December 12, 2004

The Exception That Proves The Rule? [7:02 pm]

To Microsoft’s “third time’s the charm” rule of product development? Maybe media and DRM are just too hard a sell? What if Microsoft were to decide that, given this sort of response, it’s time to design a product for consumers instead of for the copyright industry? Microsoft’s Media Center Still Falls Short [pdf]

All the money Microsoft has thrown into promoting Media Center has yet to lend it any momentum in the market.

And yet it’s a fascinating project to watch — both because it might mark the birth of a much different form of personal computing, and because Microsoft often does get a product right after a few tries.

Media Center Edition 2005 represents the third go-round. It adds some interesting capabilities, plus a wireless-networking option that should have been offered at the start, but the changes can’t outweigh the basic flaws that have dragged down this software from the start. Instead of a third attempt, it feels more like a third strike.

[...] For a time, the Media Center software refused to burn song files purchased off Microsoft’s MSN Music store, claiming a “license violation” (even though the copy of Windows Media Player 10 on that laptop burned the same playlist without objection).

[...] But Microsoft forgot to provide any way to edit recordings, a function stand-alone DVD recorders began offering two years ago. Not only can you not cut out the ads, you can’t even strip out the footage from the earlier show that often winds up at the start of a timed recording.

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OT: I Vote for St. Feofan the Hermit [6:53 pm]

I just like the name: Orthodox Church seeks virtual saint

[T]he Orthodox clergy says, with the increasing use of computers in daily life, the time has come to designate an Orthodox Church saint to serve as spiritual guide to internet users.

A few years ago, the Roman Catholic Church nominated a patron saint for the internet - St Isidore, the Bishop of Seville.

However, the Vatican’s decisions hold no sway for Russian Orthodox believers, and the choice for them has been narrowed down to two contenders: Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint Feofan the Hermit.

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