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In Ad Network Nightmare, Microsoft Making ‘Do Not Track’ Default for IE 10

This is good news for consumer and privacy advocates, and bad news for Google and Facebook. The odds of either of these companies fully supporting Do Not Track are laughable, of course. This is how they make their money.

You can play with the dog all you like; just don’t grab its milkbone unless you want a fight.

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“The Next Steve Jobs Will Totally Be A Chick”

Comedian Louis C.K.:

The next Steve Jobs will totally be a chick, because girls are No. 2–and No. 2 always wins in America. Apple was a No. 2 company for years, and Apple embodies a lot of what have been defined as feminine traits: an emphasis on intuitive design, intellect, a strong sense of creativity, and that striving to always make the greatest version of something. Traditionally, men are more like Microsoft, where they’ll just make a fake version of what that chick made, then beat the shit out of her and try to intimidate everybody into using their product.

I agree, except she won’t be the next Steve Jobs. She’ll be the first and only whoever she is. via Daring Fireball.

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IE6 Countdown

A site created by Microsoft themselves for tracking and encouraging the 12% of the browsing populace still using IE6 due to personal failing or an IT department with their heads up their asses.

According to their chart 34% of China still uses IE6.

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The Windows Blog

Great news from Microsoft:

In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.

In the post the Author, Dean Hachamovitch, reiterates the company line regarding HTML5: “we’re all in,” but this is not a surprising development at all. H.264 is the de-facto standard for mobile web video. Microsoft doesn’t control H.264, and Apple is the pubic face of the codec. It is in Microsoft’s best interests if H.264 has some (serious) competition. It just so happens that it’s in all of our best interests, too.

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Microsoft Cancels The Courier Tablet

A shame, but completely expected.

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The Bob Chronicles

“Save all the money on the manuals and just give me this duck to always be there and tell me what to do.”

Looking back on the 15-year anniversary of Microsoft Bob, one of Microsoft’s most famous failures.

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Jeffrey Zeldman on Microsoft’s “Enforced Bragging”

I’m not challenging the quality of the hardware and software improvements; I’m pointing out the enforced bragging, which is mandated from on high, and which flies in the face of the humble stance other high-level divisions in Microsoft would like to enforce in the wake of the company’s European drubbing and the dents Apple and Google have made on its monopoly and invulnerability.

In short, the tone of these announcements has not changed, even though the times have.

This is a symptom of corporate culture as a whole. The megacorp is constitutionally incapable of relating to humans from anything but a position above us, be it imagined or not.

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In Case You Had Any Doubts About Where Microsoft’s Profit Comes From

The Insider’s chart of the day puts your mind at ease. Unless you’re a Microsoft shareholder.

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Microsoft Responds to Dick Brass’ NYT Op-Ed

and it’s hard to imagine how they could’ve done a worse job. As Gruber notes, not only was there no reason to respond, but they don’t even engage the original article in a meaningful way.

Microsoft’s reply is the equivalent of saying “Well, yeah, but… look over there at this other thing.” but with a lot more words.

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Ed Bott: It’s time to stop using IE6

The idea that anyone doesn’t know what this guy is saying makes me wonder why the US financial system doesn’t collapse more often due to the fucking insane IT systems in place at it’s major corporations.

In other words: I hear next week he’s going to say it’s time to stop using floppy disks.

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The Microsoft Store

So you met someone new and the next time you see them they’re dressing exactly like you and they like all of your favorite bands now and you try to be nice about it and not get creeped out but it’s fucking CREEPY and a couple months later you wake up and they’ve stolen your skin.

Yeah, that’s what the Microsoft Store is like. It’s the Single White Female store.

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A Concise Summary of Charlie Booker’s Recent Anti(?)-Apple Rant

Cleversimon gets to the heart of Charlie Booker’s strange rambly piece from earlier this week:

Finishing the sentence “I’ll never buy a Mac because” with anything but “it doesn’t meet my needs” means you don’t get to accuse Apple users of making irrational purchasing decisions based on slavish adherence to an ideology.

It’s not surprising that Booker’s view is purposefully self-contradictory. He makes his living being a contrarian. For him It doesn’t have to make sense so long as it is rabble-rousing.

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Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Microsoft and Yahoo!’s Joint “Choice. Value. Innovation.” Announcement About Sharing Search Engine and Advertisement Technology

Jesper answers my call. Makes sense, now.

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Yahoo Gives Up On Search, Bets on Bing

Earlier today Yahoo and Microsoft signed a 10 year deal which sees Yahoo not developing any new search technologies, and using Bing for it’s algorithms. Like most of you, I fail to see how reducing the main Search players from 3 to 2 creates “more innovation”, but does anyone even read these press releases anymore? The official site for the deal is begging for a PR-Speak-To-English translation.

Also important: What happens to BOSS, Delicious, Search Monkey and Yahoo’s other search products? (via Andy Baio)

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Microsoft’s Bing Travel Search ‘Eerie Similar’ To Existing Startup

Given their size, It is simply impossible that someone at Microsoft didn’t know about this. The only question is how deep into the process were they, and how many people were afraid to speak or were told to sit down and shut up.

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Bing Refuses Search Term “Sex” In India

Searching for “sex” returns the phrase “the search sex may return sexually explicit content. To get results, change your search terms.” Meanwhile, according to Google Trends, nobody searches for “sex” more than India.

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Johnny Chung Lee on Project Natal

Johnny’s a crazy smart guy, and this is a fun bit of insight into the project.

via Andy Baio.

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Xbox Live to Allow Download of Full Retail Games

Whoo boy. So far includes Sonic, call of Duty 2, Crackdown and Bioshock Mass Effect. The fact that I have to physically get up off the couch and go to a story to buy games for my Xbox is probably the only reason I’m not homeless right now. This is huge news. Obviously this won’t be the standard for some time, because they can’t afford to piss off the retail channel. Still.

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Bing

Microsoft’s new, absurdly-named, search engine has launched. Two things: How is this better than their own live.com, and how is this better than Google.com? It seems to bring nothing new to the table aside from the little popups on the right side of the results (which I’m sure is where “bing” came from. Bing! Bing! We’re lucky they don’t have a sound effect with them. It plays in my head, regardless.) and that isn’t super useful. It’s cramped, and boring at the same time.

The text-search engine space desperately needs some serious competition. Something like TinEye is doing for image search. The question is: What else do you do to search? I have a feeling the answer is not going to look anything like Google or Bing or even Wolfram Alpha.

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Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension

Installing addons to non-Microsoft software without meaningful notification. Anyone who thinks the Zune HD or Windows 7 will be better, remember that this is where their instincts lie.