Monday, February 28, 2005

The End of Sweeps

I took down my first Linear Algebra test today in Belmont Hall of all places, and I think I did fairly well. It was only 15 true/false and 5 free response, and yet I barely finished the test in time. I wish I had more time to check answers, but I'm glad that he focuses so much on the concepts because I think this stuff is great. No single news item today was particularly large so I just chose to talk about this article discussing the new Neilsen local rating system. The new system, called the people meter, would mean that executives can learn the following day how well a program did. This has already gone into effect in five major cities, but for now the rest of us are on the old system of sweeps, which determines advertising rates, four times a year during which you'll see star-studded episodes of regular shows or extraneous segments for local news shows. I always thought the system was a bit archaic, but I think I'll miss those big budget episodes of shows like 24 and Smallville when the system comes to Texas.

I have a plethora of small, random techie tidbits to get through. Mozilla 1.8 Beta 1 has been released with some strange fixes. Of course the real star is Firefox though anyway, which has knocked IE off of its 90%+ market share for the first time ever. So far Firefox only has 5.7% share, but they're aiming for 10% and given the bugginess of IE I think it may be possible unless IE 7 is really awesome. Fellow haters of PC Magazine's John Dvorak will take pleasure in this article picking apart his posit that Microsoft can take destroy Linux. AOL has decided to open up AIM to third-party developers. They really are behind on this bandwagon since ICQ has allowed extras for a long time, but it's better late than never. Fans of Macs should take a moment of silence to honor Jeff Raskin, who created the first Mac and died a couple of days ago. Music fans should bemoan the imminent rise in mp3 prices that's on the horizon. Apparantly, some of the big labels are upset about Apple's increasing price share and want to increase their wholesale price from 65 cents, which would be a stupid decision and likely cost sales. And finally, users of loud, musical cell phone ringtones may want to take a look at this explanation of the history of ring tones and appreciate what it took for them to hear that fresh beat on their phone.

Not a whole of movie news today, but I might as well start out with the box office report. The weekend was dominated by a chick flick called Diary of a Mad Black Woman with $22.7 million despite being so low-key and having so many bad reviews. It was followed by heavyweights Hitch and Constantine, which should really be making more money than it is. I had to work on my CS project last night so I only got glimpses of the show, but it sounded like there were some worthy winners (especially The Incredibles and Jamie Foxx). I wasn't too thrilled with Chris Rock from what I saw, but there were other gripes in the community. At least there were some good looking people though:

Nice curves!  She's constantly sexy

The Razzies were a bit disappointing though. Anyway, I'm more disappointed with the trailer for Fever Pitch because I know that Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore can both do better than this. Any trailer that gives away most of the plot can only mean bad things. Those of you waiting for The Legend of Zorro (and who isn't waiting to see more Selma Hayek) can bask in a few pictures until they hire some better publicity people. Zach Braff, of Garden State fame, may soon be cast in Kevin Smith's upcoming movie, Fletch Won. I actually like Smith's films so hopefully it'll turn out well, but it's still a while away anyway. Meanwhile, George Lucas couldn't be working on a stranger film next. His next movie, Redtails, follows a group of black pilots during World War II. I don't even want to know why, as long as it isn't Star Wars again. There's some subpar superhero news today, and the only thing of interest I found was that the guy who plays Jason Teague on Smallville may be the lead in the upcoming Flash flick.

Just a couple more things. There's a noteworthy bill going through Congress right now that would make sure that every vote is counted in future elections and that everyone can vote, including a federal holiday for election day. I think the bill is an interesting idea and that it deserves a shot. Those of you who have been with the internet since the beginning probably don't realize that it has been a decade since the Internet boom that gave birth to today's larger companies. I think it's interesting how well the market has evolved in providing great competitive services. I think a prime example is how the advent of Google Maps forced new features onto Mapquest (like road signs and hotels and such).

And now for some Monday Madness:

1. What time is it right now?
9:20 P.M.
2. What are you usually doing at this time on any given day?
Eating dinner! so tasty right now.
3. Is there a day of the week that time seems to fly by faster than the other days?
It seems like Wednesdays go by rather fast because before I know it I'm almost upon the weekend.
4. If you could make ONE hour of each day twice as long, which hour of the day would you choose?
12AM-1AM so I could have more time to play Half-Life 2 after finishing my homework.
5. If you could make one DAY of the week twice as long, which day would you choose?
I suppose Saturday because then I could have more fun and get more homework done early.
6. If you could make one hour and/or one day HALF as long, which time of the day, and which day of the week would you choose?
Tuesdays really seem to drag along for me, so I'd have to say that day.
7. Do you agree with the following statement? "The older you get, the faster time goes by."
It seems true to be so far just because my life was so much more boring when I was younger and time goes by faster now that I do so much stuff that I like to do in college (even work wise).
8. What do you usually do during your "down time?"
Play guitar and computer games mostly. I do watch downloaded tv shows while I eat though.
9. What one thing do you spend more time doing each day than anything else?
I suppose blogging since there's no particular subject that I do a lot of consistently.

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