The Business End of High Tech

BlogHer Original Post

Get one, give oneThe New York Times and many other media sources reported on the Buy a Laptop for a Child, Get Another Laptop Free story. Both Americans and Canadians have a opportunity of buy two of the laptops for $399. You get one for yourself, and the other one is a gift. According to The New York Times,

One of the machines will be given a child in a developing nation, and the other one will be shipped to the purchaser by Christmas. The donated computer is a tax-deductible charitable contribution. The program will run for two weeks, with orders accepted from Nov. 12 to Nov. 26.

The laptops are part of the One Laptop Per Child organization. You can get one, give one (G1G1) here. If you want to participate, sign up and XOGiving will send you a reminder in November. If you don't really want one for yourself, you could spend $200 or $400 right now and donate one or both computers.

BlogHer Contributing Editor Beth Kanter has some personal experience with the way this program works. She hasn't had time to write a complete post on it at Beth's Blog yet, but she did some ranting on Twitter as a preview. (You must be a member of Twitter to read it.)

It created less than a tidal wave of hoopla this week when Microsoft quietly announced that it would begin putting Windows XP in stores again for Windows Vista users who wanted to "downgrade." It seems business users in particular found it hard to move to Vista because of its huge graphics and memory demands.

Dori Smith commented on this quiet admission of failure from Microsoft at Backup Brain. She points to Ray Ozzie (Chief Software Architect at Microsoft) in a piece called One Thing About Ray Ozzie.

So, what's the one thing that explains what Ozzie has (and hasn't) done in the two-plus years he's been at MS?

In my opinion, it's this:
Ray Ozzie has never in his life,
—ever—
not once
—ever—
shipped software that an end-user wanted to buy and install on their computer.
No, Groove was not an end-user product, and I never heard of anyone run Lotus Notes by choice. Vista is just more of the same.

And what's the latest from Microsoft's arch enemy?

Apple never fails to come up with some snazzy new technology/business idea. The latest will appeal to fans of Starbucks coffee. According to Jacqui Cheng, writing at Ars Technica, Starbucks to spread 50 million pieces of iTunes love. The report says,

They won't just be any song downloads (no "New Kids on the Block" for you!), however, they'll be "Song of the Day" gift cards, according to the Associated Press. These will be from 37 artists that are signed on with Starbucks' Music label, including Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Annie Lennox, and Band of Horses. "Joker Man" by Bob Dylan will be the first song available to customers on October 2, says the AP.

For those unfamiliar, the Starbucks partnership means that anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch that comes within range of a participating Starbucks will be able to see a special, Starbucks-only section of the Wi-Fi Music Store. It'll display what's playing right now, along with the last 10 songs or so, and the service will be free (no login required).

Don't forget to carry your iPhone or iPod touch when you're headed for Starbucks. But don't worry if you don't have either of those. You can drink your Starbucks and get a gift card good for a free iTunes download that you get the old fashioned way, using your home computer.

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