Tech Jetsam: Prelude to MacWorld

Our technology column Tech Jetsam is written by WGAw memberDavid Simkins. -JA

A lot of interesting bits have washed up in this installment of Tech Jetsam.

Did you know that a Blu-Ray player bought today won't truly play Blu-Ray DVDs? Players other than the PlayStation 3 won't be able to access future capabilities of the format according to Blu-Ray developers.
When asked why current players were released to the market when in such a primitive state, manufacturers blamed the release of HD DVD and said it forced them to come to market too soon. "We should have waited another year to introduce Blu-ray to the public, but the format war changed the situation."
Meanwwhile, the plain vanilla DVD is starting to get the cold shoulder. USA Today reports sales of DVDs slipped last year for the first time since they were introduced.

Oh well, we can always watch 3,000 hours of TV on Comcast's new website Fancast. I wonder how much "traffic shaping" they'll be doing with this little venture. (The FCC is investigating allegations that Comcast interfers with certain kinds of Internet traffic such as the BitTorrent file-sharing system.)

Are you familiar with Apple TV, EyeTV or Slingbox? All three are devices that allow you to content shift programs from their original sources and replay them on other devices. Are you ready to stream TV to your iPhone?

The Macworld conference is upon us in San Francisco. Expect a lot of announcements regarding new hardware and new media deals. More studios are lining up to allow the renting of their product via iTunes. No wonder. Too bad there's no money in it.

Finally, if you own an iPhone and you're a Bank of America customer you can now use your iPhone to see exactly how much Nick Counter is contributing to your bottom line (or not contributing).

I'll be posting more after the Macworld dust settles. There's a rumor that Apple TV is up for a major upgrade. Could it be a game changer?


mario said...

Uh, the Apple TV sends content from your computer to your TV, not the other way around. Just FYI.

Tanja Barnes said...

Have you heard about the signs that have been hung at the Moscone Center that say “There’s Something In The Air”?

Well, according to "internet junkie” Aral Balkan, that something is a flying MacBook Pro.

Here's a snippet from his blog:

"It all makes sense. We’ve all been expecting the MacBook Pro line to get a radical overhaul this year. While Apple was busy spreading misinformation about an ultra-slim notebook they were secretly putting the finishing touches on the new MacBook Pro’s dilithium crystal-powered nano warp drives. Insiders close to Apple have revealed that although the new notebooks are theoretically capable of Warp 9 speed, Apple will be artificially clamping speeds at Warp 1 for the initial run. We have, however, learned that Philip Torrone and his elite Make ninjas are close to perfecting a trans-dimensional time machine which they plan to use to go back in time, hack the new MacBook Pros before release to remove the restriction and create the world’s first pre-hacked product release in the process (good luck guys!)"

Julia said...

Also, Netflix just removed the "Watch it now" (or whatever that feature is called that allows you to watch movies/TV shows instantly over the internet) restrictions. Formerly you were only allowed a certain number of hours a month according to your plan. Now it is unlimited.

David S. said...

Mario, of course you're right. I had pronoun trouble 'tween the Apple TV and the Eye TV. I own an Apple TV (and love it) so I'm a bigger dope. Thanks for the clarification.

lauraholl said...

between this and the rumours blu ray disks will soon only play on the first machine they are put into, perhaps this war is only just getting started

Sean Fagan said...

There are so many things wrong with this... It's already been pointed out that you got the Apple TV idea completely wrong.

But saying that a BluRay player doesn't truly play BluRay movies is beyond wrong -- the only way you can be that wrong is if you decided to do so. A device already on the market doesn't have the capabilities of a future device? Shocking! Especially when you consider that the only feature that is added is picture-in-picture. Which, having tried it on an HD-DVD player, was nothing more than irritating.

David Hepburn said...

Mario is right. The Apple TV does not grab TV content and send it to your computer. It's the other way around.

The hope is that Apple will ADD that new functionality to it at Macworld.

deuddersun said...

Hello? Anybody home? 2 days and no new posts or comments? Not good guys, not good...

Get busy, lol!


Not-A-Troll said...

So let me get this right. As the DGA and the AMPTP close in on a deal you are writing about "possible" advancements in technology that Apple has in store. I'm sorry but how is that more relevant than the matter at hand?

I guess it is the same tactic they are taking over there at deadlinehollywood, close up shop for the arrival of bad news. Then come back later and try to explain how it doesn't affect you.

Tanja Barnes said...

@ not-a-troll: I think these advances in technology are important to the story here because it appears that Apple is emerging to replace the networks. Aside from my fetish for tech, it's worth keeping an eye on it, if only to see who will be the next gatekeeper if/when the networks crumble.

Regarding topic and newsworthy posts: my advice is you want breaking news on the strike is to go out on the Net and get it yourself. Don't rely on one source (UH, DHD, mainstream media, bloggers like me, etc.). The notion of web 2.0 is for users to be more proactive and more selective in their media diet and consumption. Set up your RSS feed reader and you're done.