Incoming Windows Phone 7 apps
The final version of Windows Phone 7 Developers Tools is set to be out Sept. 16 as Microsoft ramps up to release its new phone platform. Already, the Windows Phone Developer Tools have been downloaded more than 300,000 times, wrote Brandon Watson, head of the developer experience for Windows Phone 7, in a blog post.

Identifying several big-name companies Microsoft has been developing applications with, such as eBay and Esurance, Watson still encouraged developers whether “large or small” to participate and have “the first-mover advantage of having their apps or games ready at launch.”

In order to participate, Watson said, developers will need to register at Windows marketplace, finish their apps using the beta tools, download the final tools, recompile the apps with them, and have the “XAP ready for ingestion into the marketplace in early October when it opens.”

But what are the implications of 300,000 developer tools downloads? It’s a large amount compared to the number of applications in Apple’s iPhone App Store (more than 225,000) and Research In Motion’s App World, which has about 9,500 apps. — Katie Serignese

Programming like a kid again
Remember programming books in the 1980s? While many were stoic, lengthy affairs, there was a whole subgenre that has all but vanished from the Earth: the kid’s game book. It used to be that if you were 12 and wanted to program, you could go down to the library and pull out a colorful tome that was filled with BASIC programs. Because doing is the best way to learn, this is how thousands of young developers learned to code.

Well, my friend Al Sweigart thought that this genre should be resurrected, particularly because no one has a BASIC environment as standard on their desktops. He recently wrote and self-published “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python,” a thick but not intimidating tome for kids and adults alike who want to learn a real language while building games.

Frankly, I miss the days when games could be distributed in a magazine without a floppy or CD, and Sweigart’s book really brings back that can-do feeling of discovery and learning that has somewhat vanished from computing of late. If you’ve got a kid who wants to learn about programming, drop into Amazon and get him or her a copy of Al’s book. Or just show him or her the free HTML version. — Alex Handy

Wired magazine makes a funny
Wired came out with a thoughtful article proclaiming the death of the Web. Either the editors have the comedic talents of Leslie Nielson, or they are incredibly out of touch.

They base this assertion on a poorly understood chart and faulty assumptions. The chart they provide shows that video and peer-to-peer downloading are the two most dominant uses of bandwidth in the country, with “the Web” making up less than a quarter of all bandwidth. Critically, it does not address the fact that HTML Web pages, which usually measure in the kilobyte range, obviously would not take up as much bandwidth as multi-MB videos or multi-GB torrents. How can this be evidence of a declining Web?

Second, the story has a rather absurd notion of what does and does not constitute the Web. It doesn’t count videos delivered through browsers, which is how most video is watched. It doesn’t count Facebook, The New York Times or Twitter as the Web (how does that work?). It assumes podcasts are listened to directly instead of being reached through a Web page.

If they write an article about the death of Wired, I can find a solid first example as to why. — Adam LoBelia