<<< As the laptop turns - episode 10


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Friday,  05/13/05  10:43 PM

This is excellent news; there's going to be a new Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit!  (A trailer is out, but the quality sucks, unfortunately.)  [Update: here's a good one at Apple.]  Also good news, John Cleese is currently writing a pre-historic comedy for Aardman (the people behind Wallace and Gromit). 

Robert X Cringley thinks we've reached an Inflection Point.  The combination of the launch of xBox 360, Google bringing out their Web Accelerator, and Apple's Video distribution moves (H.264, Quicktime).  Read it all, for he concludes: "So Apple takes over video and movies while Yahoo threatens with a low-priced music subscription service and Google threatens to take control of, well, everything.  And Microsoft?  Microsoft kicks the dog.

BTW if you're a geek you might enjoy this discussion of the chip strategy in the xBox 360.  "Officially launched Thursday night (May 12) over broadcast TV, the Xbox 360 uses three custom 3.2-GHz PowerPC cores, each handling two threads.  Each core includes a 128-bit vector graphics unit sporting a full 128 registers and a 1-Mbyte cache.  In addition, the console includes a graphics chip from ATI Technologies Inc. that processes up to 500 million triangles per second.  The ATI chip contains 10-Mbytes of embedded DRAM and works with 512-Mbytes of external GDDR3 memory running at 700-MHz clock frequency."  In with the new (IBM, ATI), out with the old (Intel, nVidia), so be it.  [ via Scott Loftesness

Dual Photography: a technique in which you shine light from a light source to a camera, record the result, then use it to synthesize the view which would have been seen at the light source.  The physics works and actually the technique works (watch the video!) but it sure seems counter-intuitive.  [ via a slashdot thread, where the posters were a lot less impressed than I was... ] 

Joe Kraus: The Long Tail of Software.  I find his posts fascinating, especially wisdom drawn from "the old days" when Joe was a co-founder of Excite (I was an interested observer in the front row when I was with Intuit).  His focus in this article is the market rationale behind his new company JotSpot, which is understandable, but I see another point, too; unlike other markets like Media (Books, Audio, Video, etc.), software has always been bits only, and software distribution has always been easy.  In some ways there was more of a long tail to software in the early days of PCs then there is now; these days every company with an excellent product for consumers is trying desperately to move up the food chain and sell it to businesses.  (Labeling something "Enterprise" means "expensive" and "doesn't work".)  The essentially greatness of the Internet is that anyone with a computer can create something cool, and then everyone can use it.  At really close to $0 marginal cost.  Now that is a  L O N G  tail. 

Interesting post for those of us in Software Development: Schedule Games.  Jeff Attwood links Johanna Rothman's posts.  Personally I like #4, Hope is our most Important Strategy.  Yes, until you've passed the deadline you can always hope.  Even after you've passed, you can hope nobody noticed :) 

Final thought - why do bloggers so often tell you when they're travelling?  Even the most interesting bloggers will post "I'm off to San Francisco", like we care.  Hey, if you have something interesting to post about, like why you're going to San Francisco, or what you're going to do there, or even how you're getting there, great, post it.  But your iternary is not interesting.