Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Media Centers in Home Offices

This morning I woke up to what could've easily been mistaken for the apocalypse. Thunder was blaring in my eardrums, I could see all white through my eyelids from the lightning (our blinds being closed, mind you), the walls were shaking, and two cars alternated alarms every 30 seconds. An hour later, I headed to class. Could there be a harsher way to wake up in the morning? Anyway, the Australian CNet site actually has a pretty good editorial on why the media center will actually belong in the home office rather than the living room. The logic is that Intel's new Viiv machines can actually stream content to digital media adapters they'll sell for your home theater setup, which means that you could use your home computer for normal business stuff with Windows XP Media Center Edition at the same time that your significant others is watching the episode of Desperate Housewives you bought off of iTunes yesterday. This is possible because of the dual core, among other things, and would really be quite an amazing accomplishment. When you think about it, very few people actually work on a computer in their living room unless they're on a laptop, and even then many people have docking stations. In any case, that's not a media center, it's just a computer. No one actually puts their iMac center stage though. Why? Because who browses the web at the same place they watch Good Eats? Moving this media center into your home office would totally remedy this problem while possibly allowing for IPTV, but definitely opening all kinds of doors for digital media distribution for television shows (ala iTunes and Google Video) and movies; even in HD. Some may make the argument that this stuff is already out there, but if you're not a geek then chances are that you're not in the loop because it hasn't been marketed to you very well. It's all about simplicity, integration, and diffusion. That's why TiVO became so popular, and that's why this has some hope.

Have you ever heard of a car running on compressed air for fuel? I hadn't either, before I saw this video about it, and it sounds like a pretty exciting technology. I have no clue how much these vehicles would cost, when they'd come to America, or how long before they're actually ready for any market. It's extremely environmentally friendly though, much cheaper (fuel-wise), and could burn gas for high speeds (not that you'd be going over 60 MPH in rush hour traffic anyway, though). Microsoft put out a video showing off Office 2007, and this may actually be the biggest update to Office ever. I was already convinced by the screenshots I've seen, but from the comments it sounds like the video has made even more people believers, especially with that new "ribbon" idea for the UI instead of toolbars and menus. Apple has joined BAPCo, a benchmark consortium, which means that they've committed to Windows-based performance testing for their Macs! This implies that they're likely to include native support for Windows in Leopard, but that's just speculative reasoning. A couple of guys reviews hundreds of sites and decided to compile their findings into Web 2.0 Awards to highlight the best sites out there utilizing the newest web technologies. That's definitely a site to bookmark and keep for future reference, because they really found some awesome sites on there. Speaking of Web 2.0, there's a new version of Ruby on Rails, the fancy framework for web development with Ruby, with tons of updates. You can see most of them over here, and it makes me want to run out and buy a book on Ruby.

IGN has the trailer for an Aussie-made cowboy flick called The Proposition, and it's actually better than most modern Westerns so it's actually worth a look. Apple put up a featurette for United 93 that has no voices but just music over scenes from the movie as they're shot and family interviews, and it kind of serves to demonstrate what a human drama this movie will really be. I totally forgot yesterday to mention that Ocean's 13 has a good deal of its main cast members back, but not the female leads. The actors coming back were always my favorites though, so I hope that this one turns out to at least match the first one. Lastly, there are some excerpts online from the Rocky 6 script, and it doesn't read very well to me, but when it's not contiguous it's kind of hard to tell.

I just had to put up this postcard, because I think it's cute and it actually applies to me:

Click to enlarge

Now for some Tuesday Twosome action:

1. Do you suffer from allergies? If so, name it/them:
Not that I know of, yet.

2. What two things does spring signify?
Fertility and rejuvenation. The former was big back in Ancient Greece for springtime.

3. Do you look forward to Spring? Why or why not?
I don't look forward to any particular season. Maybe winter, but there's nothing especially good or bad about Spring. It's usually a shorter semester though (even though it isn't this time around).

4. What are two negatives about spring?
It starts getting hot again, and we remember what lots of rain is like. There's also daylight savings time (I'm not ready to lose an hour!).

5. Are you enjoying your current weather conditions? Why or why not?
Not really, because it's all rainy and gloomy, though it was beautiful last week. I guess that's what we get for all that nice weather.


[Mat] said...

That postcard is from a movie...

Chasing Amy, I believe. Or maybe I'm mistaken.

And you know, it applies to everyone. Maybe that'll happen when you least expect it. It's what happened to me with V. My now ex. I was happy alone. then she came.


Still. Rocky 6? Give us a break ;)

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