Recreation Archives

Is Facebook Really Killing TV?

I saw something on slashdot recently called Why TV Lost that talks about the effect that computers and the Internet are having on TV.

What I found odd is that it talks about TV as if computers and video sharing & such have already killed TV.  Like we should all just pack it in and put our TV’s in storage and use the old tv mount as a place to put a pot of begonias or something.

The article based this on four points:

1. The Internet’s open platform fosters innovation at hacker speeds instead of big company speeds.

This is certainly true.  The number of people working on projects, both cooperatively and individually can be truly staggering, not to mention nearly impossible to actually know for certain.  This leads to a lot of innovation happening quickly.  As soon as something new comes out, dozens, or even thousands of people are studying it, taking it apart and figuring out new things to do with it.

2. Moore’s Law worked its magic on Internet bandwidth.

Moore’s Law refers to the doubling of the capacity of electronic components every two years or so.  It’s one of the reasons that we’re not all still sitting here working on TRS-80’s and that computer equipment today can process tons more information hundreds of times faster than back in the beginning.

3. Piracy taught a new generation of users it’s more convenient to watch shows on a computer screen.

That’s certainly true.  Piracy, and more specifically the p2p file sharing technology that I think had at least some of it’s origins in piracy have made the wide scale sharing of all kinds of media very commonplace and very nearly impossible to stop or prevent.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a growing number of people watch more video per day on their computers than they do on their televisions.

4. Social applications made everybody from grandmas to 14-year-old girls want computers

Social networks like Facebook, MySpace and dozens (if not hundreds) of others have made it possible for people to connect with others on an unprecedented scale.  This of course leads to more sharing of media from family photos and home movies to the sky’s the limit.

Which I suppose is why they concluded with the summation:

Facebook killed TV

The thing is, I don’t think that we should count TV out just yet.  I’ll admit that I’ve watched my share of video online but when it comes down to “dinner and a movie”, nobody’s gonna cuddle up in front of a computer monitor when there’s a 27 inch (or bigger!) Tv in the other room with much more comfortable seating, surround sound, and so on.

Technorati Tags: file sharing, Electronic Components, Myspace, Social Networks, Family Photos, Home Movies, Sharing Technology, Tv, Internet Bandwidth, Open Platform, Computer Screen, Unprecedented Scale, p2p, Social Applications

65 MPG Ford Not To Be Sold In US

The rolling and screaming BS that the “Big Oil” companies and OPEC have been putting us through for the last several years has taken away something from our culture.  As most (if not all) Americans are thoroughly familiar with our great love affair with the car.

Most of us remember some important things that are related to when we got our first drivers license and then our first car.  Everything from that first zit explosion that sent us desperately trying to find out how to get rid of acne to those first clumsy dates where we were almost too nervous to function at all.

Thanks to the price of fuel and the effect it’s having on the economy, all that seems like it’s in danger of being forgotten by a generation that has to scrape and fight for the cash to get that first car and keep it on the road.

And now to add insult to injury, Ford has come up with a car that gets 65 Miles Per Gallon!  Granted, it runs on Diesel but if it gets mileage like that, who cares?!  (note that it was an American car maker that came up with this.  I knew all along that this kind of thing was possible)

The problem is that the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic will not be sold in America.  Ford cites “business reasons” for not selling a economical car in it’s home nation which happens to be perhaps the biggest market for such a thing ever.

I think that this kind of thing is inexcusable.  Ford should do whatever it takes to get this thing available in it’s economy version built and sold in America. I think it would also be a great idea for American car owners everywhere to get after Ford about this and nag them until they do it.

And I don’t mean coming up with a gasoline version that maybe gets 32mpg like everything else out there.  I’m talking about the full 65mpg diesel powered version.

Technorati Tags: technology, economy, miles per gallon, 65 mpg, ford, american cars, gas mileage, corporate greed, fuel prices

The Recent Andromeda Strain Contest

A while back Simply Stating The Obvious held a contest.  I entered on May 20th because, well, who wouldn’t want a prize package that included prizes like

a The Andromeda Strain t-shirt

The Andromeda Strain DVD Collection featuring both the 2008 A&E miniseries
and the Oscar-nominated 1971 film

The Andromeda Strain novel by Michael Crichton

Then on May 26th, I was informed that I had won.

Now I have the final update on the Andromeda Strain contest.  The prize package arrived yesterday and we got to watch the A&E remake without any commercials.  They did a really good job with it and frankly I’m glad we waited until the prize package arrived so that we could watch the whole thing in one sitting.  The cliffhanger at the end of the first disk would have just been too much.

The overall story was very good.  It stayed true to the Michael Crichton novel and the original movie while at the same time it devoted time to exploring the question that was on everyone’s mind: Where did the Andromeda Strain come from and why was it sent?  The explanation they provided wasn’t by any stretch the only one, but it was good and they did a good job with it.

Once again, My thanks to Simply Stating the Obvious and A&E for the contest and the prizes.

Oh, I have to mention that the prize package had one extra item in it that wasn’t mentioned.
“The Andromeda Strain anti-bacterial hand sanitizing gel” a nice touch, that.

Technorati Tags: movie, contest, michael crichton, andromeda strain, prizes, simply stating, novel, a&e

Summer’s Almost Here

It’s almost summer again and once again people are turning to what sort of vacation they’re going to be taking or looking back on vacations that they’ve taken before.  I’ve never really done anything spectacular for vacations, the most ‘spectacular’ being one of those weekend getaway type things.

One year I got in the car and drove a couple hundred miles to a city that I used to live in and stayed for a couple days looking up old haunts.  Not very exciting eh?  True, but it worked for me, giving me a much needed break from routine.  A lot of people would go a lot farther, taking some time on a site like and picking out a destination in their Weekend Breaks offerings and jet off to a three or four day weekend away from home.

Technorati Tags: vacation, travel, weekend+getaway, escape, pressure+release

MPAA Ranting Against Net Neutrality Agian

I’m thinking that the people running the MPAA need to get their story straight because what they’ve been saying lately sounds like they belong in a drug rehab facility.

Why? Because on the one hand, they’ve been ranting for years now about how online piracy is costing them humongous amounts of money.  Yet at the same time, they’re talking about all time record profits.

Specifically one of the MPAA heads, Dan Glickman, was at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas and talked about things like the domestic box office numbers UP 5.4% to $9.63 billion…. The worldwide box office numbers up 4.9% to $26.7 billion… and so on.

Meanwhile, at that same ShoWest appearance, Glickman argued that neutrality regulations would prevent use of new tools that ISPs can use to prevent piracy.  (Can you say “Comcast”?  I knew you could!)

Of course, lobbyists for the MPAA and movie studios & so on have been hard at work trying to convince lawmakers that net neutrality is going to stop them from hunting down pirates.  Frankly, I think that they need to be stopped.

If they were to lay off spending so much time, money and other resources trying to stop people from sharing files, they might find that concentrating on just making more of the better quality movies and making them available at customer friendly prices would save everybody a whole bunch of aggravation.

Technorati Tags: anti+piracy, dan+glickman, file+sharing, lobbyists, mpaa, net+neutrality, piracy, profits, record+profits, showest

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