Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tablet Killed the PC Star?!?

I read quite a few tech blogs. I by no means read all of them. But I think I get a pretty good sampling of what the industry is up to by reading the ones I do ( for example). One of the "trends" I've seen lately has been these sites claiming that tablets, whether that be Apple's iPad or Samsung's Galaxy Note or someone else's, are taking over PC's. They claim this because there has been a small dip in PC sales numbers, whereas there has been a exponential increase in tablet sales. No, I don't have any numbers to back me up this time. The numbers the tech sites have are good and seem valid. The thing is I don't think tablets are going to win. The biggest reason for it is two fold, gaming and design.

Sure there are absolutely amazing games on tablets. Games like Real Racing 3 and Infinity Blade are huge for tablets (and phones), but I don't see anyone playing Bioshock Infinite on an iPad. No one is playing HALO 4 on a Galaxy Note. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim isn't coming to a Kindle Fire anytime soon. These are console or PC games (okay, HALO isn't PC). These games will likely never make it over to the tablet gaming world, unless you count the Razer Edge Pro a tablet (More Info about Razer Edge here). Gaming will always be primarily on console or desktop PC. If anything I feel (note this is not back up by any evidence) that PC gaming is actually on the rise. I'll deal with why I think more people should use PC gaming in a minute.

The second thing that PC's do better than tablets is design. For the record PC here means Mac or Windows based machines. Design in my world is all encompassing. Whether it's programming, video editing, photography or graphic design, there just isn't a tablet out there that can do what a well made PC can. Sure there is Photoshop for iOS and Android but it's not the same quality nor does it have the same tools. Sure iOS has iMovie for iPad and iPhone, and I'm sure there is something equally as good for Android, but it can't hold a candle to Adobe Premiere CS or Avid or Final Cut 10 or even iMovie for Mac. I could mention InDesign and Illustrator for PC and Mac, but no real good tablet version. Sure there are drawing apps, but they are mostly made for sketching out ideas and then moving them to something that can actually make the files. Tablets are if anything feeding people back toward PC's.

I have a tablet (specifically an iPad 2). I also have a Hackintosh PC1 and a Mac Mini2. The Mini basically runs my TV. My ipad is my go everywhere device, but my Hackintosh PC is where I do most of my work. This blog post is on the desktop. My current logo project is on the desktop. My audio projects are on the desktop (despite GarageBand for iPad existing). Tablet's aren't going to kill PC's anymore than video's killed radio. That being said, if Razer's Edge catches on and those powerful tablets get much cheaper (The Razer Edge is $1000 for the basic model and $1500 for the 256GB Pro version, a laptop costs less than that as to most desktops) gaming and design will still be the domain of PC's and that means that they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

1. A Hackintosh PC is a computer that is end user built (meaning I built it) that can run Mac OS and Windows. I have two hard drives (one for each OS) but there is a way to do it with only 1 drive.

2. I have a 2012 Mac Mini connected to a Elgato (technically Silicon Dust) HDHomeRun tuner that can record and playback my TV feed using Elgato's EyeTV program.

If you have questions about any of my tech specs I'm happy to answer them.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


