The world has gone gadget crazy this week and the media seems to be focused exclusively on MP3 players, video games and phones. But our obsession with toys is flooding the media with news that is taking the place of perhaps other more newsworthy items like troop surges in Iraq and CEO severance packages gone wild. Now I have nothing against CEOs – some of my best friends and indeed family members occupy this lofty position. But one wonders if getting a severance package of $210 million dollars for six years of lackluster performance makes sense in any universe. Sure I would love such a clause in my employment contract as well so I will take it easy on Ex-CEO Bob Nardelli. In my opinion though I wish Bob would have spent less time negotiating his ridiculous pay package and more on placing the duct tape in a place where I can find it. After all, I wasted 20 minutes in the store this past summer. Note to the Home Depot board, lets tie compensation and severance to how long it takes customers to find things in your stores.
But finding things should be no problem if you are looking for the latest in delectable gadgets to treat your visual and aural senses. Speaking of visual senses prepare to have your eyeballs pop from their sockets when you see the price tag of Dell’s Home Media Suite. How does $11,000 sound for a computer, printer and massive amounts of storage? The system is ice chilled which is good news. You will need the ice to place on the lump you get on your head when your spouse sees the credit card bill.
But Michael Dell has more up his sleeve than just performance computing… he has more recently gone green. At CES he discussed planting trees for every computer purchased and recycling of computers. This is funny as data center managers consistently tell me Dell servers have the most inefficient power supplies in the industry. It might make more sense to plant an HP power supply in every Dell server for now and worry about the trees next year.
Besides, if we are really worried about the environment, aren’t we suppose to focus more on cars than on computers? After all we can power computers with nuclear technology which doesn’t spew hydrocarbons into the air? Microsoft is focusing on cars and their new Sync Car OS will work with a dozen Ford cars this fall. I believe this is great news if it works well. Personally I have had terrible trouble syncing my xv6700 phone to my laptop and PC. I shudder to think about dealing with the problem I can’t solve at my desk going 80 MPH on I95. That leads me to an interesting question – just how do you reboot a car while on the highway?
But Microsoft isn’t just focusing on cars, they demoed Windows Home Server at CES and the critics seem to be happy with it so far. You have got to give Gates and company credit as it turns out Microsoft solicited help from the NSA when determining how to keep Vista secure. Now I don’t know if I am the only one making this connection but the NSA is the agency that was tapping phone calls without going through the proper legal channels. You may think back to this in 2009 when this collaboration makes headlines once again. But with all the worms and viruses out there getting help from an outside source should make the new OS that much more secure. The again the first Vista security flaw was recently announced. It seems to be no major problem but still, it is kind of soon to have security problems for such a new OS.
But how can we be so focused on gadgets with all those Brazilian models floating around on YouTube? If you haven’t heard, A Brazilian judge reversed course Tuesday and lifted an order that led to a ban of YouTube across much of the country because a sexy video of supermodel Daniela Cicarelli and her boyfriend kept circulating against the boyfriend’s wishes.
Apparently to comply with the law, many ISPs in the country blocked all of YouTube. Now apparently Brazilians can join the rest of the world and watch their videos of Borat or whatever else. Personally I have never seen the Cicarelli video so I am signing off now to do some crucial YouTube research. I plan on writing again soon so come back soon for another edition of Rich Tehrani’s Tech Musings.