Yahoo New Mail Beta

Yahoo just emailed me inviting me to check out the new Yahoo Email Beta. I found out I was not on their priority list since a few people already have their hands on them since mid-September. But, nevertheless I got to it before it was released. You can check out the new Yahoo Mail features by taking a tutorial here. As expected Yahoo took full advantage of AJAX, the use of tabs, and a few shortcuts. It’s quite impressive and seems to be outdating Google’s new mail interface. I can’t really get a full picture of how good the Yahoo interface is, due to a slow DSL connection.

From The Philippines

I arrived in the Philippines last Tuesday morning and it’s now Friday afternoon. I didn’t get a chance to post due to a very busy schedule. It’s true what they say, time does fly when you’re having fun. The last three days have been a blur. It has been raining hard here which is good because it’s not as hot as usual. A typhoon arrived Wednesday and there hasn’t been a letdown ever since. Manila and northern Luzon took the brunt of the storm. I saw on the news that 16 people have died, and thousands have lost their homes. I’m Iloilo City in Central Philippines and we haven’t experienced the high winds that Manila has had, but it’s been raining consistently. Regarding sleep, I need it. I can harldy keep my eyes open in the late afternoons which makes sense since it’s past midnight in California. Jetlag blues. I’ve also have been waking up consistently at 3am. Go figure.

DVD Format War

The DVD war is beginning to take shape. Hardware manufacturers have been split whether to use the HD-DVD or Blue-Ray format. Several other formats are coming into the fray to join the two leading DVD formats. A third option is a hybrid of the HD-DVD and Blue-Ray formats. There are many reasons to hold off on purchasing a high-definition DVD player. First, the price of the DVD players are still quite high. It will come down eventually. Second, I would rather sit in the sidelines until a clear winner comes out. There’s no sense of buying a high-priced player that might not be popular in the future. The only downside of the new DVD format is the sheer size of the file which makes them longer to download reminiscent of when people had low speed internet connections. Try downloading a 30 to 50 gigabyte movie and you get the picture. Maybe, you won’t get the picture.

Oracle vs SAP

Oracle ran a huge ad today in the Wall Street Journal stating that SAP is being left behind. The one-page ad in the back of the B section of the paper quotes Henning Kagermann, SAP AG CEO saying, “We lost share.” SAP is not happy about the ad and has rebutted the claim by Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison. SAP’s Bill Wohl, VP of product and solutions public relations said that Ellison’s statement is a misrepresentation. SAP declined to comment whether it had actually lost market share.

It’s not blogging!

I turned on the TV on late night and the Ellen Degeneres Show was on. She had a special about blogging and computers, so it perked my interest. I tuned in longer than usual. She had one of her crew start a blog for her. The guy pulls up a Mac and and I saw him start Microsoft Word because I recognized the Microsoft Word logo. He types away while Ellen dictates a few sentences. He saves it and that’s it. Article posted? Sorry to burst Ellen’s bubble, but this is not blogging! To her credit, she does have a blog as advertised at ellentv.com. It’s powered by Movable Type 3.2. I just thought it was very interesting.

Apple Movies

Apple announced today the long awaited movie service from its iTunes Music Store. If you have iTunes, you will see a message soon to upgrade your iTunes to version 7. The downloaded movies will have near-DVD resolution of 640×480. 75 movies are available now for download from Disney, Pixar, Touchtone and Miramax. Movies will be priced from $13 to $15 dollar range compared to music videos and television shows that are priced at $2 dollars.

Apple also announced iTV, a compact gadget device that connects to your television that will be available sometime next year for $299. The gadget allows downloaded movies and movies in your computer to be played on your television set. Don’t expect to see HDTV resolution when playing back movies in your Plasma or LCD TVs, since the downloaded movies have only near-DVD resolutions.

This is good news for the movie industry who have lost money to piracy. I still think the price point for these movies are a bit high. I would gladly pay $5 to $10 dollar range for a good quality movie rather than getting a pirated one. Time will tell if the public will embrace the current price. Ultimately, its the market that will dictate the price. It all goes down to demand and supply. There’s plenty of supply which is only a download away. Will there be demand? We will see.