I admit it, I use iTunes. I know it's a resource hog, but I like it. Yes, I use Windows more than Mac but I keep up with both OS's and computers. iTunes have recently been giving me some headaches. Namely when I try to burn music to CD. It just spins up the disk and won't actually burn anything. The last time this happened I blamed the drive and rightfully so (other burn tests from Windows proved the drive didn't work). This time was different.
This time I had burned in iTunes less than a month ago so I knew it worked. This time I got an error message (which is a whole different blog about how for the most part without searching, error messages are useless). Thanks to the Internet I saw a lot of people got this same error. Apple error 4000. The fix for me was simple. When you're about to burn a playlist in iTunes 10 it brings up a preferences box. In that box there is a check box next to Use CD Text. Do not click that check box. I promise you will regret it. In my case with that checked my CD burner just starts spinning and won't stop even when I restart the computer. It requires a full shutdown to make it stop.I should note that I am using Windows 7 and that online I've seen complaints about this error and issue back to Windows XP.
Now I realize that most don't even know what CD Text is, but it's a feature that one of my stereos has and I would like to utilize it. I have no clue why it doesn't work but if it's causing so many errors why doesn't Apple just remove it? Unless of course it's a Mac only option in which case, why is it on the Windows version at all. Like I said the fix is pretty easy (once you get so frustrated manually shutting down your computer you accept facts you don't like, I promise you). Note as well that there are some complaining that even this fix doesn't work for them. I would avoid doing something like a registry clean, a vast majority of those are useless and do far more harm than good. Reinstall iTunes (just reuse the last version you downloaded or download a new version) and uninstall (then reboot to automatically re-install) your burner (this can be done by the following method, Device Manager (however you want to get there)>DVD/CD ROM Drives>(drive)>uninstall>reboot (when finished) and hopefully that will make life better for you.
Since I know I have like 2 readers it seems odd to ask a question like this but I'm going to anyways. First, how much time do you spend fighting with your computer? Second, where do you go when you want it fixed? Finally, what drives you crazy about computers and/or technology in general? I know it's a little extra to comment on my blog because of the moderation but I would appreciate you taking the time. Thanks!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

NBC/Universal (Again)!

