Microsoft Announces “Office 365” – A “Cloud Computing” Office

MS-Office365OK, this is weird. Just last night, my wife, Belinda, and I were talking about a Microsoft commercial where a “housewife” says “my kids never look right in family photos, I gonna take this to the ‘cloud’!” Riiiight! I asked Belinda, “What ‘normal’ housewife knows about the ‘cloud!?!?'” But, soon, maybe they will! Looks like it ties into what Microsoft is doing overall! Taking more of their software, and taking it “to the cloud!”

Microsoft Announces Cloud-based Office 365

“Two biggest and most profitable products that Microsoft offers are Office and the Windows operating system. The company has announced this week that it is set to start testing a new cloud-based online version of Office that will battle directly against Google Docs in the business market for productivity software.

The new service is called Office 365 and Microsoft says that the new offering makes it easy for workers and users anywhere to access Office productivity solutions and more from virtually any device on virtually any browser. Office 365 is launching in a limited beta program in 13 countries with various organizations soon.

Office 365 will work on devices like smartphones and the iPad reports Reuters. Reuters also notes that Office 365 supports not only IE but Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers as well. Microsoft says the new software offering was developed based on close work with existing customers.

‘Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service,’ said Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft. ‘With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology.'”

Geek Software of the Week: Xenu’s Web Link Checker! (Xenu Link Sleuth)

Xenu Link SleuthOK, so this is mainly a neat tool if you own a web-site, but, hey, a lot of folks do these days! Since re-starting the Video Netcast/Podcast, “Dr. Bill – The Computer Curmudgeon” I figured I needed to “neaten up” and repair my web-site. I lost a TON of images in a server crash, and there were many missing pieces I had to replace. I don’t know about you, but I just hate seeing a web-site that has broken links! It is like the site owner is saying, “I don’t care if my site looks tacky!” Take pride in your site, man! It is a representation of YOU on the web! Anyway, to this end, here is a great tool… by a unique developer! He calls himself “Xenu” and that brings to mind conspiracy theory dewds! But, it is VERY cool software! Check it out!

Xenu Link Sleuth

“Xenu’s Link Sleuth (TM) checks Web sites for broken links. Link verification is done on ‘normal’ links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.
Additional features:

Simple, no-frills user-interface
Can re-check broken links (useful for temporary network errors)
Simple report format, can also be e-mailed
Executable file smaller than 1MB
Supports SSL websites (“https:// “)
Partial testing of ftp and gopher sites
Detects and reports redirected URLs
Site Map”

Steve Jobs Nervous About Android?

Steve JobsI think so. Apple just announced record profits. You would think Jobs would be happy, but I think he sees Android and Google as a real, serious threat.

What is Steve Jobs so afraid of?

“There’s a saying that the more you have, the more you fear losing it.Apple’s CEO made a surprise appearance during yesterday’s fiscal 2010 fourth quarter earnings call. Jobs said he couldn’t resist participating, given Apple’s record $20.34 billion revenue. But he leveled most of his comments at competitors, and in quite defensive posture. Now why is that? Apple’s iPhone blew past Wall Street estimates by as many as 3 million units. The iPad outsold Macs and, according to Gartner and IDC analysts, sucked sales away from Windows netbooks and low-cost notebooks. Apple controls the largest and most successful applications store on the planet. The company sits on a cash horde of more than $51 billion. Then there are the quarterly results, which topped consensus estimates by nearly $2 billion.”

Yet, Jobs fussed about Android, and tried to diminish it.

“Jobs moved on to Google and recent statements by Eric Schmidt, its CEO and former Apple board member, about there being 200,000 Android activations per day and 90,000 apps in the Android Marketplace. “Apple has activated about 275,000 iOS devices per day on average for the past 30 days” with the number topping 300,000 some days, Jobs asserted. It’s an apple and oranges comparison. Apple isn’t just activating iPhones but iPads and iPod touches, too. Nearly all Androids are phones; for now. It’s a me-too claim that demonstrates Jobs’ fear Android may do to iPhone what Windows did to the Mac during the 1980s and 1990s.”

