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Sunday, February 24, 2008

For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti

11:10 Posted in Media | Permalink | Comments (7) | Tags: Music, Sufjan Stevens

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Excellent movie. Equal parts Godzilla, Lovecraft, Half-Life, and Youtube, all by the producer of LOST. Neat set-up, then terrifying monster chase.

Hopefully the sequel is of the same night, but from the military's point of view.

07:05 Posted in Media | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: movies, film, cloverfield

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

That Biased Media

It strikes me that there was considerably more election-night coverage of Hillary's "win" of the uncontested Michigan primaries than of Romney's "win" of the uncontested Wyoming caucuses. This in spite of the fact that Wyoming is actually sending delegates to the Republican convention, while the DNC stripped Michigan of her delegates.

So Clinton's beauty contest gets equal weight as an actually meaningful primary (the Michigan Republicans), while Mitt's beauty contest is buried.

A combination of institutionalized liberal bias, combined with more fear of Clinton than of Romney, would seem to be at fault.

Sickening, and it doesn't bode well for balanced coverage of the general election, either.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sony 1, Microsoft 0

The collapse of HD-DVD (and victory for Bluray disk) in the past week also scrambles the Microsoft XBOX 360 v. Sony PS3 race for second in the console wars. Microsoft has been benefiting from the next-gen video wars because, not only did XBOX 360 support HD-DVD through an add-on while the PS3 had integrated BluRay, XBOX 360 also supported on-demand video downloaded. Thus Microsoft benefit from a win or a draw, while Sony needed a knock-out. (Sony created the Bluray technology, int the same way that company created Betamax.)

Sony got its' knock-out.

Up until now, PS3 sales have been depressed because of the BluRay add-on (who wants to gamble on the next-gen video tech when buying a game machine?), but now its benefits. The XBOX 360's HD-DVD player is now worthless going forward, while the PS3 both will play next-gen movies. You're now longer gambling when you buy a PS3. You're buying a next-gen player that will play filsm that come out a decade or two from now.

Hard to believe this won't increase PS3 sales, which will in turn lead to more game development, which would lead to more sales.

Sony gambled big by including a BluRay player on the PS3. Sony won.

07:58 Posted in Media | Permalink | Comments (11) | Tags: sony, microsoft, bluray, hd-dvd, ps3, xbox 360

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So will CNN host a debate of Republican activists asking Democratic candidates questions

Anderson Cooper admits one questioner works for Clinton. While others merely publicly endorsed Democratic candidates. No wonder the debate was so fun to watch: it was a set-up.

I wonder when CNN hosts it's next debate, with a Giuliani employee asking Clinton questions, while Huckabee, Thompson, Romney, and McCain supporters speak their minds.

(Of course the above sentence is rhetoric. CNN is a left-of-center political outlet, and has been for decades. Further, it would be very risky for Democratic candidates to walk into that sort of situation, which is why the Republican candidates only did so out of ignorance.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sufjan Stevens' "Arkansas"

From Something Awful Photoshop Phriday, h/t to Catholicgauze

Friday, October 26, 2007

Zai Jian, Greencine!

With some sadness, I canceled my greencine account today. Grad school always takes up a lot of time, and the Time Warner DVR is just too fun and convneient... fast forwarding through ads makes television fun again, and time-shifting just blows me away.

I originally got involved with Greencine because their selection was broader than Netflix or Blockbuster. On a related note, film buffs will enjoy Adam's "List".

In the quite likely event that I return (service has always been fantastic), a partial list of my current queue is below the fold.

Read more ...

20:28 Posted in Media | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: greencine

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What the Mainstream Media was already saying about DirectBuy

DirectBuy, before sicking the hounds (and copyrighted c&d's) via Dozier Internet Law, was a company that received mixed reviews from the blogosphere.

