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The Kin is dead! Long live the Kin!

It seems that Microsoft is trying to avoid landfilling all those Kins they didn't sell. This time around they're going to try and make them available with something approaching a legitimate plan. It seems they have learned that folks really don't want to buy an expensive smart phone plan for something that is not a smart phone.

I'm not sure I would want people even to be thinking about the Kin if I was them. It seems like that would be an embarrassment they would want to forget. The only way you're going to reduce the embarrassment is if people forget about the Kin or it is turned into a success. I am not sure how many they will sell but for their sake I hope it cuts their losses noticeably since it's going to prolong something that is not good for their image.

Standardized Connectors

I have had a number of desktop computers over the years. They all have the same basic power cord. It's detachable so if it is damaged it is easily replaced. Why is it that nothing else is like this?

My favorite is cell phones. I have a phone for work and a phone for personal. They each have a connector that was claimed to be the "new standard everyone will be using". They're not the same connector and none of my wife's phones have used either connnector. This includes the phone she just got in the last week. This means we have five devices that uses four connectors. The only two devices that share a connector are the two iPods and that is proprietary to Apple.

Is there really that much money in requiring your own specific connector?

SCO's Unix assets going up for auction

I'm not sure how much value there is left in SCO's Unix assets. However, it seems that the bankruptcy case may finally be taking its toll. A press release says they're going to auction of their Unix assets. I'm not sure if this actually includes the products they're selling like Unixware or OpenServer or if they're trying to squeeze some life out of the old AT&T Unix Sys V stuff. I'm not sure that would make much sense since they do not seem to own anything in that regard and were just a licensing agent for Novell. It'll be interesting to see if anything happens or if it is just a stalling tactic/Hail Mary.

Microsoft cuts its losses... Did they learn anything

Microsoft finally puts its kin phone to rest. The product that symbolizes Microsoft's desire to emulate all of the worst aspects of GMs badge engineering with none of the benefits, reasons or even excuses is no longer for sale. This is certainly a good move on Microsoft's part. The last thing they want right now is more reinforcement for Apple's marketing.

Their dominance in the office suite, desktop operating system, and server operating system markets gives them a huge advantage over their competition. They have the resources to commit to a project and see it through regardless of early success or failures. However, Microsoft has proven itself unable to capture and exploit new markets. They had some success in the console market. However, it is considered an open secret that their profit from the original Xbox has been wiped out by their current Xbox 360.

Their original attempt at MP3 players PlaysforSure was a reasonable first effort at creating a digital music market. The problem it ran into was people didn't see the digital music market the same way as the offline world. This included not only consumers but also music executives. The advantages of the Playsforsure ecosystem made it more complex. The advantages of the iPod were rooted in its simplicity. These hurdles were difficult by not insurmountable. In retrospect, Microsoft would have been well served by creating a better iTunes for its hardware partners to work with. Any possibility of this was eliminated when Microsoft turned itself into a competitor to its partners. The Zune was by most measures a good product. However, it has failed so far because it has little to differentiate itself from the iPod. Potential partners are wary of being abandoned in the same way Microsoft's Playsforsure partner's were abandoned. It also gave Apple far more time since Microsoft was starting over in the market from scratch.. Time to solidify its place in the market, expand the number of people reliant on Apple, eliminate competitors and time to make it the *standard*. A standard Apple can use to invade other markets.

They have done the same thing with phones. They were too complex too soon and are now are starting over twice. Giving Apple and other competitors time to solidify their lead.

Microsoft's inability to focus has caused it to blow billions of dollars over the last decade or two. This kind of incompetence was forgiven for a long time because of the constant rise in stock prices. However, new markets, open source and good old fashion competition have been slowly eroding their position. Microsoft so far seems unable to drop its dead weight and focus on its strengths.

SCO loses yet again... No new trial

I find SCO absolutely fascinating. I just want to know what it is like to work at a place like SCO. How do you sell their product? What motivates you to work as a developer? Either way, SCO lost again in court.

No means No, or at least that's what I thought...

