Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Considering Microsoft, Apple, Google, and OpenSource. I have written before about the shrewdness of leveraging OpenSource development by the likes of Apple (Safari, BSD, etc.) and Google (Linux, etc.). Now comes news that Google has hired a key Firefox developer it reinforces the issue. I continue to wonder how long Microsoft can stand alone and be the sole OpenSource opponent. Meanwhile, competitors leverage the OpenSource community for ideas and development resources. This blog raises issues similar to this. It will be interesting to see the impact that the forthcoming OpenOffice 2.0 will have.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Just discovered someone new on the music scene. I had been seeing the recent ads for the movie Garden State. What caught my ear was the interesting soundtrack running under the ad. I checked out the soundtrack album on Amazon and found out it was a band called Frou Frou (as in rustling silk I am given to understand) and a song called 'Let Go'. It turns out it is a front for a woman called Imogen Heap. Also, turns out Brian Eno is involved on one song. Did a quick google for the song and found a full length sample on an odd service called Radio.Blog. It's very catchy and up my alley. I've added this to my wish list on Amazon.

I now have three must purchase CDs for 2005 - Fro Frou, The Pat Metheny Group's new one, and Porcupine Trees new one due in March.

If I could only catch up with all the music I bought in 2004!
The fiber optic diggers are outside my house today. No sign of the orange covered light wire yet but it is sure to follow. It's a bloody mess but it promises great things in the future. Verizon has a fire in its belly. It's about time. I will be interested to see how long it takes for this FIOS network to be lit up?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Started the new year with a case of the flu. I'm on day 4. I think I am slightly improving.

One of the revelations for 2004 is the wealth of entertainment swirling around on the torrents. Of course, I have been aware of this but I am stunned at the wealth of things popping up on the trackers. I have especially enjoyed the ability to sample foreign content. Part of my success has been mastering the recode to DVD/SVCD/VCD using a tool like Nero. Once I worked out some kinks it has been working extremely well.

One of things that the easy availability of tv torrents addresses is the case of stranded new series viewers. This is the case where a tv series is abruptly cancelled without any recourse for the stranded viewer. For example, I have enjoyed the new Fox tv series House. I like the show on many levels. I am a fan of Hugh Laurie. Most viewers may recognize him as the father in the Stuart Little films. Many may not realize he is british. Anyway it's an interesting show and gotten good review. Still, Fox has the annoying habit of cancelling new series very abruptly. Shows such as American Embassy and Keen Eddie are examples. With the advent of tv torrent downloads, one at least has to option to revisit a series. Of course, a DVD is sometimes issued in the case of a cancelled show. I just purchased the Keen Eddie DVD. But, this is never certain.

The day I anticipate is when a production company that has its series cancelled in mid-stream will go to the net and offer un-aired shows for some small cost to be downloaded via a torrent. Of course there is a tangle of copyright and licensing issues but this really should happen. Copyright laws are strangling innovation and even commerce. There is money to made here for the forward thinking. Some think outfits such as Yahoo will one day start offering content?

Time will tell.