Monday, April 25, 2005

From Analog to Digital

Television, that is. Many of us are used to low-quality television because we're middle class and are used to our analog television sets. However, if you've ever downloaded an episode to your computer then you know the joy of digital quality picture and sound. What you may not have known about is a bill in Congress passed in 1996 that would call for the end of all analog television broadcasts at the end of 2006. There's a clause in there that it can be modified should the spread of digital television sets have not reached 85% by then, but that's aside from the point. It would be a huge step into the future and would free up those channels normally used in "regular" tv for better uses like emergency broadcasts or wireless signals and such. Why is Congree deliberating on this and not just the FCC? I have no idea, but at least they're taking steps in the right direction. This will pressure the industry to make affordable, normal-sized HDTV sets, which is great for us. However, if this doesn't happen soon a lot of pissed off Americans will have bought obsolete tv sets. And since the date in that bill is changeable, what will the solid date be if we even have one? No one knows quite yet, and it will be a compliated path, but the benefits could be pretty great as outlined in that article.

I'm not sure why, but there's barely any great news for nerds today. I've mentioned it before but with a worse article so I'll mention it again: Microsoft is planning to beef up security in Longhorn through the hardware. There will be special keys in certain silicone chips built into the machines themselves, and this could be a huge step forward although the article does point out that many of the OS's other features sound strikingly similar to Apple's ideas. No surprise there. Is there anything more annoying than being stuff in traffic? Thanks to research from the government and Polytechnic, GPS information may be linked with traffic information to truly provide the best possible routes for you while you're on the road. That will make life so much easier when it's completed. Since I'm ever-fascinated with electronic devices that can think on their own, I have to plug this open robot project that aims to create a uniform platform for robotic applications. And lastly, Google is beefing up its ad services by giving more control to advertisers as to where their ads go. So you'll see more ads with graphics, but hopefully they won't become a nuissance.

The movie news today isn't too shabby. The best news today was the revelation that the final Batman Begins trailer will premiere this weekend (click that link) at the discretion of local theaters, which is a pleasant reminder to us that the Dark Knight will return in less than two months! Respected director Woody Allen has taken quite a liking to Scarlett Johansson who will not only be in his upcoming film Match Point (romance turned suspense), but also in his unnamed next project in London this summer.

Great hair

I can't blame him since she's so pretty, and so is Jennifer Connelly, who will be joining Kate Winslet in Little Children as a supermom. Did you like that little transition there? I like Tony Scott because of True Romance, and so I was intrigued to learn that he's working on a romance thriller next with Denzel Washington called Deja Vu, which you would think is called so because it's like deja vu to see him play a cop again. And finally, I'd like to leave you with some sequel news. Thankfully, David Fincher will most likely not create a sequel to his masterpiece Se7en, and curiously Kevin Smith seems to be creating the sequel to Clerks in what seems to be very similar to the original though he definitely has more money now. Go figure.

Everyone is partial to a little Monday Madness:

1. What season are you in right now?
I'm in season 18 and things are getting wild and crazy! More seriously though, I'm doing the whole spring thing; so it's hot but not summer crazy hot.
2. Do you celebrate anything special this time of year?
Well Easter is pretty big and so is the end of the school year. I can't believe I'll soon be a sophomore in college! Much time has passed since the days I dreamed of moving out of the house.
3. Name 3 things that come to mind when you think of spring (or your current season)?
Flowers, finals, and bikinis.
4. In the current season, about how many hours of the day are daylight hours?
I'm guessing about 12 or 13 hours.
5. Do you do any 'spring cleaning?'
This is the dumbest concept that I've ever come across. Why would you only clean up during one season of the year? I am to clean on a weekly basis, but more realistically it's bimonthly or monthly.
6. Do you wash your own car or take it to the car wash?
When I get my car I'll probably just wash it whenever I go to my parent's place. I don't trust those gas station car washes.
7. Do you hang your laundry out on a clothesline on nice days?
I used to do that every week at home! I still do when I go home because the dryer just isn't enough. When I do laundry in Austin I can't because I'm in an apartment.

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