Sunday, February 27, 2005

Went to see The Gates in Central Park today (Updated with pics)

On the last day before The Gates was to start being disassembled, my wife and I went to see it. I have spoken with a number of people that went to see The Gates and came away unimpressed. Common criticism was "It's just a bunch of gates!". I really liked the exhibit. Sure, if you look at them individually, there just gates and fabric. I think the cool part is that they did this to Central Park. Very Cool. Plus, there was still snow on the ground when I saw them today. I love the snow.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I hope the Transformers movie looks this good

A co-worker recentenly passed along the link to this commercial that is really cool. Tranformer Commecial Though the resolution isn't that high on this, I can only hope that the live-action transformers movie looks this good.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

iTunes Music Rentals: My Proposal

It is completely ridiculous that there is any kind of debate about whether buying (iTunes) or renting (Napster To Go/MS Janus DRM) music is the "right" way to sell it. Consumers make a rent or buy decision based on the dollars then want to spend on entertainment. Perhaps some thought at $0.99 a rental shceme was unnecessary, but I do think there is room for different pricing levels. Eventually, iTunes will add a rental scheme and that will be the end of this ridiculous discussion. I do question if Napster has hit the sweet spot with their rental scheme. $15 a month, in my little informal water cool poll, was seen as too high by all. That's $180 a year with nothing to show for it, unless you pay Napster in perpetuity. Let's look at the movie rental business. You get the movie for a small number of days. If you like what you see, you can buy it. Blockbuster charges around $4.25 for a rental, which is 21% of the cost of buying a $20 movie. This is still a pretty good value, but there is no relationship between renting and buying the movie, unlike say leaseing a car with a buyout. What if iTunes offered rental pricing on individual tracks. I propose $0.25 to rent for 5 days, no CD burns, same computer and iPod limits. That is good enough to decide if you like a song. If you then want to own that song, you pay an additional $0.80 and get the same rights as you do on regular purchased songs. Apple makes a few extra cents on a rent to buy conversion, consumers get more than the 30 second preview if they want, and ultimately more tracks get bought. For the same price as the Napster To Go subscription, I can rent 60 tracks a month with an investment to buy and I don't have the subscription fee to even think about. Not only does it introduce a new pricing tier, it seems fair to consumers because the rental fee isn't wasted, it starts you on the way to buying if you want. Obviously you can apply the same math and rights to albums. Here is my personal example. At $0.99, I don't know if it's worth it to buy the new J.Lo track Get Right. If individual track rentals existed, I would rent it for a few days to see if I can groove to it, or I hate it. I am pretty sure hate, but for a quarter, I'll take a flyer.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Why I haven't been blogging and the direction of this blog

I haven't been blogging a lot in the last 2 months, certainly less than since I started the blog, because I have been playing a lot of World of Warcraft. Oh, and I have been looking for a new job and moving out of California, small time sinks. So now the hunt for a house with a 1 hour commute to NYC begins in full force. Friday I spent driving around all my old neighborhoods in Middlesex County, NJ, which was great. also has everything, mass transit, shopping, good schools, and reasonable housing prices (CA housing market reality distortion field may be in effect). I am still going to be playing a lot of WoW, while hunting for a house, but I am going to make more of an effort to blog. I am a bit torn on what to blog about. My last couple posts are about my personal stuff affecting my blog, but I will eventually start blogging about tech again, especially Apple. I missed out on all the hoopla with Macworld, which was great, watched the keynote and devouring all the commentary on the Mac mini and iPod shuffle. I think I have something to add even on these topics, but latter. Seems like the most widely read blogs focus on a single topic, or cover one area, like dedicated Microsoft or Apple coverage. On the other hand, I have a lot of interests and I think what might make me stand out is this synthensis of topics, and I think I have a unifying theory of the common thread that holds a majority of my interests together.

Moving back to Jersey

My wife and I have been living in California for the last 4.5 years. We had our first kid in June '04, and decided to move back to the East Coast to be closer to family, at least we are all in the same timezone. I have been in NJ and PA first the last few days, and I start work in NYC tomorrow, and its been a very different experience from CA so far. There is snow everywhere, which is great, it's so pretty to look at and I missed it a lot. It has been cold, but it is not all that different from the cold days in NorCal. Sure it can get colder here, roads ice at night, but most days, its about the same. I spend most of my time indoors anyway, in the car, in the house, in the office, and in stores, so I think I can manage to "tough it out" during the few minutes I am inbetween indoors. :-)