Earlier this week, I attended the SanFran Music Tech Summit, best described as a meeting of the minds of those who are deeply involved or invested in the music technology space. To quote the event Web site: "We will meet to discuss the evolving music/business/technology ecosystem in a proactive, conducive to deal-making environment." I know...sounds a touch boring, but it was actually quite the opposite. In fact, I've come to the realization that conferences with an emphasis on panels are infinitely more informative, entertaining, and relaxing than those centering around massive product launches (ahem, … Read more
Updated: 2:40 p.m. with some clarifications from Microsoft.
Brett Zehr was surprised on Thursday when he saw that his Windows Vista PC had a new update ready: Service Pack 1.
The software wasn't supposed to be available until mid-March, however a glitch on Thursday meant that Zehr and some other general users were able to download the Vista update.
The update was not pushed out via Windows' Automatic Update feature, but was listed for owners running the 64-bit version of Vista who chose to "check for new updates" via Windows Update.
"A build of … Read more
A funny thing happened after I installed Windows Vista Service Pack 1 on my PC: Word 2007 started crashing whenever I closed it, and all but a handful of the application's settings became inaccessible.
I still haven't figured out how to keep Word from crashing on exit, but I regained access to the program's settings by disabling all add-ins. Unfortunately, it took me the better part of an afternoon to figure out this partial solution, and I'm no closer to finding the source of the crashes, though Vista SP1 is the prime suspect.
My first attempt … Read more
Microsoft said on Tuesday that it is making public its latest test version of Windows XP Service Pack 3.
The software maker said Release Candidate 2 of XP SP3 will be available after 5 p.m. PST via Microsoft's download center. "We're broadening the availability of the release candidate in order to receive further user feedback prior to the release of Windows XP SP3," it said in a statement.
One of the first things I noticed after using Ubuntu for a while was how snappy the OS is, especially compared to Windows Vista (which in my experience can't even keep up with its predecessor XP). Then I poked around the Linux forums a little bit and found out that I could work even faster in Ubuntu by changing some default settings, and using a few of the OS's unique keyboard shortcuts.
Start at the beginning by disabling the auto-start Ubuntu apps that you don't need. For example, the ancient laptop I run Ubuntu on has no … Read more
Amazon.com Web Service's hosted storage service went down Friday morning, frustrating many Web site customers and refreshing concerns with the ballyhooed approach of cloud computing.
An online forum spiked with customer complaints Friday morning as some people found that content stored on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) was unavailable or performed slowly.
The service was restored a few hours later, according to an Amazon technician. The first forum posting was timed at 5 a.m. PT, and the service was back up at just past 9 a.m.
The glitch sent a ripple through the blogosphere as … Read more
Teens may have a better understanding of privacy issues than the adults around them. Unfortunately, when you are a high school student, your personal judgment can still be challenged by an unsympathetic principal.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough North Carolina, more than 300 juniors were given the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The military provides and administers the tests without charge, and in return the scores and students' contact information are sent to military branch recruiters and the school.
Cedar Ridge Principal Gary Thornburg was willing to sign on to this deal to get access to what he views as a valuable career assessment tool. There is supposed to be an opt-out procedure, but three students who refused to take the test were sent to the in-school suspension room to take it--not as discipline, according to Thornburg, but because the in-school suspension teacher was available to supervise them while other students were taking the test. Sounds like a blatantly disingenuous answer to me. In my experience as a student and teacher, when you send students to in-school suspension, it is going to feel like a punishment and be perceived that way by others. Surely their well-equipped media center could have handled three students for independent study.… Read more
What can I say? I have a bit of a soft spot for ridiculous technology. That's not to say that I would actually recommend most of it to others, or even like it myself, but there's something that draws me to it. So when I received an e-mail--one that I would normally delete without a second glance--with the subject line: "You're welcome to Www.RiniaMp3.NET," and the enticing body text: "Where You can download a tons of music. Without register or pay money for it [sic]," I couldn't help myself. I … Read more
At GSMA 2008 Mobile World Congress, Microsoft announced that its MSN Direct services is now available on Windows Mobile devices. A technology preview allows you to get instant, at-a-glance updates on weather, top news stories, stock updates, sports scores, and more. The service will also automatically refresh the content so you have the latest information. You can download the free technology preview in one of two ways: by pointing your mobile Web browser to http://phone.msndirect.com or by downloading the MSN Direct client to your PC, then synchronizing it with your mobile device. Just be aware that using … Read more
Are you looking for that edge online? Something that your competitors don't have? Forget wasting all your energy on a great design and developing superior content--it's not what you know, but who you work with.
Sooner or later, most of us in the industry get an e-mail, either passed on by someone we know, through our own e-mail, or possibly through one of our own sites that offers to help us achieve success online. Most of these are fairly nondescript and rather generic.
Then the other day, I had one passed on to me that was more than … Read more