Where to go for Iran coverage

There are a lot of developments in Iran over the past 48 hours and they have gotten little coverage from the US mainstream media.  While I would like to think that this is a turning point for the green movement there, I also fear that this is just the beginning of an extended period of increased civil unrest and casualties.  What is certain is that this may be one of the first times that the overthrow of an established government has been covered so thoroughly online through blogs and social media.  Here are some of the information sources I am following:

This makes me wonder what the American revolution or Civil War might have looked like if covered in a similar fashion.

New Vista Machine

I just got a new Dell XPS 420 with Vista and I’m putting together a post that outlines the software and config things I do to a new Windows machine.  This post will be updated as I refine it.



Download Apps:

Vista Gadgets:

  • Callwave Visual Voicemail
  • Callwave SMS Sender
  • Weather Underground
  • Systran language converter

Outlook accessories:

  • Hotmail Outlook Connector (now part of Windows Live install)
  • Plaxo

Windows Live:

Personal items:

Hardware Support:

Disk Apps:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Money
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere


Internet Explorer:

  • Turn on Inline Autocomplete
  • Turn on the option for pop-ups to always display in a new tab
  • Change the registry to allow more simultaneous connections
  • Turn off click sound (Windows Sounds –> Navigate)

Windows Live Messenger

Media Center

  • Migrate scheduled recordings and setup Webguide

Apple, don’t try to fool your users

It really annoys me when a software vendor tries to bundle other applications with the one you downloaded and installed.  It’s even worse when they try to do it through their crapware auto update mechanism.  Adobe is guilty of this and so now is Apple.



The problem here is that I only want QuickTime on my Windows PC.  I have never installed iTunes on it nor have I installed Safari.  Given recent security news about Safari, I’m glad I haven’t installed it.  The nice Apple Software Update app not only checks off all three applications by default but it also doesn’t give you a way to only update QuickTime.  For those wondering, you can do it but you have to ignore the Apple updater and go to the QuickTime site to download the patched installer again.

I wonder how many of the non-technical iPod users on Windows have been duped into installing Safari.

No software is bug free or perfectly secure but trustworthiness is a combination of security by design, being up front with your users when installing and updating and responding to exploits proactively, not just after a bunch of them have made the news.  On this measure, Microsoft clearly beats Apple, despite the lack of cool advertising we do.

Finally, a Windows Mobile phone that excites me

I’ve had a few WM phones and while they have all done a decent job in the utility department, they have always lacked a few key features which kept them from mobile phone perfection.  The iPhone is probably the device that is closest to my perfect cellphone but it too lacks key features that I need and ultimately the Blackjack wins for the corporate scenarios.  My dream phone would have:

  • A regular headphone jack with no adapter needed
  • Charging and syncing via mini-usb
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth – The usual Bluetooth profiles plus A2DP & AVRCP
  • GPS
  • A touch screen that doesn’t require a stylus
  • Physical keys – ideally QWERTY text entry or tactile touch screen
  • Good high resolution screen that is visible in daylight
  • Quad band GSM w/ HSDPA or HSUPA (UMTS extra credit)
  • A 3MP camera
  • microSD
  • Exchange ActiveSync with all the corporate IT functionality
  • A music playback experience that doesn’t suck

This basically amounts to a work hard + play hard phone.

Today Microsoft and Sony-Ericsson announced a partnership resulting in the Xperia X1 which has all of the above.  Engadget Mobile did a quick review and I am pretty impressed.  We’ll have to see what the build quality and form factor is like when held in my hand but I am officially holding off on my prospective purchase of a new WM device until I have a chance to play with one of these.

Previous WM phones I have owned are the Audiovox SMT 5600 and the Samsung Blackjack.  The SMT 5600 was a great device for its time but times have changed.  The Blackjack has a nice feature set but it has a really poorly-designed proprietary connector for headphones/sync/charging, bad audio quality, bad build quality (I’m on my 3rd and it is having problems), flaky Bluetooth and barely sufficient battery life.  Its saving graces are the compact QWERTY keyboard, HSDPA support, rubberized skin and scroll wheel.

You can learn a lot about candidates based on who is behind them when they are at the podium

Hillary Clinton: Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, Wesley Clark – political heavy hitters of the 90s.

Barack Obama: Campaign workers, youth, diversity – New face of politics.

Rudy Giuliani: Typical 9/11 fare – Did I mention 9/11?

Mike Huckabee: Chuck Norris.  What?  Read the facts.

Good career advice from Sen. Craig

Here’s a little tip for your career thanks to Sen. Craig of the infamous restroom sex scandal.  Don’t speak before you think.  Of course, Sen. Craig is a great example of what NOT to do in this case.

MSNBC has a story about Sen. Craig possibly changing his resignation.  First he pleaded guilty but claimed he was innocent.  Then he resigns effective later this month.  Now he’s reconsidering the resignation.

I wonder what’s next…

Blog hiatus over . . . or is it?

I think I’ve made this claim several times over so we’ll see if it sticks this time around.  I’m not going to have the bandwidth to post daily but I’ll try to get back on the rails with posting at least once per week.

Blogging takes time and since I mostly do this to record my thoughts and make no money on it, it’s not a high priority for me.