The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


Blu-Ray Woes, Nintendo Rules, And MP3 Still Champ - 2008 Ends

Since Fred, who has jumped on the Blu-Ray bandwagon to some degree, commented on Blu-Ray being more than just more storage (though I still say that's all it is, regardless of a supposed resolution bump, which IS due to new levels of storage), I noted this latest article which articulates things better. Making Blu-Ray akin to laserdisc has a pretty big "ouch" factor, in my mind. Laserdisk was of course large and unwieldy when the time of the LP vinyl record was disappearing (since it was the same size), so at least Blu-Ray has THAT going for it (though technically, if something is going to replace DVD, you'd think they would have gone for something smaller - since I'm not aware of many, if any, companies selling movies in a "mini" Ray disc format, which I can only assume exists just as it did for DVD and also assume is compatible on drives by default).

I remember thinking, when Fred showed me a few minutes of The Dark Knight that it was a bit insane that the player was slow on pulling up video, booting in general, and related functions, I am understanding enough to know that it's only what.. a year or so old? The players will obviously get better and "near instantaneous" as time goes on. The issue is... will it last? Another article shows how there is a "very loud vocal minority" saying Blu-Ray is here to stay, but with the PS3 still costing so much to produce ($450 average right now apparently), I don't know. I'm not as anxious to get a BD drive for my computer now. I'm going to wait at least several months.

I can't even imagine what a PS3's Blu-Ray playback experience is like (though I assume the actual movie playback is "fine"). Once again, the video game console wars show that Nintendo ruled, followed by Microsoft who has the best online experience bar none. PS3 sucked royally and is finally in BETA for their online service that was due a year ago. The fact that they took Microsoft's approach of selling PS3s at a major loss to "get into the market" with nextgen means they seem to be floundering in general. Just like my belief that PERHAPS one of the auto manufacturers in America NEEDS to be put down for the other two to flourish once again (*cough* GM *cough*), perhaps it's time for Sony to concentrate more on their other electronics. PSP is crap (though a decent hackable toy for MAME, Linux and more) and PS3 is a loser (your opinion may vary, I'm sure).

Very similar arguments existed not only for laserdisc, but for such previous new technologies as Nintendo 64 (for some reason, the cartridges were very expensive to produce - I believe it had to do with NV RAM storage on them or something), then even the GameCube (which by my recall did not flourish at all) and heck, even "MP3 replacements". MP3 is still the king (are Apple players still trying to force their format down your throat with that silly iTunes store?). It's hard to be unbiased or to have a "normal person's" point of view when my mentality is that of a computer-geek who doesn't need DRM content, doesn't need a DVD player to watch movies (and no, streaming is still crap, too) and who doesn't stare at an unexpected screen on his computer and go "okay, let's go pay someone to click a few buttons on some prepacked software that makes them look like they have any clue to fix this". I still pity the average consumer who gets screwed by people "like me" who "fix" their hardware and software. :-/ This is why I am not and never again will be a salesman. But that's a discussion for another time, so I digress. :-P I'm rambling now.

Happy New Year to all.


MUSIC: Secondhand Serenade

Every year, at around Christmas time or New Year's, I re-evaluate my music collection, looking around at what new artists are offering, what established artists are doing new, and the like.

This year, I was very pleasantly surprised to find "Secondhand Serenade". Their music is very cool. I really enjoy both of the albums "A Twist In My Story" and "Awake"! I think part of it is the heavy acoustic influence in their music. I really hope this group continues producing music along these lines for years to come.


V.H.S Will Finally R.I.P.

It can now be officially said that the VHS video tape format is dead, as the final company (in the US at least) offering them is closing shop. This article has the details. I'm still not clear that Blu-Ray (is that how you spell it?) will replace DVD. Yes, it's a bigger storage format (and that's basically "the difference" - contrary to what the average person thinks).

Yes, that means you can put more content on it and make it "more interactive". Yay. But there have been so many articles saying how BADLY the format is doing, and how BADLY the Playstation 3 is selling, etc etc, so who knows. I think we should just 10TB flash drives, drive through Blockbuster, plug them in, grab the 3-5 movies you want to watch with whatever DRM they [think] will stop the movie from being used after a certain number of days, and be done with discs, tapes and the like altogether. Or Hollywood could just stop being a multi-trillion dollar business (ah, but that would never happen, right? Naaahhhhhhhh....). :-P

And no, I'm not all for the streaming of movies over the "web". We have nowhere near enough infrastructure or bandwidth to make things completely fluid, just like VOIP phone calls have yet to be consistently as clear as a wired call, and heaven forbid you compare cell service (don't tell me Sprint or AT&T or any other is "perfect" - take your head out of the sand first). Those people also probably believe Satellite is the way to go for television distribution in a reliable manner. Bah.


MOVIE: Yes Man

I found this movie to be very enjoyable. It had enough of Jim Carrey's campiness and enough of his "Dramatic" side to create a nice balance. I found myself laughing out loud, anticipating things, and even believing the romance blossoming with his co-star. The actor from "That 70's Show" was a bit hokey (but that was the point). This was a good movie!

MOVIE: The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Okay. Gort is a bunch of nanites?! What? That was Gort swarming over the Earth in the previews? What?!

This movie was just sad. It ended abruptly, and was nothing more than a stepping stone for Will Smith's son. Really sad.


R.I.P. Majel Barrett-Boddenberry

Wow. Star Trek's nurse-computervoice-firstofficer-annoyingmother and widow of Gene Roddenberry has passed away. (sigh) She had just finished doing voice work for the new "Star Trek" movie, too. A true fan of her husbands work to the very end.


Christmas Viral Video For Husbands

My friend Mike sent me this link, and I found it to be very funny. If you've ever been in the "dog house", men, this is for you...