Even more interesting, though, is the negative reviews Direct Buy has earned from the mainstream media. Channel 12 News and Consumerist both reference a Consumer Reports article that reads, in part:

After the fee disclosure, we discovered that we had to sign up on the spot or never come back. We couldn’t bring DirectBuy’s “confidential” prices elsewhere to comparison shop, the representatives said, because this would likely anger retailers who might then retaliate against the manufacturers by refusing to sell their merchandise...

The fine print in the DirectBuy contract says you cannot return items, cancel orders, or terminate your membership. When we asked if, after plunking down $5,000, we could cancel and get a refund, a salesperson said, “You’ll have to check state law.” A review of New York state law revealed that the three-day cooling-off period for canceling contracts wouldn’t apply in this case...

The lack of price transparency makes it hard to evaluate whether you’ll save by joining DirectBuy. But even if you were to save 25 percent on purchases after joining, you’d need to spend more than $20,000 just to recoup your membership fee. DirectBuy might save you money if you’re furnishing a house from scratch or doing a major renovation. But since you can’t shop around beforehand, you’ll be joining blind

DirectBuy may be a scam, but it's a business that uses a very "hard sell" and one should think twice about.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Good news from University of California

The University of California's flagship campus in Berkeley is making waves. Not only are the Golden Bears currently #3 in the NCAA Football standings -- but they've put hundreds of hours of lecture video online!

I'm currently listening to Physics 10 - Lecture 23: Relativity II. If you thought MIT OpenCourseWare or iTunes on Campus was cool... you ain't seen nothing yet!

The website: youtube.com/ucberkeley.

16:46 Posted in Media | Permalink | Comments (3) | Tags: ucb, youtube

Friday, September 21, 2007

Blogs v. Forbes: Blogs win

Lyons, D. (2007). Snowed by SCO. Forbes.com. September 19, 2007. Available online: http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/19/software-linux-lawsuits-tech-oped-cx_dl_0919lyons_print.html (from Slashdot).

From the confession of error:

In the print edition of Forbes there's a great (albeit sometimes painful) tradition of doing "follow-through" articles where a reporter either takes a victory lap for making a good call or falls on his sword for making a bad one. Online publications don't typically ask for follow-throughs. But I need to write one.

For four years, I've been covering a lawsuit for Forbes.com, and my early predictions on this case have turned out to be so profoundly wrong that I am writing this mea culpa. What can I say? I grew up Roman Catholic. The habit stays with you.

The case is SCO Group v. IBM. In March 2003, SCO sued IBM claiming that IBM took code from Unix--for which SCO claimed to own copyrights--and put that code into Linux, which is distributed free. Last month a judge ruled that SCO does not, in fact, own the Unix copyrights. That blows SCO's case against IBM out of the water. SCO, of Lindon, Utah, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

In June 2003, a few months after SCO Group sued IBM over the Linux operating system, I wrote an article that bore the headline: "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets." The article contained some critical stuff about SCO but also warned that SCO stood a chance of winning the lawsuit. "SCO may not be very good at making a profit by selling software. ... But it is very good at getting what it wants from other companies," I wrote. ...

I reported what they said. Turns out I was getting played. They never produced a smoking gun. They never sued any Hollywood company.

Over time my SCO articles began to carry headlines like, "Dumb and Dumber," "Bumbling Bully" and "SCO gets TKO'd."

But I still thought it would be foolish to predict how this lawsuit (or any lawsuit) would play out. I even wrote an article called "Revenge of the Nerds," which poked fun at the pack of amateur sleuths who were following the case on a Web site called Groklaw and who claimed to know for sure that SCO was going to lose.

Turns out those amateur sleuths were right. Now some of them are writing to me asking how I'd like my crow cooked, and where I'd like it delivered.

For some reason, a lot of technology journalism has devoled into hit-piece journalism, like the recent factually untrue CNET review of Lotus Symphony. Forbes, seeing blood in the water, did the same, attacking both a respected global services provider (IBM) and bloggers following the case (GrowkLaw), helping the corporate scheisters of SCO spread fear, uncertainy, and doubt.

But IBM was right, the blogs were right, and SCO (and the mainstream media in Forbes) were wrong. Now Forbes admits it.


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