6/22/08

Review: "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" (Playstation 3)

Films and games. I've always hated the mainstream press that often pits the two together, as if the two mediums are competing for the demographic. In April, 'Grand Theft Auto IV' released, much to the press asking the question if the game would hurt the film "Iron Man" on its opening weekend. If the potential player/moviegoer wanted to do both, they most certainly could-- "GTA" has a pause function.

But when a game is essentially a film and a game all neatly tied together, it's another story. "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" is a nearly flawlessly executed game, from its interwoven narrative, stellar graphics and just-plain-fun gameplay.

I haven't played many of the countless "Metal Gear" games in its twenty-plus year history, and it certainly does not help my understanding of the complex story. Regardless, the story of the game is compelling: proxy wars for business purposes are being fought on the battlefields of countries. Nanomachines. Confusing, yet compelling. "War has changed," protagonist Solid Snake says.

Where other games exposition in gameplay, producer/director Hideo Kojima heavily uses sometime lengthy cutscenes to tell a story. With this, Kojima takes a huge risk: by telling the story that way, he could lose the audience. With that in mind, it's clear Kojima Productions has paid as much attention to detail in the cutscenes as they do in the nuances of gameplay. And with that, comes more interest. The cutscenes are as well designed as sequences in films. Plus, there is a layer of activity to it: pressing certain buttons when they appear on the screen allow the player to look in "first-person" or see a flashback.

While some criticize the proportion of cutscene-gameplay, especially later in the game, I think its managable: as long as the story and the direction of those scenes are interesting. A game like "Halo" would lack in this area, because there is simply just not as much nuance to the story (and in some areas, "Halo" is even more confusing).

Later in the game, there's a lot of nostalgic moments, referencing its early days on other consoles, which hampers the story, because it certainly comes out of nowhere.

But what it delivers on the most is that the game has an underlying message, that may be hiding beneath the surface (albeit in the shallow end)-- at least it has one. Some games that have drawn out narratives don't try to say anything about the world, but "MGS4" does. It says more about war than a film like "Rambo," that rests its enjoyment factor on explosions.

One can enjoy "MSG4" purely on the spectacle of the gameplay, but it truely shines in its story, direction, and message.

4/27/08

A Letter to SciFi Re: Battlestar Galactica Streaming Episodes

When I found out the season premiere episode of my favorite television show would show up on SciFi.com ten hours before it aired on proper television I was thrilled. The show: "Battlestar Galactica," a great piece of science fiction and character drama fused togehther. 


At about 12:03 PM that day, I had realized that the episode would be out. No problem, I said to myself as it was probably just a flash player that could be started any time throughout the hours leading up to the show. 

I was wrong. Luckily, 3 minutes isn't to big of a deal, as it usually is the previouslies" and maybe a minute of dialog that I had missed. The episode went without a problem, with the occasional commercial for "Iron Man" (which, by the way, I can't wait for it to come out-- the barrage of advertising will finally end) and Intel processors.

In the next 2 weeks, SciFi.com decided it would be a little more explicit about the details about how the streaming works. Now, of course, this was unexpected, as I didn't expect SciFi to go ahead and air each episode on the net 10 hours early. Yes, they warned, "One Time Only, starting at 12 P.M. No Pause, No Rewind, No Fastforward." 

One week later, the wording changed, adding the word "preview," but still came with the "No Pause" clarification. I thought it would be the same. Instead, about 20 minutes into the episode, and the third commercial break... the feed just stopped.  

The internet freaked out. Maybe the ending of the episode was so amazing that they couldn't show it early for fears of spoilers. The ending of this particular episode was no more surprising than the previous episode's surprise. 

That leads to this letter:

Dear SciFi,

I love your show "Battlestar Galactica." I know you love it too. You advertise it, you air marathons all of the time, you even showed episodes early.

And then you "frakked" over your fans. 

These kind of things make no sense to me. Is it really hard to clarify what "sneak peek," and "preview" means  to your viewers? Especially when I distinctly remember you saying "preview" for your full episode streams. 

Maybe you can make it up to me, and the fans, next week by putting the full episode up on the site? Or you can buy me dinner. That's cool, too. 

Thank You,
A Concerned Fan


4/15/08

The Kooks Play It Safe on "Konk"


The Kooks today released their sophomore album “Konk,” the follow up to 2006's “Inside In/ Inside Out.” The debut album had popular radio songs like “Na├»ve” and “Ooh Lah.” In the two years since the debut album, lots have changed. In general.

