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XBox 360 Gamercard

RichAlot's Gamercard

Pulling the Plug on Cable

I've pulled the plug on cable television. I called to cancel my television service on Thursday and dropped off my HD-DVR this morning to make it official. I decided to stop paying for cable for because it was costing me about a $100 a month and I only watched a few stations that weren't the major networks. Now that most television content and shows are available online—be it on the networks' Web sites, Hulu.com or marketplaces like Xbox Live, Zune and iTunes—I shouldn't miss much of anything, if anything at all. As a trade off, I decided to pay an extra $10 a month to increase the speed of my Internet connection, since I'll be doing a lot of downloading. I think the hardest part will be the ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel withdraws, but I figure I can always drop into a bar and catch a game. This reminds me of when I dumped my land-line phone several years back and used my cell phone as my primary phone. It took a bit of adjustment getting used to monitoring my minutes, just as I imagine downloading shows will takes some getting used to, but in the end it was a good decision that felt quite liberating.

Olympic Observations

In honor of the Orympic (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) games in Beijing, I plesent (that one, too) my thoughts from the first three days of competition.

  • My cousin Dan, who just returned from China, corrected my pronunciation of Beijing. Phonetically it's pronounced Bay Jing not Bay Zhing. Say it right Bob Costas!
  • And1 Mixtape Tour : NBA :: U.S. Olympic Team : FIBA
  • Team Handball—think soccsketball—looks like a sport I would have loved to play in middle school, which by default would make it a great adult, co-ed league sport.
  • Brian McBride is the United States' best soccer player (sorry Landon).
  • I probably can't swim 50 meters in the time the U.S. Men's 4x100 Freestyle Relay team finished their race.
  • Gymnasts can perform gravity defying routines during audible ruckus (music, cheering, concurrent events), yet tennis players and golfers can't hit a ball without complete silence. It makes no sense.
  • Synchronized diving? Uhm...are you serious?

Au Revoir HD DVD

Toshiba has finally waved the white flag officially announcing it will cease production of HD DVD players and recorders. The decision comes amidst weeks of speculation that the HD DVD format was doomed as major players including the movie studios, retailers and rental outfits chose to go strictly Blu-ray. So there you have it, go buy yourself a Blu-ray disc player, the format war is officially over. Or is it?

DVD is and will continue to be the market leader in video disc storage mainly because everyone has a DVD player. It's also less expensive than Blu-ray. Entry level Blu-ray players are still in the $250 range and even the cheapest Blue-ray movies will run you $15 a pop. For a mere $12 more you can buy an inexpensive DVD player with progressive scan and 5.1 digital audio decoding. So yeah DVD may not have the discreet 7.1 audio or 1080p resolution of Blu-ray, but how many people really know what that means much less use it?

Conceivably it could take Blu-ray a few years to turn the corner and surpass DVD's penetration levels (remember how long it took retailers to stop carrying VHS?) and by that time we'll be buying movies the same way we buy our music, through digital distributors. In the end, the true winner of the format war will be the one medium that has withstood the test of time; the hard drive.

And the Carver is...

He was such an obvious suspect that I never suspected Quentin Costa would be revealed as the Carver. Looks like the Nip/Tuck writers used a little bit of the old reverse psychology to fool a lot of people, myself included. So now Quentin and his sister Kit have gone the way of Ava Moore, escaping to Europe.

 

One of the cliffhangers in this season's finale is the "snip-snip" encounter between Matt, Cherry Peck and Ariel's father. I'm guessing this is the perfect setup so that by the end of season 4 the Alderman's will end up in Europe with the rest of the Nip/Tuck outcasts. It'll be "Berlin or Bust" for the vilified family!