Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Oldest Newspaper is Now Digital; Newspapers Video; Electronics Requires Energy!; RFID & WiFi Disappointment; Various Computer Stuff

Meant to post this a while ago-- the world's oldest newspaper has now gone digital.
For centuries, readers thumbed through the crackling pages of Sweden's Post-och Inrikes Tidningar newspaper. No longer. The world's oldest paper still in circulation has dropped its paper edition and now exists only in cyberspace.The newspaper, founded in 1645 by Sweden's Queen Kristina, became a Web-only publication on Jan. 1... The paper edition was certainly not some mass-market tabloid. It had a meagre circulation of only 1,000 or so, although the Web site is expected to attract more readers, Vikstrom said.

Another story about how newspapers are doing website video well

How a Norwegian newspaper has found a way to thrive online: branding

On-line coupons finally starting to move. Newspaper inserts have been holding up well, considering what has happened to other print products. This will change, of course, but it will be a big market for quite a while.

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa Data centers in the United States are consuming 5 million kilowatts of energy per year, an amount equal to the power consumption of the entire state of Mississippi, according to a report released Thursday. These stories always make me laugh because there is the implicit assumption that if data are stored or shared electronically, the amount of energy used in chopping and crushing and cooking and flattening trees will disappear. Data need electrons! Otherwise, they would not exist! A stored book requires no energy. A stored file needs a hard drive to be constantly accessible. That hard drive needs to be powered.

Wal-Mart's RFID program is nowhere near where they expected it to be.
Two thoughts:
1) suppliers are really miffed, and this is the dark underside of "getting close to your customers."
2) four years ago people thought I was dumb when I minimized the effect of RFID on print and packaging. I said "the only ones who will make money are the people who sell the hardware"
Score another one for Dr. Joe. But now it seems those hardware sellers had better pare back their forecasts, too.

SanFran's WiFi program isn't going well.,1,2811102.story?coll=la-headlines-technology

IBM makes a breakthrough in computer speed

File this under "don't use it, you lose it." Google ran tests on its hard drives and found that its results were counterintuitive. Drives that are not used often break sooner. Heat did less to affect drives than anticipated. It's always funny how real world experience can vary so much from testing labs. Remember that Google built its initial infrastructure from equipment garnered from dot-bomb bankruptcies.
Just had to replace a hard drive in my "old time radio" computer where I store my collection of shows from the 30s to the 60s. It started to display annoying problems, such as refusing to copy certain files. Good thing I had backup. A 500GB external drive is now down around $175. Certainly worth purchasing at that price. We have file backups of all of the family systems on one drive.

MSFT Vista causing problems for gamers
Experts blame still-flaky software drivers, Vista's complexity and a dearth of new video cards optimized for Vista's new rendering technology, DirectX 10. That's despite promises from Microsoft that Vista is backwards-compatible with XP's graphic engine, DirectX 9, and that it will support existing games.
Meanwhile, games written to take advantage of DirectX 10 have been slow to emerge. And one Nvidia executive predicts that gamers may not routinely see games optimized for DirectX 10 until mid-2008.
It's not that bad, says Microsoft. Chris Donahue, manager of Microsoft's Games for Windows group, says the company has tested 1,000 popular games from the past five years. Most work well with Vista, he said, declining to elaborate how many had problems and why.

My favorite line in the MSFT Knowledge Base is "engineers are aware of the problem and will post a solution when available." Of course, I was searching for something about Office 2003.

Vista's trial/activation period can be extended to 120 days,129148-page,1/article.html
How to do it is on Brian Livingston's Windows Secrets site

MSFT is underplaying how a Vista system needs to be configured.
They say that it will run with 512MB, but most people claim 1GB is needed, and others say 2GB is the "sweet spot." This article says 4GB is best.
Hardware vendors, of course, will offer systems built on Microsoft's minimum hardware requirements called "Windows Vista Capable," configured with 512MB of system memory and a processor that is at least 800MHz. But their heart may not really be in it. For instance, Dell offers a Windows Vista Capable configuration that isn't capable of much, according to what Dell says about it on its Web site: "Great for ... Booting the Operating System, without running applications or games." Dell recommends 2GB of system memory. Microsoft may be using PCs loaded with 4GB of RAM for some of its customer demos; At least that's what Ann Westerheim, president of Ekaru LLC, reports. A Microsoft representative recently demonstrated Vista on a system with 4GB of system memory to some of its customers, and the performance was so impressive that it drew some "ohs and ahs" from the audience, said Westerheim. The Westford, Mass.-based company provides technology services for small and mid-sized business.

The software in which this blog is created is Google's Blogger. I have tried different blogging software, and without a doubt, I can say that I think Blogger is stored on punched cards that have been folded, spindled, and mutilated. WordPress and TypePad are quite superior. Here's an article about Blogger's problems.
"We know how important a service Blogger is to our users, so the highest priority for the Blogger team right now is monitoring the migration to the new platform, listening to feedback from people who've migrated, and tackling as fast as we can the little bugs that inevitably pop up here and there in a new product," says Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman.
Bloggers are having all kinds of problems, including disappearing posts. In the prior version, my favorite problem was that graphics could only be posted in Firefox. Yeah, that's the solution the engineers came up with after weeks of complaints from users.

Steve Jobs blasts teachers' unions... and also campaigns for a textbook-free future. The audience gasps... not because there will be no textbooks...,129214/article.html

Recording industry is cracking down at colleges for music piracy. Perhaps if they offered music worth paying for things would be different.

Yahoo! is thinking of dropping music copy protection.,1,7452706.story?coll=la-headlines-technology&ctrack=1&cset=true

Dell customers cast votes for them to offer Linux and OpenOffice. Sure, there may be some ballot stuffing going on... I wonder what computer manufacturer/retailer will be the first to break and start offering Linux on computers other than servers. Dell currently sells servers with RedHat Linux.

Another story about the $100 I mean $150 I mean $100 two years from now and $50 five years from now Laptop

Why is it that spammers want to sell me authentic prescription medicines at the same time they want to sell me fake "replica" watches?

Would a "fake replica" watch actually be an authentic watch?
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