The Kooks' trademark sound is safe and secure in “Konk.” From the distinctly British simple voice of lead Luke Pritchard, to the mixture of acoustic and electric guitars, it's all here again in 2008.

One thing that the Kooks does again, and they did on the debut, is that there's no real way to classify each song: there's no ballad, no arena hit; arguably, the pacing is erratic and jarring.That being said: it's exactly what I love about the Kooks; it's in many ways disheveled and uneven, but it has its own sense of order.

While Panic at the Disco on their second album did something entirely different from their debut, “Konk” is a continuationsof '”Inside In/ Inside Out.” It's easy to want to detract arbitrary points for lack of originality from the band, but why fix a sound that isn't broken?

If you liked The Kooks' debut album, you'll find more of the same: shouting choruses, mysteriously catchy lyrics, and genuinely fun music.



Notable Songs To Download:

Always Where I Need To Be
Gap
One Last Time
Tick of Time

4/12/08

Operating Systems and The Browser

TechCrunch reported early this week that Microsoft is “collapsing” and that Yahoo! needs to be purchased in order for them to stay afloat. Michael Arrington, the author, says that most Mac users and “early adopters” use the web browser as the primary use of the operating system.

There are a few things that I disagree with, in the article. For one thing, Microsoft is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Even in the operating system market, they've seen low adoption on Vista for business, they will still manage to fix the product that have many people against it. Basically, if they can roll out more improvements this year, they'll stay afloat. Microsoft also has its entertainment division (Xbox and Zune), its mobile operating system, which are doing okay.

The other problem is, I don't think the browser is the new operating system. Though a lot of communication is now done through the browser, people typically do have a preference on which operating system they use. My preference is Mac OS X, a result of my vehement hatred towards the above mentioned “collapsing” Windows Vista. I like OS X because it's very customizable and very standard.

But the internet is not a safe place by any stretch of the imagination: using the Google Docs web app to store spreadsheets regarding customer data is not safe, and requires a off browser appllication. There are also plenty of internet enabled applications like Digsby that communicate with the web that give you an off browser experience that seems cleaner (where is the Mac app?).

So people are still reliant on the operating system primarily, while I do see that there are some strides towards internet applications, some people and businesses require the offline functions that operating systems provide.

4/9/08

The Politics of The Web

Illinois Senator Barack Obama, presidential candidate, spoke at Google in November of 2007. In his speech, he spoke about freedom of speech, and how internet service providers (ISPs) play into this:

Part of the reason why I'm able to type a post and have it on this web page is because of the current state of the web: it is neutral. In recent years, many ISPs are trying to change it, by tiering the web. “High volume” sites like YouTube and Google would cost more for faster access to the site. This is a scary, future.

Comcast is already managing the internet in scary ways ways; according to
ArsTechnica, the FCC is looking into Comcast's practice of “throttling” the speed of peer to peer downloads on a client called BitTorrent. As with most P2P networks, there's always the possibility of copyrighted content being on the service, but many services and sites turn to BitTorrent to cut down on bandwidth costs. If the ability to share content, legal or illegal, is hindered at all, freedom of speech is out the window.

The internet is also the new newspaper. Content is now dynamic and always updated. If access to political blogs like the Huffington Post or the Drudge Report, is hindered again, there is a serious first amendment issue at hand here.

Let me say it again:
the net is the new newspaper. That's partly true. It's also the net's newspaper: controlled by the crowd. Digg, as I've mentioned before on this blog, is a site with content submitted by users, voted and promoted by users. Jay Adelson, cofounder of Digg, in an interview with All Things Digital, says that news gathering services are reactive to Digg: and more and more the users are influencing the content editorial services are providing. It also has influenced that dynamic and fast-updating sites: you'll notice on New York Times that the sites have little indicator as to when they were last updated. This has happened in the last year, year and a half at the most. CNN and pretty much any big news services is doing it.

A prime example of the crowd controlling the content is when Digg got served with a cease and desist when a
code that allows HD-DVD (Hey! I've talked about that before, too!) content to be “unlocked” and saved primarily for backup purposes (though, it's always possible that it could have been used for redistribution) was posted on the site. Digg, initially listening to the demands, pulled the content. This created a literal revolt: there was a full day where all content was promoted to the front page was the code, including a song dedicated to the code. Digg “reversed” its decision to pull the content, and life went on.

