The iPhone Cures Cancer Too

by Nick Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:11 AM

Great advertisement for the iPhone from the Onion...

I'm not jumping on the iPhone bandwagon yet.  I'm very picky about my cell phones, and I don't think this will revolutionize the phone for people the same way the iPod revolutionized the MP3 player.  For one, most people don't want to spend gazillions of dollars on their cell phone.  Most people just take the cheap one you can get with a contract on your plan.  That means right away, Apple is only fighting for a small percentage of the cell phone market... the market for advanced users.

Second... I'm not convinced this thing will stand up to the wear and tear I put my phone through.  I have a clam shell model for a good reason.  I keep my phone in my pocket.  I don't want something I have to have a belt clip for, or that I'm afraid will autodial someone because it bumped into my wallet.  I also have a feeling the screen on this will get easily scratched up until the display is hardly usable, and will be broken just as easily.  I could be wrong... but my fears are enough to keep me from being an early adopter on this one.

I'll wait at least 6 months before I even consider one.  And by then, the Microsoft Mobile phones will have caught up to the same usability standards, in a package I'll probably like better, and for less money.

No Errors Or No Latency?

by Nick Monday, June 18, 2007 8:35 AM

Apparently the Internet is almost full again.  These sorts of predictions come and go quite often, and I don't pay much attention to them.  They generally show people's lack of understanding in the TCP/IP routing system, and the amount of dark fiber which still exists from over speculation during the dot-com boom/bust.  What bugged me the most though was this piece of inaccurate information:

"Video is real-time, it needs to not have mistakes or errors. E-mail can be a little slow. You wouldn't notice if it was 11 seconds rather than 10, but you would notice that on a video."

Well that's just completely inaccurate.  Real time has nothing to do with whether it has mistakes or errors.  There is an inherent difference between latency and errors.  More importantly, real time video always has errors.  That's how you get real time streaming video!  You sacrifice quality for speed.  When video is streamed to a client computer, packets get dropped all the time.  That's why the audio is sometimes choppy, and the video sometimes has visual glitches.

In fact, the very nature of video, and the ability of the human brain, allow this to work successfully.  Your brain can fill in 1/4 of a second of missing sound using the context of the rest of the audio.  An email has to be perfect.  If a sentence is missing from the middle of an email, you will notice that.

Web 2.0 People!

by Nick Friday, June 15, 2007 8:18 AM

Yesterday at work I was trying to scan around MSDN at some documentation on Excel automation, and it was super slow.  It was really bugging the hell out of me.

Me:  Man... MSDN is slow today.

Coworker:  Actually, I'm trying to browse somewhere else and it's just crawling.

Me:  Don't we have dual T1's coming in here?

Coworker:  Yeah, I don't get it.

Then a few minutes later it all began to make sense.  A high priority email came in from one of our other offices, sent to the majority of the company (just shy of the "Everyone" list) that had a 6 MB WMV file.  It was a clip from a news broadcast talking about Microsoft Surface.

Who sends video files as email attachments to an entire company any more?!  Have you not heard of Google Video, YouTube, or the many other video sharing websites in existance?  Send a link to a YouTube video... it will take up a lot less bandwidth.  And who sends it as a high priority email to boot?!

Web 2.0 people... learn it... live it... love it.  And here is one video that demonstrates Surface... from YouTube of course.

Microsoft Self-Deprecation

by Nick Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:35 PM

I hadn't seen this one before today... but a coworker just showed it to me and I thought it was hilarious.  Nice to know that the good folks at Microsoft can take a good natured poke at themselves.

Now then... will they take any of these lessons to heart?

Annoying Outlook Bug

by Nick Tuesday, June 12, 2007 1:44 PM

My new laptop for work is a really nice Dell.  In fact, it's the same Dell laptop I bought for myself a few months ago, except it doesn't have some of the extra features I got like Bluetooth and the nicer screen.  Anyway, we use Exchange here and I have Outlook 2007 installed.  However, whenever someone sent me a meeting request, even if they set it up as one time, it was always showing up as recurring.  After some searching, I found the following on Google Groups.  The suggestion was to look in Add/Remove Programs and find the following item:

Sure enough... I looked and there it was.  If you uninstall that, the problem goes away.  I also noticed that uninstalling this program makes Outlook load a lot faster than before.  Previously it seemed like my entire machine was hanging for about 1 minute after Outlook started.  The poster in the forum made it sound like this was something Dell installs by default.

What the heck could be the purpose for this program?!

How Ironic Is Google Reader?

by Nick Thursday, June 07, 2007 3:34 PM

I'm a huge fan of feeds, and I'm an even bigger fan of Google Reader.  I subscribe to more than 150 feeds, and I use a lot of the features in Google Reader, including starring posts that I want to look at later.  What's funny is that Google was built on search and yet I can't search through my starred feeds!  If I know I starred something a couple weeks ago, and I want to try to find it, I have to scroll endlessly through posts I've starred since then in order to get to it.  You'd think Google of all companies would incorporate search into their own product.

Am I missing something here?  Is there search embedded somewhere that I don't know about?

What's Your Programmer Personality Type?

by Nick Wednesday, June 06, 2007 9:39 AM

Your programmer personality type is:


You're a Doer.
You are very quick at getting tasks done. You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.

You like coding at a Low level.
You're from the old school of programming and believe that you should have an intimate relationship with the computer. You don't mind juggling registers around and spending hours getting a 5% performance increase in an algorithm.

You work best in a Solo situation.
The best way to program is by yourself. There's no communication problems, you know every part of the code allowing you to write the best programs possible.

You are a liBeral programmer.
Programming is a complex task and you should use white space and comments as freely as possible to help simplify the task. We're not writing on paper anymore so we can take up as much room as we need.

You can take the test here to find out what kind of programmer you are.  Via Chris Sells.

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Nick Schweitzer Nick Schweitzer
Wauwatosa, WI

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I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit. ... Full Bio

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