Interesting. I think Jobs is sweating. And Android rocks. Just sayin’!

“The Yoda Gives Advice” Edition of the Dr. Bill Netcast #159!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 159 – (10/17/10)

Geek Culture with Yoda! He gives advice on sunscreen! Geek Software of the Week: Killdisk! The Google Car, the Ubuntu Desktop review is coming next week! Libreoffice replaces OpenOffice! And the usual strange geekiness!

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio
 Download M4V

 Download WebM
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg

Available on YouTube at:

Geek Software of the Week: KillDisk!

“Active@ KillDisk – Hard Drive Eraser is powerful and compact software that allows you to destroy all data on hard and floppy drives completely, excluding any possibility of future recovery of deleted files and folders. It’s a hard drive and partition eraser utility.

If you use FDISK, FORMAT utilities, or DELETE standard operating system command for data removal, there is always a chance to recover deleted files (using undelete or unformat tools) and use against the owner’s will. We highly recommend you to run this FREE utility for the hard and floppy drives you want to dispose of, recycle, re-use, sell or donate to somebody.

Active@ KillDisk conforms to US Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DoD 5220.22-M. The most secure Gutmann’s data destruction method is also implemented.
Both WIPE and KILL functions support 17 security standards from various countries such as USA, Canada, Germany and others. You can be sure that once you clean up with Active@ KillDisk, sensitive information is purged out forever.”

Active KillDisk Web Site vs.

LibreOfficeSo… it all started when I noticed that wasn’t getting frequent updates anymore. I figured something was up. I even figured it had to do with Oracle buying Sun Microsystems, who had “owned” and sponsored Now, come to find out, the developers that were constantly developing and updating have left OOo to form “The Document Foundation” and start a fork of the project called LibreOffice.

“Libre” is, of course, “free” and the new version, which is in beta, is free as well, in the fine tradition of Open Source! It looks like LibreOffice may eventually even be better than OpenOffice! The Document Foundation is also backed by such Linux veterans as Red Hat, Novell, Google (Android) and Canonical!

Here’s what their “Welcome” Page has to say about “The Document Foundation:”

“It is an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation, created by leading members of the Community.
It continues to build on the foundation of ten years’ dedicated work by the Community.
It was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent Foundation brings out the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for users.
It is open to any individual who agrees with our core values and contributes to our activities.
It welcomes corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community.
The Document Foundation is proud to be the home of LibreOffice, the next evolution of the world’s leading free office suite.”

For more info check the link here:

The Document Foundation Mission and Team

In the meantime, I would stick with your OpenOffice installtion until they are out of Beta… but, then, hummmmm… I think I will switch!

Ubuntu 10.10 is Here! (And it Rocks for Netbooks!)

Check it out! ARS Technica has a neat article on the new Ubuntu 10.10… it looks like it is worthy of a download and install on my netbook!

Ubuntu 10.10 arrives with impressive new netbook environment

“Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 10.10, a major update of the popular Linux distribution. The new version introduces the Unity netbook environment, which offers a custom desktop shell that is optimized for ease of use on small displays and has a global menubar to conserve vertical screen space. Ubuntu’s installer got a major overhaul in this release, with substantial user interface improvements and new features. The new installer can start downloading updated packages during the early stages of the configuration process in order to save the user from having to run a full update immediately after installation. It also has a new option that lets users choose to automatically install closed-source components, such as multimedia codecs.”

The Google Car Drives Itself!?!

Yeeeaaah! I don’t think I would trust it yet! Can you imagine a blue screen of death being a REAL blue screen of death? Yeeshh!

