Archive for November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my fellow Americans out there (I feel like I’m addressing a nation when I write a line like that), Happy Thanksgiving!

For the 3rd year in a row I’m going to Thanksgiving dinner at Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill.  One of the few places I’ve found in Singapore that serve turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and most importantly… pumpkin pie!

During Thanksgiving one is supposed to give thanks to the people or things in life that one appreciates.  Sitting here (under the influence of cold medicine), I can come up with many things that I am thankful for.  It’s harder to think of something I’m not thankful for.  Hmm.  I guess that’s a good way to be.

Eat up, folks!  It wouldn’t be a major American holiday without gluttony being involved!


Best of 2008 is starting…

Well, we are coming up on the end of 2008.  This brings many “Best of 2008” lists in magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.

Time Magazine kicks things off with Best Inventions of 2008… they also have listed their candidates for Person of the Year 2008.

A candidate for person of the year in the tech industry could be Ray Ozzie.  Wired has an in-depth article about Ozzie’s impact at Microsoft so far.


Sitting here tonight chatting with a friend on instant messenger, I mentioned how much I liked the book, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver.

I thought about how I tend to gravitate towards the melancholy aspects of life.

And then I wondered if that’s a symptom of too little sleep.

New releases!

Exciting times for the Zune and Xbox 360 products at Microsoft.  While our stock price(well, all stocks in the world) heads into the toilet, at least we can entertain ourselves with music and games.

Zune Pass subscribers get 10 songs to keep per month – This is great.  With the Zune Pass I can download tons of albums (legally) and try out lots of new music.  And as long as I keep paying the subscription fee, I can listen to the music.  The bad thing is if I ever stop paying the subscription, all my music goes away.  Now they are offering 10 songs (of my choice) free to keep each month.  So I can steadily build my permanent music library with the Zune Pass.  Unfortunately this is not available in Asia… but if you have a US credit card, you can use it. :)


The “New Xbox Experience” has gone live and is transforming the Xbox 360 into an entertainment hub rather than just a game-playing device.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a revamp of a user interface for an existing product.

USA Today Article

Seattle Times


New UI, Netflix integration, ability to install a game to the hard drive, avatars, and more.  I’m curious how the “Primetime” events will work out.

Jerry Yang stepping down as Yahoo CEO

About time.  Though he did help jumpstart the internet by coming up with Yahoo.

This sums up his downfall:

“Yang, 40, had been pursuing a strategy that he thought would prove Yahoo was worth more than Microsoft was willing to pay, but the rapidly deteriorating economy made a comeback seem increasingly unlikely. As it is, Yahoo’s earnings have been eroding for three years, disillusioning investors amid a management exodus that indicated even Yang’s own troops were losing faith in him.”

MSNBC Article about Yang’s resignation

This could turn out to be a great thing for him.  Perhaps he has another huge idea brewing in his brain… and Yahoo was just weighing him down.

New Zune Commercial

Well, I guess it’s demonstrating more features than the original Zune commercials (which I thought were cool but rather abstract).

Goa, Goa, Gone

I am writing this after eating way too much gulab jamun, the sticky sweet Indian dessert.  So much sugar that I can feel it scratching against the back of my eyeballs while also turning the inside of my stomach into rock crystal.

I am currently in the state of Goa, India attending the India MVP Open Day.  Have met a ton of new people and been talking a lot of tech.

From what I’ve read in the past, the image I had of Goa was that it was full of aged hippies with straggly hair and tie-dyed sarongs puttering about on scooters while eating banana pancakes and trying to discover spirituality.  Perhaps that exists but I am in the southern part of Goa where it is much more resort-like (well, exactly like a resort since we have been in the resort almost the whole time).

I should extend my stay here and explore the area more, but I have a lot of travel coming up and am missing my messy apartment back in Singapore.  So… really seeing Goa will have to wait for another time.  I have Guitar Hero: World Tour and Fallout 3 waiting to comfort me when I get back to S’pore.

And my favorite time of year is coming!  The period between Thanksgiving (in the US) and the new year… where everyone is forced to be happy by the constant Christmas carols, the blinking colorful lights, and random “holiday” food and drink concoctions that are only available this period.  Yes, the Christmas spirit and jubilation is all manufactured but it still makes me feel good.

I’ll experience a winter wonderland as well as the tropical Christmas-time… trips to Seoul, New York City, Orlando, and back to Singapore all await in December.

Random tech news

Browsing through the tech news:

Xbox 360 Dashboard upgrade coming November 19.  Definitely exciting – Netflix integration, avatars, and a better user interface for finding content on the Xbox Live Marketplace as well as stored within your Xbox 360.

I’ve been on the beta for the dashboard and I find I have been doing much more with my Xbox 360 (and consequently spending a lot of time playing video games or watching videos… is that bad?).

Google stock is getting crushed.  Blame it on the economy but I think also blame it on their attempted partnership with Yahoo.  Yahoo is like a STD.  Get into bed with it, its effects linger for awhile.  When Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo, Microsoft’s stock tanked.  Google (thank goodness they jumped into the fray) decides to pursue the partnership… voila.  Dead stock.  Might be a good time to buy both Microsoft and Google stock.

Android is buggy.  “Type reboot in a message and your phone will reboot.”  For some reason I find this very funny.  Google has since fixed the bug.  I wonder if it’s a smart strategy by them having almost every single “product” labeled as Beta.  Absolves them from blame, I suppose.  “Use at your own risk”

Microsoft is stealing Apple’s Mojo – Ok, that’s just the headline from an Informationweek blog.  Talks about a lot of the positives around Windows 7.  Aiming for a release in latter half of 2009.

Obama, in his words


Image of Obama created out of words from his speeches


From November 6 – November 30 Breadtalk is celebrating the Obama victory with a new creation… Obunma.


“Good Ol’ tomatoes, ham and eggs harmonized by luscious cheese baked to golden perfection.”

Price: $1.60

I’m still waiting for a bar to start serving “Barack-bombs”