Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To Boycott or Not to Boycott

Usually when you think of a boycott it's a pretty big deal and a historical landmark since it's so hard to successfully organize them. I'm sure that everyone remembers hearing in grade school about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and now people aren't too happy about the next generation of DVD. Not to say that it's nearly as big a deal as racial equality, but it is rather provocative. The people who are uneducated about it don't really want to adapt to a new format and those who know something about it either think it's revolutionary or see past the propaganda to some of the harsh realities, which I've actually brought up briefly in a previous post. One guy wants to initiate an actual boycott, and I'm actually starting to feel inclined to agree with him. On one hand, you know that there's better quality than DVD, you hate it when you get errors with them sometimes (especially when it's a scratch), and you may have a PS2 and want to upgrade to a PS3 because of a sequel to your favorite game or something. The former two are fixed by the new formats, but did you know that the MAPI and RIAA think that DRM is worth at least as much as human life? That means they're going to work extra hard (and have had some crazy ideas in this vein in the past) to build it into this new format. If you jumped on the HD bandwagon early on, it's unlikely that you'll even get to experience the full effect of these new formats! And are DVDs really so bad that we need a new format right now? There seems to be more negatives than positives, but in all fairness, neither format has been released yet so it may be prudent to wait a little longer before we take to the streets here.

Click to enlargeA Chinese company has created a dual core mp3 player, which apparently could present higher quality sound but since mp3 player software isn't too complex I don't quite know what this would mean internally. Doesn't get you throwing your iPod in the trash, eh? Well SanDisk is looking to steal market share away from the iPod Nano, which has been lagging in sales recently (I'll get to this next), by offering more features (e.g. built-in voice recording, FM tuner) at a better price point, but I don't think the $20 gap is enough. Plus, there's the FairPlay issue to consider, but I'll admit that it's the best-looking competitor to the Nano that I've seen. Meanwhile, one research firm believes that Apple's next 60 GB iPod (which everyone speculates to be released very soon) will feature Bluetooth functionality for wireless headphones. They also estimate more capacity or lower pricing for their Nano series because sales have been lagging, which I would attribute more to the widespread scratching scandal. Microsoft had a double-whammy today: not only are they going to delay Vista until 2007 due to software manufacturers' requests, but they're also planning to release new versions of IE on a yearly basis now! I think the Vista delay has more to do with their own QA problems than they're claiming, and I can almost guarantee that the latter is due to Firefox's growing market share. Samsung is planning to be the first to launch 32 GB Flash disk drives to serve as secondary storage for computers to replace HDD, but no one seems to point out that flash memory has a limited number of erase-write cycles, which may mean they'll last longer than current hard drives despite being faster and smaller. Lastly, Google has released its answer to Yahoo! Finance in beta form, and while the main page isn't as attractive the individual pages for companies are pretty slick.

DreamWorks finally started spilling some official beans about the third Shrek movie: it will be called Shrek the Third and the plot is largely what we knew before regarding Shrek and Fiona looking for an heir. AICN got a few words out of M. Night Shayamalan about Lady in the Water being a bedtime story, and it really sounds like a movie he's making from the heart so I expect good things. IESB used a child to garner from the head honcho over at Fox that the Wolverine spinoff movie will be a prequel to the X-men films, which I would've expected given his rich past but wasn't sure if they wanted to include it in a later film in the series itself. Cool Hunting got a vidcast about A Scanner Darkly animation style from the people behind it while at SXSW and that's what really makes the movie worth seeing, in my opinion (plus a topless animated Winona). The 7th Annual Quentin Tarantino Film Festival will be in Austin (as always, since Austin rocks) at the end of April, and if I had the money to spare I'd go to it because he's definitely going to bring out some great, obscure films (since he watches way too many of them). Oh, and Tarantino will be there in the flesh. Lastly, Adult Swim will start putting entire episodes from their lineup online starting next Monday, which chalks up one more win for IPTV (don't forget about In2TV).

I'm going for the Ten on Tuesday meme this week:

10 Things You Worry About
10. Getting a beer belly when I get older.
9. My dad's job.
8. Getting a good job after college.
7. Finding a great girl who's available.
6. My parents or brother dying before I'm ready for them to (which I guess would be never).
5. Getting into a car accident.
4. Maintain my GPA this semester.
3. Finding a good apartment for next school year.
2. My hard driving failing one day unexpectedly.
1. Dying alone :(


Connie said...

don't worry too much..or u'll have wrinkles to worry about.. hahah :)

Wil said...

We come into this world alone; we die alone. What matters is the life in between.

Your hard drive will fail. It's only a matter of when, not if.

Now, you seem pretty knowledgeable about the tech world these days. What do you recommend as a personal mp3 and video music machine that isn't an ipod?