Friday, December 29, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Dec. 29, 2006

Technology in the New Year!

Before we get into talking about technology, let me take a moment to remind you to make your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s an idea for all of you who have a hard time following through on your promises. Make a resolution to keep up on the latest technology trends and use that information to make your lives more efficient. And, if you need any help along the way, remember that Video Professor is always there to help you with all your computer learning needs. I hope you all have a great New Year and a truly blessed 2007.

Vista’s first vulnerability
Here’s the fist chink in the armor. According to published reports, the new Microsoft operating system, Vista, which has been touted as the most secure OS on the market, comes with a “minor” flaw. Programmers in recent days stated that they’ve contacted Microsoft about these flaws. Let’s hope that Microsoft can get them firmed up before the launch of the home editions on Jan. 30.
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Online holiday sales predicted to soar past retailers
I guess this comes as no real surprise to me. It was just so much easier to sit down in front of my computer to do all my holiday shopping than to fight the crowds in the mall. As long as you gave yourself plenty of time for shipping, you shouldn’t have encountered too many problems. According to comScore Networks, holiday sales online were expected to see a bump of 25 percent to $24.6 billion.
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iTunes vs. Zune: It’s no contest, yet
I talked about this battle for MP3 supremacy in a previous blog post. Back then I agreed with reports that said despite Microsoft having a decent competitor in the field now, Zune, they still had their work cut out for them. Apple had such a head start on Zune that the iPod completely dominates the market now. This report confirms that. This article will give you some good insight into the post-holiday traffic numbers posted on Apple’s iTunes compared to Zune.
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Off topic:

Seriously? I didn’t realize that the world of chess was so cutthroat. A player was banned from international competition for 10 years because he was using a cell phone earpiece to gain an advantage. Apparently the guy sewed the device into a hat that he’d pull over his ears. In a remote location, his buddies would feed him his next move based on a computer’s recommendation. People will go to any means necessary to gain an advantage, won’t they?
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Picks o’ the week!
Wow, it’s hard to believe that the final week of the NFL regular season is here. It seems like only yesterday we were chomping at the bit for training camp to be over. My picks have been very average this year. I’ve had some up weeks and some down. Last week I finished 2-1, which brought my overall record to 26-22 for the season. New England surprised me. I really thought the Jags would take care of the Pats. But what goes around comes around. I could have easily won the Jags pick, but I could have easily lost the Broncos pick. I haven’t seen a bizarre finish like that in quite some time. The “Bungles” botched an extra point attempt with 41 seconds left in the game that would have caused a tie. Instead, Cincinnati, after scoring what appeared to be the tying touchdown, had to line up for a desperate onside kick attempt. The Bengals recovered the kick, but wouldn’t you know it, an offside penalty wiped out the play. Cincy re-kicked. Denver recovered, and escaped with a 24-23 win. The Bengals now need a virtual miracle to make the playoffs. That’s what keeps us watching each week. Well, here are my final regular season picks of the year. Once the playoffs start, I’ll attempt to pick every game, but who knows how successful (or lack thereof) I’ll be.

Kansas City over Jacksonville: This game has playoff implications, though slight. Both teams still have a shot to get into the playoffs, but they need some help with Denver and the New York Jets in control. The Chiefs have been the most dominating home team in December in the past decade, so I see the trend continuing this week.

New Orleans over Carolina: My hat goes off to the job Saints head coach Sean Payton has done this season. He turned a train wreck into arguably one of the top sports stories of the year. Last week the Saints clinched a bye in the first round of the playoffs, but I don’t see a letup happening this week. The Saints want to win to keep the momentum rolling into the postseason.

Tennessee over New England: The Tennessee Titans were another great story the second half of the season. After starting the year 0-5, the Titans have won eight of their last 10 and find themselves in the playoff chase. Granted, they need a lot of help to get in, but what they’ve done has been great. I think they close out the regular season at home with a win, and though they probably still won’t make the playoffs, the win will give them something to build on for next season.

Happy New Year! Be safe out there.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder