News Nybbles

Here are some things that got my attention, in no particular order…

  • Today is photography’s birthday…well, not quite, but on Aug 19, 1839, the Daguerreotype was unleashed to the public.  Wired has a great article about it here.
  • Virginia Governor Tim Kane is, supposedly, a front runner for the VP spot on the Obama ticket.  I hope not.  He’s not done all that much for my home state (er, Commonwealth) and we’ve now got a big deficit and the Commonwealth is now facing a billion dollar shortfall.
  • Apple tries to placate it’s MobileME users by giving them another 60 days of free service.  It took a LEAKED memo to let the world know that Apple CEO Steve Jobs admitted they took on too much in releasing as much as they did at the same time.  Clearly, they miscalculated the demand for MobileME and were not ready for real business.
  • Michael Arrington of TechCrunch theorizes that Apple needs to shape up or risk becoming irrelevant again (my words, not his).  Go here to read this interesting article.
  • Microsoft has started a new blog detailing the design of Windows 7.  Called ‘Engineering Windows 7’, the blog will be maintained by Steve Sinofsky.  I have not yet had a chance to peruse the first entries, but from what I can tell, there is going to be lots of interesting reading.  Along those lines, Microsoft says it will detail some of the features of Vista’s replacement sometime in October.
  • Not really news but…Now you, too, can have Captain Kirk’s command chair.  Yep, for a cool grand, you can now buy a real command chair from the bridge of the Enterprise. Pretty dang cool, eh?
  • The Olympics have been quite enjoyable to watch, much more so than I had thought. Though, beach volleyball and the men’s swimming have proven to be the most exciting, the track and field events have been pretty enjoyable as well.  I don’t care for basketball at all, but I have been pulling for the ‘redeem team.’  Microsoft has proven that Silverlight can hold it’s own. I’ve heard lots of praise for the online stuff.
  • The Joe Gibbs Racing team-the Nationwide series teams-were caught cheating.  They were not cheating to win a race. The event was over. No, NASCAR was about to dyno test the cars when they discovered magnetic shims were placed under the gas pedal, preventing the engine from being run ‘full throttle’.  See, Toyota has already been penalized for FOLLOWING the rules:  NASCAR has imposed a restrictor plate on all Toyota motors at all tracks to cut 15 horsepower so they are on a ‘level playing field.’  What it really was: placating Hendrick, Roush and Childress who were crying because the 18, 20 and 32 cars were winning races-15 of them.  Last year, though, Chevy won more than the other three makers COMBINED. NASCAR did nothing.  The Gibb’s teams were, I suppose, just trying to protect their own interests.  Not the way to do it, but I can’t say that I blame them either.  Sadly, it will taint those wins this season. 
  • The Katrina destroyed theme park of Six Flags New Orleans may yet get a new lease on life.  There is a company that has been actively pursuing the dead park.  Six Flags will more than likely sell since they are still on the hook to reopen the park.  The lease they have stipulated that they reopen it, but only to the value of the insurance claim, so they could open a much smaller park.  Six Flags, though, has been on the path to recovery itself and can hardly afford to reopen the park. They did offer to buy out the lease, but Mayor Nagan wants a park there.  The new company says it would erect flood walls to protect the property in the future.  I doubt they would get enough business to justify the cost.  The park opened as Jazzland and was immediately in trouble.  Six Flags purchased the property only a few years ago and it had never turned a profit.  It may have become profitable as Six Flags was upgrading the park even during the 2005 season.  Alas, Katrina blew into town and caused the levies to break and, well, you know what happened.
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