Hawk's Nest

Monday, October 31, 2005

ZDNet: The future of TV

Make your own line-up. With a PVR, I do this everyday. I rarely watch any TV in real time. And I don't want to. I want to download or subscribe to programming that I can choose a la cart. I don't need to pay for everything I'm not watching. Just for what I do.

Yes, there will always be users of a more traditional model. But as the economics drive distribution closer to the originators of content, providers for the old models will become scarce and less attractive.

Check back with me in ten years.

Appliance Parts from Repairclinic.com - Detailed Appliance Illustration

Saturday night we smelled something funny coming from the washing machine. The breaker had been tripped several times in the past few weeks. We thought there was a short in the washing machine. Here's what we found. Resistance makes things heat up.

My Dad and I replaced it last night.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Shyamalan: Day-and-date 'life or death to me'

So, this is going to get me in hot water with a lot of movie goers...I don't care. This is about releasing movies simultaneously on DVD and in theaters. M. Night's claim that the movie theater experience is the art form is an interesting one. If I watch a movie with my family in my "home theater" but don't go out to watch it with 500 strangers, I agree my experience is different. But is the art form? Does it change the nature of the film? I don't see how it would. The same messages, the same effects and the same characters are there. I'm just changing the venue.

Sporting events can be viewed in person or watched on TV simultaneously. Yes, it's a different experience from being there but is it any less entertaining? Everyone literally can't be there at a live event. The same is true of movies...no matter how many times it is showing. If people have a choice to stay at home for a movie release and the market finds a growing number would, why not allow this experience? For many, it's the only experience they can afford. Paying a babysitter and going out to dinner and a movie at least doubles the price of the movie, if not more. I could own a copy of the movie for the same price a one-time experience in a theater costs. I don't have to be bothered by the people talking around me, the obnoxious kids around front, inept parents who bring crying babies and "in your face" unsolicited commercials. I'm an introvert. I don't thrive on this public experience. So why not make room for the rest of us?!

Will there be fewer theaters if this transition takes place? Probably. Will they go away completely? I don't think so. You will always have people who want to see the "live event" but then you'll have people like me. Isn't there room for both of us?

Time Warner Cable :: Start Over

You may have read about this week Time Warner's introduction of the ability to start a program over once it has started. Despite its limitations, the concept is interesting. I'm featuring the link which Time Warner is sending us to as Columbia, SC is the test market for this service. They have the details of what you can do and what channels are included there.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lessons from a Bear of Very Little Brain: The Place of Children's Literature in Education

Reading good books is lost on today's society. I was never forced to read literature and no one ever cultivated my imagination to find the Truth and Beauty of something well-written. I've discovered it on my own.

Sam Torode's essay (above) captures the wonder of classic literature...beginning with Winnie the Pooh. I've been able to share the joy of A.A. Milne's world with my children and look forward to sharing with them the unending rich repository of writing from our past.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Redemption Songs & Stories Tour 2005

Wow! Last night was a great experience. Three of my favorite artists in one place challenging us to think, act and worship. What a great time!

Sara Groves opened, introduced by her two boys the oldest of which was four or five. It was very cute. She was so real as an artist. She loves her craft as it adds to the beauty (the title of her latest album) of the world around us. She reminded us of the quote from Mother Teresa: We cannot all do great things but we can do small things with great love.

Chris Rice is just plain fun. His enthusiasm is infectious. His lyrics are whimsical at times but profound. I remember hearing the "clumsy fly song" (Deep Enough To Dream) for the first time and I knew I'd like this guy. And he surprised me by playing it during his set! His new album, Amusing, sounded great from the stuff he played. Can't wait to hear it all.

Jars of Clay opened with "And They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love" and isn't that what it's all about?! What a set! They've reached into the past with their new album, updating music to traditional hymns. Their in-concert renditions were incredibly vibrant. All of us were singing along, familiar with the words from childhood but hooked into the rhythms and melodies of today. They played a song they wrote for a "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe" CD and did a cover of a Julie Miller tune which will come out in a week or two as an iTunes exclusive. They too surprised me by playing "Flood", "Liquid" and "Love Song For A Savior" from their first album. They took some time to share their hearts about a work they've started in Africa called blood:water mission. I encourage you to hear their vision to provide clean water and blood to our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Measuring the World: From Material to Ethereal - New York Times

Without a standard, we'd never know what a real kilogram or meter was. And so many others results would be without measure.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

First Look Special: Apple Computer iPod (5G) with Video

I must admit, I was excited to hear about this announcement. After reviewing the details, the jury is out for me. Just how good/bad is the video resolution on the TV out from the Video iPod? I'll have to see a store demo.

The best part of the announcement, though, was the first mainstream delivery of downloadable TV shows for $2. New episodes of shows like Lost will be available the day after it airs. The concept is on target. But is it the delivery of something consumers want to have? Video resolution at 320x240 is too low to make it compelling unless there is some software magic that makes the picture good. I think if this were to be increased and deals were made to deliver TV from all studios, consumers could start to re-evaluate their cable bills. Why pay for unwatched content on cable when you can download only the content you want and keep it? Especially if the business model includes subscriptions.

We'll see how it all plays out. We're not quite there yet but Apple took us one step forward.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Slashdot | Google & Sun Planning Web Office

NOT! Or at least they're not saying explicitly that this is the case. Only hedging around the idea. The announcement between Sun Microsystems and Google today was unimpressive. Bundling JRE with the Google Toolbar and vice versa??!! If you follow the initial speculation about the announcement, you would have expected a lot more...like a commitment to the above web office. Even the way off speculation about a WebOS in the post cited by Slashdot can now be answered...it's Java!

From a business perspective, it's really bad news. Will I require a certain JRE version on my desktops to run the toolbar? How can I load or update it if I'm not an administrator? And speaking of updates, where are the pieces to make these updates available in my enterprise?

Lots of question, lots of disappointment. Google just went down a notch.

P.S. I'm not the only one disappointed in a webcast which was so slammed the first 15 minutes that I couldn't hear the big news. Just read the comments like "much ado about nothing" and "tremendous letdown"

**UPDATE (10-5-05, 12:10am) Many tech bloggers are weighing in...Om Malik, Techdirt, even Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and are equally down on this non-event. Mary Jo Foley has some thoughts on GoogleOffice as compared to Microsoft Office if it ever does show up.

Monday, October 03, 2005

New Orleans seafood safe to eat again - experts | Reuters.com

Somehow I don't think I'll be rushing to get some fish from this lake, no matter what the experts say.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fire and Knowledge--Children, Computers, and Education

Joshua makes a great point about the $100 laptop project at MIT. I commend his comments. But more than those, I commend the entire essay,
Informing Ourselves To Death, which he links to by Neil Postman. I've always admired Postman's thought as a critique of culture and technology. Since I "do technology" for a living, I'm very cognizant of the role it plays in my life and the life of others. Postman's words give great balance and perspective for any specialist.