Skip to main content

CES 2013

This past week was a big week for the tech industry, with the holding of the Consumer Electronics Show 2013. Recent years have been a bit 'meh', but this year really had some interesting tech show up. In particular the theme seemed to be changes coming to our living room TV's.

Much of what we saw this year revolved around ways to get entertainment to our TV's with set top boxes that tie into other services, or all new TV technology like 4k (Ultra High Defenition). Personally, I'm less excited about UHD, since I just bought a new TV, and am quite happy with it. Plus, I don't think we have the internet bandwidth for UHD content yet.

The really cool advances are less technological for me, but structural. One of the things I love about internet delivered entertainment, is the ability to control what you watch a LOT more than the old days of flipping cable channels. I love the idea of discovering a new show, downloading an entire season and devouring it as quickly as I choose to. Or the notion of season passes, where, the morning after a show "airs" I get an email that my latest episode is ready for me whenever (and on whatever device) I want to watch it. This type of flexibility in how I consume my entertainment is what I'm looking for, and honestly I think it brings us back around to the "old days", when entertainment meant picking up a good book.

In many ways, books are the ultimate in flexible entertainment. You purchase a book (or even an e-book), and it's available for you to start reading whenever you want. You can read a little bit, or stay up way too late devouring page after page of a gripping story. You can take a book (or even an e-book) with you, and read it in different places, on the way to work, or on your lunch break, or in bed. This is the type of flexibility I'm looking for in my media.

We got another small taste of this at CES this year with the emphasis on new TV's, lots of tablets for watching entertainment, and devices like the Qube. Or even with press releases about new ways to get digital copies of DVD's and new service coming to AppleTVs. I'm looking forward to more changes in store in the coming year.

Popular posts from this blog

Push it... push it real good...

The other day I got a chance to play with the new Apple force touch trackpad. This is a new design that Apple has put on their laptops for non-mechanized clicking on trackpad. When you press on the trackpad it senses the force that you're pressing with, and when you reach a certain level, you feel a 'click'. If you keep pressing, you feel a second 'click'. The unique thing is that these 'clicks' aren't physical in nature. The trackpad never moves at all, but the click that you feel is from haptic feedback. In essence, when you press with enough force, the trackpad clicks back at you. You feel the sensation of clicking, but it's simply the trackpad responding to your pressure.

I got to play with this for a while, since the Apple Store rep was talking with us about soccer, and after a short bit I was getting the hang of it. I feel that it would take quite a bit longer though to really feel comfortable with this new paradigm. I'm someone who has a …

The beat goes on

Yesterday Apple revealed their long awaited entry into the streaming music field. They were able to do this quickly because of the acquisition of Beats last year, and the systems and intellectual property that came with that purchase. Considering that the music reveal was pretty much the only big news out of a pretty benign developer keynote, I'll take a few moments to talk about what I think about it.

Apple was perhaps the defining company in the music revolution of the past 20 years. With the introduction of the iPod that revolutionized portable music, to the creation of the iTunes store and the eventual death of DRM, Apple has been at the forefront of digital music. This leadership comes with high expectations to continue to lead, and so many people have long questioned Apple not getting into the streaming music business quicker.

For the past few years new companies have come forth to lead the change in the streaming music evolution. From Pandora and its ability to create uniqu…

Oh Instant Messaging, I hardly knew you

For many years, I've been a big fan of Instant Messaging as a way to communicate with friends, especially those in other parts of the country. Sure e-mail works, but if you want to have a conversation with someone immediately, with a lot of back and forth, IM was the way to go. I jumped on the IM bandwagon all the way back in the ICQ days (and no, I don't remember my number). Followed by a bunch of years maintaining multiple protocols at the 'Big 3' at the time; AOL Instant Messaging (AIM), MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Many of us recall the years of running three different clients on our desktop at all times, because all of our friends used different systems. Thankfully, it wasn't too long before multi-protocol clients came into play and we could start to consolidate.

Google was a late comer to the market, but it's GTalk Instant Messenger caught on fast. It was slim and trim and since GMail was the rage, everyone had a log-in. Slowly, over the course of 5…