It's funny, the only news I had leftover when I closed the articles in technology that I didn't really care to talk about were related to the Zune! So I guess you're going to get a couple of paragraphs about that today. It was released today and guess what? Maybe about ten people cared. Anecdotal reports were rather dismal, and people generally didn't seem to know about it. In fact, I just told a friend that it flopped and she asked me what a Zune was. So first step when trying to take on the iPod, kids, is to actually tell people about it! To be honest, I don't think I would've known about it had it not been for me finding articles on it while blogging. I go to one of the biggest universities in the country, so why wasn't news of the Zune plastered all over the walls? And yet, the Vista team is taking out whole page ads about events they're sponsoring in the Austin area. Does Microsoft just not care if this product fails? I just don't get it. They price it right at the iPod, give it WiFi for the stupidest of reasons, and don't even try to show it as better than the iPod. It has a fresh UI and different colors and FM functionality and all that jazz, but if they don't capitalize on it then why wouldn't it flop? It hasn't failed quite yet, mind you, but without any momentum at its release how will it magically pick up the pace unless it gets a next generation model?
As I hinted at in the title though, not all is lost. Microsoft execs have confirmed that they plan on developing a way to reward people for sharing their music over WiFi with Microsoft Marketplace points, which I believe can go towards buying more stuff. I think it's a cool idea since it could help spread interest in off-beat artists, but isn't there any concern of this being abused purely for the points? Maybe they should institute reward point caps within a certain time period or something. And apparently, they're working on adding video sharing to the Zune as well, intended to share user-created content (though not sure how they'd enforce this just as YouTube can't easily enforce copyright infringement issues). I'm not sure that this would be an easy software upgrade and I'm guessing would be a new model of the Zune. They also decided that they'll release a model of the Zune that doubles as a phone, which is surprisingly straightforward compared to Apple shying away from publicly talking about the possibility of an iPhone. Why would they be so open so early? I just don't get it; they're announcing to their competitors what they're about to do. Lastly, the Zune software sounds pretty decent, and you can get the lowdown on it as compared with iTunes over here.
The brothers Weinstein have struck a deal with the devil, as the saying goes. They're only going to be distributing their movies as rentals to Blockbuster in exchange for preferential advertising of their new releases. I'm sorry but that's stupid and shady. Shame on you, Weinstein Co.! Better news though: AICN has a review of Death of a President and it sounds like a pretty solid fake documentary. He clearly states that not everyone will like it, but that it is handled well and tastefully. Yahoo Movies has the trailer for Rocky Balboa, and it's not very good. The dialogue is so flat and stupid, and I hate that it harps so much on creating the underdog character as even more of an underdog. Oh, and just one more thing, the freaking sweet Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix poster:
Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:
Tell me what each word makes you think of.
Dumb Blonde (I'm so sorry, I love blondes and have several blonde friends, that word honestly stimulates that association on first look though)
Just a Little Bit
Can you tell that I'm ready for the wedding? ;)
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