I've said it before. I'm going to say it again. NBC Sports and their partners are terrible. They are at best a rip off and at worst a greedy money hungry ogre of a network system. Now what's got me all upset this time you might ask (in case you're new to the party, I've complained about NBC Sports in the past both here and here)? Well, let's start with their takeover of Versus Network. Yes, I understand that NBC owns a large portion of Comcast that owns a large portion of Versus, but really NBC, you have to change the name of the network to represent how supposedly great you are (It's now called NBC Sports Network by the way). NBC's hockey coverage has improved, mostly because they carry more games, unfortunately over half the country can't watch them BECAUSE THEY ARE ONLY AVAILABLE ON CABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again someone please tell me, how does that even make sense? This blog isn't about that however, it's about another channel that NBC at least partially owns called Universal Sports. Since the inception of digial TV there has been a channel on my antenna based TV called Universal Sports. As of the first of the year, it is off the air. Why? The simple answer, because they switched to cable only. Why would they do that? Well, according to the channels own website "Sports content is expensive and in order to sustain our network long term, it is imperative that we switch to the business model of a cable, satellite and telco offering so we can continue to provide the world class programming our fans have been accustomed to." You can read said quote here. This is the epitome of arrogance. Since 2008 Universal Sports has been available for free. Now, 4 years later, it's not only not free, it's also only available on one satellite provider (currently only DirecTV subscribers have access to the channel). Now I will say that there is a way to still watch the channel online, however, details about how to do that are very hard to find. Specific events have prices but you can't tell if that is for that event or for more. $8 for a few days of skiing coverage just isn't worth it to me, and I don't think I'm alone in that opinion. I think that Universal Sports wasn't as successful as the parent company had hoped in the 3+ years it was on broadcast TV. This is probably because it rarely carried live events and didn't carry any sports that are considered mainstream in the United States (home of sports like cycling, rugby and skiing, not exactly big events in the USA). I think it might have been a better idea to completely shutter the channel rather than change the model and frustrate those of us who had been watching it for free for a long time.
However, this seems to be what everyone is doing now. Nickle and diming seems to be the norm. Have Netflix for watching movies? Well, a bunch of companies don't like them, so you have to either wait for disks that may never come or pay Hulu or Amazon Prime or something similar to get the content you want. Look at the airlines. I would rather pay an extra $20 on every ticket I buy than pay a stupid bag fee at the airport or when I check in online. What about cell phones? Data plans used to be unlimited. Now, only Sprint has unlimited data and even they admit they cut down your speed when you hit a certain usage level. Everyone else, data limits and if you go over, you have to pay. Don't get me wrong, companies have people to pay and products to produce and that costs money, but does it really cost as much as they put on the consumer. The classic example of this is text messaging. Because of the way messages work, they cost the cell companies about 1/1000th of a cent (depending on who you read this number varies, my source is here). Yet the average user is paying $20 a month and definitely not sending and receiving 200,000 messages. I pay $30 a month for 5 lines and between all of us I don't think we've gone over 6,000 messages. Believe me, I don't like paying it but it's basically become a necessity to me at this point. I could go on, but I think I've made my point.
In the end, I'll keep watching NBC Sports, because I don't have another choice right now. I'll pay the bag fees, because again, what option is there (Southwest is the only airline that doesn't charge and they don't always go where I want to be). I'll eventually pay for a cell phone data plan, just as soon as I have a job and can afford the iPhone I've been wanting for years. And yes, I'll probably someday get cable just so I can watch my Edmonton Oilers play some hockey, okay, that and I really like Discovery channel. As always, thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy life to read this. Feel free to leave a comment, although please remember that all comments are screened by me before they are posted.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Wednesday March 9th, 2011 was a sad day. It was truly the beginning of the end of an era. Since 1981 the NASA Space Shuttles have been ferrying people, gear, science and technology into space. On Wednesday STS-133 came to a close. Discovery rolled to a stop for the final time at Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, on runway 15 just seconds after 8:58 Pacific time on Wednesday. She will never go into space again. Over the next few months she will have her vital parts removed and be secured for transport from Florida to Washington, D.C. where she will take a place of honour at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. While I can't think of a better place for the Shuttle's fleet leader to go I have to ask one question: why does she have to go there at all? I don't understand why the shuttle program is ending. It doesn't make sense to me. In conversations I've had with friends since then they mentioned a variety of reasons. Things like the fact that the shuttle isn't anything new anymore, that we haven't left earth orbit since Apollo 17 and that it's expensive.
Each one of these has it's own issue. First, who cares if the shuttle isn't "new" anymore. It's provided great value to the scientific community for the past 30 years. Commander Steve Lindsey (CDR of Discovery's final mission) said that this shuttle performed just as well or better than the day it was built (others have agreed with him). Second, not everything has to be "new." We live in an age where technology moves so fast it's impossible to keep up. The shuttle has kept up internally, but just because the vehicle hasn't changed doesn't mean it's not new. There is no reason to take away a perfectly functioning vehicle just because its not "new." Second, yes, man hasn't left Earth orbit since the end of the Apollo missions. Countless unmanned missions have however, and they have gathered more data for less money than if we had sent humans. Not to mention it is, at this point, impossible to send a human to Mars (the rover program) or Jupiter (Galileo mission) or the Sun. Manned space flight has accomplished more in the past 30 years than it did going to the moon. Some say we should go back. I don't disagree (although I could say that it's not "new" so why do it?), I just don't see why we have to cancel the Shuttle program to do it. Additionally, some say it's time for man to go to Mars. To that I say, without the shuttle that's impossible, even with the shuttle it's highly unlikely and dangerous. Mars is a long ways off for a variety of reason (if you want more explanation read this article it really helped me understand it better). Finally, the cost. Yes, the shuttle program is expensive. Guess what? Even when the Shuttle program is over, NASA will still cost the US government a lot of money. Instead of having a ready vehicle that can go to space, NASA has to design a new vehicle that can do the same or at least similar things. As of right now NASA has a couple of designs in work, but none of them are even remotely close to the versatility of the Shuttle fleet. The Shuttle launched multiple satellites into space. It also repaired several. It docked with MIR. It completely assembled the International Space Station (and docked with it). Without the shuttle, there would be no ISS. Without the shuttle Hubble wouldn't be in space, let alone work. A space program is something the United States has invested in for over half a century, it should not be stopping now. Sadly, my little post and complaints aren't going to change what has been in motion for several years. Endeavour's final launch is planned for April 19th. Atlantis will be the final shuttle mission to space and the ISS and it's planned launch date is June 28th. All the remaining launches, missions and landings will have full coverage on Incidentally NASA now has an HD feed which is available both on their website and ustream (here). NASA TV will also be covering Soyuz (the Russian capsule that ferry's supplies and people to the ISS) launches and landings. As of the end of June, it will be the only reliable way to get to the ISS. So what do you think? Should the shuttle program be ending? If you think it should be ending what do you want to see in it's place? Remember, all comments are screened before posting. You can also email me directly (the link is on the right). Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Nikita or Yet Another Re-Make Done Too Soon