Cable television is often thought to be an open soap box where anyone can put whatever content they want on television, this isn't true. Al-Jazeera launched an English version of their channel early last year, or late two years ago, and has been picked up by few cable services, but they're streaming on the web. That is the freedom of the internet that everyone has a right to.

In many locations, one big company like Comcast is the sole ISP for customers, and if practices like throttling web traffic continues, it creates an interesting paradigm. As traffic keeps getting shaped and essentially slowed down, where are customers going to go from the sole ISP? Nowhere.

But what about the politics of the web, specifically the presidential campaign?

From the video at the top of the page, the internet is a space where Obama is commited to maintaining the neutrality of the web. According to CNET[
link], this is something he is comitted to in his first year of office.

Hillary Clinton is in
favor of it, but has not divulged in details.

John McCain, on the other hand, feels
differently: "When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.” The problem with controlling the “pipe” is again hindering the ability for voices to be heard. If I have to pay to keep a website's servers running, I should expect everyone out there trying to access my content to be able to access it at the same speed. If I have advertisers on the site, the advertisers expect “visibility” at the same speed.

The future of the web is uncertain in the way it's handeled by the ISPs, because many will take cheap internet access in exchange for freedom of speech and freedom of access. We need legislation passed in order to keep that freedom safe.

3/30/08

My Life with Podcasts

I remember when podcasting was something new to me, and now it's something I cannot live without. My first podcast I subscribed to was “This Week in TECH,” hosted by Tech TV alum Leo Laporte. Now, to me, that show is unbearable to listen to, and honestly, boring. Maybe it was just fatigue.
The problem could have been that it is an audio podcast, and now a majority of the podcasts are now video podcasts. I have two audio podcasts now, “The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack,” which helps me understand and decode all of the happenings on that Island in the Pacific. The other one, when I don't feel like reading, is the New York Times' in a 45 minute podcast, reading some articles from all of the sections.
Then there are the video podcasts I watch, of which there are a startling 13. In counting them, I am surprised. I subscribe to 5 podcasts that are updated daily. The pervasiveness of daily content is pretty new.
One podcast studio I love is Revision 3. There's Ctrl+Alt+Chicken, a show on a permanent hiatus (i.e., it's cancelled), hosted by Alex Albrecht and Heather Stewart. It's a cooking show hosted by people “who don't know how to cook.”

Another show is Diggnation: I can't embed a video here of this show, because it's too explicit. But 143 episodes strong, Kevin Rose and (again) Alex Albrecht, discuss the best stories from the Digg website.
The Digg Reel, another Digg-based show, hosted by Andrew Bancroft, talks about the best of the site's most popular videos; chock full of Rick Astley videos (consider yourself Rick Rolled). It's only 11 episodes old and has recently changed hosts, but it's interesting to watch.


Internet Superstar, yet another one I can't embed here, is hosted by Internet's (yet earlier a TechTV host) Martin Sargent. It is a funny, funny show detailing the weirdest and most interesting internet stories. He's talked to Tay Zonday of “Chocolate Rain” fame.
There's also Pixel Perfect, hosted by Bert Monroy, who teaches viewers how to do neat things in Photoshop, though I'm not apt enough to follow what's going on.
Tekzilla, the monster of tech podcasts, or so they claim, updates daily with a tip and every Friday with all new episodes, hosted by Patrick Norton. Norton gets pretty preachy about tech, and says “Absa- Smurfly” he and a cohost had a “Absa-Smufley” contest, which seemed to acknowledge that the saying was ridiculously annoying.


Then there is the best of the best geek podcasts in the entire Universe. I am not lying. It's called “The Totally Rad Show” and it's hosted by Jeff Cannata, Alex Albrecht (yeah, him), and Dan Traachtenberg. Each week, they discuss movies games, comic books, and television, with reviews and news. They also, at the beginning of each week's episodes, they spoof or recreate famous scenes from movies. Recently, they celebrated their first year on the Web with a retrospective of what happened. In the first episode, a scene where they are making ice cream sundaes, Cannata says “give me the whip,” referring to the whipped cream; Albrecht retorts, saying “give me the Idol,” referring to an American Idol DVD. But careful inspection shows that this dialog is actually from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This showed the sheer brilliance that was emerging, in just the first episode. Watch this episode, the one year Anniversary to catch up on what has happened:



Martin Sargent also Web Drifts on his show Web Drifter, meeting, in person, these “Internet Superstars.” There are some very interesting people out in the web, and Sargent seems to travel to the weirdest corners of them.
And that's just Revision 3, which also has a few other shows that I've reserved judgement on until a later time.
Another podcast I love gives me some campaign news in just 5-6 minutes a day: Political Lunch. Hosted by Robert Millis and Will Coghlan. The show is very even handed, and delivers all of the news in a bite-sized format. It's a lot of fun to watch.



