Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Why Google Likes Litigation

I was not intending to post tonight because I have an OOP exam tomorrow night, but I decided that I could limit myself to a few articles because there are some things I really want to talk about, so I think I can get this post done and shower by 11:00 PM. Ok, *cracks knuckles*, let's get started! I really like this article's perspective on Google just eating up the litigation they're facing with YouTube. I know, it sounds stupid, just think about it for a second though. YouTube's major competitor really is MySpace, when you think about it. Sites like VideoEgg and Stage6 aren't really getting anywhere, and iFilm seems much more controlled and moderated than run by the people like YouTube is. In fact, if you look at iFilm two years ago and iFilm today, you'll see that it looks a lot more like a cross between Digg and YouTube. Again, a testament to YouTube's authority. However, MySpace really has grown in its own right and managed to get a lot of legitimate support and viewership, and that large audience is what makes YouTube what it is as well. So back to the point: without Google, there's no doubt that YouTube would eventually die. I don't care how idealistic you are, there's no way in Hell it was going to survive copyright issues on its own, and with News Corp's backing it's very likely that MySpace would take the throne. This leaves Google screwed though because Google Video never picked up the steam they wanted it to, plagued by an inherent lack of popularity and a strange UI. So what do you do? You help fight lawsuits, you move forward into making it legitimate, you keep all that DRM ugliness out of the picture, you bring in non-obtrusive advertising, and you become a very rich hero. Google has already proven that it can't duplicate YouTube's success on its own, so this is their only shot for a while at making video advertising a reality. Let's see if it actually works out now.

The other really article I wanted to visit is a topic I haven't touched on in a while: the Zune. The article talks about five ways to fix it, but I think it needs a little more work than that. I think that this is their shot to compete with iTunes and they're totally missing out. It's becoming more and more clear to me that people are getting frustrated with iTunes and are settling for it because there's nothing better out there, not because they adore it. Yes, they do need to exploit WiFi more and they do need to address DRM and the price does need to drop, but if they don't go above and beyond the call of duty here then they're going to get slammed by the iPod again. I'm fully aware of what an inferior product the iPod is on the inside, so why hasn't Microsoft made me aware of why the Zune should get my money instead?

Back to Google just for a brief moment: the rumors about the Google Phone seem to have kind of faded away. It seems like they're more focused on mobile applications, not on the hardware itself. This could just be a cover-up, but it sounds genuine.

Lots of reviewers have gotten their hands on the Apple TV, including the Wall Street Journal. It sounds like a solid product, but nothing more than what it looks like: a device that plays audio/video/photographic content from your computer on your modern-day television set. It has no online capabilities as such, nor is it compatible with old-school sets, nor can it record televised content, nor can it play your DVDs. I think it will succeed because it's very good at what it does do, and it makes the whole experience very robust. However, this will not impress tech heads, but hopefully for Apple it will impress the average consumer (if they market it properly, which is half of what they do anyway).

There's a security update for Firefox called, you might want to get it.

Yahoo Movies has some HD content for Spider-man 3, and I don't think it's anything new, but it is really pretty since it's in Quicktime HD.

It looks like the Wachowski Brothers have decided that Emile Hirsch, of The Girl Next Door fame, is to be Speed Racer in their adaptation of the popular animated series. He's a pretty decent actor, and it looks like they want a filming style similar to 300 so I'm really interested in seeing a teaser trailer for this one.

Remember that World War II thriller than Bryan Singer wanted to work on? Well, it turns out that Tom Cruise has been cast in it. No idea who he'll be, but the movie supposedly centers around a plot by German generals to assassinate Hitler. Maybe he'll be Hitler since it's the "starring role"? After all, he practically owns United Artists these days. Say what you will about his personal life, but I think he's a very versatile actor, so I think this is good news.

Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:

List your top five methods of goofing off.
5. Webcomics - I check Dilbert, Ctrl Alt Del, Questionable Content, and Penny Arcade, at least, daily
4. Forums - Mainly the ACM forums nowadays
3. Facebook - Not as much as most people, but I still mess around on it.
2. Gaim - I type faster than I talk, so chatting is fairly fun and time-consuming
1. Gmail - if it's not sending e-mails then it's chatting with people on Google Talk
Honorable Mentions: Digg, Blogging, Napping

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