From 1997 through 2001 a show known as "Nikitia" in Canada or "La Femme Nikita" in the USA aired. That show starred some great actors. Peta Wilson as Nikita, Roy Dupuis as Michael, Don Franks as Walter, Eugene Robert Glazer as Operations, Matthew Ferguson as Birkoff and Alberta Watson as Madeline (for the rest of the cast list visit here). Tonight across the same two nations another show called Nikita began airing (CW Network in the US, A-Channel in Canada).

First some bias and observation about the original TV show. Yes, I am aware there was a movie that the show is based on. I have not seen that movie, although recently I have been debating watching it. I am an avid fan of the TV show. In fact I currently am finishing up the final season of the show. For a time had the show streaming on their website. It has since been taken down in favor of the new show. Lucky for me, I have Netflix and am able to finish the series out on DVD (I was not happy when I found out the original had been pulled in favor of the new). To me, and other fans I've noticed comments from, Peta Wilson is Nikita and always will be. I think I can safely add Roy Dupuis as Michael and Matthew Ferguson as Birkoff to that list as well. The new show, however, isn't terrible.

The new Nikita, played by Maggie Q (of Mission Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard), leaves something to be desired for me. First off, Nikita is a blond, not a brunette. Second, she's at very least European, if not North American, not Asian. I have no problem with Asians, I just have an image of who should play the role. Maggie Q, doesn't fit that image. She's a great actor, just not for the part. The fact that Michael and Nikita are not involved (at least at this point) is a major flaw in this new show. That is what the original show as based on. Without their relationship the original would not have survived. Another blow to the new show, at least as far as original show fans should be concerned is two fold. First, there is no Section anymore. It's now Division. I guess same idea different name? Why not keep the original, you kept names like Nikita, Michael and Birkoff, why change the name of the covert agency they work for? Second, the show is now clearly based in the United States (despite being filmed in Toronto, Ontario as was the original show). I believe this creates a problem. Whereas before, Section One's actual location was never revealed (although in my opinion show clues placed it somewhere in Europe, possibly France), it is now clear where the target is. This could possibly be a part of the story not yet revealed but I doubt it. To me this just makes the new shows creators and producers seem a bit too ethnocentric, which is a disappointment to the franchise more than to the viewer. My biggest problem will never be addressed, however.

Why is Nikita not in Division? She is apparently a rogue agent. According to the new show, she escaped 3 years ago. The rest of the back story is the same, but this part is different from the original show. Now, if you haven't seen the original show, let me tell you the end. Nikita is still in Section, the final scene has her running the place. Where did she escape, if you go back to sometime in Season 3 I believe, there is a pilot program where she is let out of Section for a time. Could this be the so called "escape" that the new show refers too? I hope not as that would dramatically change the original show timeline. One more note, Nikita (original show) never loved, was proposed to, or even saw anyone named Daniel (as far as I can remember and tell from the quick episode guide searches I just completed). She lived alone and had several neighbors that were her friends when she wasn't inside Section. Her cover wasn't much ("between jobs and working on stuff"). Now she's supposed to be a consultant of some kind. As one final thought, before I wrap up this fairly long rant. The original show ended in 2001. It's not even 10 years later and some network executives thought a remake would be a good idea? I guess if it works for 90210 why not try it with Nikita eh?

