I've been planning to get a bunch of those cool mini-PCs right after I win the lottery. As long as the lottery won't comply it's always cool to look at what cool stuff you could buy if you had some extra money... Weird how that never really seems to happen. Anyhoo, Tom is running a nice mini-PC roundup which I'd recommend checking out if you have the urge to upgrade. As long as you don't need any special purpose peripherals I'd go for a mini-PC over a regular beige box any day.
Slashdot is running a story on recent doings by Real, the guys behind the RealPlayer (or whatever they call it now) media player. The interesting thing is the actual Slashdot discussion, people are really letting out steam (and making good points) on how offensive Real's player has been in the past. Branding, in the software industry, is clearly very dependent on the user experience the software delivers. It seems Real has created a rather, um... undesirable brand with the Slashdot crowd. Lessons to be learned: Make nice software which doesn't try to force feed people a bunch of extras when all they ever wanted to do was to play the darn video (dare I say porn?) clip.
Speaking of media players, as an alternative to the ever-more-bloated Windows Media Player I can warmly recommend BSPlayer. Plays most stuff, and does a better job at it than most.