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Doug's Mailbag: CNN Showmanship, Switching with Bill, More

After a fairly sensationalistic speech by Larry Ellison, CNNMoney posed its own attention-grabbing headline: "Is Microsoft Relevant?" Bob thinks that's just part of the ratings game:

Regarding CNN and Ellison, consider all the free promotions being given to Michael Moore right now. (He's on the screen again as I type.) The guy is over-the-top, controversial because of the nonsense he spouts, and CNN loves it. They have learned the cardinal lesson of cable TV: Never let news and reasoned discourse get in the way of entertainment and ratings.

Would you switch places with Bill Gates? Doug asked, readers answered:

As for switching places with Bill Gates, I would -- at least for a while. I'm old enough to understand about the greener grass, and while I would love to play with his money for a while, I'm not that unhappy with my own life. I'm sure he just has a different set of problems than I do.

That has got to be the dumbest question I ever heard.

Let's see: Retired with billions of dollars. Able to do anything I want and go anywhere I want (both on and off this planet) any time I want. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Having a little money is nice. Having a lot of money is even nicer. But having the kind of money Bill has is a whole lot of responsibility. And it needs to be carefully managed and spent. Bill seems to be smart enough to do that wisely; not very many people could do that. I doubt I could do the job well enough to be happy with myself and have the populace be happy with me.

Like most browsers, IE 8 has its share of problems, most recently with Google trying to steal its thunder with the Chrome Frame. On top of that, one reader has just spotted a possible security issue:

We were testing a site recently that had been uploaded by a client on our hosting server. Our normal practice is to test the using IE 6-8, Safari and Firefox 2-3.5. The home page contained an iframe that redirected to a malicious site. Firefox did not redirect to the site, but IE 8 did and our tester's computer received several welcome packages.

We sent a copy of the file to Sophos for analysis -- a process that was painless. We thought, "Hey, Microsoft might want to know about this, too." Not so much. After going through the usual automated support ordeal, we finally landed an actual human who told us that Microsoft really doesn't have a mechanism to report things like this. I find it hard to believe there is no way to give Microsoft feedback on how an infection occurred through their spiffy, new, secure browser. Does anyone know the secret path to reporting things like this to Microsoft?

And Dave gives his vote for what he'd like to see in future Redmond magazine issues:

The battle for notepad, aka netpad, computers should be high on your list of items for editorials and other stories. So far, there appear to be two players poised to compete for "King of the Notepads." The first is the Microsoft Courier. While Microsoft is a new player in computer manufacturing, its primary opponent is a veteran. All eyes and rumors are on Apple and its expected charge on the notepad battleground. On the Microsoft side, there is a completely new operating system, designed specifically for the Courier and incorporating the best of OneNote in its core. On the Apple side, rumors call for every thing from Snow Leopard to the iPhone OS to some hybrid of the two.

Netpads are going to make 2010 one of the most exciting years ever. They should be considered for an editorial or three.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/30/2009 at 1:17 PM


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