Is it a good show? I think time will tell the most. As one of the people on twitter put it tonight "this one doesn't know what it is yet." I agree. The original show was good from the start. This one looks like it will need some time. All in all, if you're looking for a good action show, I don't think you can go wrong with Nikita (either the Original or the New). No star rating on this but I am going to keep my eyes on it over the next few months. To find out more about the original show go to this fan site or The new Nikita airs Thursday's at 9 ET/PT on The CW network in the US and A-Channel in Canada. As always, comments are appreciated and moderated. Thank you for reading.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Really, he finally decided to post something?

As a matter of fact I did. I know, I know I haven't posted since May. And for that I'm sorry. I wish I could say I've been busy (which is actually true). But that is really no excuse for not coming up with some pithy comment to post. As I write this post it's quite early in the morning. About an hour ago I tried to go to bed. I'm still awake and my brain was moving so fast that I had to get up and do something. Writing my thoughts out to the world seemed like a good idea. I have a whole bunch of topics to talk about but for now, I'll keep it short. There are several more posts in the works (don't laugh I'm really serious). Some might be funny, others inspirational and still more just musings. There will be complaints (as there have been on multiple occasions on this blog). There may also even be a few new podcasts and/or Vlogs in my future too. If I do podcast or vlog I'll make sure to put links here. Oh, check out the links on the right for my page. Any new video stuff I do will likely find its way there at some point (it's pretty limited right now, but I plan expansion). The podcast is already linked (and available in iTunes unless they kicked me off due to inactivity). Anyways, on to topics that I'm working on.
1. Saying goodbye. How do you do it? I have some ideas especially when it involves a long radio career. I'll talk about how it affected me and why you should care.
2. Finding a job. No I can't help you find one, but I still need one, so it's something I'll talk about.
3. Hockey. Hey, what do you know it's not first on the list it's third, that's not too bad. Just in case you didn't know the season starts in a little over a month (preseason is in a couple of weeks).
4. What inspires you? This actually may get back to #1, but we'll see.
5. Politics and more. This one we'll see about, I'm not sure I'm ready to take this one on quite yet.
More? Probably, I have ideas that just run around my head a lot. I need to just remember them and start writing.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read. Comments must be approved by me before they are posted.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

An Open Letter to NBC and the IOC

To: The Executives of NBC and

CC: The Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Subject: Open Letter regarding NBC and 2010 Olympic Coverage

Before I get into the actual subject of this letter, let me first admit my bias. I was born and raised in Canada. Therefore, I have grown up watching CBC and CTV's coverage of the Olympics. Until 2000 I had never seen a single minute of NBC Olympic coverage. Since 2000 I have been forced to watch much more NBC coverage than I want to. I believe there are major flaws in NBC's coverage both on their broadcast network as well as their online content. In addition to my issues with NBC I also have a problem with the several IOC decisions all of which I plan to address. It should also be noted that much of what I am referring to is in regards to the most recent Olympic Winter Games, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in February 2010, however, I noticed some of these problems as early as the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, New south Wales, Australia.

My issues with NBC are as follows: first, NBC did not, and does not regularly, carry Olympic events live across the United States. Second, NBC's online content, for the 2010 games, required that you to be a member of a particular subscription based service in order to watch live online content (including full event replays). Third, NBC airs far to many commercials. Fourth, NBC does not air enough sport, they instead choose to broadcast multiple interviews and athlete profiles instead of showing more sport. Finally, NBC chooses to only show a particular list of events and leave out a large amount of the events held at the games.

In addition to my issues with NBC, I have two questions for the IOC. First, why does the IOC insist that you must live in a country in order to watch that nations coverage? In other words, why if I live in the United States can't I watch coverage out of Canada, the UK or France? Second, why does the IOC allow NBC to essentially charge for viewing online content, especially when other nations do not (like Canada)?

