THE SNOWY, SNOWY ROUND-UP

Holy Hanna – I’m 31 years old. In 1978 – my birth year – the following facts were in play:

birthday-cake

* Average cost of new house was $54,800.00. My generation weeps at such figures.
* Worldwide unemployment rises after several decades of near full employment, which got the world used to the idea of non-steady work that continues unabated…
* The US stops production of the Neutron Bomb. Um, yay?
* The first ever cellular phone network is created.
* Grease and Saturday Night Fever are released to record business and John Travolta’s first career arc and sassy dance moves.
* Happy Days is the most popular show on TV. The 1950s remains cool in shiny, glossed-over form until Mad Men 30 years later.

Anyway, enough of that. What’s going on, tech stars?

* Windows 7 is now available for all to use in Beta format. The download servers at Microsoft also crashed. That is all.
* SoundOut is a new program being used to evaluate the commercial playability of new artists. Very cool stuff.
* Nortel’s future is in serious doubt. Again. Canadian darling gone bad.

Tonight, I’m celebrating with my folks for my birthday. Nothing too big, just a nice dinner and such.

Advertisements

THE ROUND-UP & BUSH’S PAPER TRAIL

So tomorrow I turn 31 years old. I’m starting to turn interesting (after all, 30 is the new 20, as I’ve heard) and tasty. Mmmm, Welsh…

So what’s new today? Other than it’s now eight sweet days until Obama is sworn in as President of the United States (and we might finally be able to move forward on the looming problems America will be facing in the months ahead… almost three million out of work in one year. That’s just… I have no words *shakes head*)…

* Hey! Obama and our kinda-sorta Prime Minister Harper are both nerds! Obama even loves comic books! Harper’s a Star Trek nerd! Here’s hoping future British PM David Cameron won’t beat them up in the school yard after class.
* The Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas is a decidedly downbeat affair this year in lieu of the economic mega-slowdown. Thankfully, Julia Allison showed up to the CES, so Non-Society has plenty o’ content for awhile.
* Wired has released the most anticipated new games for 2009. All I’m going to say is: BioShock 2. That is all. And yes, I fully intend to do my best impression of John Lennon with The Beatles Game.
* The ever-insightful Michael Geist has released his column on the new strategies being used by the music industry in Canada regarding digital music. Needless to say, Canadians love their MP3s. And by love, I mean steal. Hard and lots of.
* 24 is back. The series has been rebooted after two extraordinarily lame prior seasons. The new setting in Washington is a nice touch (and the abundance of Canadians in the cast? Love it!).

THE BUSH PAPER TRAIL: While the New York Times might be on life support right now, it still produces the best journalism and column inches in America. Bar none.

bush-dunham

Frank Rich has written a column outlining, once again, the Memory Hole/Abyss/Black Hole of Money/Decadence that has been the Bush Administration. Thank God he’s gone soon.

Thing is, there’s a big, looming Elephant in the Room here: Bush and Co. have been meticulously destroying paper and electronic evidence of their dealings. Didn’t hear about this? No, you probably wouldn’t. After all, this is Bush and he’s in the midst of doing the whole Cover Your Own Ass business so he’s not a target for trials on war crimes/war profiteering/corruption/violation of the U.S. Constitution/The List is Endless.

I’ve been thinking: why not have a Republican-chaired Commission into the Bush Administration’s crimes? That way there’s no claim of partisanship and it could restore dignity to an office that Obama’s going to have to work damn hard to restore. Just a thought.

THE ROUND-UP

Alright, here’s the deal: this blog’s been getting pretty friggin’ stale. There’s been almost no posts the last little while. I’m pretty mercurial as is, but this blog, whew, it’s been dry. I swear, if I were a novelist and not an IT worker-thingy, I’d never get a novel done. I’m so up and down.

So starting today, I’m committing to a few things on here — a few more posts per week. Almost all tech-focused (this is my schtick, so it goes).

frink
Behold – the ultimate Frink!

*HOLY CRAP. Apple has just announced all tracks from the iTunes Store are now being sold DRM-free. Huzzah Apple!

* Who would want to hack Britney Spears’ Twitter account? What, does Circus have some subliminal messages we don’t know about? Well, at least we find out that she has a four-feet-wide, razor sharp… um, well, hackers unite.
* Noted transhumanist/futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote an article in 1999 about what the world would look like in 2009 tech-wise. He was remarkably accurate in some cases. Maybe a little too optimistic in others. But still, he was closer to reality than most.
* Wired’s posted the Sexiest Geeks of 2008 (it’s a few weeks late, sure). I *totally* didn’t see that Marina Orlova – a buxom blonde – would win this category. Nah, would never happen.
* Rogers has added 200,000 new subscribers in one fiscal quarter. This, of course, is entirely due to Research In Motion and Apple. Although Rogers wouldn’t tell you that.
* The new Shazam movie is not happening now, since studios have wised up to audiences that heart the dark and/or ugly side of comics (see The Dark Knight and The Watchman). If anyone saw Speed Racer, I feel for you – it was like eating 10,000 tonnes of candy and tripping out at the same time.

MACWORLD 2009: Engadget has a live blog posting from earlier today at the final MacWorld’s keynote address. There’s a few newish innovations coming down the intertubes – a greener computing platform, moving software to “the cloud” and a bigger screen – but really, this marks an end of an era for Apple.

As we’ve been told a few times now, Steve Jobs is in poor health due to “hormone imbalance.” If you actually believe that diagnosis, then you’d be hard-pressed to wonder where Apple’s going with its product lines into the future, sans Jobs. If he leaves the company, of course.