February 11, 2008

Hillary, Technology and the Towel Monkey

As the Presidential campaign heats up, Hillary spars with Obama, pundits start scrutinizing everything from the speeches to the candidates web sites. Meanwhile, Microsoft thought it smelled blood and started poaching on a near-defenseless Yahoo. On Friday it seemed as if we'd soon have a Micro-Hoo, however things changed over the weekend and became official today: no deal. Yahoo says it will try and turn itself around, which seems like the better deal than selling out to Microsoft. So instead, Bill Gates and company turned their sites on smartphone visionary Danger, the makers of the Hip Hop and Sidekick. Apparently Danger actually welcomed the buyout, which seems strange in itself. Microsoft's apparently on a buying spree, which means it's looking to foster innovation yet again with deep pockets. There's no telling where this could end. Not at Yahoo's headquarters though.

Microsoft's foray into Dangerous territory could augment their smartphone business, but would put them even more squarely into a firefight with Google, as it launches it's Android platform in the second half of this year. Smartphones aside, it would just be nice if their first service pack for Vista didn't suck so much.

Amidst all this talk of takeovers and politics, there's something new on the horizon: the Real ID, a way of positively authenticating US citizens via a database of information. Apparently, the best way to authenticate yourself is to get a US Passport -- prepare for lengthy delays and a run on the Passport agency. However, without one you could face even longer waits at the airport -- and don't even think about going into a Federal building. Meanwhile, there's rumors out there that Apple's planning a late February event, which almost always means a new product announcement.

And, life's not all gloom, politics and technology takeovers. There's a new phone out there just for Batman fans (I've waited years for this), you can learn how to fold a towel monkey and really scare your house guests (or the occasional shower burglar/nosy next door neighbor).

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