I will be specifically looking at NBC's 2010 coverage as compared against CTV's 2010 coverage. I will also do my best to only include an argument based on broadcast channels only. I'll start with the issue of live coverage. For the second time in 10 years the Olympics were held in North America. This means that a lot of events took place near or during prime time both in the Eastern time zone as well as the Pacific time zone. NBC decided to only air events live during Eastern prime time. This means if you lived in Central or Eastern time you got to watch the Olympics as they happened on NBC. If you lived in Mountain or Pacific time, you had to wait three extra hours for your prime time (aka 8pm local) to watch the events that ended at minimum 3 hours before. Compare this to CTV, not only did CTV start their broadcast day at 3AM pacific, it didn't end to 11pm Pacific. There was one exception, CTV took a 30 minute news break at 2:30pm pacific. Three sets of hosts ran the shifts throughout the day, one set from 3am-9am, another from 9am-2:30pm, then a final host from 3pm-11pm. After 11 there was another 1 hour news break, followed by some replays from 12-3 again hosted by a late night host (who was live as well from what I understand). That's 22.5 hours of live Olympic coverage every day of the games. Oh and just to emphasize this point that was all nationwide. CTV was on 22.5 hours nationwide with Olympic coverage. NBC on the other hand was live in less than half the country (by land mass, not population). Some may make the argument that The Today Show which also airs on NBC should be considered Olympic coverage, even with adding that in, NBC is only up to 7 hours a day and none of it was live in the time zone that the games occurred in. NBC should learn from their Canadian counterparts and figure out the meaning of the word live. No one wants to watch the games after they know the results. The Olympics are meant to be watched live.

NBC's record of online content has been fairly good, up until this year. NBC has somewhat led the world when it comes to online Olympic coverage. During the Summer Games in 2008 NBC provided a lot of online content all for free (with ads). So naturally I was expecting NBC to provide the same sort of coverage this year. Not so. NBC, for this games, required that you be a subscriber of a specific internet provider and/or cable or satellite provider. This means that almost half of Americans were unable to watch live event coverage online. In addition, NBC also required that same "subscription" for full event replays online. But they had lots of highlights. I don't want to watch highlights, if I wanted to watch highlights I could just watch their broadcast channels because that was all NBC carried during prime time. You want an example? The men's downhill. NBC carried 5 skiers in the men's downhill during their prime time show. I know for a fact that CTV carried every single one of the top 30 skiers and most of the top 50 on the network. During prime time CTV did re-air fewer skiers but they still aired more than 5. Another example...the Figure Skating gala. NBC carried 6 skaters (Joannie Rochette, Evgeni Plushenko, Evan Lisachek, Yu-Nan Kim, Charles White and Meril Davis and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir). I don't remember exactly how many CTV aired but I know it was more than that. Especially because NBC did not carry any of the pairs finalists (2 men, 2 women, 2 ice dance). In addition, CTV's partner Sportsnet carried the entire event live. I don't believe any of NBC's partners did.

