Wednesday, October 11, 2006

DVD Retailers Get Defensive

So I have a huge Automata Theory test tomorrow, but I didn't want to miss this post, so I'm just going to blaze through it as fast as humanly possible here. Sorry if it's less dense than you'd prefer. It's no secret that Apple has joined a number of other companies in selling digital copies of movies online, and they're usually cheaper than what their price off a Target/Walmart/ shelf would be. Well, they're none too happy about it and are demanding that they get deals on the wholesale of these movies as well. Will they get their wish? Given that the movie industry has been in a self-pronounced slump for a while, I'm going to go with, "no." I cannot emphasize how stupid these retailers are. First of all, Apple was not the first to sell movies online, so why raise a fuss about it all of a sudden? Secondly, they're already losing sales to online piracy, would they really rather lose even more sales to piracy than have other legal services pick up that slack and put money into making more, better movies? Thirdly, online purchases of movies are not likely to exceed demand for physical copies because people are going to have a hard time getting used to the idea of not having a hard copy and the portability that comes with it. Fourthly, these online purchases don't even have special features, much like when you see the movies on television, so why is a couple of bucks less such a big deal? And lastly, what will they do with that extra shelf space? People's demand for movies aren't going to just go down dramatically, so they'll be forgoing revenue. I think they're bluffing. If they do reduce shelf space they'll just be driving demand from themselves and onto online outlets, which will screw them over even more. Face it Walmart, the cards aren't in your hands for once, they're in the studios' hands.

Google has finally done something I was hoping for: they've combined Writely and Google Spreadsheets into Google Docs, which is like a Google Office that you can easily access with a pretty short URL. It's obviously still not a substitution for normal word/spreadsheet processing applications, but it's a good free alternative, especially when portability and collaboration are key. While I'm on Google, someone has made yet another clever mashup that combines Google Maps with Happy Hour listings in lots of areas of the country. It's obviously still a growing site, but something to keep your eye on no doubt. Apple nabbed a patent for Home on iPod, which would allow you to transfer your "home" directory from your Mac onto your iPods as a backup or I suppose to use those apps and files on another machine. It's a pretty decent idea, especially with how ridiculously large the iPod's capacity is getting nowadays. Click to enlargeSamsung has created the world's first 10 MP camera phone. Why? I have no clue. More megapixels really isn't that good, and I don't know why someone would pay over $900 for a phone with that functionality when they can get a better camera and a different phone for probably the same price. Still, it looks cool. Lastly, if you like watching tv from your computer like me, then you'll fall in love with FreeTube.

I was going to skip the movie news in the interest of time, but the trailer for Grind House was just so awesome that I decided to press on. It's clearly an homage to old school horror flicks, and you must watch it. It's going to be hard for me to get over how cool that trailer is. There's also a pretty neat poster out there for David Fincher's Zodiac if anyone's interested. Lastly, look forward to a trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Happy Feet on November 17.

Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:

Tell us about a woman who has done something you think is noteworthy. It could be a musician, a scientist, an athlete, or even your daughter.
I don't know why, but Grace Hopper comes to mind. She was a distinguished computer scientist who created the first compiler ever, and I think that's a pretty neat thing to have done in such a male-dominated field.

1 comment:

Russ said...

Thanks for humping, and thanks for teaching us about a notable woman most of us have never heard of!