Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Free Apple TV and iPhone Updates

Before I get started here, I wanted to make one more comment on yesterday's main topic (the Jobs vs. Gates thing). I finished watching Pirates of Silicon Valley today and I realized that I neglected to point out the irony in how people perceive these two guys. Bill Gates is seen as evil and Steve Jobs as a hero, when in reality it's Gates who's the awesome philanthropist and Jobs who's often just a jerk (the illegitimate child, the anecdote of not hiring the virgin job applicant, etc). Just goes to show, being judgmental is often the wrong way to go. Anyway, the most interesting topic for today was honestly just that Apple is planning on releasing free software updates for the Apple TV and for the iPhone after its release. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time they've done something like this. These aren't just firmware updates or bug patches or something, they're actual feature add-ons. I'm curious as to why they decided to do this. Is it because of Internet chatter that both products were lacking? Is it just a new trend within the company? Or did they always know that they wouldn't have enough time to squeeze out the software they wanted? Anyway, I don't really have anything bad to say about it, I think it's a great idea. I'd rather have to get an update for a product then get a rushed, crappy version.

Another thing from Cuppertino: Apple is working on a deal with Gracenote (a byproduct of a huge "illegal" lyrical database from back in the day) to distribute lyrics with iTunes music. Yahoo Music actually recently brokered a similar deal, but I didn't comment on it because I figure that no one cares about Yahoo Music (sorry, Yahoo, the truth hurts). Could this mean that iPods would start showing lyrics, as well? Would iTunes retroactively fetch lyrics for you? This shall be interesting.

Samsung is projecting that Solid State Drives (SSD) won't overtake conventional hard disk drives anytime soon in pricing. Even its latest price drop makes it 5 times as expensive, but I think people will still be willing to pay a premium when they start to realize that iPods break so easily partially because they're backed by a dinky hard disk drive, which is subject to shock damage quite readily as opposed to the durability of Flash memory.

Google has offered code improvements to the popular open source database MySQL completely free of charge, and now the company is considering additions, which is impressive since they've been closed off about it in recent years. Still, when Google is giving you free code, I think you should probably take it.

I want to talk about a couple of fun products here. The first is a portable grill, which is largely useless but still cool. I guess if you live in an apartment and can't grill on your patio then this may actually make sense. Regardless, it looks damn cool. Also, at the risk of looking like a boozehound, I just think that this booze belt is too cool. So now you can take Jager, Tequila, and shot glasses with you to all your Saturday night party excursions and be the object of all the ladies' desires (for alcohol, that is; not for you).

Lastly, Nissan is working on a car that would cost under $3000, which I think is an awesome idea. What a great thing for low-income families and college students who really need a car (for cities like Houston and San Antonio and such) but can't afford even a decent used car. I think this race to build cheaper cars is a great idea, and will help take back some of the used car market for them.

Grindhouse appears to be on hold for the UK while the Weinsteins figure out how to best sell it to British audiences. The movie bombing stateside was a huge shock, and I'm sure that now they're just scrambling to make back at least their budget. I still have no idea what went wrong, unless it was just the length of the movie and its inside-joke campiness value.

We have strong rumors that Eric Roberts, of "Heroes" fame, was cast as the mob boss villain this time around in The Dark Knight. Not much else to say about that, but he really is a good actor who is just not appreciated much.

AICN got another 28 Weeks Later review, and it sounds like it's a worthwhile watch. It's no 28 Days Later, but sounds better than the average horror flick.

Lastly, we have a final one-sheet for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I think is a bit early. The movie doesn't come out until mid-June, do we need the final poster right now? Anyway, it looks very much in the style of the previous movie posters, so it's pretty good, but nothing especially amazing (unlike the trailer, which was badass as I had remarked last night).

Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:

Today's topic isn't very useable, so we'll just do some word association:

Grits (oatmeal)

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