). Probably to keep iPhone users happy who pay more more more for the phone + $100/month for the service. True that I'm restricted to locations with Wi-F…

Literature and Media


AtonementWhen my wife asked me what I thought of the book I said, "really good book with an unsatisfying ending". The plot was interesting and well-executed although not the typical kind of book I would read. If I were to sum up the story without recounting it I would have to say it is about the consequences (positive and negative) of the kind of rash actions we all commit. The author takes us to outcomes that would not normally take place but that are believable nonetheless, especially in a country so recently free of war and yet on its way to another. As for the unsatisfying ending? Any of us who have lived long enough are well acquainted with unsatisfying endings. Sometimes it's nice to escape this reality when indulging in a piece of fiction.

SyrianaAfter having recently watched Rescue Dawn which had an unsatisfying beginning, middle and ending and Letters from Iwo Jima which was a beautifully done movie but quite depressing - worth it nonetheless - Sy…