This Year

I look back at the last major post I made on this blog, and think. It has been over a year and a lot has happened online and in the tech community in general. I’ll start with what is powering this very blog.

WordPress has gained an even more massive audience than last time I wrote. The community at large has released a few a versions of this wonderful software. I have attempted to switch over to Movable Type or some other alternate blogging system, but I keep coming back to WordPress. I really don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, I hope they continue on the same path. I look at this from a user’s perspective too. As a programmer, I see a few parts that could use a little overhauling, but most of it is just a matter of taste.

If you go back a few weeks, you will encounter the release of that $200 PC from Wal-Mart. I do have some qualms about gOS, but I’ll save that for another post. The system itself is solid, and it will help people enter the digital age with little impact on their budget. The only problem I foresee with such a system is that the ineptness of the consumer will create a help desk nightmare. Say someone goes out to buy Microsoft Office for their brand-new PC. Guess what, it won’t work since it’s not Windows that’s installed, it’s Linux. I personally know plenty of people who don’t know what an Operating System is, and would be completely pissed off when they realize they can’t install a piece of software that they just paid $400+ for. Seeing how this is a budget PC though (which comes with OpenOffice preinstalled), most people who are buying the PC won’t go out and pay twice as much of the cost of the PC on a single piece of software.

No recap would be complete this year without a mention of Apple, Inc. From new iPods, to the iPhone, to Leopard, Apple has made a major play in the tech market. It’s been covered ad-nausea in the media, so I won’t repeat what they’ve already said. I’ll just say that they all look cool, and if I had the money, I would buy them.

Google has also been doing fairly well this year. With the recent release of its Android mobile platform and breaking $600 a share, it’s looking up at the Googleplex. Google hasn’t been immune to all attacks though. From their attempted buyout of DoubleClick, to take-down notices from the studios against YouTube, and Gmail exploits (partly due to a jar exploit in Firefox, which is supposed to be fixed in 2.0.10), no one can say it’s been easy-going.

On the security side of technology and the web, we have the Storm botnet. The botnet is estimated to be really freakin’ huge (that’s just an estimate) and can DDos sites and take down entire networks, all with a single click. The main problem is that people are curious. They are also inherently stupid. When guys, in particular, see an image that says click the bunny to see what’s behind it, nothing with stop them from clicking that goddamn bunny.

Going to the gaming division, we had a few big announcements this year. The big games were Halo 3 and Bioshock. I’ve played both, and I love them. The console battle has clearly been won by the Wii (still can’t find any in stores), but the Xbox 360 also turned out well. The PS3 has suffered from over-engineering and a lack of good games. I have a feeling the PS3 will do better once MGS4 and Haze get released on the system.

So many big events happened this year. If I could, I would cover them all in this blog post, but that would make for headaches and stiff fingers. So until next time, stay classy Internet.

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IE7 has landed

Oh boy. IE7 has just marked its final release today. Filled with tabbed browsing and an anti-phishing feature, I think it’s a nice upgrade for the masses. Although, for me as a web designer, it brings in more headaches. Now I have to worry about the bugs in IE7. I know they fixed a lot, but obviously new bugs appear and old bugs morph into new bugs.

I still don’t think that IE7 will help regain some of M$’s market share. Firefox, Opera, and Safari are kicking butt right now and I think this trend will continue. I would say more, but my hand is weary…from typing. Need to get some rest now. My current draft post is called Where is my Hover car? I hope that leaves you with something to think about.

IE7: A Stepping Stone to a New Microsoft

I know people harp on Microsoft for all of their products. Internet Explorer has been one of the most common places people take shots at the corporation. I too dislike a lot of Microsoft, but you have to give them credit for what they do. When you have 90% of the market, virus writers are going to go after it. Microsoft is going through a transition right now and I think it’s for the better.

We all know that Bill Gates will be stepping down in 2008, but I think the direction of the company is already starting to change. IE7 and Vista are just there to bring along bigger and better products. They have worked hard on IE7 bringing up much of it’s compliance. Now, although it still has the worst compliance, we can all agree that it has gotten much better. The UI has also taken a step for the better. They don’t want to innovate that much now because they need to catch up to the rest of the pack. Once they are on-par with the rest of them (firefox, opera, safari), there will be new features added. It’s always going to be a game of cat and mouse. IE7 introduced an anti-phishing feature which wasn’t in any of the other browsers. Now FireFox 2 has that feature in it.

This is the same in Vista. Even though it may be a resource hog and take a lot of graphic proccessing power, it still has WAY more features than most operating systems. Although Linux is gaining steam, it will probably never catch up with the popularity of proffessional software.

With IE8 and Vienna, Microsoft should bring about a new age of innovation in the company and FOSS. As long as this competition exists and they are each a threat to each other, there is always going to be a new product or feature on the horizon.