We're only a couple of days from the annual nerd convention known as Macworld. Even though the only piece of Apple hardware I own is a busted up 1st gen Shuffle (to be fair, I'm going to buy a Nano in May), even I can appreciate this convention. I always keep my eyes glued on it because Steve Jobs historically makes pretty big announcements there. After all, last year he unveiled the iPhone in his Macworld keynote.
I don't know if it's prudent for me to be using Gizmodo as a source for Macworld rumors since they played a dumb prank at CES where they turned off TVs on the show floor and got one reporter banned, but they have a more comprehensive and accurate list than some other places. The one thing I think they are guilty of here is expecting too much out of this keynote. It'll probably only be 60-90 minutes long, and at least a quarter of that will be hashing sales and stuff we already know (movie rentals and DVDs ready-to-rip to Apple TV and iPods/iPhones). Supposedly, a lot of people are saying that there will be an entirely new product announced, though I don't know what it would be really. Some are saying that they'll save WiMax with a super-thin laptop, but that would probably just replace a MacBook. An Apple Tablet is probably just a pipe-dream. We can problem expect new Mactel machines of some sort, maybe even MacBook Pros. It would make sense for them to re-design their computers again after staying with the current one for so long. I don't think we'll see a new iPhone or any new iPods, but I hope we'll have a date for the iPhone SDK and maybe more software updates for the iPhone. I wouldn't be too surprised if we saw a better Apple TV, but I wouldn't count on it (though a price drop would be nice). It should be an interesting keynote, to say the least.
Bad news for net neutrality: AT&T is giving much more serious thought to filtering the Internet now for their customers to strip it of copyrighted content (with the avid support of NBC-Universal) and torrents. What's scary is that they're not alone. No decisions have been made yet, but companies are already surfacing with filtering services. I don't know why these guys think some kid in high school who wants his fix won't find a way around their filtering. I still don't understand how anyone can filter encrypted packets (ala torrents), but I'm sure they all think they have a brilliant plan.
Blu-ray is inching closer to victory with Paramount going Blu-ray only, Universal's HD-DVD exclusivity contract expiring, and New Line following Paramount and Warner to Blu-ray. As if that wasn't enough, a couple of the big players in pornography have decided to sell a few Blu-ray titles as well. So much for their early support of HD-DVD. It's funny that despite several reports of HD-DVD having better quality video, Blu-ray is starting to jump ahead really quickly. I'm sure there's more to this whole thing than meets the eye. After all, Blu-ray does have a higher capacity and its high cost may provide higher margins of profit later when the technology becomes cheaper from economies of scale. In any case, I wouldn't pick up an HD-DVD player, even if it is on sale.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has released a new service called WebStore. It basically just makes it extremely easy to set up your own e-Commerce site at a relatively inexpensive price of $60 a month. The site you set up gives your customers a lot of the same benefits of Amazon.com including related products, fraud protection, etc. What's really cool is that if you're already an Amazon customer then you can shop on any WebStore, which gives any of these guys a built-in customer base. I think this is seriously pretty cool because the layout and everything is very customizable. I know that sounded like an advertisement, but I honestly do think it's pretty cool. I wouldn't mention it if I didn't.
One more thing in technology: how do you recognize a good programmer? I love this article with several high points of what to look for. I think it's entirely true and definitely a must-read for those looking for jobs in tech to understand what qualities about yourself you need to sell and for recruiters/interviewers.
I went to Apple Trailers and watched a lot of trailers. I thought I'd link you guys to some of the best ones I found. I thought the trailer for Speed Racer was interesting, but I worry that it has itself confused between a cartoon and a live action movie. I was a fan of the series as a kid so I naturally hope for the best, and it does have a pretty good cast including Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon, and Roger Allam. You should watch the trailer and judge for yourself. I don't know what to think about the Mamma Mia trailer. It also has a pretty good cast (Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth), but I'm usually not a fan of musicals. Still, this is a pretty big musical and the trailer didn't look bad so I think it could be good. I was sold, however, on the trailer for Cassandra's Dream, though. It's the next Woody Allen flick featuring Colin Farrell and Ewan Mcgregor as brothers who get involved in some bad stuff. I know, that's a pretty bad synopsis, but the trailer really is intriguing. Plus, I haven't seen enough Woody Allen movies The last trailer I liked was for Wanted, which includes James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Common, and Morgan Freeman. It's based on the Mark Millar graphic novel of the same title and is about a dude who inherits the legacy of being part of this brotherhood of assassins that kills other, bad assassins. This plot line sounds familiar but I cannot think of what it is I'm trying to remember (please comment if you know what I'm thinking of). Anyhow, the trailer is fun and worth a glance.
Back to the Saturday 9:
1. Do you have a former lover who you feel is “the one who got away”?
Well I have one who I feel did get away, and I do miss her, but I don't think I'd quite give her that title yet.
2. Do you have a nickname? If yes, do you like it?
Not really, though I've acquired a few random ones: E, Easy E, Tiger, Eptiger, Shawn...
3. Did you go to theater, museums, or art galleries growing up?
Just museums. I probably only went to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts only a handful of times (usually during museum week), but I worked at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for a few summers so I got pretty familiar with that (plus I got in the exhibits for free so I liked that).
4. What shoes are you wearing right at this moment?
I'm barefoot =O
5. What do people who know you think is your best feature?
Do I really have a best feature? I don't know, but I kinda hope it'd be my passion for stuff. I think it's hard to stick around in this industry without passion.
6. What do you like on your pizza?
Pepperoni, mushrooms, BBQ chicken, feta cheese, or pineapple. Those are what come to mind right now (of course not all together though).
7. Do you believe people who curse generally do so because of a lack of vocabulary?
Not really. I curse (not excessively, but when I'm really mad about something I do) and I have a pretty decent vocabulary. I think when I read when I was a kid I would just really absorb words for some reason so I became pretty good at spelling.
8. How well do you sing?
On a scale from 1 to 10, probably a 4. I'm not unbearable, but I wouldn't sing except at church or with my guitar accompanying me. I can be coerced into doing karaoke on occasion.
9. How well do you get along with your family?
Fairly well. We're not extremely close (I'm closer to my brother and sister-in-law than my parents), but we don't have any inherent problems, just the standard oddities of being a family.
Tech News Weekly 41: Hot and Cold Wallet
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