At last Microsoft has decided to bring Xbox 360 to India before Diwali timeframe. The first device to be available in India is special edition kit for FIFA world cup. This will have the Core, the FIFA game and some freebies based on the FIFA world cup and a special edition faceplate.
All my enthusiasm went for a six once I took a look at the cost. Almost Rs.20,000 (USD 450) for a core system. The Premium version retails for around USD 400, in the US and we get a core version for almost USD 150 more than the US retail price (around USD 299 or less)?? Yes, this is supposed to be a special edition, but still a USD 200 premium??
Also there is no information on what all games will hit the market and what are the plans/price to bring the premium version over.
I thought the whole idea of releasing a low cost Windows Starter version at less than Rs.1000 was because of the spending capacity in India and here I find the Xbox being sold for almost double its US retail price?? At this price, I don’t see any advantage buying a Xbox in India. It is a lot cheaper to buy one in the US and bring it over (even with the power/NTSC/DVD region problems).
This has been one of the hack/bug in Notepad and is creating a lot of discussions in the technical community and blogosphere. A link to discussion on this was posted to the internal MVP list by a fellow MVP and I found it quite interesting.
For those who are not familiar with this bug try the following:
Open Notepad and type a sentence like this “this app can fails” or any 4-3-3-5 character based sentence. (People are having fun with all kind of sentences here)
Save this to a files somewhere
Open up this file again.
If you have support for Far-Eastern languages installed, then you will get something like this “扡摣愠换愠换愠换敤”. Of course the string will be different based on what you enter, but still it is not in English for sure..:)
This is actually due to the way Notepad handles encoding and if you want more information, Kaplan has a post on why this happens. Raymond also has a post on the basic problem that results in this.
One of my fellow MVPs actually pointed me to new Robotics Studio launched by Microsoft. The press release talks about backing from LEGO and a few other robotics hardware vendors.
The nice thing seems to be that this allows you to use .NET to code for robots and thus extend your .NET skills to another area that has been C/C++/Assembly only for a long time. This is of course currently a CTP version. There are no indications on the actual time when this actually goes gold.
I have often expressed the view on the impact of Outsourcing on job losses has been grossly over-hyped. Looks like a recent study by American Sentinel University also arrives at the same conclusion. The majority of the job losses are due to the downtrend in the technology industry and that just happened to coincide with a sudden rise of outsourcing.
The study, titled "Offshoring of Information-Technology Jobs: Myths and Realities," finds that IT positions requiring advanced degrees and business knowledge are growing at a pace on par with the boom years experienced in the 1990s.
Once the current economic expansion took hold, however, we found that the 2000 to 2002 job losses had little, if anything, to do with jobs moving overseas. Software engineers in particular saw a phenomenal turnaround in job fortunes, swinging from 4 percent decline to 25 percent growth.
An interesting small PC running Win CE from a UK company. This is made up for just two circuit boards and runs and AMD RISC processor with 5 watts of power. Though off the head I am not sure of uses for this, since it has wireless capabilities, I assume this would find quite a bit of use in environments where you need computers, but there is not much space to put a desktop anywhere.
I have been playing around with different tools to look at ASP.NET application performance including CLR Profiler and NProf. NProf has not been updated for a long time and is still in Alpha, but if you want a free profiler , then it is one you can have a look at.
There is a problem with it running on ASP.NET applications on Windows 2003. When you are using it with an ASP.NET application, it hooks into IIS6 and does the profiling. But it is unable to actually stop profiling. So instead of using the Stop Profiling option, just go to command line and do an iisreset. It is able to detect this and automatically stop profiling. Then you can go and start looking at the results. I also found that it does not seem to unhook cleanly and that even if I am not profiling, the IIS response seems to be slow. So I had to do an iisreset and then uninstall NProf before IIS was back to normal. I am not sure if this was a one off thing, but I also found this problem occur on another Win 2003 machines. So I assume it is a problem with NProf working with Win 2003.