XBox 360

Last night, I got off of work at 9:30, got home from the train an 10:30, and headed straight over to Wal-Mart, in order to purchase an XBox 360, which was supposed to go on sale at midnight. The first Wal-Mart I went to had only 14 units, and they had sold them all the previous day. According to the XBox launch rules, they were not supposed to do that — but then again, store managers do pretty much whatever they want. The second one had 12 units. The third had even less than that. At BestBuy, there was a crowd of about forty people, with 6 or 7 fully pitched tents camping outside the store. In the rain. In 40-degree weather. Which opens at 9:00am. My brother works at Toys-R-Us, and he wasn’t even able to reserve one.

Now, I have no problem with people getting there before me. But common, 12 units? You open a store for a special midnight launch event so that you can sell 12 units? At that rate, Wal-Mart isn’t even covering the cost of its employees. I can understand if Microsoft had not managed to produce enough XBox 360’s for launch day, but to ship 12 units to a major retail outlet — especially when the blame had been shifter to Wal-Mart for taking deliveries that were intended to pre-orders at EBGames and GameStop. With so few going to each store, is there anyway this wasn’t an artificial lack of supply?

While Microsoft claims that the 360 is “all about the gamer,” clearly this doesn’t extend past “all about the gamer handing over their money.” Well, why not? Why shouldn’t a multi-billion-dollar multinational corporation like Microsoft flex their monopoly-muscles? They’ve certainly done it before.

Where do you want to eat today?

My coworkers and I have had this perpetual problem of trying to figure out where to eat lunch. At one point, we even used a computer program to try to decide for us. The program was limited, though, and while it was cool in a lot of ways, we had to put in all the restaurants manually. Of course, being in New York City, we never entered even a small fraction of the restaurants around us. This led me to develop Where Should I Eat Today? (in New York City). This web page will make your life easier by making the decision of where to eat for you.

If you have any suggestions to make it better, let me know by leaving a comment!

Article

I have another idea for an article I want to write. The last one I had published was way back in 2003 at Byte Magazine. That one was essentially about leveraging open licenced content to make better products.

This idea is pretty much similar, and also has to do with leveraging existing infrastructure to accomplish goals more efficiently, and end up with a more complete result than otherwise. I’m working on a real-world example, which I’ll be able to reference from the article. I think that it will stand as an application in its own right. I’ll post again when it gets closer to reality.