Blog Clippings #4

Here they are:

  1. It looks like computers have finally got it over the humans with the defeat of Vladimir Kramnik by Deep Fritz in a 4-2 chess match (source Engadget). The post indicates that it might be the end of the road for chess playing computers – presumably because in order to further advance the state of game playing you need a well matched competitor. My argument is that they should get computers playing and learning from each other at this point. Still – there is still room for computers to play games and the word is that Poker and Go might be the target game.
  2. IBM votes against the “Office Open XML” standard, but it still got up as ECMA Standard 376. The contention seems to be why Microsoft didn’t choose to support ODF. I think the answer to that one is actually pretty obvious. The Microsoft Office suite is a superset of other suites that are out there at the moment, so anything that wasn’t originally designed to cope with the features of say Word just wouldn’t be effective as a standardard. By Microsoft working with ECMA to come up with a standard file format which can store data in full fidelity the industry benefits as a whole because it will actually get USED as opposed to TALKED ABOUT. Both formats use a ZIP file to contain compressed document meta-data so what people are really arguing about is the structure of the XML rather than its packaging. I think that this battle has been won and its now time for suite vendors like IBM/Lotus to get behind the new defacto standard – if they don’t then it is at their own peril. Fortunately there are already a few Open Source converters out there to help their customers cope if they don’t.
  3. This is a funny post about what programmers/code can do in movies vs. in real life.
  4. Darren does another audio post – this time he is talking about coding standards.
  5. Keith Brown posts up a cool little PowerShell Cmdlet called “Out-Clip” which ouputs the contents of the object pipeline to the clipboard. Very cool – and very useful.
  6. According to the infosthetics site a report to the House of Reps in Australia suggested that they allow politicians to use tools such as PowerPoint to illustrate their speeches. It isn’t actually a bad idea because ontop of needing to embed some kind of display in the benches they could also provide an interface for doing things like voting which is a process which can take some time due to the need to count votes.
  7. Shane Morris – the UXB here in Australia wants to go to Designertopia (me too!), but Frank needs to be convinced. Apparently we shouldn’t lobby Frank directly – but it seems to me – blogging about it is about as direct as you get with Frank 🙂
  8. An interesting post up on Techdirt today linking to an article on Reuters about how video games are becoming a family bonding experience. I agree with this, Bella has a few favorite computer games that we all play together including Zoo Tycoon (Complete Collection), Spiro the Dragon and Pikmin.
  9. For those that still didn’t get closure with the Serenity movie can look forward to the series (Firefly) and film (Serenity) transforming into a MMORPG. Actually, when I first caught Serenity on the tube it reminded me a lot of the game Eve Online, so I it great to hear that the online universe is going to be along those lines [source: Techmeme].
  10. Seems like Pluggd is going to market with a technology offering that allows people to search through audio and video content for specific words and phrases [source: Venture Blog/Techmeme].
  11. Bart de Smet links to a post by the BCL team about a new System.IO.Pipes namespace. I am very keen on the kind of BCL improvements that get made over time and this is a classic example of a core windows feature that is now being surfaced with a useful abstraction in managed code. Imagine how much easier parts of WCF would have been to implement if this had existed – actually, I bet that some of the code the WCF team wrote will be finding its way into the BCL in the System.IO.Pipes namespace.

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