Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Lowdown on IPTV

Consider this post your combined news digest for today and yesterday. Later today I will review my new camera to compensate for this anomaly. I posted about IPTV a long while ago, but back then it was just a vision of the future. Now, it is almost upon us, and so you might as well educate yourself about it so that you can dazzle your friends when it hits the mainstream in the next year or so. It works simply as the normal Internet does, except that its routed to a set-top box for your TV where all the data packets are assembled and decoded on-the-fly.. The hard part is that this requires a lot of bandwidth so it'll be hard to handle multiple channels simultaneous, but with the rate at which Internet technologies have been growing I'm sure that it will be trivial in another couple of years. What's cool about this is that you can get better control over your programming (I'm presuming TiVo-style, including recording capabilities), maybe better features, probably more HD streams, connectivity with your PC's media, and definitely better pricing. This introduces more competition in the fight over control of your living. Many people have recently been clamoring for the government to get involved in regulating cable television pricing, but it looks like the market is fixing itself thanks to the ambitious telcos (e.g. AT&T and Verizon have been pretty active). Score one for the lassiez faire school of thought; it looks like the future of chilling after a hard day of work is bright.

eBay seems to have gotten itself in trouble with its Buy it Now service, which an old online auction site, MercExchange, filed a patent for (though dubbed "direct-buy") in 1995, and they decided to sue eBay in 2000 when talks fell apart. The verdict of a higher court last year reaffirmed a lower court's support of MercExchange, with a hefty reward, and now the case has reached the Supreme Court. I personally support eBay's right to continue the service since MercExchange shut down several years ago and I think it's weird to patent such an idea as buying something in lieu of bidding; though I do think a reward should go to MercExchange for the blatant patent violation. Anyway, iTunes has begun offering select HBO shows, including the very popular show Rome. That's not the only change though, they've also secretly put up some dinky Disney Channel movie, which is only important because it's the first movie of any sort to be on iTunes, which could be a forebear of things to come. Someone claims to have booted Windows XP on an Intel-based iMac and is looking to collect on the $12,000 offered a while ago as a reward, but many Mac enthusiasts are skeptical (big surprise). They're asking for external testers to check it out, and it'd be pretty cool if it were to be verified. Last week I had some pictures and a video of the DS Lite, and now there's another one with that same guy's impressions after fiddling with it for a while if you're interested. Microsoft has started up a video blog of their own called On 10, but it doesn't seem to hold the flare of the other vlogs I've come to know and love, but maybe it'll tickle your fancy. Lastly, Google has acquired a small company called @Last, which is best known for its 3-D modeling software called SketchUp. Why would they do this? Probably to help augment the 3-D building stuff in Google Earth, for which @Last already created a plug-in.

Click to enlargeWe haven't heard much from Ghost Rider for a while, but Superhero Hype managed to get some artwork from the movie's design team, and I would hope that they're a little farther along than just costumes. IGN made a video covered the history of the Clerks phenomenon for those of you who are confused as to what Clerks 2 is actually based on and why it's even being made. The video tried too hard to make fun of like a museum video, but its otherwise good for newbies to Kevin Smith. Rosario Dawson has revealed that Sin City 2 has been slightly delayed because Robert Rodriguez wants Angelina Jolie to be the lead, which is problematic since she's kinda pregnant. I have no idea what role this is though; do any Frank Miller fans out there know? Please comment if you do. Another actor causes problems is Jon Heder, who broke his ankle while rehearsing for Blades of Glory, which has become a pain for DreamWorks since they have to shift production back and cause issues for other actors/actresses involved (including Diane Keaton). It looks like Ice Cube will be Mr. Kotter in a movie remake of Welcome Back, Kotter, and this seems kind of weird to me since I never considered Cube to be a very good actor at all. Isaac Hayes is trying to get out of South Park because he was offended by their episode mocking Scientology (which I personally hailed as the best one in a while since it was so true). Of course, Stone and Parker are annoyed by this and no word on what they're going to do yet (he is held by contract, after all), but I'm sure they'll come up with something. Don't forget that V for Vendetta is just a couple of days away because AICN hasn't and put up yet another review of it, which gives a good synopsis in the beginning of it. Lastly, I usually don't post shameless clips of hot chicks in slow motion, but I just really couldn't resist.

I'm gonna go for Ten on Tuesday today:

10 Things You'd Tell Other People to Try
10. Blogging about fun stuff, not just mundane, confusing occurrences in your life
9. Reading Popular Science
8. Reading a decent newspaper every day
7. Drinking more water and less soda
6. Eating more, smaller meals
5. Getting behind-the-ear lightweight headphones for when you work out.
4. Watching all your trailers in Quicktime HD
3. Subscribing to Podcasts on iTunes
2. Using a Mac
1. Watching 24

2 comments:

[Mat] said...

hey, good job on the hairdo..

I hope V turns out good.

Aaron Keogh said...

Just wondering if you'd be interested in bloging / podcasting about Matrixstream's cutting edge video on demand and IPTV Technology ( TV over broadband ). This is a technology that allows the consumer to receive a potential for unlimited VOD / IPTV content up to 1080P in H.264 codec over any broadband connection on a PC Player or set top box for TV ( IMX1020 1080P High definition STB - the world's first 1080P H.264 STB ) If you'd like to see pictures and video's of the this new STB you can go to www.matrixstream.com/presskit . Let us know if your interested.

Yours Truly Aaron Keogh

Tel: 604-291-7727

E-mail: aaron@matrixstream.com

Website: www.matrixstream.com