Hawk's Nest

Thursday, December 29, 2005

LA Daily News - Will ON DEMAND kill the supply of prime-time TV?

We are in a time of technological shift which I embrace. TV is a powerful medium consumed by most everyone. Part of its power has not just been its content, but the ability to control our lives because of the content. The paradigm has always been that in order to partake of content, you needed to schedule to be available at a certain time. For a lot of us, that changed in the 80's with the advent of the VCR. In a primitive and very analog way, we time-shifted our programming to a more convenient hour. But most people couldn't program their VCR appropriately so it never broke a hold that scheduling had on our lives. But now that's changing.

have made time-shifting easier. On-demand programming has made recording scheduled programming unnecessary. And now downloadable content like TV from Apple's iTunes breaks the slavery to the paradigm of the past.

I've been waiting for this shift. Are there other ramifications due to this change...like more TV watching instead of less? I'm sure. But I already control how much I watch and with technology, when I watch. This last element has influenced our social interactions and culture at large. Now due to technological advances, that hold that the TV schedule has had on our lives is crumbling. I agree it may be a while before those bonds are completely broken but anything to speed us to that day of freedom is welcome.

Nick's Cultural Revolution - New York Times

It is outrageous to see a media giant plotting to overthrow a culture because it doesn't agree with the culture's values. It is interested in promoting its vision of society upon undiscerning minds so ultimately it can make money. And it has no problem destroying something which has been in place for literally thousands of years.

In the U.S., the revolution has been much easier. Our short history as a republic has been untested for the long term. Democratic rights as interpreted in this culture have brought us to a very different place in a very short time. Kid programming from Viacom has helped supplement this revolution and created a faster mechanism for spreading moral toxicity throughout the culture.

With a breakdown of traditional structures and moral guidelines to embracing the unthinkable, our society's days are numbered. One need only look to the ancient past to see the collapse of cultures. Rome became so weakened from within it could be overthrown from without. Put more succinctly by the great historian Will Durant, "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within."

Viacom is accomplishing this in the U.S. With China in its sites, the decline of a great civilization is only a matter of time.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

He, through whom time was made, was made in time; and He, older by eternity that the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world; He, who made man, was made man; He was given existence by a mother whom He brought into existence; He was carried in hands which He formed; He nursed at breasts which He filled; He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy -- this Word without which human eloquence is speechless!

-- Augustine of Hippo, Sermon on Christmas (via Al Mohler)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: The iPod Zepto: Inconceivably Small.

Get a jump on MacWorld and see this new device!

Monday, December 19, 2005

ReplayTV to power Hauppauge cards

My ReplayTV is dead...long live ReplayTV?? That's what this latest news seems like. I've been an avvid user for several years and now I know for sure I won't be replacing my unit with another ReplayTV appliance if mine dies. Will I opt for a video card with software? Will I opt for a Media Center PC? How about an Mac mini media center (TBA)? And the ever-growing options of Tivo?

The field is full of contenders and I'm not sure where to go next. There are pluses and minuses for each and some are just emerging. Hopefully, my unit will be around for a while but stay tuned to see if one of the options becomes the most likely candidate for my home watching experience.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Literacy Falls for Graduates From College, Testing Finds - New York Times

Watching TV abounds and it's affecting our kids. Video gaming is on the rise, too.. The result:
When the test was last administered, in 1992, 40 percent of the nation's college graduates scored at the proficient level, meaning that they were able to read lengthy, complex English texts and draw complicated inferences. But on the 2003 test, only 31 percent of the graduates demonstrated those high-level skills. There were 26.4 million college graduates.

The college graduates who in 2003 failed to demonstrate proficiency included 53 percent who scored at the intermediate level and 14 percent who scored at the basic level, meaning they could read and understand short, commonplace prose texts.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

And Today I Was Crowned...

No, I didn't move overseas or discover some lost lineage. No, this was a crown of the toothy kind. I've personally never had anything worse than a filling. But today that all changed.

I had no idea how a crowning worked but this Wikipedia article does a very decent job going through the steps. It took about 1.5 hours and the weirdest part was the local anesthesia. When it was all over, I felt like half my tongue was swollen as big as my mouth and I couldn't feel the right side of my mouth or jaw. All normal. At one point, I felt an itch I couldn't stratch on my face. Couldn't scratch it no matter how hard I tried...really strange. It took about 3-4 hours for it all to wear off. No residual pain just soreness.

Since the 1st crown is temporary, I get to go back for the real one once it's tailor made for my tooth. Shouldn't be as bad. Oh well, more fun.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Google Print, Part 4

Well, it's not over folks. I reported to you at the above link that my friend had a story about how Google Print helped him find a photograph of his Great Uncle Earl Robichau. Now word arrive this weekend from Google that
we will be running a national ad campaign, running in major cities across the country, which will include quotes from Google Book Search users and authors. I am excited to tell you that we would like to include you in our campaign!

Wow! Robichau will be a household name...maybe not but it's nice to take an active part in defending a legitimate service which is under attack without cause.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Decembers seem to be a time for fantasy and this year was no exception. I organized a group to embark into the land of Narnia and there was much to see and enjoy. Now, this is no Lord of the Rings. Comparisons are to be expected but to be fair, this film needs to stand or fall on its own...not as a "lite" version of Peter Jackson's masterpieces (in my opinion). That said, many aspects of the film were delightful translations of the book. Lucy, Edmund, Mr. Tumnus, Aslan and the Professor all were as expected. Edmund may not have been as obsessed with Turkish Delight as I remember, but overall, they were endearing.

The obvious addition of the river sequence was a bit thin and the battle scene was more lavicious than the book sequence. But overall, I'd visit Narnia again...for some of the characters and especially for Narnia itself. I had the same desire for exploration that I had during Lord of the Rings because I enjoy alternatively-conceived worlds. Translating those from the mind's eye to the screen is a tricky task. In this case, the important elements worked and made me hungry for more.

Thanks to C.S. Lewis, I don't need to wait and it's always a good sign when I'm wanting to continue my journeys immediately by reading the classic literature it's based on. So I'll settle into the canon of Narnia for now and enjoy the movie again in the future because it takes me to a place I've loved most of my life without spoiling it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Christmas Party & A Birthday, 50 Years In The Making

The elves delivered on their handiwork at the Christmas party today. We always give our faithful leader a gift representing the year. Our theme this year was LOST. Half of us follow the show and we've taken tests to figure out which character we are. So we put the LOST characters like Locke, Kate, Hurley, etc. in places our boss frequents (some samples to the right). He loved it!

Then we surprised him for his 50th birthday by having staff sticky note his office while we were out at our party. Very fun!

Happy Birthday DE from "The Hawk"!

Christmas Party

It's Christmas party day at work.
The elves have been busy.
All is ready for an enjoyable time.

Google: Ten Golden Rules - Issues 2006 - MSNBC.com

Worthy of review...and putting into practice.