HD-DVD News from CES

I watched the Bill Gates keynote at CES tonight (via the web, I’m not in Vegas or anything) and it included a demo and hot news about HD-DVD, the next generation hi-def DVD format. The hot news was that HD-DVD drives will be available as an add-on for the Xbox 360 – very cool. The…

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Microsoft Product Names: How They Are Chosen I Wonder?

There is a great interview on PVRBlog with the creator of the TiVo name and mascot. It describes the process by which the names were whittled down and decided on. Although I have no clue how this process actually works at Microsoft, here is how I think it might for one of our products: Tech…

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My Vonage Story

A few months ago we switched at home to Vonage VOIP, and we’re loving it. Even without dumping our phone line, we’re still saving money, over $250 a year before we even make a call! Why We SwitchedOur local phone service and DSL is provided by Verizon, and long distance was provided by AT&T. What…

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Where is the Windows BMP Format defined?

You’d think this would be simple: on MSDN surely. Even Google has trouble finding any microsoft.com site that defines the bmp file format. Here’s how I found it (eventually): I started with a printed version of the GFF book, which is ancient, but pretty good. It talks about the ugly history of BMP and various versions….

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Why do Searches timeout and not support Back?

Bit of a rant, sorry. I’m going to pick on Amazon, but others do this too: why does a Search timeout in a web browser? Here is the scenario: do a Search on Amazon. See something interesting in the result list, click on it. Read the info, decide its not the right thing, hit Back…

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Halo 2: Will it impact Microsoft Productivity?

The “Official Xbox Magazine” says in the October issue that 8,000 Microsoft employees are participating in the Halo 2 beta, 14% of the entire company. That’s an amazing number! What does this mean for general Microsoft productivity right after November 9 when Halo 2 ships? Well I think there will be a lot of late…

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Rant: Sony Memory Sticks: what are they thinking?

Sometimes Sony do good things: they co-invented the DVD, created the Walkman, and gave us Trinitron CRT tubes, all great stuff. However sometimes they just do something nuts, like Mini-Disc, or something really nuts, like Memory Stick. I can only guess that they invented Memory Stick because they didnt want to use someone else’s solid…

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Confessions of a Technical Masochist

At coffee today with my team I was ranting about Memory Sticks. It was pointed out to me that every piece of technology I buy gives me huge amounts of grief, and Steve described me as a Technology Masochist. A pretty good description on reflection… Not quite every piece of technology gives me grief, but…

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Why don’t cordless phones have a global phone book?

I want to get a new 4-handset cordless phone, ideally 5.8GHz, but as far as I can tell, none of them have a global phone book. They all store the phone books in the handsets, and most give you a way of copying between handsets, but none just store it in the base-station for all…

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Wireless Networking Troubles (aka I want those three days back)

This is the story of a wireless networking problem I had at home, what it was, the clues I missed, and how I eventually solved it. The Setup My main router is an MN-700, and its wireless is somewhat secure via WEP. I do broadcast my SSID as it makes debugging issues easier (well that…

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