Google Car Test Drive

“You didn’t actually think that you’d need to drive the next wave of cars, did you? The seemingly all-conquering Google has announced that it’s road-testing cars that steer, stop and start without a driver. The cars use video cameras on the roof, along with radar sensors and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic. The aim? To ‘help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions’ through ride sharing and ‘the new ‘highway trains of tomorrow,” project leader Sebastian Thrun wrote Saturday on Google’s blog. Engineers told the New York Times that venturing out to the highways was pretty much incident-free, save from a bump when the car was reportedly hit from behind at a traffic light. The cars have so far covered 140,000 miles, taking in the likes of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge (as well as the city’s sloping streets) and Lake Tahoe.”

“The Doctor Does R&D” Edition of the Dr. Bill Netcast #158!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 158 – (10/10/10)

Netcast/podcast? Emails say keep going, Doc! A segment on the 10Zig Linux-based Terminal and VMware View 4.5 Virtual terminals, the virtues of R&D! Using a Droid X to shoot the 10Zig segment! All the clients in the 10Zig’s firmware: Citrix XenApp Plugin, Mozilla Firefox, 2XClient, Citrix XenDesktop Client, VNC Client, Ericom WebConnect, IDS Client, Kawiza, Leostream Connect, No Machine NX Client, ProPalms Client, Quest vWorkspace Client, RDesktop, Shell Script, SSGD-EE, VMware View Client, PuTTY, X-Window Client. Sending emails to remind yourself of things! The Rev3 Remote Android app. Advanced Kill Task app to save you power! You must have Frozen Bubble! Saving the Space-Time Continuum yet again! The M4A to MP3 Converter Geek Software of the Week! Todd Cochrane has re-stated me in the TechPodcasts Netcast Network!

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio
 Download M4V

 Download WebM
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg

Available on YouTube at:

Geek Software of the Week: Free M4A to MP3 Converter!

OK, here it is, as promised in the most recent Video Netcast! Now, the Space-Time Continuum is safe! (Listen to the Video Netcast for an explanation!) Check out this neat software… free, and VERY useful! Now you can easily convert your M4A (such as from iTunes) to MP3s!

“Do you need to convert AAC to MP3? M4a to MP3? MP4 audio to MP3? Your favorite player doesn’t support M4a audio? Then take a look at the new tool from ManiacTools, Free M4a to MP3 Converter.
The program supports a number of input formats, like the above mentioned AAC, M4a, MP4 audio, M4b (audiobooks), and some other MPEG-4 based audio formats. You can convert those types of audio files to MP3 or uncompressed WAV. The latter can be used as an intermediate format for further converting (with tools like AudioConverter Studio).
Free M4a to MP3 Converter combines professional quality with high speed and user-friendly interface. You can simply drag and drop your M4a or AAC files from Windows Explorer and then hit “Convert” (or F5 on your keyboard). On the other hand, it is also possible to fine tune quality parameters for output files. The program supports full range of MP3 settings: bit rates up to 320 Kbit/s and sample rates up to 48 KHz. This way, you can get high quality audio files along with the portability of MP3 format (which is supported now by virtually every player, hardware or software).
The program has also a built-in audio player, which allows you to listen to your AAC and M4a files even without converting them.
And last, but not least: our converter is distributed as freeware. No need to register and to enter codes. Just download and start converting your AAC and M4a files to MP3.
Main features of Free M4a to MP3 Converter:
AAC to MP3 converter.
Convert M4a to MP3.
Audio books M4b to MP3 converter.
MP4 audio converter.
3GP audio converter.
AAC, M4a, M4b player.
MP3 quality settings up to 320 Kbit/s, 48 KHz.
Batch processing of multiple M4a, AAC, M4b, MP4 etc. files.
User-friendly multilingual interface.
Meta information (ID3 tags) is copied from source files. Converted files contain all necessary data: title, artist, album (if the data was present in the source files).
AAC to WAV converter.
M4a to WAV converter.”

M4A to MP3 Converter

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