Posted tagged ‘news’

Restaurants trying e-menus. Not really a new idea…

February 26, 2008

 This ZDNet article dicusses the newest emerging trend in restaurants… the e-menu.  You order from a computer at the table.  But is this really new?  The Training Table, a restaurant chain I have only seen when I lived in Utah, does phone-in orders (from the table).  I know that they aren’t the only restaurant to have done that one, either.  It’s an old trick (saving on labor costs and high turnover rates by investing in technology).

Here’s the problem.  This kind of ordering takes a restaurant with all the class of Denny’s and turns it into Arby’s.  At the Training Table, you don’t have a server.   This means you pick up your food from a window (admittedly, it’s very good food) and I believe you also drop your dishes off when you are done (it’s been a while).  Would the e-savvy restaurants be different?  Possibly, I suppose.  But for some, the experience of dining out is what we are looking for – and a techologically advanced fast-food restaurant is not as much of a draw as old-fashioned good service and friendly staff.

 I might go just to see the technology, but that’s because I’m a technonerd. =)  Of course, it will be 50 years before this trend hits Dillon, MT, so I’ll have plenty of time to think about it beforehand.


Microsoft gives props to Google by offering 44B for Yahoo???

February 1, 2008

I didn’t see this one coming, but it makes perfect sense.  It’s gone from “a computer in every household” to “an MS logo on every Web page.”  I am really curious what people are thinking about this, so please leave a comment with your opinion. 

I think it’s interesting that MS is basically giving props to Google by doing this.  They are recognizing that they are losing the war over the Web (which, at this point, arguably has only two competitors), so they are trying to win on all fronts.  I don’t think they can.  They are too established as “a grown-up business trying to act cool,” whereas Google redefined cool with their geniune endorsement of open-source, their free email with the ever-growing inbox, and their search portal with absolutely no other garbage to load (which is why it’s my home page).  Oh, and that doesn’t even mention the host of other things Google is doing that I don’t necessarily use (but you probably do).

So what do you think?

Yet another business without file backups…

January 31, 2008

I love the part in the article where the sheriff says, “The lesson to be learned here is that you can’t depend on having just one set of records or files and having your employees have access to them. You’ve got to have some kind of backup.”

I would bet that this company paid more in stress, time, and money to have a professional recreate seven years worth of work via an NTFS reader than they would have paid to have limited-access offsite backups.  Is secure backup expensive?  A little.  Is it worth it?  Well, let’s just say I hope they are looking into it.

Wow, you can steal software faster than ANYONE else!!!

January 29, 2008

So the hot ‘news’ in the blog community is that some people claim to be able to distribute Windows 7 Milestone 1 via BitTorrent.  I suppose this is news.  I guess I feel like it’s a big dud. 

Yes, we want to get an improvement on the Vista kernel (presuming they are using the Vista kernel, which I don’t know for sure).  And I understand the curiosity of wanting to see what MS is planning.  But really, I think it’s all a race to see who can garner reputation points on the “less than legal software” scene.

So here’s the article I read that tipped me off to this.

So what?  They may or may not have done it.  But the fact is that PC World printed their names.  That’s why people do this kind of stuff – to get “points” in their online community.

On top of the fact that stealing a prerelease OS is illegal, I’m having enough fun trying to figure Vista out.  Maybe I just had a bad day at work, but I don’t care all that much about Win7.  I’m not impressed.

Bluetooth helps bilateral amputee to walk again

January 26, 2008

This is amazing.

VIA unveils the Isaiah architecture

January 25, 2008

MapVIA silicon wafer  

There’s a rule I learned in the performing arts, and it’s true in the PC world as well.  “You have to be first, best, or different.”  In the processor world, Intel and AMD are constantly fighting over ‘best.’  Intel was arguably the first on the affordable/reliable/marketable dual-core scene.  So VIA is only left with one choice – different.  And they are.

I don’t own a VIA processor.  But the thought that I might eventually has actually entered my brain.  Today, the Taiwan-based manufacturer released the first pictures of its new processor architecture, codenamed “Isaiah.”  Let’s skip the jokes about prophecies of Biblical proportions.  The fact is, VIA probably doesn’t have the option of making such an impact.  Not right now.  But, here’s what makes Isaiah special.  VIA’s website boasts:

The first processors implementing the VIA Isaiah Architecture will use proven 65 nanometer technology for greater power efficiency, which, combined with new enhanced power and thermal management capabilities, will ensure the best performance per watt on the market and help drive the rapidly emerging categories of green, silent and small form factor desktop PCs and home media centers, and ultra thin and light notebooks and mini-notes.

It’s an x86 dual-core processor at 2.0 GHz.  It uses less power than its big-name counterparts, uses a 65 nm process, and will support 64-bit programs.  It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s compatible with the VIA C7 socket, making for an easy upgrade.  The only problem – it’s VIA, not Intel.

Let me explain that (if you’re not familiar with the politics of processors).  VIA’s sales last year were about US 450 million.  According to the New Mexico Business Weekly, total chip sales last year were $270 billon.  That puts VIA with .17% (that’s one-sixth of one percent) of the market share (I believe that’s for all chips, not just for processors).  I’ve heard that Intel had about 12 percent of the market last year.

So, VIA isn’t exactly ruling the world.  But here’s what I like about them.  They aren’t quitting.  They are challenging ‘the man’ (or both of them, actually – Intel/AMD), and they are doing it with style.  They are the different.  The eco-friendly.  The chic (in a nerdy way).  I like that they want to make processors that, in a small way, help preserve the resources we have.  I’m not an environmentalist, but I believe strongly that we should wisely use our resources and not destroy and waste unnecessarily.  So I like VIA.  And one of these days, there’s a pretty good chance I will build with VIA.  In fact, there’s a great chance that I will (now that they are making 2.0 GHz duallies).

OK, so it’s not as fast as the Q6600 (G0) in my PC.  But I like VIA, and I’m excited to see what they are doing.  And since Isaiah hits the market around the middle of this year, I will probably build a VIA rig at some point.  You know, help the environment and the little guy at the same time.

Check them out.