Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's Mr. Star Wars up to?

I ran across this article at work recently. Someone forwarded it as an example of some idea of some future something or somesuch. Anyway, it didn't really have much to do with work stuff but I found it interesting in other respects. It is an article about George Lucas and some recent information about what he is up to. He says Lucasfilm is getting 'out' of the feature film business. At least after Indiana Jones 4 releases. And instead of spending (risking) $200 million on one 2 hour film he says he can make 50 2 hour TV episodes for the same money. He thinks the American public is quickly moving away from going to the movies and will be seeking their entertainment in other places like Pay per view and television.
It's an interesting thought and there may be some merit, but I'm not sure that this 'sea change' he speaks of is as imminent as he thinks it is. I can see more and more downloadable content becoming available and people being willing to buy their entertainment that way, but I don't see thousands of movie theatres being boarded up anytime soon.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Zune watch

It's been about 3 months since Microsoft launched the Zune media player.
I bet you're all wondering just how it's doing. Well, since M$ isn't releasing any sales figures and it has virtually disappeared from the media since the holiday timeframe. I thought I would do a little research.
So, there is one source of information that I have referred to a few times. I think it's time for an update. The electronic bestsellers list . I have been checking from time to time over the last couple of months and the numbers have trended downward. There is some fluctuation up and down but the numbers below are a pretty good indication of where they have been on average for the last month or so. electronic bestsellers list (as of Feb. 20th 2007)

Black Zune = #186
White Zune = #601
Brown Zune = #657

For comparison

iPod 30gb Black = #2
iPod 80gb Black = #6
Shuffle silver = #10
Nano 2gb silver = #11
Nano 8gb Black = #13
iPod 30gb White = #37
Nano 4gb Silver = #53
Nano 4gb Pink = #67
Shuffle blue = #71
iPod 80gb White = #86
Shuffle Pink = #88
Nano 4gb Blue = #136
Shuffle Orange = #137
Shuffle Green = #163
Nano 4gb Green = #213

So, it is pretty clear that the Zune in it's current incarnation does not hold a candle to any iPod model. 14 of the 15 models are listed higher on the bestsellers list.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Steve speaks

We don't hear a lot from Steve Jobs. A couple of times a year at a keynote or special marketing event and the occasional Time magazine article. Today he posted an interesting 'note' on Click here to read.
Steve ruminates about the music industry and the iPod. if you're an iPoddie like me you might find his words interesting.
Here is one of the parts I found most interesting.

"However, a key provision of our agreements with the music companies is that if our DRM system is compromised and their music becomes playable on unauthorized devices, we have only a small number of weeks to fix the problem or they can withdraw their entire music catalog from our iTunes store."

His proposal for all music to be sold DRM free was bold but maybe not so bold when you consider that 90% of all music is sold without any DRM at all (physical CD's).

Regardless it is an interesting read.

2007 is not 1995

I've been reading a blog for the last several months that I want to share. It is called Roughly Drafted. This guy is decidedly a 'Mac guy' but if you read enough of his stuff you will see he is fair. He is not afraid to point out problems with Apple's products or strategies and will give credit where credit is due when talking about MS and windows stuff. He does a good job of providing data and plenty of press quotes. The articles are not short and sometimes can be hard to follow if you don't know much about the specific part of the industry he is writing about. For example, he has written several excellent articles on Apples iPhone, but gets down and dirty in discussing the merits of using 'EVDO' vs. 'HDSPA' for broadband networking. I learned a lot by reading those articles but honestly I didn't understand a lot of it.
The main reason I am bringing this up today is that I just read his article, "Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won't Be Like 1995". After using Windows Vista for 3 weeks I have my own thoughts on this subect that I will post soon, but I really wanted to share this article. It does a great job of putting into words what most Mac people have instinctively known for over a decade now. Windows really is inferior. If you can get past the deafening hype, lies and misinformation from Redmond you can see it clearly. Read the article and share your thoughts, I'm really interested to know what you think.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Just had to share the latest Shelbyism.

As Shelby sits looking closely at a tag on some item she looks up and says,
"Dad, how come everything is made in China?"