Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Tag: Microsoft

A Great Cory Doctorow Speech at USC

SciFi writer, activist, “BoingBoing”: editor, EFF evangelist and now US-Canada Fulbright Chair at the University of Southern California recently gave a talk to people at USC that covers many topics ranging from digital freedoms to science fiction that is “truly worth listening to”: [MP3]. Of course, the greatest Cory Doctorow speech of them all is his “talk at Microsoft about why DRM is bad for business, bad for people, bad for artists and bad technology”: (streaming video). The “text of that talk is also available”: online.

MSN AdCenter Finally Allows Firefox Users In

Back in May, I published “an article here that highlighted how MSN AdCenter kept non-IE users out”: of their service. As a Mac user, it is a mild irritation whenever a major online player keeps non-IE customers out, but this one took the cake. Their customer service rep asked me to buy Windows. Think about that for a second- a major corporation asking a potential advertiser to drastically change their computer usage behavior for the privilege of advertising with them. I’m sorry, but Yahoo and Google will gladly take my business.

In any case, earlier this month- about 3 months after the service launched- “Firefox support has been introduced”: in MSN AdCenter. They listened. I doubt building a standards compliant web site actually took 3 months, but I am glad that it happened. Also glad to see it works in Safari on my Mac.

MSN AdCenter and Firefox Revisited

Thanks to Digg, my article on “the curious behavior of Microsoft towards their advertisers”: wherein Microsoft builds a web site for their advertisers that does not work for Firefox users. Cut out 10% of your potential advertisers before you even go in to business- that’s a great strategy. We have feedback from users, the blogosphere and *Microsoft*.

Today, two weeks later, the site is “still Firefox-unfriendly”: and in fact, even more so:
UPDATED MSN AdCenter in Firefox

It has gotten worse; it doesn’t even fail gracefully any more. It does not inform you that the reason the site looks wonky is that you are using Firefox. It looks the same in Safari- so that locks out all Mac and Linux users… but I am repeating myself.

Since the original article got on the frontpage, there were many comments, on my site, at Digg and *directly from Microsoft*. Let me discuss a few: Read the rest of this entry »

Windows Live Mail Supports Firefox

In a strange development in the aftermath of my “article on lack of Firefox support in MSN adcenter”: Windows Live Beta Email has started supporting Firefox as of a few days ago. This is good news and a positive step from Microsoft. Lack of Firefox support when it came out of Beta would have been a horrible move.

*UPDATE* : It seems like I spoke too soon! They actually took the support away; apparently their last update- the one that brought Firefox support- broke some integral things and now they have gone back to fixing it. Fix it fast, guys. Everyone else (including Yahoo! mail’s new beta) supports Firefox without any problems.

*UPDATE* _(5/31/06)_: And Firefox support is back. Thanks Microsoft (sincerely)- now can we have Safari support?

How Internet Explorer Stifles Microsoft

Microsoft has chosen the growth of IE over every other division in the company for 10 years now. Windows versions from 95 onwards have suffered enough. Now, the company’s IE-centric view of its business is hurting younger divisions of the company that have a chance of becoming a major force as the company looks to take on Google. Read the rest of this entry »

Yahoo! Introduces Free DVR Software

Yahoo! has quietly introduced Yahoo! Go for TV, a free DVR and media center software for Windows PCs. This software is a re-branded version of Meedio, which Yahoo! bought earlier this month and is tightly coupled with Yahoo’s own services.

This is a great entry in this area and should prove to be a significant challenge to Microsoft’s Media Center, if it is marketed and packaged well. For me, the trouble is that it is Windows-only and so would be an option only if it proved to be significantly better than “MythTV”: or “Front Row”: Fun stuff- it seems like everyone is getting a head start on Vista, including those who were never really in competition.

[Via “GigaOm”: Via “John Battelle”: ]

Apple Officially Boots Windows XP

Apple has released a public beta of Boot Camp, that allows you to install and run Windows XP on your Mac. It provides a GUI for the entire process and will be integrated in to the next major release of OS X, Leopard.

This is a major development and we will be hearing more about it soon. An interesting piece from the Bootcamp page:

Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.

From Around the Blogosphere

A few interesting stories from around the blogosphere:
* Via “DownloadSquad”: – Google’s beta for their Web Accelerator product, which had been revoked after a short beta and had sparked privacy concerns, is back for download and use for Windows users. It supports IE and Firefox and judging from past experience, may not be available for long.
* Via “T. Longren’s blog”: I came across this interesting “blog statistics tool”: which may “make life easier for bloggers everywhere”:
* Via “Les Jones’ blog”: there’s a cool Windows (yes, that _other_ OS) setting for making text look clearer called “Cleartype”:

April Fool’s Day 2006 for Geeks

It seemed as though yesterday was an overactive April Fool’s day; maybe because it was a Saturday or because I was actively seeking pranks. And I found many.

Some of my favorite pranks for this year: Read the rest of this entry »

Linux on the Xbox: Part II: Planning

This is the IInd part of an “ongoing series”: on my experiences with installing Linux on my Xbox.

Ah, nice to know there are other zealots out there. So, before you do anything else, you want to bookmark the “Xbox-Linux website”: Lot’s of interesting information about how and why you would want to attempt this project- the kind of stuff “I’ve already written about”: Read the rest of this entry »