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Month: July 2010

♪ Every time I try to leave something keeps pulling me back

If you’re a frequent headphone user, I’m sure you’ve all had this happen to you at one time or another! On another note:

Reddit vs. Digg: My Opinion

I don’t think you can do an exact comparison of these two popular link sharing sites because the way each is laid out and run is so different. Digg has fixed categories for items of interest that are moderated by its administration team (and of course the users through thumbs and reporting). Reddit lets you create your own categories for anything, and while they have admins and moderators, founders of these categories (aka subreddits) can moderate as they see fit. Digg and Reddit function in much the same way, with upvoting and downvoting, but as far as I’ve seen, burying a story on Digg is a lot more of a hassle than downvoting on Reddit, which would lead me to believe that the majority of Digg users don’t bury stories they don’t like, they just don’t Digg ‘em up. Burying a story also doesn’t appear to subtract from the Digg count, and appears to be more of a reporting tool since in the past you’d have to specify a reason for why you were burying it. On Reddit, downvoting simply appears to mean you don’t like a story (e.g. 147 points (64% like it)), and will reduce both the total score of the story but also the user’s general score. Another thing I’ve noticed is that while Digg has always been plagued by Power Users (those who submit the majority of the popular stories and whose stories get dug up simply because the users are popular) while for the few months I’ve been on Reddit I haven’t noticed the same problem. Perhaps it is an issue, but I rarely hear a lot of drama from Reddit about power users unless it’s in regard to Digg.

Personally, I use both and like ‘em, so I don’t really have a strong opinion, but I’d probably go with Reddit over Digg if I was forced to choose. Reddit seems to give everyone a stage whether they are new or old, but on Digg it seems to depend more on who you are than what you submit.

Even More Cruise Photos

I like how Windows Live handles photos already… Microsoft has certainly outdone itself with the new Live programs, so much so that buying a Mac for iLife seems irrelevant. I wouldn’t find iLife so bad if MobileMe was free, but $99-149 for the same stuff Microsoft is giving away for free?!

Anyway, here are all the cruise photos. There might be some videos in there too!

A blurry, dark, high res cruise photo

DSC00237

I have my wallpaper set to rotate every 30 minutes to a random picture from my most recent cruise (yeah, long overdue post on the way) but I just came across this and it looked awesome. The quality is horrible but that’s kind-of what I think makes it cool. Don’t know if anyone will share my opinion but boy do I love sharing it!

Pay TV: Too much for too much?

channels 

In the beginning, there were really only three major television networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. If what you wanted to watch was not airing at the time you wanted to watch it, you were quite frankly outta luck. These “big three” networks provided all the sports, entertainment, and news that people saw on TV, and they had to do it all since they were the only networks anyone watched (not counting local stations). This was all due to technical limitations and the fact that infrastructure wasn’t very well developed yet. Manufacturers of TVs set them up to receive a fixed amount of channels, having a single channel knob on the cabinet that would turn the TV off if set low enough.

As time went on, improvements in broadcasting technology allowed for more channels to be broadcast at once than through over-the-air (OTA) TV, and thus cable and satellite TV were born. These new variants used large networks of cables and satellite dishes to provide better reception, quality, and a larger coverage area than traditional OTA TV. To use these new technologies, many TVs needed to be fitted with a set-top box that contained a TV tuner; a device that would unscramble and translate the cable and satellite signals to a language the TV could understand. Now users weren’t limited to only 11 channels, and 60-70 was the norm. Instead of having 3 or 4 channels that provided a wide range of content for all audiences, many new channels employed the use of narrowcasting; only broadcasting certain types of shows for specific audiences. As technology continued to get better, more and more channels were able to be crammed into cable and satellite transmissions, and in the early 2000s companies such as Comcast and DirecTV started offering monthly deals for HUGE amounts of channels, well over 900 of them, which leads me to my ultimate question: how many channels do we need?

Looking through the TV Guide menus on my set-top box, I know that I’m missing out on a lot. You can only watch one TV show at a time, and at any one time there are 900+ channels going with whatever happens to be on. It seems like a real waste to me, as the only channels I really watch have numbers less than 70, and even at that I never have any need to visit any channel from 10-30, as nothing that appeals to me ever is playing. Smart money would say I should downgrade to a package which only has 70 channels instead of the full 900, but there are some pretty awesome channels above 70 that I like visiting that require me to pay for all of them.

channels2 

If I watch 5 channels each week, and 2 of them are in the premium tier, wouldn’t it be better for me to pay for only those five instead of all the ones I’m not watching? $80 per month is an expensive proposition for 5 channels, wouldn’t you say? Here’s what I propose instead: what if we paid each month a flat rate for the set-top box rental fee and a reasonable fee for the basic tier content, but then we’d have a choice: either the classic premium tier 900 channel deal or a new one in which you first select the premium channels you know you want to watch and you pay for unlimited viewing for the entire month for those channels. The TV listings for every channel will still show up in your guide though, and if you go to a channel you haven’t subscribed to and want to watch, you can either set up an unlimited subscription to it right from your remote, or you can buy 24 hours of viewing for a few cents. If you only watched 5 channels, you’d pay in proportion to what you use. In my opinion, this would be a big win for consumers, but I don’t know whether or not it’s feasible from a business standpoint.

channels3

With the advent of narrowcasting, it doesn’t seem right that providers still make us pay for the broadest selections of channels. To conclude, I hope that someday a change will be brought about in this flawed system.

SRPG #06: Yo Mom!

[map: Small town map. The school is somewhere to your left
You get in the car again, head off towards the street, and head down the road towards your house. Your house is pretty much across the street from the school though so you don’t need to drive far. You abandon the car for a bike because there’s no use to using a car right now, also the car is low on fuel. You arrive at your house. There is a sign on the door:

your house

YOU: oh thats very clever… I wonder if it says the same for everyone who comes by here.

You head inside and your mom is sitting at the kitchen table. You go and talk to her…

MOM: Hi there honey! I head of your little quest and ya know, I just got your GEAR back from the shop.
YOU: What gear is this mom? I don’t know nothing about gear in a shop.
MOM: Here you go sweetie!

PLAYER ONE obained GEAR!

MOM: Your GEAR has many useful pieces to it. There is a built in map, and a phone, but you can’t make any calls unless you add people to your phone book and they add you to theirs.
YOU: You mean to say the phone is essantially a Jitterbug? >_>
MOM: Oh by the way… what day of the week is it?
YOU: c’mon don’t you know? There is a calendar right over there.
MOM: What day of the week is it?
YOU: yeah its Tuesday.
MOM: So its 18:02:13 on TUESDAY?
YOU: When’s 18:02? Do ya mean 6pm? Yes it is.
MOM: Thanks. Talk to me about your money or daylight savings time. Good luck!
YOU: … -_- ok thanks mom.

And you head upstairs, hoping to find out more about this gear.

Let’s Play A Blurred Line Part 03

Our hero keeps on keepin’ on, and advances in his story as he travels to the top of the staircase in the next thrilling episode of Let’s Play A Blurred Line! I’m going to be doing a video every two days until the 4th when I’m gone for a week, but I think I’ll be resuming soon after. This is a LONG game, everyone, and it might take 10 parts or so to finish it all. Let’s hope so so that my 2-digit part numbers actually make sense. Until Thursday, friends!