Posts tagged One Shot
People often ask me ‘what podcasts do you listen to’. My first answer is always One Life Left. One Life Left is a videogame radio show in London hosted by Ste Curran, Simon Biron and Ann Scantlebury. They broadcast live for one hour every Monday at 7pm GMT on the radio as well as the internet. If you cannot listen live you can grab their podcast (iTunes and RSS). What I absolutely love about the show is that they are a radio show. They have weekly features, guests, and play chiptune music, all in 60 minutes. There is no other podcast like it, as far as I know.
Last week was One Life Left’s 150th episode. Congratulations team!
I started listening sometime in 2006 and they have never ceased to impress me. The team has done amazing things to keep their listeners involved and engaged. They have a christmas party every year and invite all the listeners, they attend festivals like Nottingham Game City, they have contests on the show, and are open to listener submissions for segments. For the past two weeks they have been broadcasting their show while doing a Google+ hang out, which is probably the best use of Google+ I can think of.
They’re the best. If you aren’t already a listener I hope everyone will give them a shot. 7/10.
[EDIT: Tumblr problems like whoa on this one… had to restore links, image and formatting…]
iTunes in the cloud.
For most people that is the biggest thing they will take away from iCloud. That’s a huge announcement. And Apple is really working to make everything you’ve purchased in and out of iTunes work with this service.
The quick version of the rest is that it’s better Mobile Me. It’s free and it syncs more applications than just contacts and calendars. Mobile Me has always been great in theory but it never quite worked the way it should, it seems like they fixed that.
I will be able to talk about this at length soon. This is something I have to take in before I can really write about it at length. More coming soon.
Apple announced iOS 5.0 today and it’s coming this fall. Here is a quick rundown of some of the features.
PC Free - Apple is cutting the cord on iOS. Finally. I’ve said before that the biggest problem with the iPad is that the first thing you have to do is plug it into a computer. With the release of iOS 5 you don’t have to do that. The hardware will work right out of the box and even update over the air. In my opinion this is a huge announcement for the future of iPad.
Notifications - We finally get new notifications on iOS with Notification Center. A single place to manager your notifications. You’ll also get an alert on the top of your screen, where clock is, so it won’t interrupt the app you are currently in. Thank you. To go a step beyond you can jump into an app right from the lock screen. So if you get a text message you can unlock your phone directly into that message. A huge leap in the right direction.
Twitter - It’s hard wired into every app now just like email, and MMS. You can tweet from Safari, YouTube and Maps. Really interesting. Apple is betting hard on Twitter.
By now, you’ve probably heard about Lensgate, but if not, here’s a quick rundown:
It’s come to light (ha!) that many, if not all, theaters are incorrectly projecting 2D movies with the 3D lens still attached to the projector, meaning the film is projected up to 85% darker than intended. Not only that, but both 3D and 2D movies are being projected with 3000W bulbs set at 2000W in a misguided attempt to save money.
Both these practices, while thrifty and convenient in the short term are representative of disturbing trends that have emerged in recent years. Firstly, the average audience doesn’t know that these things are going on. Though a dimly lit movie may be noticeable, it certainly won’t occur to many that this is not only the theater’s fault but is something that is on purpose and can be actively rectified. Secondly, the theaters take advantage of this ignorance all too often.
If you’re watching a movie in a theater and it’s projected wrong for even a minute, you can ask for your money back. It’s a dickish move, yes, but it can be done. A better option might be to wait it out for a few minutes then politely bring it to the management’s attention, at which point they should correct the issue or even restart the movie. If they don’t, make it clear you’re not giving them your business for as long as they neglect their primary function as a cinema.
It’s a shame that it’s come to this. Projection is not a dying job but a dying art. Much can be said for digital cameras and digital projectors, but it’s important that audiences and distributor’s don’t lose sight of the inescapable fact that 3D is still a gimmick, and that digital production is necessary to facilitate this gimmick. Even as modern greats like Jackson, Speilberg, Scorsese and Bay (just kidding) embrace the medium, they more often than not acknowledge a curiosity that led them to the method in the first place. Curiosities are fleeting. 3D is still in its earliest and most fragile days, but theaters are subscribing to an as yet untested and temporary digital trend like it’s going to replace film entirely in a few years.
The end of Myspace could come at any day now. This wasn’t a surprise. A year ago I wrote about Myspace (when the correct spelling was MySpace) and presented a plan on how it could be saved. At the time the big wigs at News Corp said that the site had “months, not quarters” to turn things around.
And while the company did rebrand itself they didn’t do so to the scale I think they needed, as drastically as I had hoped. There have been multiple reports saying that a sale is around the corner. It’s really sad to see how a giant in the internet space has fallen so quickly. In February just after Myspace cut their staff by 47% COO Chase Carey told analysts:
With a new structure in place, now is the right time to consider strategic options for this business, … The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach it’s full potential may be best achieved under a new owner
Earlier this month the LA Times reported:
The business unit that includes MySpace reported an operating loss of $165 million because lower advertising and search revenues were only partly offset by lower expenses, the company said. News Corp. has retained Allen & Co. to sell the once-hot social network and has attracted multiple bidders, people familiar with the situation have said.
There is also the rumor that we could see a ‘spin off site’. That sounds like Myspace Music will stick around even if the rest of the site crumbles under the weight of it’s own operating costs. Last year I said “MySpace Music is easily the best thing going for the service and it is here that they should build their foundation for the future." If there is going to be a spin off site it has to be Myspace Music.
