This just made me realize how much I depend on amazon for product reviews and quick buys. I think I need to diversify my buying habits so I'm not relying on one behemoth for most of my online book and impulse buying needs.
Adobe still hasn't released a native Flash Client for Vista x64 and as such I still can't play Flash vids on my Vista Media Center. Should tell you how crappy Adobe development is right there. I'm just surprised there's no 64-bit browser embedded universal player that'll take care of flash, quicktime, and all that stuff so there's only one plugin to update..
schliz writes "Nasa has announced that it intends to officially retire the aging space shuttle fleet by 2010, four years before it has a replacement craft ready. The space shuttle fleet will make ten more flights, mainly to add modules to the International Space Station and carry out repairs and upgrades to the Hubble orbital telescope. The retirement will leave the US without orbital capacity for at least four years, until the Ares booster programme is complete. European and Russian launchers will service the space station in the meantime."
SirLurksAlot writes "It appears that Best Buy is now selling Ubuntu, both through its Web site and in its brick-and-mortar locations. Going by the release on the product page, Ubuntu has actually been available for the low, low price of $19.99 since May 6th of this year. It is being packaged as the 'Complete Edition.' While they don't specify on the site what version is being offered, a quick call to a local store revealed it to be Hardy Heron, the latest Long Term Support version. How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?"
ancientribe writes "A researcher performing social-engineering exploits on behalf of several US banks and other firms in the past year has 'stolen' thousands of identities with a 100 percent success rate. He and his team have posed as investigators for the FDIC (among other things), and numerous times have literally been able to walk out the door with pilfered identities. The reason: organizations are typically so focused on online ID theft that they've forgotten how easy it is for a criminal to socially engineer his way into a bank branch or office and physically hack it."
nickull wrote in his journal that "Today Adobe systems made an announcement that it has provided technology and information to Google and Yahoo! to help the two search engine rivals index Shockwave Flash (SWF) file formats. According to the company, this will provide more relevant search rankings of the millions pieces of Flash content. Until now, developers had to implement workarounds for exposing text content used in Flash to search-engine spiders and other bots such as using XHTML data providers. While the Flash content is exposed, it is not yet clear how it will be utilized by the search engines, as they have not revealed their algorithms. The SWF specification is openly published."
2muchcoffeeman writes "Former Linspire president and CEO Kevin Carmony — whose relationship with his former employer has turned acrimonious, to say the least — reported on his blog that Xandros and Linspire signed an agreement in principle for Xandros to buy Linspire June 19. Carmony includes a scan of the memo to Linspire shareholders announcing the deal, which requires the former Linspire company to change its name. According to the memo, the stockholders voted to change the company's name to Digital Cornerstone, Inc. Despite the wording of the Linspire memo to stockholders, this deal apparently came as a surprise to Carmony and other stockholders. Some here may remember that both Xandros and Linspire signed patent protection deals with Microsoft in 2007."
recoiledsnake writes "We have heard about lots of talented developers jumping ship from Microsoft to Google, but is the trend beginning to turn? Dare Obasanjo (a Microsoft employee) writes about a few high-profile people picking Microsoft over Google — either making the jump directly, or choosing Microsoft after receiving offers at both. Sergey Solyanik is back to Microsoft and he primarily gripes about the culture and lack of career development at Google. He writes, 'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] — PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared — culturally — to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.' Danny Thorpe, who was the key architect of Google Gears, is back at Microsoft for his second stint working on developer technologies related to Windows Live."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released the specifications for the binary file formats used by pre-2007 Microsoft Office applications. They're accurate this time! Honest! While the documents are enormous (Word alone requires 533 pages; Excel runs over 1000 plus another 850 pages for the Office 2007 binary format), they hopefully will be useful to developers trying to create or extract information from Microsoft Office files (which despite their flaws, have been the de facto standard in many fields for some time now)."
stoolpigeon writes "It seems that it wasn't long ago that Google was just a search company. The number of on-line products that fly under the Google moniker, today, is impressive. Google has moved well beyond its office-suite-like applications and excelled with everything from mapping to blogging to 3-D drawing. Google Apps Hacks is a new book from O'Reilly, published in conjunction with their Make magazine. This volume presents the reader with 141 hacks in an attempt to get the most out of a wide array of Google's on-line applications. The result is a quick ride that is rather fun — and while a bit shallow at times, it provides a great overview of just how much is available out there." Read below for the rest of JR's review.
mattnyc99 writes "The FBI has confirmed to Popular Mechanics that it's not only adding palm prints to its criminal records, but preparing to balloon its repository of photos, which an agency official says 'could be the basis for our facial recognition.' It's all part of a new biometric software system that could store millions of iris scans within 10 years and has privacy advocates crying foul. Quoting: 'The FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which could cost as much as $1 billion over its 10-year life cycle, will create an unprecedented database of biometric markers, such as facial images and iris scans. For criminal investigators, NGI could be as useful as DNA some day — a distinctive scar or a lopsided jaw line could mean the difference between a cold case and closed one. And for privacy watchdogs, it's a dual threat — seen as a step toward a police state, and a gold mine of personal data waiting to be plundered by cybercriminals.'"
Will Wright's long-awaited game, Spore, seems to be nearing completion, with a release slated for September. In anticipation of this release, EA has outlined the system requirements and will still be releasing their Creature Creator demo for experimentation on June 17th.