Google vs Microsoft

Olive's First BathI don't know why this dog is here.

Zemanta suggested it as somehow

relating to Microsoft... or Google.
My son asked me the other day how it was possible for Microsoft and Google to compete. He's in 6th grade, and he thinks of one company (MSFT) as a seller of operating systems, and one as a web search engine.

Probably a lot of CIOs are asking the same question because there was an article in CIO magazine called "The Business Case for Gmail in the Enterprise." The author compares the cost of buying, supporting and updating business apps that include e-mail, a calendar, document and spreadsheet programs, and instant messaging with moving to Google Apps, a web service version of the same apps that also includes a platform for wikis. Google Apps, which Google calls "software-as-a-service for business email, information sharing and security," is $50 per user per year, which is a huge savings over an enterprise version of Microsoft Office.
"The average cost of [enterprise] email is 8 dollars per month [per user]," he says. "For half that, we can get more value beyond just e-mail. We're getting Google apps and video for the enterprise. We're getting the ability to share spreadsheets and documents."
So, while Google's stock has dropped 50% over the past 6 months, it looks like their poised not only to take over the advertising "supply-chain," but also the business desktop platform.
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Virtually free

This morning I cavalierly wrote about a couple who married, strayed and divorced all in Second Life. Now I find that my friend Allen is virtually married to someone than his wife. As Allen says...
We just like each other a lot and people in-world had begun to think of us as a couple because we’re both such dorks. So, we spent the 10 lindens to become partnered..This probably sounds dramatic and strange to most people but I’ve seen and heard of this sort of thing happening all the time in SL. People hook up at the avatar level, get “partnered” (10 linden dollars at the web page), maybe even have a blingy, poofy wedding in-world and then get divorced (for 25 linden dollars) a few weeks or months later.
Hey, Congratulations on your second wedding!

Really, my point wasn't that someone got married or divorced in Second Life, or that their actions may or may not be virtual echoes of their real lives (also called "RL" by Second Lifers). What I found interesting is that this whole world is running on a bank of computers, so a "god" could conceivably step in, replay what happened, parse the syntax of the situation, and judge one side or the other to be in the right. Of course, I know from experience that in RL things don't work that way. Maybe a malicious god could occasionally seize control of SL and force the participants to replay their past. Or a trickster god could rework the scenario, tossing in false memories and easter eggs. Who knows, maybe in the future a Network God will skim some of this off the Linden Labs servers, add a laugh track, and we'll watch it streamed over the Internet.

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Someone needs a core dump

In the Nightmare on Elm Street movies the premise is that if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. What if you cheat on your spouse in your dreams? What if you virtually cheat on your spouse?

A woman is divorcing her real husband because she caught him cheating on her in the virtual world Second Life. She says that she saw her husband's avatar having sex with a virtual prostitute in their virtual bathroom.
Amy Taylor, 28, said she had caught husband David Pollard, 40, having sex with an animated woman. The couple, who met in an Internet chatroom in 2003, are now separated.
"I went mad -- I was so hurt. I just couldn't believe what he'd done," Taylor told the Western Morning News. "It may have started online, but it existed entirely in the real world and it hurts just as much now it is over."

The couple met via Second Life, got married in the real world, and then also had a lavish virtual wedding. Now they're breaking up in both the real world and the virtual world. Is this confusing?

The husband says that he wasn't cheating.
Pollard admitted having an online relationship with a "girl in America" but denied wrongdoing. "We weren't even having cyber sex or anything like that, we were just chatting and hanging out together," he told the Western Morning News.

Seems like Linden Labs, who runs Second Life, could help him out by dumping the backups from that time and running a core analysis... or not.

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Cycling naked has become a "well-established tradition" in Portland

Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Orego...Image via WikipediaThe Oregonian reports today that a Multnomah County judge has cleared a Northeast Portland nude bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges.
Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride -- in which as many as 1,200 people cycled through Northwest and downtown Portland on June 14 -- has helped cement riding in the buff as a form of protest against cars and possibly even the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.
LaBarre then cleared Michael "Bobby" Hammond, 21, of any wrongdoing after two days of hearings that concluded Wednesday.

Portland police said that Hammond's ride through the Alberta Arts District was a stunt, not free speech. They arrested Hammond, citing city code that states it's illegal to expose genitalia in a public place in view of members of the opposite sex.

For people who might complain about Portland's rowdy cyclists I have to remind you of a precedent. Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England to protest the oppressive taxes imposed by her husband on his tenants. That event was over 1000 years ago and it's still well-known, so riding naked may not only be a well-established method of peacefully protesting, it's a good way to make a lasting statement.

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Bikes on the up and up

Bike parking at the Oregon Convention CenterImage by richardmasoner via FlickrThe Oregonian web site has an article that says that bike use in Portland has grown again by double digits!
A report just released by Portland's Office of Transportation shows that bicycle use in the city increased by double digits for the fourth straight year. On top of that, the city's 28 percent increase in overall bicycle use for 2008 was the biggest single-year increase since Portland began counting cyclists at various locations around the city in the early 1990s.

I couldn't find the report at the Office of Transportation web site.

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Random Name Generator

Jack Black - Nacho LibreNacho, as wonderful name...Trying to write a story and can't think of a good name? Too lazy to look in the Yellow Pages? Make the computer do it for you.

The Random Name Generator lets you choose gender, ethnic background, and even stereotypes such as Fairy, Goth, Rapper or Wrestler. If you're hooked on a given surname you can plug that in.

So, let's say for example, you're writing a sequel to Jack Black's "Nacho Libre." I click on wrestler, and get the following names: Rhino Snake Double Biceps and Cripple Sheik Iron Assassin.

Or maybe if the Obama family gets a new puppy they can use the generator to suggest names. I thought they might want to choose a Kenyan name in honor of Obama's father but they only have a category called "African." Using that, it suggested the name "Kibwe," which means means "blessed" in Swahili. You can click on the suggested name to get the meaning behind it.

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