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SuperSite Blog Daily Update: November 16, 2010

Good morning. Bit of a late start today because of a Microsoft meeting in Cambridge.

As expected, Apple announced today that the entire Beatles catalog is now available on iTunes. This is good news, of course, but as so many others have noted, anyone who doesn't already own the Beatles collection isn't a fan anyway. Last year's remastered CD set is still the way to go, and you can of course rip that music to whatever format/quality level you prefer.


The debate over whether cell phone usage contributes to brain cancer is a lot like the debate over global warming, in that neither side seems eager to give an inch, and each is all too willing to spread misinformation to make their point. Still, if you thought this issue was settled, you might want to check out this New York Times article.

I'm not sure what to think about this, personally, but I do have one simple maxim that might apply here: When doctors recommend that pregnant women not do something, everyone should should at least pay a bit more attention. And on that note:

Devra Davis, an epidemiologist who has published a book about cellphone radiation, "Disconnect," ... recommends ... pregnant women should keep phones away from the abdomen. The FCC concurs about the best way to avoid exposure. It is not by choosing a phone with a marginally lower [specific absorption rate], it says, but rather by holding the cellphone "away from the head or body."


About ten years ago, I purchased my first Mac (an iBook) on the eve of OS X's initial release, and I have had one or more Macs in the house ever since, so I can keep up with what Apple's doing in its competition for the PC desktop (and laptop). In fact, I've bought so much Apple hardware over the intervening years that I have to think many Apple-loving, Paul-hating guys would be sort of shocked to know the extent of it.

Given my real world experience using Macs on an ongoing basis, it always amuses me when one of my peer announces he's "switching" to the Mac, or to Linux, to test the waters, ever so briefly, and then come running back to Windows after the self-inflicted test period of a week or a month, or whatever, is over. But I've been using the Mac fairly regularly for a decade. It's the only way, I feel, that you can accurately discuss where Windows is and is not superior to the competition.

Apparently, Ed Bott is on board with this plan now as well. He's seeking to "add some Mac and OS X experience to [his] portfolio of PC skills," presumably because of the inexorable march of Apple's OS market share. And he's "switching" like most switchers really do, using a mix of both Windows and the Mac. In Ed's case, he's going to compare the two side-by-side, literally. So this isn't some fly-by-night experiment. He's going all in, as we say.

Good, and welcome aboard, Ed. But understand that the Mac faithful will never accept you into their little (but ever-growing) club: You've got too much of the stink of Microsoft on you. And it's something they'll never forgive you for.


It's been awfully quiet on the Windows 8 front, which means that Steven Sinofsky's not-so-secret plan is working. But Mary Jo Foley offers up an interesting morsel today: Microsoft is (maybe) working on yet another branch of its virtualization strategy called "desktop as a service," or DaaS, where "the desktop can be thought of as a portal which surfaces the users apps, data, user state and authorisation and access."

DaaS means applications and data are centrally managed, as are the deployment of these apps and data. Apps and data are “treated as cached entities and synchronized with an appstore and “user state store,” the slide deck explained. (Aha! Another mention of the infamous Windows 8 app store concept.) The operating system also is cached and synched with the appstore in this new model. Hardware failure becomes a non-issue (at least in theory) for users, and more reliable maintenance of applications and the operating system become possible, according to the slides.

With Windows 7, Microsoft is able to provide virtualization of a user’s data, settings and applications (by using App-V). With "Windows Next" and beyond, Microsoft will be adding the ability to virtualize the operating system, as well, by providing native virtual hard disk (VHD) capabilities in/with Win 8, according to the slide.

Very interesting.

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