November 29, 2004

The Living Room Battle is about Search?

The CNet article Striking up digital video search has stirred up quite a discussion today.

What struck me about the article is not the fact that Stefanie points at plans from each of the of the Big Three (Google, MSN, Yahoo). Yes, AOL is mentioned, but they don't seem to be in the search technology business. AOL strikes me as a company fumbling their way through this brave new world and attempting to stay relevant as the world moves to broadband.

Anyway, what really surprised me was the living room connection. Her article leads with:

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are quietly developing new search tools for digital video, foreshadowing a high-stakes technology arms race in the battle for control of consumers' living rooms.

Hmm. She goes on to talk about how we're all going to "bring TV to the web." And when you combine this with the idea of a "Netflix over broadband" service, an interesting picture starts to emerge.

It's funny. We've been hearing about brining this stuff to our couches and living rooms in various ways for years now:

  • Interactive TV (remember back in the pre-netscape Jim Clark/SGI days?)
  • Tivo and Internet-connected PVRs
  • Media Center PCs

But who'd have thought that we might arrive there with search technology pushing things along?

Not me.

Many of the right pieces seem to be close at hand. Some are technology and some are ideas that we're all buying into:

  • Interactive TV (remember back in the pre-netscape Jim Clark/SGI days?)
  • Tivo and Internet-connected PVRs
  • Media Center PCs
  • BitTorrent
  • Search as a commodity

It's going to be an interesting story to watch unfold.

Who is going to build the iTunes Music Store of the video world?

Posted by jzawodn at 09:22 PM

November 04, 2004

The Girl Next Door

Bill says he watched Meet Joe Black and liked it. Well, Netflix delivered The Girl Next Door to me today. I finished it about an hour ago. I had only seen a preview for it once or twice and had no idea what it was actually about. I nearly stopped watching after the first 10 minutes, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The movie was quite entertaining. I just took a bit of time to get moving.

Thanks to the wonders of IMDB, I discovered that I'm not nuts. The whole time I kept thinking "she looks a lot like that girl that Mitch wakes up next to in Old School" (another classic american film). So after it was over, I checked. Bingo. Both are Elisha Cuthbert.

Mystery solved.

And in case you're wondering, yes. This is the only thing I've thought to write in the last few days. With the election raging, it was nice to take a blog break. And there was so much less to read in my aggregator too. Anything election related, I simply skipped.

That, my friends, is freedom.

In other news, I have more Gmail invites. Apparently they're still in demand. Tell what you'd most like to see from Yahoo! Finance and I'll give you an invite.

Hmm. Maybe I should give this guy one? :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:27 AM

September 15, 2004

An Evening with Kevin Smith

I just finished watching the first DVD of the two DVD set An Evening with Kevin Smith (get it via Netflix). If you're a fan of Kevin Smith movies, I can't recommend it enough.

It's mostly composed of clips from Q&A sessions from his visits to various college campuses. Not only is it very entertaining, but you also get some real insight into what shaped bits of his movies.

That reminds me, I need to buy several of his movies...

Posted by jzawodn at 09:04 PM

August 10, 2004

Deleted Scenes on DVDs: Why such poor quality?

This has bothered me for a while now. It seems that on most movie DVDs, the deleted scenes are of very poor video quality. It's as if someone went back to the cutting room, pieced together the film, scratched it a lot, and then projected it on a big screen so they could record it with a cheap-ass handheld video camera for later use on the DVD.

Why is that? Anyone know?

Posted by jzawodn at 09:13 PM

March 30, 2004

It's like an Outlook virus for geeks

I know I've mentioned the movie Office Space more than a few times on my weblog. But what I hadn't realized until today is that the movie is a lot like an Outlook virus.

I was minding my own business today after a longer than expected meeting/presentation at work when Kasia said she was gonna watch Office Space. Of course, that led to a lot back and forth quoting of some of the best lines in the movie. Of course, that led to me wanting to watch it for the billionth time. (What can I say? It's a classic.)

So I head home and she's half way thru the movie. By the time I get home after stopping at Whole Foods (which kicks much ass, BTW), she's quoting stuff from the end of the movie and has an IM status of "it feels good to be a gangsta."

Wasting no time, I grabbed my dinner (soup, in case you're curious) and started the show. About 20 minutes later, she said that Derek is watching it now too. (Apparently he saw her IM status and that was enough to get him watching the movie too.) So I toss a few of my favorite quotes his way and he responds with a classic:

Illeagal?!?! Samir, this is AMERICA!

Then he asks me if I'm also watching the movie. After learning that I am, he made the profound observation that Office Space is like an Outlook virus for geeks.

He just might be right.

Now that the movie is over, I'm posting this in the hopes of spreading the meme virus. :-)

And, before, you waste your time looking: No. The iTunes Music Store does not carry the soundtrack.

Pity. Amazon has it as well as the movie itself, of course.

Update: Not 3 minutes after posting this, one of my coworkers noticed my IM status of "federal 'pound me in the ass' prison" and started throwing Office Space lines at me. It really is a freakin' geek virus!

Posted by jzawodn at 10:11 PM

January 13, 2004

Appreciating Happy Gilmore

cover How can some people not appreciate the sheer comic brilliance of the excellent Adam Sandler film Happy Gilmore? I just happened to see it on TV last night (yeay for Tivo) and the program guide had two stars next to the movie title.


Heck, even Amazon users have given it over 4 stars! Now that I think of it, I don't yet have it on DVD. It's probably time to rectify that oversight, wouldn't you say?

Posted by jzawodn at 02:33 PM