Yahoo to Reject Microsofts Buyout Bid

I don’t usually blog on the weekend. I like to have a few days off appreciate the internet without having to think of a blog worthy opinion on the news. But this recent article is bringing me out of that.

Yahoo board set to rebuff Microsoft bid: report

The most interesting of their reasons? “Yahoo Inc’s board believes Microsoft Corp’s unsolicited bid of $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo “massively undervalues” the company” Yahoo is unlikely to take any offer under $40 per share. That would place their perceived value at over $143 billion dollars.

I think what Yahoo wants is to set the price so high so as to scare any prospective buyers away. The huge outcry on the internet when Microsoft made their offer proved that people don’t want this deal to happen. Yahoo wants to keep potential customers happy, obviously. If they do they can continue to make money without Microsoft’s help.

Interestingly, Yahoo doesn’t rule out a partnership with Google. “Yahoo has considered an alternate tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc to maintain its independence

Frequency of Posts

Nothing of much interest has grabbed my attention over the last few days so I haven’t really published anything on here. Which I’m sure may have gone undetected by many of my readers, since the majority of my traffic seems directed towards archived posts.

But this slight hiatus got me thinking about what and why I write, about my readers and the resulting daily statistics. I know that its good blogging to write daily, but is it worth turning out some half-assed post just to check “blog post” off the daily to do list?

I’d  much rather write something relevant with insightful commentary every other day then one mediocre post every day. What do my readers think? Not just on this blog, but would you rather wait to read something longer that makes you think, or just hear a few words from your favorite blogger regardless of quality? I a quick link or video on occaision enough to ensure a return visit?

Don’t worry, I have a couple of longer posts that I’m working on. Ones that actually require research…

London Podcast and Blogger Meetup

Tonight is the monthly London podcast and blogger meetup at Molly Blooms. Its held on the first Wednesday of every month and gives Londoners the chance to talk about all aspects of new media. The attendees come from a variety of backgrounds; programming, podcasting, blogging etc. Molly Blooms has free wi-fi and they don’t seem to mind us hanging around for several hours. I’d encourage anyone in the area to make a stop by tonight, I’m sure you’ll have a good time!

Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Molly Blooms (map)
More info : BlogLdn, Facebook

Shopping Experience

I am a student at the University of Western Ontario, in London Ontario. Like all schools in North America, the administration is more concerned with making money then learning and development. For this reason space is often rented out in the University Community Centre (UCC) to retailers. The UCC is like the hub of the campus, the cafeteria, bookstore, printers, gym etc is all in there. The majority of the student population shuffles through there at least once a day, its a high traffic area.

So it was no surprise on Tuesday to see a bunch of clothing racks and decide to browse through them. I found a shirt I liked as well as a hoodie that was kinda cool. I bought the shirt and put a $5 deposit on the hoody so they would hold it for me. I specifically asked about returns and they said only exchanges. I was fine with that since I had seen other items I liked.

When I got home I tried the shirt on a bit more and looked in the mirror. I came the conclusion that it wasn’t quite the item for me. No problem, I was told I could exchange it if I didn’t like it. Thankfully I hadn’t lost my receipt this time, so everything was in order.

The next day I’m back at school and I head back to the UCC to browse through the clothing. I eventually find an item I like. The whole time that I am shopping, I might add, all sorts of “employees” are coming up to me and telling me how great everything looks on me. I can tell they are just being patronistic and only care about making a sale. I can *kinda appreciate that, I have worked retail. I take the item I want up to the girl at the cash, tell her I want to do an exchange. She says no problem, then asks what I had originally bought. I showed here and she walks over to another guy, and confers with him for a moment. He starts shaking his head no. He walks over and tells me that they can’t really do the return because its from a different vendor, blah blah blah.

At this point I am really pissed off. I was already tired of being patronized and coddled. I had been told on numerous occasions by these people that there would be no problem exchanging. And on top of that, as he told me he wouldn’t do the exchange he was bagging the other item, as if he thought I would still want to take it. I had to raise my voice at this guy to get him to stop. He was not appologetic, all he cared about was to make another sale.

To make things worse, I then had to tell him I wanted my deposit back, and I know for a fact that he knew I had paid it, because it was the same guy I had talked to yesterday. He looks in the cash drawer, sees only $20s and asks me if I have any change. Since I didn’t have any he went off to go get some.

While he was gone, the cashier standing there kept apologizing, but it was so blantantly fake, I knew she didn’t care. Eventually I found out why, since she felt so bad she would give me a deal on the shirt I was going to exchange. Did these people not get it?!?! I did not want more stuff! Once I explained this to her one last time, she just walked off. The guy had been gone for a while and I was starting to think that maybe he was going to make off with my $5. Little did he know that I Scot will wait around for quite some time. He did come back eventually, handed me my money and left.

The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and I realise that I should have trusted my gut feeling with these guys, the whole thing seemed sketch. Now I am not totally against corporations, I’m not anti-capitalistic or hate commerce. I just hate getting shafted and screwed over. I’ll no doubt support a small vendor again at some point, I’ll just think more critically about it before I do.

