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HD DVD Losing...Could Blu-Ray Be Next?

It looks like the march of obsolescence may soon put HD-DVD movies in the box at your next garage sale along with your old BetaMax tapes, 8-tracks, Laserdiscs, and cassettes (you do save your precious vinyl, don't you?). Now that Warner has established itself firmly in the Blu-Ray camp, the last two hold outs - Paramount and 100mg viagra cost NBC Universal - are considering switching sides.

But, hopefully, all of this will be a non-issue soon - with near-instant downloads, 32GB thumb drives, and 1080p network-enabled set-top boxes arriving in 2008, Blu-Ray may soon join its one-time nemesis in the bargain bin heap.

...Do we need discs at all? With Comcast promising high-definition downloads in 4 minutes and prices of flash memory falling like a rock, maybe we will jump right to a world where video simply lives as a file on a hard drive or flash disk. There’s logic to that, of course, at least in an engineering sort of i recommend hydrochlorothiazide cialis way. Why spend all the buy no rx cialis money and time to stamp out discs and distribute them through stores, when the information on them can be simply zapped over a network to buy pfizer viagra online someone’s television?

Interestingly, this won't necessarily put the local record store out of business. There's still something great about meeting people in person to discuss and physically posses media; the last seven changes in media (LP to MP3/DivX) haven't killed them off yet, but we'll need download centers with virtual media racks on rx generic viagra touch screen flat panel monitors in place for this to happen.

Concerns over defective by design content control may prevent that, but with EMI and others releasing DRM-free tracks, DRM-free movies may not be far off. It would certainly cut down on packaging, shipping, and manufacturing costs, saving trees and petroleum in the process. Most importantly, the friendly neighborhood geeks at the record store could keep their jobs, too :)

via NY Times's Bits blog


Save Money and Time: Make Your PC a TV

Three years ago I pawned my last television. But there was no way to cure my addiction to Battlestar Galactica and buy cheap levitra The Daily Show. So I decided to fuse my computer with my television.

Why not? I have a nice big monitor, it's widescreen and high-res with a great contrast ratio. And then there's the environmental angle. Only one perpetually-on piece of equipment instead of four (computer, television, DVR, DVD player). Three years ago, it was somewhat complicated to turn my PC into a TV, but not anymore. Now, it's actually easier and cheaper to make your PC a TV than to have both in your house. Not to mention a heck of a lot simpler. And you need fewer comfortable chairs.

You can do this a few ways, with varying degrees of complexity.

  1. Unsubscribe from all cable services and simply download your favorite shows. That'll save you 15 minutes per show in commercial time, and it requires absolutely no installation of anything. Of course we suggest you do this legally at iTunes. You'll still save money over cable or satalite.
  2. Make your monitor a TV without a computer interface. Monitor manufacturers offer a variety of cheap levitra online prescription inputs for nice monitors now. Some have HDMI, RCA and S-Video built in! Just hit a button on the front of the monitor and you're watching TV.
  3. Keep your services going and get a TV Tuner. Hauppage just started selling a cable to USB converter for $99. Just plug it in and install their software and not only is your PC a TV, it's also a digital video recorder and DVD maker
  4. Keep your services and install a real-live capture card. Depending on whether you want RCA, Cable, HDMI, or all of the above, just get yourself a capture card with the appropriate inputs, and with a simple PCI installation, you're up and running. Here's a great service for finding the brand name cialis right capture card for you.

The world doesn't need more equipment, and as long as we've all got personal computers sitting around our houses, why should we have a complicated mass of wires and vampire power when our trusty boxes can take care of it all for us?

Image from KevinSteele on Flickr


"Perfect" E-Reader Competition

A lot of less-than-kind things were recently said about the design of Amazon's Kindle e-Book reader. Frankly, I couldn't care's designed to be functional...and I dig function.

But I admit it could be prettier, and the people at the design blog Core77 were pretty unsatisfied. So they've asked their readers to design the perfect eBook reader...before Tuesday...

OK, well, they announced the competition a week ago, and now as it's wrapping up, I'm getting excited to see the results. We'll have a report on the winners (and honorable mentions) on Wednesday. But for now, Sony's newest PRS Reader still wins for "device that actually exists."

Via TreeHugger


What's Up with Amazon's Kindle?

Amazon's little bit of kindling set off a wildfire last week, as suddenly every blog on the Internet had to it's great! order cheapest cialis online have its story. I decided to hold off, let the opinions come in, and then decipher for myself. Since I don't have my hands on viagra online australia one of levitra femele my own, I'm going on the statements of others (and my experience with other readers).

People simply aren't 100% impressed with the device. Some folks continue saying that traditional books can never be replaced, while others bemoan the where can i buy viagra less-than-Apple design and the surprisingly high price ($400) of the thing. And, well, they're right. It could be prettier (the current Sony Reader certainly is) and it could be cheaper.

But while it's not as pretty as Sony's Reader, Niel Gaiman summed it up for me: "It's not an ebook, it's a library." For two reasons -- first, because you can store hundreds of books on the thing. But second, because the EV-DO wireless broadband allows you to download books anywhere, whenever you want one. This is a vast improvement over Sony's Connect Store. While it's easy enough to plug in your Sony Reader, there is NOTHING easier than getting a new book for the Kindle. That's what sets it apart, hands down...and that's why I kinda want one.

One other things sets it apart, actually, and that's the marketing. Amazon is showing a commitment to the Kindle that Sony has never had to its offerings. Handing out free versions to best-selling authors across the world (with no idea whether or not they would actually like the thing) was risky and bold and results in some really awesome advertising videos at Amazon.

Amazon has done a good thing here. And while it's definitely their first generation device, it's hard to listen to the above folks talk about the device without starting to think that this could indeed be the future of the printed word. If anyone can do it, it's Amazon...but I'm going to wait and i use it professional cialis see if they can do it in a more refined (less expensive) package in the next generation.

If you want to read more (a lot more) about the Kindle, keep reading. I've provided a list of a bunch of Kindle stories from around the net.


What "In Rainbows" Means for the Earth

I've always been confused by physical packaging for digital goods. Why ship hunks of generic viagra fedex plastic all over the world when I can click and download an identical product without anyone having to leave their homes?

Well, obviously, digital music (and video) has taken off in the last few years. But still, the recording industry is intent on relying on those antiquated slabs of plastic as their premium product.

Well, when Radiohead finished with it's 6 album contract with EMI, they decided to change the system a bit. Their most recent album (the first in two years) was recently released in pure digital form. The band made the download available for whatever cost people are interested in paying. Apparently the average price paid has been roughly $8...significantly more than a band gets from a cut of traditional album sales.

It's a fascinating experience. The recording industry has long believed that people, in the end, want to purchase something physical. As if the plastic and paper of the product is more impotant than the actual music. Radiohead, however, is asking people what they think the music...and only the buy discount tramadol free prescription worth. The answer, it's worth more, as long as the record companies don't take their cut.

More money for Radiohead, less money for us, and less physical crap existing in the world. That's good news for everyone, right? Oh...except the record's not good news for them.

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