Commercials are essential to television, I understand this. But there is a difference between essential and over doing it. NBC over did it. During the figure skating instead of showing the skater in the "kiss and cry" area, NBC almost always took a one minute break instead. CTV took breaks too, after about 3 or 4 skaters, that equals one or two breaks ever 6 skaters or every flight. NBC also aired to many spots during events that you shouldn't break from, like the Opening and closing ceremonies. The closing ceremonies for example NBC cut the speech of the CEO of the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) nearly in half. Now, I will say that Mr. Furlong's speech did not start well (his French left something to be desired) but there is no reason to break away from that especially when it was to promote a reality TV that was immediately following the conclusion of the games. Oh, and did you know there was a concert during the closing ceremonies? If you watched NBC you didn't because they cut that too. What were the advertisers paying for? Athlete pieces about Apollo Ohno over and over again. NO, advertisers are paying for event coverage. Now that I've taken on NBC I turn my attention to the Internation Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC is not without controversy. Decisions they have made on where to host the games, issues with the officials. When you consider the size of the IOC, it actually doesn't do a terrible job. I would however, like to know the answer to the questions I posed earlier. The IOC claims that each nation (and/or group of nations in the case of parts of the EU) can have one broadcast network that carries the games. They are also allowing multiple cable companies (owned or partnered with by the broadcast company) to carry other elements of the games. This next statement is going to be controversial. I believe the IOC is discriminating by this policy. Cable is still not fully integrated into any nation. Only half of people in the United States have cable, even less have all the NBC channels that carried the Games. But I'm getting off topic. Why does the IOC block nations from watching other nations coverage? Is it money? Probably. Is it that the IOC doesn't care about ex-patriots? Probably not. But it sure does feel like that. To me the IOC should at the very least allow the online content to be available to the world, no matter who is broadcasting it. In my case, I would rather watch CTV and/or CBC (the contract just moved) over NBC. But I can't because my IP is blocked by CTV, something the IOC mandates. I just want to know what the true reason behind it is. Second, and probably more important, is the "cost" of some online content.

Let me preface this by saying that CTV carried ALL online content for free. Most of that content was online broadcasts of their on air broadcast coverage (yes, CTV basically did web casts of their broadcast channel for the duration of the games). It didn't matter if you didn't have cable, you could still watch TSN or Sportsnet (which are normally cable only) online. Meanwhile, in the USA. NBC forced internet providers to have "deals" with them in order for you to be able to watch live event coverage. That amounts to having to pay for Olympic content. Why is it free in some places (ok, I'm talking about Canada but I know it's not the only place) and a cost in others? Second, why does the IOC allow networks to force this "charge" on consumers? I don't have an answer to this question. I don't know why NBC gets away with it and CTV doesn't even think about it.

I know this is very long. But it had to be. There is a lot of issues with NBC and the IOC as far as I'm concerned. One more thing, perhaps if the IOC would actually look at broadcast bids instead of just taking the one that gives them the most money, they just might get a quality product, especially in the United States. I know this is rambling, again, it could not be avoided. This is how I feel about the issue.

To NBC please change your ways. Please make the largest event in the world accessible to the whole country as a live event (especially when the games are carried in a North American time zone). To the IOC either tell NBC to change or get a new Olympic contract for the United States. The Olympics don't just happen in prime time. They happen all day for the 17 days of the games. Viewers should be able to see it as they happen not when some network decides they should. NBC carry more sport, especially if you aren't going to extend your coverage. Athlete interviews and profiles are fine, but you have to have more than 4 hours to put them in. If you only have 4 hours a day, skip the profiles carry the sport. To the IOC, open the online content up to the world. Who knows you might find that I'm right. some countries have better coverage than others and you could, since you control content so much, force some changes in the whole world.

I know this is well after the fact, but I think the sentiment remains the same. I hope this letter can cause you to think and consider the coming games in London (2012) and Sochi (2014), both of which as of right now are still being carried on NBC in United States.

Thank you for reading. Please note all comments must be approved by me before they are posted. If you would like to contact me directly, my email link is listed on this page.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

New Posts Coming

I know it's been a while since I posted something. I'm working on a couple of topics and hope to have at least one of them done soon. I'll get more consistent with this eventually. I just don't know when that will be. If I do decide to make the podcast more prevalent you will be the first to know.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Jump Pages

Ok, I'll admit it, this is a little random but hey it's what I want to talk about. If you have ever picked up a newspaper and read it you've come across the phenomenon known as jump pages. Basically the newspaper prints part of the story on the front page with a big bold headline to match and then near the back of the paper they print the rest of the story. This means if you want to finish the story you have to "jump" from the front of the paper to the back page (or jump page). To be honest I find the practice rather irritating, especially when they jump mid-sentence. Despite not liking it, however, I do understand why papers do it. It's all about space. What I don't understand is why email's need them. Let me give you a rather common example in my inbox.