Microsoft Mobile 7 to Destroy Apple’s iPhone

According to Michael Ashley over at NetworkWorld Microsoft’s upcoming (?) mobile 7 will, feature wise, effectively destroy Apple’s iPhone.

The iPhone is certain to fade into history as another cool Apple innovation, that others soon rushed competitive, like-products to market, blowing away any significant lead Apple might have. The iPod mp3 player is an industry Apple essentially created, the iPhone isn’t. Too many major players are in the mobile phone market, who have and will bring iPhone-like products to market over the coming months and years. LG has already done so with the LG Voyager phone, and now Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile 7 OS have been leaked and described in considerable detail by InsideMicrosoft blogger Nathan Weinberg.

And:

I really like the thought Microsoft has put into WM7. It’s more than must “iPhone compete” — Microsoft is taking key ideas and extending them well beyond current mobile phone interfaces. I’m encouraged by the depth of Microsoft’s thinking about WM7.

I can already hear all the objections. Here are my thoughts on this article.

1. This is a Planned 2009 release from Microsoft. We already know how far behind Microsoft gets from their planned dates. Witness Vista. And who knows what innovations Apple will develop, they will not sit still and will continue to improved the iPhone.

2. Obviously there are others involved in the wireless industry who will try to release produces similar to the iPhone. Up until now they haven’t released a products as revolutionary as the iPhone, which puts Apple ahead of their competition, including Microsoft.

3. This is a leaked Microsoft announcement about their own products. Of course its going to say they’ll kick Apple’s butt. Problem is, they haven’t yet. For example, Vista, basically a 5 year late, rip-off of OS X.

4. This is Microsoft, they don’t release nice products. They release usable products. And even that isn’t even quit true, its pretty hard to use a product always under the Blue Screen of Death.

In the end? Microsoft might release a better product in 2009, but it will be a better product then a 2007 release. Who cares about that?

Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research

I came across this article on Popular Science: Another Major Stem Cell Advance

To summarize: In the U.S. in order to do any research on embryonic stem cells, the Bush administration has required that the orignal embryos  suffer no harm. Up until now this has been impossible, but scientists at Advanced Cell Technology announced yesterday that they developed five human embryonic stem cell lines without destroying the original embryos.

Does this really meet the ethical guidelines though? The motive for them is to prevent the death of the embryo (yes, I believe it is actually a living human, and therefore they are killed) ? What happened to these embryos after Advanced Cell Technology created these stem cells? Where they allowed to develop into fetuses? Obviously these are concepts that combine the disciplines of theology, philosophy, science and morality. (Weren’t all those fields already all mixed up anyways?)

I’m excited for research like this because I see all the benefits it will have for us. However, I’m first and foremost pro-life and I value all human life and want to see medical results where no one is harmed.

New Theme

If you browse over to my site, and not read this post through a rss reader or on Facebook, you’ll see that I’ve switched wordpress themes. I was just getting tired of the one I was using so I felt it was time for a change.

Problem is, I’m not so sure I really like it that much.

What do my readers think though? An improvement? A step back? No real difference?

First Day Back At School

So, as the title suggests, today is my first day back at school for the 2007/2008 winter term. While I did take two courses last term, the majority of my time was spent working. I’ve finished working until May and will spend the next four months focusing on school.

Even now I’m still undecided about how I feel about heading back. I experienced a certain amount of freedom while working full time that I had hitherto not known. At the same time though with only 4 courses and 11 hours of total class time, going back to school feels almost like a vacation compared to 9.5 hour days and 6 am wakeups.

I lot of how I feel is going to depend on how my courses go too. I’m looking forward to a couple of them, which is important obviously. But I am also forced to take a couple of courses I really don’t want to, only to finish up my degree.

I really have nothing to complain about though, I’ve had a very cushy 4+ years here at school, and as it winds down I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past.

But for now, its time to focus on class…

A New Adventure in Hi-Fi

Last night I attended the January Geek Dinner. (Held on the first Wednesday of every month at Molly Bloom’s in London ON). While there, Bill Deys told me about IODA Promonet, a service similar to PodSafe Music.

IODA Promonet allows you to browse through artists, songs, and record labels. All the music is safe to post on blogs, or to play on podcasts.  From their site:

Promonet is a unique promotional music distribution network that provides its users with a new way to legally download, publish, and share music. Promonet is run by IODA, the leading digital distributor of independent digital music. More than 3000 of the best and most influential independent record labels distribute their music through IODA, and they have given IODA permission to make thousands of their tracks available to Promonet users.

This has got me thinking, I’ve always tossed around the idea of doing a small, independent music based podcasts. Just a few songs that I’m currently digging, and probably little to no dialogue. Now that I have an account with Promonet I might just do it.

So keep an eye out the next few days/weeks, I might have something up!

The Continuing Saga of Syncing Word Docs and Google Docs

Ok, this is starting to get really interesting. Originally I wrote a wish about syncing word and Google docs.

Then in this post I discovered a bit of a solution regarding uploading in bulk to Google.

I just discovered a post on TechChruch that completely solves the whole problem. An application called DocSyncer that will automatically upload all your hard drive based documents to Google. They claim its a small application that runs in the background. While I am never a fan of more things running in the background this is pretty cool.

Right now its just in beta and currently only available to windows users, but we’re on the right track!