I was always taught that no meant no. Now, I supposed there may be circumstances where people are fooling around that is not the case. I just never thought one of those cases would involve a jury. However, it seems that SCO has decided that the jury may have meant something else when they said no. Now, considering the shape SCO is in. It makes sense to through the Hail Mary. You never know. The judge may throw them a bone and give them another chance to get the unix copyrights back from Novell. It is still unlikely they'll ever win any money but you never know how long they could drag this out or how much money they can spend on it.

Google really is like Paris Hilton

I recently switched email over to Google mail for savings. I have to say that it is worth the price, but not more than that. Their obsession with cluttering my mail with crap I wanted deleted makes it difficult to use IMAP. I archive my mail locally so i can work around it. It is just annoying.

It has reinforced my opinion that Google is a classic example of success as a result of success not merit. Sorta like Paris Hilton is famous because she's famous.

It is the fault of all of us really. We'd rather deal with a big name idiot than a small name of any kind.

Electronic Medical Records

Recently a local hospital started touting their switch to electronic medical records. The idea is to improve efficiency, lower costs, etc. However, there's always the question of theory and practice, the design plan versus the as-built. This brought up the memory of a few examples where the practice didn't work out so well.

The first one was a hospital that for the first time in a hundred years had to turn away patients. They had a computer failure that affected their ability to access their electronic medical records. They became so backed up that they started diverting ambulances to other hospitals. The diversion wasn't terribly long and they still took walk-in patients. It is still the kind of thing that will make you think twice about your current infrastructure. I would hate to be the guy who had to explain what happened.

The other article was a mention of a Harvard study. The basic idea of the study was that there were no cost savings with electronic medical records. The idea is that in practice the costs outweigh any cost savings. The real benefit settles in on things like reducing medical errors. That of course still relies on the ability of an organization to implement a system. We all know how well large projects like that go, don't we?

We're not dead!

I love how the SCO lawsuit has destroyed what was once a reasonable company. The latest is that SCO has "abandoned rehabilitation" and the judge won't let them sell to some consulting outfit. Unfortuantely, the judge has also refused to convert their Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation. Instead, he's appointing a trustee. This should be good for a few more delays.

The gory details.


Don't trust the three week thing.

The interface is lousy.

It is overpriced.

No one cares about email encryption. They should but they don't.

I'll spare you the details.

Landline is nickel and diming itself to death

Why does AT&T still charge for Caller ID? Do any cell phone companies charge for Caller ID? The landline companies could bundle in a bunch of features and it wouldn't cost them very much money. It would, however, gain them some desperately needed good will. They also need to figure out there's a lot of people who don't want an $30 bill for a connection they don't use much. They really need to figure out that $10 from a customer is better than $0. Oh well, they'll figure out eventually. I mean, if the maintenance guys at work have no problem dropping their land line for a cell phone or voip over cable, surely AT&T will figure it out?

Progress on integration

I uploaded the Quote of the Day stuff from the old side to the new site. They are just blog postings with their own category. I posted them under their original post date but chose noon for the time because I longer have a record of the original.

I also added one of the short and not so useful or detailed unix notes that I had on the old site. I'd like to go over and update some of the others and post them as well. i do not expect anyone will benefit from them but you never know I suppose. Either way, it should simplify things with the sites I maintain.

Finally setup Movabletype on this site

I finally got Movabletype setup on this thing. Unfortunately, it took long enough that I won't have time tonight to move some of the junk over from the old site. It isn't a huge deal since no one cares. Not even me, really. I'll get to it eventually though.

Landline is nickel and diming itself to death

Why does AT&T still charge for Caller ID? Do any cell phone companies charge for Caller ID? The landline companies could bundle in a bunch of features and it wouldn't cost them very much money. It would, however, gain them some desperately needed good will and customer retention. They also need to figure out there's a lot of people who don't want an $30 bill for a connection they don't use much. They really need to figure out that $10 from a customer is better than $0.

Of course, they could have decided that they cannot make enough money off of landlines to make it worth trying to compete. If that is the case than it makes sense. Just keep soaking people until you can shut the network down. The long lines will than be free for wireless back haul and business connections. Triple-play becomes just one way of easing the shutdown process.

Color palette

I really wish MovableType came with a good light text on dark background layout. I know what I want but no one else seems to be a fan of it. I never really get around to polishing the CSS before it is time to upgrade and I need to start over.