How much people will pay for Myspace? What’s the highest bid News Corp. has seen for the site? If it’s operating at a loss of 165 million dollars wouldn’t it be enough to just take it off of News Corps. hands?
If there is going to be an auction for Myspace I want in. I’ve got 20 dollars in my wallet right now and I am more than willing to spend all of it to own Myspace. Heck, let me run the site for 6 months. What have you got to lose?
It was announced today that AT&T intends to buy T-Mobile for 39 billion dollars from parent company Deutsche Telekom. Obviously a merger this high profile that affects this many consumers will be scrutinized by government officials. It will take some time but let’s pretend that this purchase happens, what does this mean for consumers.
For AT&T customers it means that 39 billion dollars that could have been spent on transitioning their network to 4G (LTE not their fake HSPA+ 4G network) or strengthening their 3G network is instead going to purchasing customers. AT&T is already behind Verizon’s curve in both network reliability department and LTE build out.
I don’t know if this purchase will slow down that build out, but it seems like it may. On the surface this looks like it could be a reaction to AT&T losing iPhone exclusivity, the thing that really made their network stand out.
T-Mobile customers could be in a bit of trouble. T-Mobile offers the lowest data rates and a ton of nationwide pay as you go plans. Their lowest data plan is 10 dollars a month where AT&T and Verizon’s plans start at 15 dollars. It is likely that these plans will go away once AT&T is calling the shots.
Nokia has seen it’s market share decline in the past few years. With major players like Apple, Microsoft and Google releasing their own smartphone operating systems the Finnish company just couldn’t compete on the high end. And since virtually every company that makes a handset was cranking out Android devices across the pricing spectrum Nokia was losing ground on the low end as well.
“Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem.” Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said, in a long email on Tuesday. They aim to end that today.
Nokia is bringing Windows Phone 7 to their devices. Expect to see all of the Microsoft services coming along as well. Bing, Office and Xbox Live will all be there on Nokia phones running Windows Phone 7.
It certainly sounds like Nokia is going all in here. They announced that they will kill Symbian, its longstanding smartphone OS, by the end of 2012 and will devoting much of their energy to Windows Phone. Which is surprising. I didn’t actually think they were going to kill Symbian. It has been so much of a part of Nokia for so many years. But at the same time Nokia has almost no presence in North America because they don’t want to partner with carriers. That works really well for them in Europe and Africa, but there is a hugh chunk of the globe that they are missing out on. Partnering with Microsoft will get them into North America and give them a recognized brand and an existing operating system.
You’ve got my attention Nokia. Can you keep it?
Buy a movie once. Watch it on any device. Share it with friends.
That’s the idea behind Ultraviolet, a connected media download service. What does that mean exactly? It means that the film industry has finally decided to loosen its grip, ever so slightly, and they are finally allowing people who purchase their movies to watch them wherever they want… as long as it’s on a pre-approved device.
People who buy content from Ultraviolet digital retailers, which include Best Buy, Comcast, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba, will be able to share it with up to six friends or family members, transfer or stream the movie on up to 12 devices and create copies on DVDs and portable flash drives. It’s intended to alleviate one of the major impediments to the sales of digital copies of movies: that files are typically limited to a single device and thus are less usable than a DVD. - LA TIMES
According to the press release you can expect the service to go live in several months with applications for PC’s, smart phones and, yes, even game consoles coming by the end of the year. In 2012 expect Ultraviolet to be in even more hardware like “connected Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, Internet TVs and other devices.”
The biggest concern with new formats or platforms is content. You’re not going to buy into this eco system if you can’t get the movies I want right? Ultraviolet seems to have it right though. Warner, NBC Universal, Fox, Sony, Paramount and Lions Gate are all on board from the start. With that many partners we should not be wanting for content.
I slowed my purchasing physical copies of music, movies and television to almost a complete stop (Star Wars excluded). To own a copy of something and have it stored in a cloud allowing me to access it wherever I am is a dream I have been talking about for a long time. I like it because it challenges how we think of ownership. Not we. It challenges how the studios think of ownership. Being able to say ‘I own this, forever, and I can put it on all these devices’ is powerful. I will definitely be following this story throughout the year as it begins to launch on hardware and we get to see what it’s actually like to use.
I like that companies are getting creative with how they are using downloadable content (DLC). EA’s Project 10 Dollar is brilliant in how it rewards players who purchase a game new. Activision is using DLC to protect it’s tremendous online investment, much like an MMO would. THQ is looking at things totally differently.
Rather than selling all of their titles at 60 dollars and then be working on DLC THQ has decided that it is going to try something new. Selling some games at 40 dollars and push the DLC. The first title to do this will be the upcoming MX vs ATV game (it’s a racing game).
I think this is a great idea. Obviously I like spending 40 dollars way more than 60 dollars on a videogame. And knowing that THQ is going to support these games post launch makes them even more appealing. I think there are games (The Club, or Shadowrun for example) that would have sold better if people could get a taste at a cheaper price point and then keep supporting it for the hardcore fans.
This is very similar to how a lot of MMO’s (read: not Warcraft) are. You can play the game for free, but you have to pay for armor and certain perks. In this case you are paying for the first round of ‘perks.’ In a racing game that means however many tracks are on the disc. Just know that more are coming and THQ will be happy to take your money if you’re still playing the game when they come out.
Though I’m a little afraid that the promised support won’t make it into the games, I am cautiously optimistic about this plan. Good on THQ to not be focused only on boxed copies of games. They know they can make money selling us the box and DLC to go with it.