In a short blog post today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a total reversal of the recent plans that so mildly inconvenienced and irked us. Instead of spinning off the physical media side--DVDs, Blu-ray, and now video games--into a whole new website to be called Qwikster, Netflix will now keep all that stuff under the Netflix umbrella. In other words: please calm down, customers. Nothing is changing.
In between the newest line of Amazon Kindles,the upcoming iPhone 5 announcement, and the ever-increasing ubiquity of cameras and video game consoles, it's safe to say that we're living in the golden age of gadgets. For all the purposes they serve, our little devices reflect a singular priority among gadget geeks and newbies alike: sleekness. Few things make a gadget more desirable than beautifully packaged convenience.
Of course, the definition of "sleek" is relative to what's available for purchase. Nowadays, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is considered heavy at 5.6 pounds, but in the early 1920s, Corona's seven pound typewriter garnered praise for being lightweight. And even though the mid-nineties weren't that long ago, it's still amusing to see movie characters from that decade whip out cell phones the size of frying pans. If you enjoy comically large portable devices as much as we do, you're in luck because we've collected several more examples from our archives.
In the early 1950s, we grappled with a life-changing dilemma: to buy a color TV set, or not to buy a color TV set? In retrospect, the right answer seems obvious, but the hassle of switching systems in those days meant that viewing black and white images was more tolerable than shelling out the money needed to make the transition.
A brief history lesson for those of you unacquainted with that era: in October 1950, following years of squabbling between various corporations, the FCC finally authorized CBS' system of color broadcasts as the national standard. Despite their successful campaign, CBS ran into a number of problems once they actually starting implementing their technology. Firstly, 10.5 million black and white TV sets had been purchased nationwide, and none of them could receive color programs. Since viewership was limited, advertisers were hesitant to sponsor programs that practically no one would see. The venture was doomed.
It's become a refrain in this age of 24-hour news stations, media-starved talking heads, and hundreds of channels of stuff you don't want to watch. "Why won't they just shut up about (insert your least favorite abusive sitcom star, diminutive bepoofed reality star, brain-dead politician, or Donald Trump here). The talking heads may never shut up, but that doesn't mean you have to listen to them--and some enterprising Makers created an Arduino-controlled gadget that'll make that even easier.
Today at E3, Microsoft kicked things off with a keynote that was heavily Kinect-focused, as we hoped it'd be. Even better, the keynote addressed lots of the things I whined about in my last Grouse column, especially the need for an app store, better voice control, and more games. Kinect's looking good for the future--here's what's coming up.
Earlier this week, Stephen Colbert gave us a nice shout-out for Rebecca Boyle's post on the first robots to jump into the fray at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Seems like Colbert may have wanted to see some of Japan's own robotic earthquake helpers, or at least a contribution from somewhere other than perpetual Report punching bag France.
What better way to celebrate the romance of Valentine's Day than watching a supercomputer robot defeat Jeopardy!'s two greatest champions in a man-on-machine trivia throwdown? Gather your significant other; strap him or her to a couch if you need to, because this is important. Tonight, the first round of a very special Jeopardy! tournament begins.
The only thing more connected than their new TVs are, um, their ovens.
By Al GriffinPosted 01.05.2011 at 5:33 pm 0 Comments
Smart TV might seem like an oxymoron, but if LG has its way, not only will your next Internet-connected TV be smart, so will your oven, washing machine, etc.
The key thing being pitched at the company's crowded early morning press conference was a Home Dashboard GUI that will grace the screens of forthcoming LG Smart TVs — a sort of home page that serves as a streamlined jumping-off point to access live TV, streamed content from Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, or Amazon VOD, and movies/ photos/music stored on a networked computer or connected USB drive via the set's Smart Share feature.
By Adam PashPosted 10.14.2010 at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
It’s time to stop thinking of TVs and computers as separate entities. Practically anything you want to watch, listen to, or play on your TV set can be found in a digital format, and the most convenient place to store it is all together on one hard drive. But whether you’re ripping CDs and DVDs to your drive or downloading media files, there still aren’t a lot of tools that let you manage everything by just pointing your remote at your TV.
A recent study found that consumers actually become less interested in 3DTV at home after trying it, due in part to the lack of 3D content and the high price of 3DTVs, but also to the problem of having to wear those dumb glasses all the time.