Moblogic.tv, hosted by Lindsay Campbell, is a show full of interviews about current events. Recently, they interviewed people about the Iraq War's five year anniversary. I was surprised at how many people were surprised the war has gone on this long. It is partly shocking and also par for the course in America.



Finally, the podcast Mahalo Daily with Veronica Belmont is a little bit of everything: because it's interviews with anyone. Sometimes they'll be at a tech conference or at a rock climbing wall.


Though the future of television is digital in transmission, the future of entertainment isn't television. It's the computer, or internet connected cable boxes, that download podcasts like these.

2/24/08

The 80th Academy Awards Telecast Liveblog

11:50: At about 20 minutes over, that's it.

11:46: And the Oscar goes to: No Country for Old Men! It's a Coen Brothers sweep! 

11:45: Denzel Washington is finally on stage to present the 80th best picture in Oscar history.

11:44: And the Oscar goes to: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, for No Country for Old Men

11:43: Martin Scorcese, best director of 2007, presents the award for best director. 

11:37: 12. Best director, and best picture coming up.




11:34: And the Oscar goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis. 

11:31: Best Actor montage. Helen Mirren is on the stage to present the best actor nominees. 

11:27: Number 11. 

11:26: And the Oscar goes to: Diablo Cody, for Juno. Standing ovation. 

11:23: Hey it's Indiana Jones! Harrison Ford, is presenting the award for best screenplay.

11:20: Could it be another commercial. Please tell me we're almost there! Looks like there could be 2 more segments. This is the tenth commercial. 

11:18: And the Oscar goes to: Taxi to the Dark Side

11:16: Tom Hanks presents the nominees for long subject documentary. 

11:13: And the Oscar goes to: Freeheld

11:12: Tom Hanks, from The Simpsons Movie, is on the stage to present the U.S. Army's presentation of the documentary short subject nominees, from Baghdad. Really cool. 

11:10: And the Oscar goes to: Atonement, composed by Dario Marianelli.

11:08: Amy Adams comes on the stage to present the nominees for: best original score.

11:05: Commercial break 9

11:05: Heath Ledger, Deborah Kerr, Peter Zinner make up many of the losses the film industry had. 

11:01: The "In Memoriam"segment.  They save it for when everyone's asleep. 

11:00: It's past my bed time. And the Oscar goes to: Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

10:58: Cameron Diaz is presenting an award tonight. This time for cinematography. 

10:57: Yay, they Irgova do her thank yous! Very classy, and Jon was nice enough to bring her out. 

10:53: Commercials for the eighth time. 

10:52: Stewart goes, "Man, that guy is arrogant!" Unfortunately, Marketa Irgova got cut off as the music began blaring. All to go to Jon to do a little bit about a Boeing 707...

10:51: "Make Art!"


10:49: John Travolta, presenting the award for original song. And the Oscar goes to: ONCE!!!!!!!!!! WOOOH!!!!!

10:45: Enchanted song. I really hope Once wins. 

10:42: A small technical glitch will require them to restart the show, according to Jon. Penelope Cruz takes the stage to present the foreign film nominees. And the Oscar goes to: The Counterfeiters

10:38: Commercial break 7

10:31: Next presenter is, Nicole Kidman. She is presenting the Honorary Oscar to Robert Boyle, to production design. 

10:30: And the Oscar goes to: Bourne Ultimatum, 3rd award of the night for that movie. 

10:29: Film Editing, presented by Renee Zelweger 

10:24: Jack Nicholson is introducing a best picture montage... 





10:18: Nintendo Wii, being played by Jon.  Collin Ferrel is presenting the next musical performance. Once performance! "Falling Slowly." 

10:14: "There are some angels in this city!"


10:13: And the Oscar goes to: not Ellen Page!

10:10: The best actress award is next, presented by Forrest Whitaker. 

10:06: Sound mixing is next. And the Oscar goes to: Bourne Ultimatum

10:04: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill get in a fight. The Sound editing Oscar goes to: The Bourne Ultimatum

9:57: Commercial break number 5. 

