News Nybbles for November 3, 2008

  • Phoenix lander readies for it’s demise.  This week, NASA begins the process of shutting down the lander.  Phoenix, which has been in operation since it’s landing about five months ago, has proven that Mars has water as well as revealing other fun facts about our neighboring planet.  The original mission, like many of NASA’s mission, has exceeded it’s original goals and continues to function well past it’s planned life.  Engineers are beginning a planned shut down of the lander leaving only it’s camera and some meteorological instruments running for as long as they can.
  • In the ‘Say What?’ category, this message, posted on the EA Command and Conquer help and customer support forum, EA tells it’s customers to ‘guess’ the last letter or number of the install code if the code they received was 19 instead of 20 characters.  Chalk up another winner from both Electronic Arts and DRM tactics.
  • In other video game news, Microsoft’s XBOX 360 outsold PS3 in Japan yet again.   XBOX sold almost four thousand more units than PS3.   Contrast that to Wii, which six times what PS3 sold and over three times what XBOX sold.  There is good news for Sony, it’s PSP moved over 60 thousand units, three times what Wii moved and almost three and a half times what DS Lite moved.
  • Microsoft announced Azure at last weeks PDC (a developer’s conference) as well as showing it’s cool mesh technologies.  Read more here about this.  Jamie explains it much better than I could.
  • Circuit City announces 155 stores will be closing.  In an effort to reign in costs, the company, based in Richmond, Virginia, announces the closure over the weekend.  Circuit City’s stock has reached a low of 26 cents a share and faces delisting on the Stock Exchange.  The stores will likely shutter prior to the Thanksgiving weekend sales blitz and ‘black friday’. Stock from closed stores would be shifted to other stores to cut costs and, presumably, avoid heavy losses from discounting that inventory.
  • In Apple news, the company says ‘NO’ to Mac Mini and iMac refresh.  Apple says it is done with Macintosh product announces for 2008,squashing the hopes and dreams of the Mac faithful.  I, for one, am glad they cleared that up.  I can rest easy now.
  • Windows 7 could come out as early as late 2009.  And I could lose 30 pounds by then too…who cares?
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