I subscribe to several of Kim Komando's daily email offerings. Now please do not misunderstand me here. I'm not picking solely on Kim, there are plenty more just like her, she just happens to be the most common one in my inbox as it is a daily email. Every day I get three emails from Kim. One of them offers a site that might interest me, another is a tech news feed, and the third is her daily tip. By the way, you can sign up for all three at her website. In her daily tip Kim often responds to a letter from a subscriber. The email usually included the letter and about 3 paragraphs of response from Kim before it abruptly ends and there is a link that says something about reading the rest by clicking to go to the story on her webpage. Invariably I either don't care or don't want to take the time to click on the link to read the rest and the email gets filed away. I just want to know why the whole story can't be published in the email. It's not like there aren't any ads in the email or that the email costs so much more than the site. It just makes sense to me to include the whole answer to a question in a email. Like I said this happens a lot, I get it from several different sources some daily some weekly. All of them I wish would include the whole answer or story or whatever instead of making me jump to their website. I know it's not going to happen but I wish it would.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Finally he quit talking about hockey...

Ok, so I know I've talked about hockey a lot (it's been on my mind with the season and all) but today is going to be different, I promise. I want to talk technology. Yesterday was not a fun day for me, I spent most of the day offline dealing with a computer that for some reason would not work. After re-booting it about 10 times (amongst other things) it started working again. It never came up with a real error except maybe on IRQ issue. That, of course makes me a little nervous, as I don't know if something is failing in my system or if it was just a little problem. Needless to say my day could have gone just a little better.
The whole ordeal got me thinking about buying a new computer and maybe possibly some new accessories. So I grabbed what I like to affectionately call "the little blue flyer" (aka the Best Buy ads although it's yellow instead of blue now) and started looking through it for what the newest products might be. I was pretty disappointed. Laptops with no more hard drive space than I already have, no improvement in graphics and less battery life than 2 years ago. Not exactly what I'm looking for. But that's not even the worst thing.

There are lots of people out there paying way to much for tech products. Let me give you an example. HDMI cables. If you have a newer TV, sound system, computer or DVD player you've no doubt heard of this new way of connecting devices to a TV and getting better picture and sound out of it. The question is do you know how much the cables cost? According to the Fred Meyer ad (Best Buy doesn't have one on sale this week) you can get a 4 ft. HDMI cable for $32. It's a 4 ft. cable!?!? What's it made out of GOLD?!?! Well, actually it is, the ends are gold plated to be corrosion resistant. You want to know how much I payed for the 2 HDMI cables I have in my home? About 17 dollars and that includes a $6 S&H fee. They work fine and bonus they're 6 ft. long instead of only 4. WOW! How can I get that deal you might ask? It's simple go to Cheap cables, heck they have tons of cool tech stuff for cheap.

The second product that I want to talk about is batteries. Since the dawn of digital camera's batteries have been trying to keep up. First there were Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries. Not better than the Alkaline ones already on the market but at least you could re-use them. Then they came out with Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). Those started out pretty weak but improved and eventually surpassed their Alkaline counterparts, but they have one major flaw. They don't last when left sitting. If you're like me you take pictures maybe a couple of times a month, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the events going on in your life. I got really tired of having my NiMH batteries never giving me enough power to take more than 20 or 30 pictures. So I started talking to people. My cousin and my uncle both found the best batteries I have ever used. Hybrid Rechargeables! They're an 80%/20% mix of NiMH and alkaline. They are guaranteed to hold their charge above 80% for 6 months. I never have a problem with them anymore. If you want those you can find them in the US at In Canada I've been told they are a little easier to find, Wal-Mart and London Drugs are probably good places to check. These batteries use a standard NiMH charger and require a lot less maintenance to stay in good condition. There now didn't I just make you feel either a lot better or a lot worse about tech stuff. I really have to start making these posts shorter (I'll work on that). Thanks for reading.