9:53: Miley Cyrus introduces yet another Enchanted performance; this time with Kristen Chenoweth... 

9:52: "I guess it is secret!" wah-wah-wah.

9:50: It seems like every year they talk about the difficult process of selecting a winner... yawn.... followed by a montage of how it's done. 


9:49: And the Oscar goes to: No Country for Old Men. The Coen brothers are also looking to sweep the awards. 

9:47: Josh Brolen, James McEvoy,dancing around on stage, best screenplay based on other published stuff.... 

9:45: Technical awards winners, presented by Jessica Alba. 

9:40: Can we get more montages? Thanks. Commercial 4. 

9:38: The best supporting actress montage. Followed by Alan Arkin. The best supporting actress Oscar goes to: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton. Here it comes, the MC sweep... 

9:32: Jerry Seinfeld as the Bee from that bee movie is introducing best animated short film. And the Oscar goes to: Peter and the Wolf

9:31: And the Oscar goes to: Le Mozart de Pickpockets.

9:29: Owen Wilson is presenting an award for short film. Very serious. 

9:24: Musical performance number 2, this one from August Rush. I'm waiting for the Once performance. 

9:22: Javier spoke in Spanish during his speech. Jon translated for us. Javier told his mother where the library is. Montages after montages that they would have had to pad the show with had the strike not ended. "Bad Dreams: an Oscar salute." 

9:20: Commercial Break number 3. 


9:19: And the Oscar goes to: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men. "This is pretty amazing," he says. 

9:16: Jennifer Hudson is presenting the award for best supporting actor. 

9:14: "I Jon Stewart, am being played by Cate Blanchett."

9:12: And the Oscar goes to: Sweeny Todd

9:10: Cate Blanchett is presenting the award for Art Direction. 

9:09: In showing the nominees, they show the transformation from pre-vis to actual movie. Great job. And the Oscar goes to: The Golden Compass

9:07: The Rock is presenting award for visual effects. 

9:02: Commercial break 2. 

9:00: Enchanted performance by Jon Stewart... and then the real performance. 

8:56: Best Make up, presented by Katherine Heigel. And the Oscar goes to: La Vie en Rose

8:55: Brad Bird thanks his school counselor for preparing him for the movie business. Thanks Steve Jobs. Subtle Apple reference. 

8:54: And the Oscar goes to: Ratatouille, Brad Bird. 

8:53: Best Animated Feature.

8:53: Carrell just swore. FCC is going to come down hard.

8:52: Ann Hathaway and Steve Carrell. Carrell is hilarious. 

8:51: iPhone product placement. 

8:50: Montages are boring. 

8:48: 80 years of Oscar. 

8:47: And we're back! Clooney is taking the stage. 

8:44: Commercial break numero uno. 

8:43: And the Oscar goes to: Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth The Golden Age. Quick acceptance speech.

8:41: First presenter: Jennifer Garner. Costume design.




8:40: "Normally when you see a black man or a woman president, an asteroid is about to hit the statue of liberty."

8:39: "Withdrawing the Iraq movies, would only embolden the audience." 

8:38: Talks about Diablo Cody. "Hope you're enjoying the paycut." 

8:37: "Too often, the Academy ignore movies that aren't good," about Norbit. Nominated for an award.

8:36: First political slam of the night from Jon, targets Hillary Clinton. 

8:35: "Does this town need a hug," referencing the horror movies. "Thank God for teen pregnancy... cheered everyone up."

8:33: "Welcome to the make-up sex!"


8:33: Jon Stewart!

8:30: Fun little CGI beginning. 'Turn right to go left.' Bunch of film references. Enjoyable music. 

8:28: Regis talking to the celebs in the Kodak

8:25: Enchanted is nominated in the song category 3 times. They are slated to preform tonight as well. August Rush and Once are the other songs nominated in that category.

8:22: Ellen Page, talks about being 21 and having a few drinks. Mentions Juno's phenomenon.

8:18: Regis is making kids who won tickets to the Red Carpet scream. 10 Minutes until the awards.

8:16: Cameron Diaz talks about Daniel Day Lewis, and his routines into getting in the roles of the characters he preforms. 

8:06: This couldn't be more unorganized. Interviewers ask a few questions... then they move on. Clearly pretaped, as well. 

8:03: Philbin loves Notre Dame. Jokes with Clooney. 

