I took a lesson today with a bunch of other co-ops where we learned the basics of Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata, and it was awesome! I'm totally going to have to look into the Texas Latin Dance club when I return to UT. For today's topic, I'm not talking of software interfaces but rather of the so-called "2-foot interface," your computer, and the "10-foot interface," your TV, because of how close you are to them when you use them. The issue at hand is, why do we still not have media center PCs in our living rooms? What happened to the promises of Intel and its Viiv product line? I've addressed this before, but I kind of like the way that Slate handles it better. Simply put, the interest isn't there to use the PC in your living room. When you think about it, we really keep these two interfaces separate, and people would be making a bigger effort to unite them if they really cared for more than just a Tivo. We may use one interface (PC) while using the other (watching TV), but people just don't care enough about merging them. That's why Apple hasn't pulled out those guns yet, but I think they have the power to usher in a PC-based home entertainment system with their simplistic design because I believe that people like simple things. Mp3 players weren't conceived as easy to use and fun and handle until the iPods spread like wildfire and iTunes married your mp3 player to your music collection so elegantly. If anyone could do this for your living room, it's Apple. It's definitely disappointing though that Intel crapped out on everyone and never delivered on its Viiv promises, which even I'll admit I was excited to learn more about. I don't think it's enough to take a wait-and-see approach with hobbyists, but rather you have to make it popular if you want to profit off of. That would be my only dispute with Slate's opinion on the issue.
I have a few followup articles from yesterday, the first one claiming that Steve Jobs didn't bring the excitement to his keynote speech that he usually does. My poor Internet connection wouldn't allow me to watch it myself, but I think the material wasn't good enough for him to really turn it into anything special. However, the fact that he had other presenters come in and help him out wasn't a good sign since he's usually a one-man show. An O'Reilly blog has a look at the new features in Leopard, and they actually look better in this format then when you look at how they were presented, but it's still not a huge upgrade, in my opinion. Engadget compiled a bunch of shots of the Mac Pro if you're interested, but it doesn't physically look much better than a PowerMac to me. On the right side here is Sony's new portable media player called "Mylo," and its form factor may look similar to the PSP but it's actually much cooler. Not only can it play all the standard multimedia, but it supports Skype, IMing, full web browsing (via Opera), and streaming music to other Mylos via iTunes. The only thing I don't like is that bloody MemoryStick format it requires. Now let's switch gears to Microsoft. ExtremeTech is running an article on how Windows Vista is changing the future of PC hardware, but I personally feel that it's the other way around. I think that Vista is a product of the direction they know all these technologies will be in, because they can't be too proactive as far as the support and functionality they support or they'd have even more serious delays. Microsoft has decided to not release Virtual PC for Intel-based Macs and is leaving it to Apple to call for virtualization software that runs on their Universal binary format. I'm guessing that Apple may throw some support in the direction of Parallels. Lastly, Yahoo has unveiled a Search Builder service where you can construct a search engine that only searches certain sites. It sounds neat in theory, but I can't see myself using it. I'm sure that this is meant for mid-sized to large websites rather.
We still don't have a directory for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but we do now know that the release date is November 21, 2008, which is actually a few weeks earlier than I would've expected, but I guess they want Thanksgiving Day weekend revenues. The only other things I have for you today are trailers. The first one is for School for Scoundrels from Weinstein Co, a comedy featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder that looks like it could be funny, but the trailer doesn't really leave you much to have faith in. Latino Review is hosting the trailer for Catch a Fire, featuring Tim Robbins, based on a true story of a man whose country's prejudiced persecution forced him into starting a rebellion, and it looks pretty awesome. I'm starting to enjoy political thriller more and more nowadays, for some reason (V for Vendetta, Syriana, etc). I've heard good things about the trailer for Afro Samurai, but my Internet sucks too much for me to access the site so I hope it's good. Lastly, in case you're as infatuated with Kristen Bell as I am, IGN has some video interviews from Pulse. I couldn't care less about Pulse, I just miss seeing Kristen Bell on my TV since I got through season one of Veronica Mars so quickly.
Now for Tuesday Twosome excitement:
When you were a kid...
1. What two things did you do when it rained?
Sing the "Rain Rain, Go Away" song or take an umbrella with me to school. I wish I could say I ate roasted corn, but I didn't.
2. What two things did you do when you had a rain/snow day and didn't have to go to school?
Watched the news habitually and played video games (or catch up on homework if it was high school). What else is there to do?
3. What two subjects in school were your favorites?
Social Studies and Math. Math always seemed so easy because it was so formulaic (it still is except for discrete math like CS theory courses), and history was just fun to learn about. For a very short while, I wanted to be a historian or something of that sort.
4. Who were two of your best friends?
Honestly, I really didn't have any until high school. I would call my brother one, and I guess a guy in middle school named Joe who I don't keep in touch with anymore (I lost his number, but he changed after middle school anyway).
5. What/who did you dream you would grow up to be?
I was going to be all kinds of things, I just don't remember what. I wanted to do them all simultaneously though, I remember that much.