I ran a tutoring session today for PHL 313K students and it felt funny because the material seems so much easier now than it did then. Of course, I stumbled a little and needed help from my fellow reviewers, but I feel pretty good about what we did, especially since the room was like three-fourths full. Moving along, my topic is probably pretty exaggerated, but they are some interesting takes. Do you remember that pricey iPod HiFi thing-a-ma-bob that Apple released last week? One blogger postulates that the whole point of their releasing this is to help out the 3rd party accessory market, and it's more palatable than you may initially think. It's obviously overpriced and not all that visually appealing, so what if this is a way to drive more consumers towards alternatives or maybe a way to encourage these 3rd parties to patent their ideas so that Apple can't encroach upon them again? This is good for Apple because it means these companies will stay in iPods, as will their clients. Furthermore, have you noticed that the iPod has stayed at the same price since the 1G and yet grown quite a good amount in capacity? This is a result of the technology itself getting cheaper and allowing Apple to put more improvements in. However, this cycle will end soon enough and competitors will not have as much of a barrier to entry, so what will Apple do then? You could argue that their brand will still garner them a good amount of market share, but probably not enough if other players come out with equally good stuff. I guess we can expect them to do something pretty wild and crazy to compensate for this inevitability.
Ars Technica reviewed the new Mac Minis, and they seem to be pretty solid except for that fact that they use an integrated Intel graphics chipset. This means that it will steal power from the CPU and utilize system -level RAM, which really hurts it, and I suspect that it was due to pricing issues (which is still $100 higher than the originals). If you want a Mac Mini, you should probably wait until a newer iteration comes out unless you don't care about graphics or HD playback (which is an unrelated issue in the Core Solo model). AOL is finally starting to open up its instant messaging client to third parties, and it's about time. I'm pretty sure that this is in response to popular competitors rather than their own altruism, but I just wonder if its too little too late. High speed Internet may cost more soon as providers have to expand their lines to meet the growing demand, and this is becoming a hot topic as the providers are considering turning to the high-traffic websites themselves to charge for premium access speeds to their sites. Ultimately, this will probably get peddled off on the consumer, and things look pretty messy as it stands. Lastly, if you're as impatient and curious as I am with regard to tracking your mail packages, this new Google Map hack will show the route of your package as it travels the U.S. given just the tracking number. There's something you'll want to bookmark.
I've managed to whittle down today's movie news to a few truly interesting items. The box office didn't change much from yesterday, and my commentary stands as is. Warner Brothers released a few new pictures from Superman Returns, and it's not better than what we've seen before but it's always good to see. Now for the really big news, the trailer for X3 that premiered during 24 tonight is now online, and it's just as impressive as the teaser was. I'm still not sold on it given the spoilers that I know, but at least it looks pretty. I was much more impressed by a few clips that IGN put up for The Unit, which is a new show premiering on CBS tomorrow night featuring one of my favorite 24 cast members of all time: Dennis Haysbert. I'll definitely be watching it, even if I can't catch it live.
I thought I'd try out the Manic Monday meme this week:
1. If you found out today that you are immortal, how would you change your life?
I don't really know that it would. However, I don't think that I'd like being immortal. Sure, we all fear death, but that doesn't mean that living for such a long time wouldn't get tiresome. I think that in a way we all look forward to resting one day.
2. If you were offered immortality on Earth in exchange for one substantial thing, what would you be willing to offer?
Like I said, I wouldn't want it, so I guess a penny. There's no part of my normal life I'd want to sacrifice to be able to live forever.
3. If you could learn only one thing about your own death right now, what would you want it to be?
If we've learned anything from Back to the Future, it's that knowing our own future is a bad idea ;) I supposed I'd want to know whether or not I'm alone or not, because then I could try even harder to avoid that.