8:00: It should be noted that the production company working on this show is probably the best. Best picture quality ever. The broadcast begins with the Red Carpet Special. Regis Philbin opens. I snooze. 

7:57: going live shortly!

6:51 PM: It's not the Emmys! Kristen Chenoweth, of my favorite new show of the season Pushing Daisies, is on the red carpet. Apparently she's preforming tonight as part of a broadway act.

6:46 PM: Producer Gil Gates thinks if everything goes well, he should be able to relax. 

6:32 PM: I should mention, that the show is scheduled to end at the beginning of next year's ceremonies. 

6:25 PM E.S.T. : The show starts at 8:00 PM EST, that's when Jon Stewart takes the stage. 

As a caveat, I really... haven't seen any of these movies. Though I should say Once should be nominated for more than just best song in a movie. I may be partial because I just saw that movie yesterday. 

My pick for best picture is No Country for Old Men. I intend to see it when it comes out on DVD. Not having a movie theater a walk away from UHa upsets me. I will not spend money on top of the ticket prices that are already outrageous. 


2/19/08

The "Defeat" Of HD-DVD

There is no parallel to the Format War.

Today in Japan, Toshiba announced it would no longer create the hardware that plays HD-DVD... effectively ending the “format war” that has engulfed the video market.

(Official: HD DVD dead and buried, format war is over)

Along those lines, the HD-DVD publishers (which have now dwindled down to two major studios, both Universal and Paramount) have jumped ship to Blu-Ray Disc as well. See here. So who started this Perfect Storm to destroy HD-DVD?





Yep. Those four cartoon characters, and the company to which those characters belong to: Warner Brothers. Initially, they were for both camps, releasing titles like 300... and... The Last Samurai, with Tom Cruise on both HD-DVD and Blu Ray formats. Then, like any well-intentioned company does, they saw the money they were losing in the HD format, and saw the gold mine in Sony's format.

Before that though, Paramount, which with the release of Transformers on the HD-DVD format, jumped from being on both sides of the Blu Ray HD-DVD fence, released Transformers exclusively on Blu Ray.

Then came the news that Warner was jumping ship. This had Shia LeBouf more or less worried:


All that negativity.

Soon after Warner announced its intentions, everyone's favorite envelope maker (except for, well, the USPS), Netflix said it wasn't going to rent out anymore new HD-DVD titles.

The wheel kept on turning, and now, the HD-DVD format is dead.

So what if a consumer has a lot of HD-DVDs and its player?

Here's a top 10 list of what to do with those pesky discs and hardware:

10. Store them with your Betamax Players and movies (interestingly, Betamax, on the losing side of the format war of the 80's was a Sony endeavor, like Blu Ray)
9. Keep 'em. Serenity is on HD-DVD, and it may be a while before it's out on Blu Ray.
8. An HD-DVD bonfire.
7. The HD-DVD firesale is probably a few weeks away... keep those players, and buy all those movies originally priced at $35 cheap.
6. Ebay
5. When Netflix sends you the last of the last of their stock of HD-DVD movies, keep them, and report them as "lost." They'd be happy to forget about the last of their stock.
4. Invest in Blu Ray.
3.Get a Playstation 3. Get Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, the greatest game ever. And it's a decent Blu Ray Player.
2. Get an Apple TV. They do HD movie rentals now. Link
1. Read a book. Buck the trend.


So, the format war is over. Thank God. Mission Accomplished.

A war that lasted 3 years: a simple contest of Red versus Blue.

A format... war.

Luckily, Blu Ray got that much needed studio exclusivity surge. The insurgency of Paramount was not enough to save the optical format facists. Many blogs said at the beginning, this war could be short: in fact, the HD-DVD format had the support of the pornography studios: a big reason why VHS won in the first format war.

Soon after, those analysts were wrong: no, consumers were in a format quagmire. It could take a thousand years for it to finally have a clear winner. The global technology crowd was divided. Partisanship was destroying the world. And finally, Bugs Bunny stepped up to the plate and smashed home a winner: Blu Ray.

The conflict of the 21st century is over. Now, supporters of either format can finally begin to pay off their war debts, reach across the aisle, shake hands, and say "it's been fun." Too many dollars had been spent on the fallen format, the quagmire, and now the country can unite around one common candidate: Blu Ray.

A clean, and peaceful solution to a war. Toshiba held a press conference to raise the white flag. People can now rebuild their future, their collection of movies, and hope for price reductions on the hardware.

All those War Debts.