Sonos, music everywhere in your home & Philips AV remote

“This is much much more cooler than I thought,” says Buzz Bruggeman.

What’s he talking about? The Sonos music system.

First, a disclaimer. They sent me this so I could try it out. It’s one of the things that arrived before I said “no more free stuff.”

I have to admit this is pretty cool. It lets you put a controller in each room in your home.

And you control it over Wifi.

This rocks. We’re playing my iTunes stuff right now.

The second gadget that Buzz is holding here?

That’s the Philips RC9800i touch screen remote control.

It looks similar, but it replaces all my remote controls. This rocks too.

Tomorrow Chris Pirillo and Ponzi is coming over for brunch. It’ll be interesting to see what they think. (Chris always has the coolest stuff before I do, so if it impresses him it’ll impress everyone).

Not the same old same old: Pop!Tech

Buzz Bruggeman and Maryam and I are hanging out and he brought in a DVD and said "you gotta watch this."

It was a DVD of the Pop!Tech conference last year. It'll be on PBS in May, he says. Not sure when.

But, wow, reminds me that not every conference is the same. The first guys that were on the DVD are simply remarkable. Jesse Sullivan.

The guy has no arms.

And Todd Kuiken, works as a doctor at the Rehabilitation Center in Chicago.

Buzz says this talk was gripping. You can see it on the DVD. It got Maryam to stop what she was doing and sit down and watch and she usually doesn't care about geeky stuff that I put on the TV.

What was remarkable? Todd built him prosthetic technology that lets him control his robotic arms with just his mind. And they went further and hooked into his nerves sensors so he can feel again.

Do conferences matter? Pop!Tech shows that they do.

You can listen to the sessions on ITConversations for $5 a piece. Well worth the price. I'll let you know when the DVD comes up on PBS in May.

Um, Robert, we do invite security experts to campus

Robert Cringley says that Microsoft doesn't invite security experts to campus to learn from them.

This is patently NOT true.

We regularly hold "BlueHat" conferences on campus. Why are these called "BlueHat?" Because of the blue color on employee badges. I attended part of the last one (it was held about a month ago). This is for Microsoft employees. On stage? Security experts from around the world.

In fact, the BlueHat team has a blog where they list the security experts and topics that were invited onto campus to speak.

And, even separate of that, we have security experts on campus helping us out all the time. The IE team even hired a 16-year-old who found a few exploits and he worked the summer helping make Windows Vista more secure. (He told me that IE7 is far more secure than other browsers he's tried to hack into).

Other reactions to Cringley's article? Well, for one, internally at Microsoft we know it takes about two months to "fill the channel" with a new OS — we were aiming to have Vista ready for August and when it became apparent we wouldn't make that date the planners knew they couldn't make Christmas. That wasn't a decision made lightly, but I've been talking to people internally and it was apparent that the quality of Vista just wasn't ready for an August release. I'm glad that our executives stand up for quality, even while they are leaving billions of dollars on the table. The pressure to ship is extreme. Believe me, everyone here wants to ship Vista. Our pride relies on it (not to mention our stock price and bonuses and other things). That pressure needs to be countered. In two years no one will remember we slipped. But they will remember whether or not this was a high-quality OS.

Two, we need to treat all of our OEMs fairly and can't favor one over the other. Dell is the wrong one to pick on here. They became very profitable BECAUSE they made their supply chain hyper efficient. They can turn around machines in days, while other companies need much longer turnaround times to get their machines from manufacturing into customers' hands.

Frank Boosman has a different argument with Cringley. He's right. Shipping Window IS an order of magnitude harder than shipping OSX. Just one visit to our testing labs shows you why.