Monday, September 26, 2005


Here are two stories that get me excited about future technologies:

First is the premiere of the UPN show Everybody Hates Chris broadcast on Google. Now this is how you leverage Google's popularity to skyrocket a series into the top. Not only does it kill TiVo's advantage, but it also feeds TV show fileswappers' needs. Someone high up in Hollywood actually gets it!

The other story is about an upcoming test of a so-called '4K digital video' that is higher resolution than the best HDTVs on sale today. The first thing that comes to mind is concerts of the future... imagine a worldwide simulcast of an artist using this technology in digital movie theaters! Why hope your city is lucky enough for them to visit when you can go to the movies and watch a live broadcast in super-duper high resolution from halfway around the world? I think this is a hugely untapped market waiting to explode.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fall 2005 TV

Blogger ate my other post and I'm too lazy to write it all again. In short, I had a chance to watch the new batch of premieres on television. Likes: Surface (tense, very cinematic), Supernatural (hooray for prominent pentacles and lots of occult/supernatural goodness). Dislikes: Threshold (feels like another CSI clone, only with aliens), Invasion (the quality of acting was better from the kids than the adults). Needs work on stories for cliffhanger episodes: Stargate Atlantis (too predictable, not exciting enough). Answered no questions at all: Lost season premiere (no surprise here). Now how about something more original than all of these alien invasion series in one season? =)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hooray for new technology?

Let's just hope all the bugs get worked out first.

First off, I had a chance to play around with the new PDC build of Windows Vista last night. It refused to take my sound card and network adapter, unlike the 5112 build from last month so I still can't use it for everyday tasks. The interface is definitely more polished and overall it feels a bit snappier. The new 3D effects provided by the "rolodex" feature are amazing to see in action... definitely lots of eye candy to see here. Unfortunately, it's still running slower than XP does and explorer takes forever to navigate between folders thanks to the nVidia LDDM video drivers I'm using, so I'll have to wait on further testing until they can come out with newer drivers for my video card and motherboard.

Second was the unveiling of Office 12 at the PDC earlier this week. So far, the verdict on the web seems to be positive anticipation. Our paradigm of user interface has been needing a jumpstart for a while, rather than adding prettier buttons and panels everywhere. It looks like the combination of the new Office suite combined with Vista may just well kick-start the Windows UI revolution next year when they are released. I'm most excited about the changes I see to Access because that's what I use the most at work. We're still kicking around Office XP, so maybe we'll be upgrading with this new version coming out, but that's not up to me. I can only hope....

Next was the surprise of the morning when I checked my RSS feeds to find out that Nintendo has officially revealed their new controller for their Revolution console. My first reaction: WTF? Reading the article helped allay my fears and now I'm dying to try it. Its simplicity and expandability may be its death or its saving grace. The basic design sounds solid but its ability to connect add-ons (see the Metroid Prime 2 snippet in the article for an example) helps return it to a more standardized controller style. However, add-ons have traditionally never done well in the market with few exceptions. Remember ROB the Robot and The Zapper for the NES? The Lightscope for the SNES? How about the Jogcon for the PS1? The most successful add-on I can think of is the six-button controller for the Sega Genesis. Regardless, Nintendo sure pulled a "revolution" with its new controller designs but we'll have to see how well the rest of the market will receive it when they finally release the system next year.

Finally, I'm not a big fan of the hip and trendy iPod, but I do like the idea that car manufacturers finally get it and will start including optional USB adapters in their cars for portable music players. I know that high-end cars like BMWs and Lexuses already have this kind of stuff as an option, but that's to be expected... fancy toys for those that can afford it. To top it all off, the satellite radios are now moving in to become standard options on many cars. Digital TV... digital radio... what next?

Ahh, the wonders of modern technology. =)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Waiting to get Lost yet again...

Wow, my second run-through of the entire first season of Lost is complete and I'm still amazed by the show. It's been especially nice to watch it all commercial-free and back to back to back. You can see some of the events falling in place and some lovely foreshadowing, having already seen it all once. For example, when Boone is walking through the forest with Locke, holding the red shirt used to mark their path, he makes a comment about the expendable ensigns wearing the red shirts in Star Trek. That was some subtle foreshadowing that was probably forgotten because of the midseason holiday break. Then in the episode where Boone dies and baby Aaron is born, it loses none of the emotional impact that I originally wrote about despite the fact that I had already seen it and knew what would happen. And after watching the bonus features, I can clearly see why the show works so well... the staff isn't narrow-minded like most other productions. The actors are given lots of freedom in what they're doing on screen and the writers seem to be constantly re-writing on the spot to make things fit the actors, rather than make the actors fit the writing. They know where they're going and see the big picture, but the little details all seem to rely on the amazing talents of the crew and the spontaneity and genuine bonds of friendship among the actors. I hope the crew can keep the magic up without ruining the story or dragging the series out past its time. Only 10 more days until the premiere of season 2.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lost again

Quick quiz: what's better than the first season of the TV series Lost? Answer: the season 1 DVD set with extra scenes and no commercials! I've already seen the whole first season from start to finish after I stumbled upon a review online in February. It's really neat to be able to go back and watch it over from the start now that I know who's who and see if I missed any little details. Speaking of stumbling, I've already stumbled upon one of the easter eggs on the extras disc. Press left twice from the "Tales from the Island" selection and the cursor will move next to the words "Disc 7" where you can view an alternate title sequence (it's much better than the zooming word "LOST" if you ask me). Needless to say, I'm excited for September 21st when the second season starts up. Time to get Lost! =)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Another check in the 'been there, done that' column

Eeep, what a stressful day yesterday was. A whole pageful of correction requests from hell were assigned to me, and they took up most of my short day at work. I had the ex call me multiple times at work, extremely grumpy because I was at work and she and the babysitter had both decided the night before that I was staying home without asking me... so I was forced to leave early to come home and take care of the kids. And the kids are sick... presumably with the measles, but our insurance coverage just started on the 1st and we haven't received any cards or information on it. So now we have jaundice, colic, GERD, lice, flu, stomach flu (with projectile vomiting!), and now measles in the "been there, done that" parenting column checked off. To top it all off, the ex-in-laws made a really late visit last night as well, staying for almost an hour after the kids' bedtime to visit them. The extremely high gas prices aren't helping either... prices have gone up from around $2.45/gallon last week to $3.19/gallon as of yesterday.

All I can say is that without all of these events, life would probably get pretty boring. It would just be nice if all of it didn't just happen at once. =)