Archive for August, 2006

My trip to the beach…

August 27, 2006

I felt like using the option in Windows Live Writer of posting images, so I did. Here is a picture I took during my last trip to the beach.

Taken at Carolina Beach, NC


Elton John to go hip hop

August 25, 2006

I saw this and had to post it:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After 40 years of performing rock music, pop ballads and movie soundtracks, Elton John is looking to cross over to yet another musical genre — hip hop.

“I want to bring my songs and melodies to hip hop beats — a bit like ‘No Diggity’ by Blackstreet,'” John said in excerpts of an interview posted on Rolling Stone’s Web site on Friday.

John told the music magazine he would like to work with producer Dr. Dre and a variety of artists, although he had yet to contact them.

“I want to work with Pharrell (Williams), Timbaland, Snoop (Dogg), Kanye (West), Eminem and just see what happens. It may be a disaster, it could be fantastic, but you don’t know until you try,” he said.

John is one of rock-n-roll’s most prolific singer/songwriters and is known for flamboyant costumes and spectacular piano playing. His hits include “Your Song,” “Rocket Man” and “Candle in the Wind.”

The 59-year-old musician’s next album, “The Captain and the Kid” is expected to be released in the fall.

He soared to stardom in the 1970s and has maintained a legendary status, branching into writing songs for movies like “The Lion King” and Broadway plays like “Aida.”

But, hip hop?

Actually, John performed the song “Stan” with Eminem on 2001’s telecast of the Grammys, the music industry’s top awards, and the pair brought the house down.

I might would buy this just to hear Elton.

Sony to win the next-gen battle, says Yankee Group

August 16, 2006

The Yankee Group has released a report that claims that in the next-generation gaming console wars that Sony will beat Microsoft and Nintendo when it is all said and done with, but only by a hair.

Sony Corp. should win the latest battle in its war with Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo of America Inc. for dominance in the video game console business, but that victory will come with plenty of bruises.

That’s the word from a study on the sector released today by the Yankee Group, a Boston technology research firm. The report predicts that Sony’s PlayStation 3 console will ultimately control a larger market share than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s planned Wii, but that Sony will likely be forced to slash prices for the expensive system and will be faced with a slimmer lead over Microsoft than with previous game consoles.

PlayStation 3 is due on retail shelves later this year after a delay disappointed many customers who expected it in stores in the spring. Microsoft, whose current Xbox lags the PlayStation 2 in sales by a wide margin, put the Xbox360 on sale last November, giving it a year’s head-start on sales. By 2011, though, the Yankee Group report predicts that Sony will have sold 30 million PlayStation 3s, controlling 44 percent of the market, compared with an estimated 27 million Xbox 360 units, which would account for 40 percent of the market.

Nintendo is expected to stay in third place with 11 million Wiis sold, claiming 16 percent of the console buying market.

The report also says that Microsoft, which launched the Xbox 360 at $399, is poised to deeply cut the retail price of the machine next year, putting price pressures on Sony, which plans to launch the PlayStation 3 at roughly $600, the highest price ever for a video game console.
(Keith Reed, Globe staff)

Source: The Boston Globe

Their prediction is that Sony will sell 30 million PS3 units accounting for 44% of the total market-share, Microsoft will be just barely behind with 27 million and 40% market-share, and Nintendo will sell just over 11 million units totaling for 16% of the left over market-share.

If they are correct then this would mean that Sony would be just barely able to claim a victory, and with Microsoft closing the gap that it currently has then this to me means that Microsoft is the real winner regardless of sales. I’m not completely sure that the PS3 will do as well as they predict giving its $600 selling price, Microsoft’s $300-$400 Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s speculated sub-$200 Wii. I know I’m not ready to go out and spend $600 on a gaming console and a DVD player on steroids.

I think when the PS3 does come out I’ll be sticking with my Xbox 360, and I might buy a Wii while I’m at it.

Windows Live Writer, first impressions

August 14, 2006

Windows Live Writer is Microsoft’s attempt to give the blogging world the killer app it has been waiting for in terms of posting applications, and my first impressions seem to make me think they may have delivered that.

At first looks you can tell it is a Microsoft application, it has that Word 2003 feel to it which allows you to jump right in. When I first heard that Microsoft’s Windows Live division was making a blogging application I figured it would be a  very Windows Live Spaces oriented application, and while it is that it also is very usable for other platforms including WordPress, Moveable Type, and Blogger.

I assumed that it would be very similar to the blogging feature in Word 12 which is very basic and has few features, but this application fixes many of the complaints I had about Word’s blogging feature. My biggest complaint was the lack of support for categories, Windows Live Writer has that feature. To my surprise it even detected the categories I had setup on my blog.

The setup is a snap, simply enter your username and password and Windows Live Writer “scans” your blog allowing it to completely configure its self.

Once you begin writing in Writer you have several views to choose from.

  • Normal- This mode looks and feels like your typing away in Word.
  • Web Layout- Looks like what you would expect if you use the web-based way of posting to a blog.
  • Web Preview – A “live-preview” mode, this allows you to see exactly what the post will look like once it is published on the web.
  • HTML Code– If you like seeing the HTML code behind your post then this is the mode for you.

SpellCheck is my favorite feature by far, I am a terrible speller and this lets me check before I post. While not as good as the SpellChecker included in Word, it’s good enough for me.

Just for fun I’m going to use the Map feature powered by Windows Live Local, here we go:


 This is not your normal after-thought rushed product from Microsoft, Windows Live Writer is a very good application. I am considering switching to this program. I have tried several others like is (ex: w.blogger) and I have to say this one comes in first by far. For a Beta application this is very cool and I can’t wait to try the finished product. Once again a great example of what the fine people at Microsoft can do. And like I said about the MSN division in the past, if the rest of the company could work like the Windows Live division Microsoft would once again be known for making the the best software out there.


Download Windows Live Writer or learn more here,


August 7, 2006

4-22-06 084

Taken by jcallahan01.

A photo of a crawdad I took at Stone Mountain State Park in North Carolina.