An article is making its way around the net today, a letter written to Roger Ebert by an Oscar-winning editor and sound engineer, Walter Murch, decrying a fundamental flaw in 3D filmmaking that he assures us ruins the entire idea. Despite Murch’s depth of experience in the film industry, I think he’s off the mark in this assessment. So hopefully I can dispel some of the incomplete… → Read More
On Wednesday, it was announced that a game called Minecraft had hit a million sales. This probably isn’t the first time that you, a denizen of the internet, have heard that word. But unless you’re in the habit of following up on every mention of every indie game you happen to see, there’s a good chance this particular title might have slipped under your radar.
So what is this Minecraft, and why… → Read More
As we saw teased before CES, the Star Wars Trilogy (along with those other ones) is indeed to be re-released on Blu-Ray in September (you can pre-order now). The fan relationship with this franchise is perhaps the most complicated one in the entertainment world, for various reasons, and while I have no doubt that the new release will see millions of sales, it’s a legitimate question to ask whether… → Read More
There really aren’t any signs pointing to the iPad 2 being that much different from the current model. It’s not bigger or smaller (any smaller and it’s a “tweener” and any larger is impractical, according to Jobs), but it’s possible that they could put out something that’s arguably the same size, yet a different shape. I mean, I don’t seriously expect it to happen; it’s much more likely that it’ll… → Read More
Contemplating the shortcomings of the younger generation has ever been a hobby of the elder. As I start to transition to the latter population (perhaps a bit early for my age), I’ve found myself worrying more and more about the kids, and how little they seem to appreciate things. That kind of complaint is neither constructive or original. But the fact is that the kids are growing up pretty weird… → Read More
A new federal investigation is focusing on the legality of supply line leaks and their consequences on Wall Street. The poster boy for this would have to be Apple, around which an entire manufacturing and distribution channels has grown, and which is now too big to plug every leak — especially now that memetically propagating news magnifies every murmur into a clamor, for better or for … → Read More
A few nights ago, I was discussing with a friend the practicability of putting content behind a paywall. He felt it was an outdated notion and that advertising or some other method would pay. I disagree. Despite recent setbacks, like the decimation of the Times UK’s readership during their paywall experiment, I think that the paywall will eventually succeed, and even thrive — but the… → Read More
The new Nook Color has been revealed, and it’s a 7″ Android tablet with a color LCD touchscreen. Talk about bringing a knife to a knife fight when someone else already brought a gun.
It was the wrong move for Barnes & Noble to change horses mid-race. The only thing e-readers (and this is supposed to be an e-reader, make no mistake) have as a defense against the tablet onslaught is their… → Read More
It wasn’t that long ago, as far as history goes, that the ideal car was a hulk of convenience, a bench-seated, chrome-plated, three-ton luxury missile. This ideal had many aspirants, but perhaps the one who most embodied it was the Cadillac, perhaps even the ’59 pictured. That’s more of a matter for vintage car enthusiasts, but it occurred to me that this particular car has a lot of things in… → Read More
One of the major issues I’ve been seeing raised internationally in the last year is that of fresh water shortage. Do you remember that striking visualization of the entirety of our planet’s fresh water pictured next to the salt and the rest of the planet? Do you remember reading how in 20 or 30 years, populations will have expanded so much that fresh water will be “the new oil”? Like so many… → Read More
Invitations are going out for Apple’s next event, and it’s looking to be all about the Mac, as opposed to the last few, which have been primarily iOS-related. The only clue we’re given is that we’ll “see what’s new for the Mac on October 20, including a sneak peek of the next major version of Mac OS X.” That doesn’t sound like a 7″ iPad to me.
