Is Windows Phone 7 Doing too Much?

Microsoft is touting Windows Phone 7 as the device that will get you “in, and out, and back to life.” They intend to do this using “tiles” from the main screen of the phone.

Microsoft admits that they are not going to do this instead of downloadable apps like the iPhone or Android phones. However, I find it fascinating at a time when Android is trying to dis-integrate programs from the core operating system. Google has found that having things like “Google Maps” as part of the phone from the get-go, makes it harder to update it independently later. The plan for Google seems to be taking things like Google Maps easier to download and update from the Android Market.

This seems like another case of Microsoft, potentially, being “late to the party.” This is everyone’s biggest fear for what, on many other levels, sounds like an excellent platform. Microsoft is always just a few steps behind, and now that Google has seen troubles with deep integration, and is backing away from it with Gingerbread, Microsoft is walking right down the path that Google just abandoned. While it seems as though everyone who has had hands-on time with Windows Phone 7 devices has been impressed with it, if it does not get the updates people are hoping for, it might just fail. And what could stop it from getting the updates? If Microsoft is making it harder to update by integrating too many things into the main part of the Operating System. Could these handy “tiles” come back to bite them?

While I don’t know if this level of integration is good or bad from a technical stand point, I am excited for Windows Phone 7 and can’t wait to see if it people take to it.

The grand idea of these tiles is so that you can quickly glance at your phone and do what you need to do, without waiting for apps to load and waiting for slow programs, or having to spend so much time flipping between apps. Microsoft demonstrates this in a recent marketing video for Windows Phone 7.

5 Word Reviews: Music

Sometimes I like to listen to a lot of music all at once. I often burn several albums to a CD as mp3 files, then listen to them in my car (which I also wish was scrobbling to my Last.FM). Having listened to many, many albums lately, and many more in the hopper, I decided I would start writing my versions of music reviews.

But to keep it interesting – I’m limiting my reviews to give words or fewer. This allows me to cover several albums at one time, and I hope it will inspire at least a couple people to seek out the music and listen to it. I’m also assigning a broad letter grade to each album I review, just so there’s no real question how I feel. Each will be LETTER ONLY, no plus or minus degrees of grading. And if you really want me to expand on one of these 5 word reviews, let me know in the comments and I’ll respond back with a little more detail, when I have the time.

Band Album Year Comments Letter Grade
Weezer Raditude 2009 Rivers’ in love. Sappy love. C
Weezer Hurley 2010 Better, but still lovey dovey. C
Linkin Park A Thousand Suns 2010 Please, end soon. F
Discovery LP 2009 Lo-Fi fantasitcalism! A
Anamanaguchi Power Supply 2006 My childhood, reimagined. B
Vampire Weekend Contra 2010 Don’t change a thing! A

2.2 Billion Minutes of your time… wasted?

While listening to This Week in Google 58, the table talked about how many billions of minutes have been “wasted” on things like Farmville and other casual games.

The Panel of guests talking on Episode 58 all wished that people would spend less time managing their virtual farms and contributing to something like Wikipedia. My question is, why haven’t we combined the two?

Maybe not wikipedia, but Decentralized Computing programs have simply missed the boat when it comes to getting extra CPU cycles thrown their way. Why should I go out and install, for example, the Folding@home client, when they could have their code inserted into Facebook games and take every few cycles here and there. Then, while I save a baby dolphin on my Happy Island, I could be doing micro-sized work units for things like Folding, Grid.org, SETI@home, BOINC, or whatever is deemed worthy of my computing cycles.

At first, these could be determined by the game designers – later this could be decided by we, the casual gamers – give us the option to choose which program we’re donating our cycles to!

My biggest fear when it comes to this? That the distributed computing folks try to design their own games and get people interested. Don’t! You simply don’t have the magic. I wouldn’t even propose contracting a company to try and design new games that utilize your code in the back-end. What needs to be done is that these “social game” developers need to think of it as their “social responsibility” to work with these distributed computing firms to allow us to give our computing cycles to worthy projects. Meanwhile, all you are doing is what you’re already doing: playing Mafia Wars, Farmville, Happy Island – all the while virtually compounding drugs to combat Cancer, AIDS, or perhaps searching radio frequencies to find intelligent life in other galaxies. Whatever your desired project, you should be able to voluntarily help it out, while not having to think about it. Then your 2.2 Billion Minutes of Virtual Farming could be 2.2 Billion minutes of being socially responsible, green, not wasting CPU cycles, all of that good stuff.

I wish I knew a cartoonist… Apartment Hunting Online

This is another blog post that is just a random comment, (so if you’re expecting wisdom or summary: don’t. That’s not always the point of a blog… some people I know are still getting used to that).

With hopes that I may be relocating in the future, I’ve begun looking around at apartments. Having barely done this in my entire life, and only having done it seriously once before, I forogot what a pain it can be to find a place where you’re going to be living. I also forgot just how underhanded people can be.

  • Quaint, loft apartment in Historic area! Wow, that sounds nice.
  • Hardwood floors! Classy!
  • Very quiet, top floor flat available! Oh, good, I hate hearing footsteps above me!
  • Click for Pictures! Crap.

OK, I’m not actually looking for a place in Amsterdam (and if I were, I would want some kind of shade!), but I think you get the idea of what I’m up against. Finding an apartment, long distance, over the Internet, is difficult.