iPod Annoyances

Following Joshua's lead instead of boring you with effusive praise for the iPod (of which I have lots) I have decided to list the things that have bugged me since I started using it
  • The MusicMatch software that comes with the iPod for organizing your music sucks, a lot. After wasting about 30 minutes trying to get it to recognize my iPod I jumped on Google, found out about Ephod and became a happy camper.

  • The backlight can only be switched on via the iPod menu. This is phenomenally stupid. The reason I want the backlight is on is because I can't see the menu but I need to navigate the menu to turn on the backlight? Whatever.

  • The automatic shutoff feature turns of the iPod while I'm listening to it quite often.

  • The iPod doesn't get charged if it is docked and connected to a PC via a USB connector. This wouldn't be so bad if not that managing the MP3s on the iPod uses up a lot of battery life.


Soul Calibur 2 Bug?

This post was originally going to be a bug report about the fact that although I remember unlocking the Assasin character in Soul Cal 2 I couldn't use the him. Well a quick Googling led me to the Game Winners Soul Calibur page where I learned that I can only use Assassin during two player games. So I checked and Yes, Assassin is selectable if I am in 2 versus mode. That sucks, Assassin is the Hwang character from the original Soul Calibur who was my favorite character and now I don't get to use him most of the time.


A Legacy of Embrace and Extend

It is interesting yet unsurprising how much people refuse to believe that Microsoft can use XML and related technologies in a standards complaint manner. The recent article on Slashdot entitled Gates Embraces Web Service Interoperability led to this thread where my response to someone who implies that Microsoft embraced and extended XML in Office 2003 leads to dozens of posts from Doubting Thomases who refuse to accept that Microsoft is not only behaving in a standards compliant manner but is also making it easy for people to manipulate their XML vocabularies by providing schemas and stylesheets.

Of course, that doesn't take the cake as Joi Ito's paranoid claim from earlier today that it's just a matter of time before Microsoft embraces and extends blogging related standards to somehow foil Google. This is a particular impressive feat of paranoia which also makes little technical sense. I guess if all the web pages on the Internet turned into RSS feeds that were generated from Microsoft products this would be possible. Then again, given that Google can make such a kickass search engine from parsing tag soup on the Internet imagine how fucking awesome their search engine would be if they actually had structured metadata-rich XML documents as their data source.

If Joi Ito's paranoid raving actually becomes reality it is more likely that the Google folks would praise Microsoft and anybody involved than it somehow foiling their status as the king of search.


What's the Deal with "Office 11"?

In a recent blog post Tim Bray where he complains about his quote being altered for a press release
Anyhow, in October 2002, Jean Paoli, the original XML guy at Microsoft, with whom I go back a long way, asked me if I could provide a nice quote for the big Office 11 announcement with all the cool XML stuff.


Now this is interesting. I guess changing "/" to "and" is OK, and I think noting that my employer is incorporated is actually legally required in certain contexts. Putting quotes on `Office 11'--huh?
I can answer the question about "Office 11" since this is standard Microsoft practice. Since "Office 11" is not a product name but was instead a working name until the official name of the product was decided upon (in this case Office 2003) the PR folks prefer that people writing about the products indicate this in someway and they settled on quotes around the codename (as opposed to always using the phrase "the project codenamed XXX"). The same is true of any writings about other Microsoft products with code names such as "Yukon", "Whidbey" or "LongHorn" that have been through the proper editorial filters. So it is unlikely you'll see the quotes in off-the-cuff mentions in the various b0rg blogs but they should be predominant in articles found on the Microsoft website.


RSS Bandit on MSDN

My article Revamping the RSS Bandit Application has finally showed up on MSDN. The article describes the overall architecture of RSS Bandit and goes into some detail about how a couple of its features work. The installer that comes with the article not only installs the RSS Bandit executable but also drops the source code as well.


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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.