Tuesday, August 16, 2005

OpenTV >= TiVo

I found out today that I'm not cut out for manual labor. First of all, I had to wash my parents '05 Santa Fe, which means I had to use the special washing/waxing solution to keep it real pretty and shiny. Scrubbing that hurt actually hurt my right tricep. That wasn't the issue though. I had to pull some crazy weeds in our backyard flower bed. I had to actually use a shovel for one of them and dig the think almost a foot into the ground to scoop out the root. Pulling weeds is byfar the worst chore as it is extremely exhausting and gross (lots of bugs and stuff). I'm sure that you've noticed the unnecessarily dorky title and it's phrased that well because it's hard to tell whether the TiVo alternative is actually better than the popular set-top box. You probably haven't even heard of OpenTV, though it's pretty big in Australia and the United Kingdom. What's pretty impressive is that you can choose from different camera angles on certain shows and even different audio channels (which is especially useful for sporting events). So what's the catch? They have some issues with privacy in that they divulge your viewing habits to advertisers so they can intersperse more appropriate commercials for your taste. Though this allots them more clout with cable and satellite providers it may alienate customers. There are more bells and whistles to the service including interactive gaming, but is it worth the trade-off for privacy? You be the judge.

I do actually have some more tech news than that (what a surprise). I didn't mention it when it occurred because I didn't think it was too big a deal but Microsoft actually filed patents for many things used in the iPod. This matters now because the U.S. Patent Office has ruled that Microsoft can request royalties from Apple despite their protestations. I think it's funny that they can have such an advantage over their old rival in their biggest moneymaker because it's obviously a business move since they're not hard up for the cash. Internet businesses are beginning to become concerned about users deleting cookies from their computer to fight spyware because it cripples their ability to best serve advertisers. I wonder if the web development community will create something better than the cookie anytime soon. Did you ever think that a robot could physically feel things? Well some researchers at the University of Tokyo have and created robot skin just for the sense of touch, which is crazy and cool to me. Lastly, I think it's funny that the Bush administration is fighting the .xxx domain name extension despite how easy it is to find porn out there on the web. They need to leave well enough alone.

I thought that the most interesting piece of the today's movie news was IGN's interview with Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd regarding The 40-Year-Old Virgin. It's a pretty fun read and Carrell even reveals that The Office will return September 20. IGN also put up a review of Red Eye, which is notable because they bring up a recurring point that the movie is great except for the ending. I'll probably rent it anyway later on. Apple put up a trailer for Two For The Money pretty similar to one we've seen before and it does sound like it could be pretty good. Empire Online has a trailer for the new Guy Ritchie movie, Revolver, and it actually looks really good and features some cool actors (including Ray Liotta and Andre Benjamin). Another 9/11 film has been announced, but this one is from a relatively unknown director and revolves around Flight 93 (the one that didn't hit any buildings) and I just hope that it doesn't come out corny. The director sounds pretty ardent though, so I doubt it will be. I got the first piece of good X3 news in a while today: the amazing Shohreh Aghdashloo has joined the cast as Dr. Kavita Rao developing cure for being a mutant. I loved her in 24 and she's been in a few great movies as well. Lastly, keep your eye on the campaign for Christopher Walker for President.

Just a couple of things before I conclude. I just noticed that the College of Natural Sciences actually put up our NSC officer picture! You can check out our page over here thought I look pretty dorky in it. Why did I wear my glasses? The other thing was a really funny postcard from PostSecret this week, which is the first racy picture I'm putting on this blog but I don't really care. I could censor the nipple, but what's the big deal? Who doesn't have a nipple? If I'm going to show a breast I might as well show the whole bloody thing.

Click to enlarge the postcard

Not sure what's going on with Ten on Tuesday this week so here's the Tuesday Twosome:


1. Are you more of a morning person or a night person? Explain:

Definitely a night person. Except when I'm in Austin and I get 8 hours of sleep (which was pretty normal last year), I'm pretty groggy in the morning. I prefer staying up late and getting stuff done that way. I usually have more energy late at night than early in the morning, though getting up early makes me feel like I have more time in my day.

2. Name the two longest times you have gone without sleep:
The night before I moved out of my apartment I stayed up to play Metal Gear Solid 3 all night instead of sleeping, though I took a nap in the car ride home several hours later so that was over 24 hours without sleep for sure. I can't remember the last time before that because I always get my sleep, but it may have been the 8th grade.

3. Do you "function" with little sleep or do you require a "full night" of sleep?
I can function with little sleep, but definitely at a subpar level. I enjoy sleep too much to not partake of a full night of it, so I'm a happier person with it.

4. What two things can cause you to lose sleep? Explain:
School work and women basically. The former is pretty self-explanatory, and the latter refers to chicks who like to play games or who are just plain ambiguous.

5. Do you or someone you know suffer from any sleep disorders? Explain:
Not really, but I've walking in my sleep a couple of times and my dad snores regularly. One of my room mates last year claimed that I laughed in my sleep, which is pretty cool I think because it shows how much I like to laugh!

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