I hope you all had a great Christmas! Funny coincidence that my 600th post ended up coinciding with Christmas day, but it wasn't planned at all. I definitely had fun though, and now to start my 601st post. Mark Cuban made a post about HDTV and how broadcast networks are missing the high-def bandwagon, and I think he makes a great point, for once. I think it's only a matter of time before HD sets are as affordable as big-screen CRTs were just a few years ago and everyone will be buying one. I think people definitely care about quality in something as big as a television set because it's the one thing you can turn to when you're tired after a long day and want to just veg out. HD sets are already selling like hot cakes, and those sales aren't poised to slow down any time soon. What's questionable though is whether it'll really clobber Internet TV. The thing about Internet TV is that it's on demand and it's easy to share. People love talking about television (we are social beings), and so it's much easier to send someone a URL rather than trying to recount what they saw. Hence, the way user-generated videos on YouTube have spread like wildfire. I'm not nearly as confident in ISPs increasing bandwidth as more and more people purchasing HD sets, so I'll cede that content online will be lower quality, but that shouldn't suggest that it's not a great market for advertisers. With a company like Google or Yahoo acting as the middle man, I think it could become huge. And that, my friends, is what Mark Cuban fails to realize. Still, he had some great points.
Speaking of online video, Wired has a list of some of the best videos of the year, and they actually have a pretty good list. The best, by far, is the evolution of dancing one. That one is a must-see. Also on this video thread here, I found a neat little Flash animation explaining how widescreen really does give you more picture than full screen. So remember, never buy a movie in full screen format. You may or may not remember how a while ago there was a big controversy among geeks about using encryption to counter traffic shaping from ISPs so people with such horrible ISPs can still use BitTorrent. Well, TorrentFreak made a pretty great post about why encryption really isn't as bad as Bram Cohen (inventor of this whole protocol) would have you believe. I haven't seen such a good list of argument on this topic before, so I just had to share it. I personally use uTorrent myself, which is encryption enabled. Paint .NET has come out with a beta of v3.0 with tabs, and it's definitely a nice upgrade. I use Paint .NET more than any other photo editor because it's clean, fast, simple, and free, and it's really the best in photo editing freeware. The new filters are especially fun. Lastly, this list is a nice aggregation of the best programmer quotes/quips around. The best one is really #5; it's so true.
There was some rather sad news over the weekend: James Brown passed away yesterday morning, likely from pneumonia, but the details are currently undisclosed. He's the first really huge music icon to die in quite a while, and though he hasn't made a new album in a good while, there's no doubt that he'll be missed. Capone at AICN saw Children of Men and has reinforced what we were all hoping for: it's an incredible movie. These Latin American directors are really taking over Hollywood with the top films of the year! The teaser trailer for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (which I wasn't even aware was the title) is now at Apple Trailers, and it's pretty amazing. I can't believe I'm saying that this movie actually interests me, but I am. And not just because Jessica Alba is in it, though that is as good a reason as any. Lastly, check out this poster for Catch and Release featuring Kevin Smith in a speaking role. Of course, it also has the very talented Jennifer Garner, but Kevin Smith just never talks in movies, so I'm really curious to see this.
Now for the Tuesday Twosome:
1. Top two Favorite Movies.
Kill Bill and The Matrix
2. Top two Favorite Actors.
Al Pacino and Robin Williams
3. Top two Favorite Actresses.
Uma Thurman and Kristen Bell
4. Top two Favorite TV Shows.
24 and Seinfeld
5. Top two Favorite TV Musicians.
Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Tom Morello (Audioslave)