Let’s take a look at the rumors and speculation of… → Read More
Wanting to get into photography or upgrade your current camera doesn’t always mean you’ve got disposable income. But if you’re serious about your hobby, you’re always ready to drop some money. Let’s see what you can get for a few common budgets. → Read More
As Facebook expands its territory and allows for more and richer content, its responsibilities towards that content (and their users, and the law, etc.) become deeper and more complicated. While the structure of Facebook isn’t nearly as permissive as, say, a private message board or tracker site, the sheer amount of activity produced by hundreds of millions of users demands a level of vigilance… → Read More
The image accompanying this post is encoded with JPEG compression, a standard which, while it has been improved somewhat, has been more or less in its present form for almost two decades now. Over those two decades, images have changed their role on the web dramatically, and consequently the number and quality of images on the web have been increasing exponentially. Yet the way we make those… → Read More
So I had to go pick up a new wireless router yesterday, and picked up a plain $35 Netgear one. Checking the back, I noticed this amazing, amazing panel, full of the most misleading garbage I’ve seen in a long time. Netgear should be ashamed of themselves. Let’s just take a look at what’s wrong with this panel. → Read More
There will be many times you will want to remember during your years at college, and many you will be unable to remember. In both cases you’ll be glad to have taken pictures, though you may wish to keep them off Facebook. And of course there is the whole question of what you’re going to take these pictures with. Well, there’s no shortage of cameras to choose from, but depending… → Read More
Canon and Nikon, the photography world’s Hatfields and McCoys, have both recently released new DSLRs and compact manuals. While all of them are certainly excellent cameras, they’re clearly gunning for each other and a quick perusal of all their specs seems in order. → Read More
We’ve seen a lot of TVs announced before and during IFA this year. That makes sense — it’s a consumer electronics show, after all. And I guarantee that most if not all of those sets will have their 3D capability touted. It’s a dangerous move, since so many consumers are wary of 3D — not enough content, bulky glasses, headaches, and so on. So there’s been some… → Read More
Apple’s new lineup has been announced: A new iPod touch with a Retina display and dual cameras, a bite-sized touchscreen Nano, a sandwich-sized stream-only Apple TV, and updates to both iTunes and iOS, improving their social and gaming capabilities.
Inventor: Paul Allen Filed: August 27, 2010 Abstract: A method for preventing innovation, specifically in the tech sector, by way of a dangerous misconception of what is patentable and a sadly overtaxed intellectual property regulatory system. Summary of the Invention: During a period of change and invention, ideas may occur to a person, and a few possible ways of manifesting those ideas. By… → Read More
Much ink has been spilled, and many a pixel lit, on objects to which people feel an unreasonable loyalty. Blood, too, depending on whether you’re willing to classify the likes of Crusaders and soccer hooligans as fanboys. And why not? These rivalries, from the biblical to the forum-bound, all have a certain distinctive unreason to them. Yet there is nothing more reasonable than sticking by your… → Read More
Making predictions about the end of this or that technology or institution must be a fun hobby — so many seem to have taken it up. It’s probably because you can’t lose: not only do such predictions promote discussion and visibility of the issue, but they are rarely proven wrong. After all, predicting something happening five years in the future allows for enough change to happen… → Read More
Google Books is one of the most straightforward projects in the Google meta-project of cataloguing and indexing every piece of data in the world. The human race has, after all, only been literate for around five or six thousand years, which makes the task measurable, if not easy. The project is also interesting for many other reasons — social, technological, and logistical. The impact of all… → Read More
The Magic Trackpad (if I must call it that) has generated some controversy on the TC network. MG thinks it signals the end of the mouse era. I think it’s a great tool but is being lauded by a group of people unfamiliar with decent mice (read: Mac users). I happen to love both Apple’s trackpads and great mice at the same time, but it seems to me that we’re overlooking the real… → Read More
With the announcement of the $99 Ocean Reader Copia Tablet we are entering familiar territory. As you probably remember, netbooks went through the same race to the bottom as ebooks and this Ocean Reader is the first of the lot to hit our shores with any fanfare.
Amazon announced the Kindle 3 last night, and it doesn’t look too shabby at all. The most important part is the inclusion of the next-generation E-Ink display, previously only found in the too-big-for-casual-use Kindle DX. (The low price, $139 for the Wi-Fi version, certainly doesn’t hurt.) Immediately following the announcement, I saw something that confused me. For whatever reason, it seems… → Read More
Earlier today on the Ron & Fez show on Sirius XM, the great Ron Bennington made an astute point: Comic-Con may be too big for its own good. It used to be a place where geeks and nerds could get together to talk about storyline inconsistencies in the latest Batman series. Now? It’s just as much about A-list-ish celebrities “being seen” and hawking their trash as it is celebrating the… → Read More
Amazon announced today that it had reached an agreement with Andrew Wylie, head of the successful New York agency whose clients include such authors as Oliver Sacks, Salman Rushdie, and Philip Roth, as well the estates of William Burroughs, John Updike, W.H. Auden, and the like. Amazon and the Kindle e-book store will have exclusive rights to publish several books by authors Wylie represents… → Read More
Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about a new Android-based tablet in some ever-so-slightly-new size, configuration, or spec. Chances are that every PC manufacturer out there is going to have one, and chances are they’ll all be more or less interchangeable — like the Windows 7 tablets that they often announce at the same time. With the clear exceptions of Apple and HP, most… → Read More
There is no Antennagate. Well, that’s not true. But what Jobs called Antennagate at today’s press conference is more than just the design flaw in the iPhone 4 they insisted was a non-issue. It’s a design flaw with the entire way the issue was handled — by them and by us. The feeding frenzy around the iPhone 4 has been a months-long affair, for a combination of two reasons… → Read More