been back from a multi-week vacation: moving my sister from boston to ny, graduation, camping in utah. all that remains for another post. in the meantime, the iphone hype continues to build. here are some great vids:
it turns out that the only place in the entire city of austin that currently has any wii’s in stock is walmart. i broke down and for the first (and hopefully only) time in my life, entered into and made a purchase at a walmart store. i take some solace in knowing that they sold the system for the same price as every other location on the planet, but that didn’t help the fact that it was a walmart. the only justification is that unless i waited months for the demand to die down, there is no way that i could be assured that i could actually purchase a wii. supplies at every store i called sell out in a matter of hours, and none of them know when the new shipments arrive – they just magically appear. there is no waiting or hold list for a wii – you basically have to cold call and hope that the system is still there by the time you arrive at the store.
so anyway, i got the wii and actually managed a small degree of restraint by not setting it up until after dinner. my wife’s second bout of pregnancy exhaustion has begun following a one week period of energy, so she was wiped out by 9:30p and could only play one game of tennis. i stayed up for another 1.5 hrs playing every game on wii sports, which came bundled w/ the system (just like duck hunt came w/ the original nintendo!). tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing – my muscles are actually a bit sore. that says 2 things about both me and wii:
- the nintendo wii actually encourages a degree of exercise. cindy played a quick game of boxing this morning w/ me before we both started working, and she acknowledge that it got her heart rate up.
- i am extremely out of shape.
over the course of the day, i’ve taken 20 minute breaks from my reading to play more wii, and my forearms actually ache. i have that body tiredness that comes from a full day of activity after a long winter. my birthday present from my in-laws came in the mail today – super paper mario and zelda. my wife asked what i wanted to do tonight to celebrate my birthday (coming up in a few days). i said …wii?! she replied excitedly that she was down w/ that – she had only played one game this morning b/c she had work to do. that right there is the reason why every person on the planet should own a wii – my wife enjoys it. she is not a gamer or techie in any manner of the word, though part of my life’s mission is to change that. i jumped for joy the other day when she mentioned that using a windows pc at work every day is difficult, stupid, and irritating now that she uses a mac at home. so, macs and wiis, my friends. macs and wiis.
check out this absolutely incredible – in every way – zelda video.
i promised myself that i’d reward myself w/ a wii when i got a job, and this past week i accepted a position that i’m pretty psyched about. but i won’t talk about work b/c i already posted about it earlier, and the important item in this post is the nintendo wii. i started getting concerned earlier this week about the availability of wii, knowing they’ve been selling like hotcakes. so i started calling around – best buy has a 3 month wait before they’re restocking. that’s what i was told, at least, when i called – i can’t believe that for a second. nonetheless, it showed that wii’s are currently hard to come by. so i called gamestop, usually a sure bet for the pulse of the gaming industry, and sure enough they had wii’s in stock. and so i put off buying one until the weekend. bad move. every single gamestop in austin is sold out of wii’s (except for the last one i called, which is selling refurbished wii’s w/o wii sports – deal breaker right there). now i’m on a calling mission to every store that might have a wii in stock. gamestop. target. fry’s. game crazy. toys ‘r’ us. even walmart. the operators keep telling me to call back in 2-3 weeks, but they obviously have no idea what waiting for a wii does to one’s psyche. only gamestop gets a weekly restock, but they don’t know which day. that makes every day a harrowing crapshoot. a certain target says that their weekly ads are advertising for wii’s this sunday, so that’s the most promising lead i have right now.
in my search for nintendo wii, i used google maps’ click to call feature. i’ve used it before, think it’s great, can’t wait for it to be integrated w/ gmail, and let me tell you – when you’re calling 35 places w/in 10 min, an auto-pilot calling feature rocks.
let me preface this post by saying that the studios’ pushing of a new dvd standard once regular dvd had finally gotten hold of the market is ridiculous. nobody asked for it, nobody really wanted it, and it is the wrong format entirely (apple tv, anyone?). i’m pretty sure that toshiba and sony got together w/ the tv manufacturers (sony and toshiba) and said – “hey let’s stick a new video format on the world. it doesn’t matter that dvd is still gaining a foothold – let’s push a new round of hardware and make them all repurchase their videos – again!” so that’s how that happened. but then along the way, sony and toshiba decided to create 2 different standards. of course there’s no compromise that would make it easy on the consumer, even tho there was a brief time about a year ago where that almost happened. the last time sony attempted this, they got rocked in the vhs v. beta-max war. the difference in their winning this time around (which they will) is 2 fold.
- sony has (or soon will have) a huge base of ps3’s in living rooms across the world. xbox 360 is supporting hd-dvd, but that’s a separate dvd player that you need to purchase and hook up. i believe that ps3 plays blu-ray natively. either way, both ps3 and xbox 360 suck next to nintendo wii, which is whooping both of them (although oddly enough ps2 is still outselling all of the next gen consoles – who knew?)
- the name blu-ray is more appealing than hd-dvd. this is why i wrote this post in the first place, and it’s something i’ve mentioned to friends several times over the last 2 years. it’s as simple as the name – blu-ray is a good name, and hd-dvd is not. blu-ray is an object, hd-dvd is a video standard. blu-ray is sexy, hd-dvd is a wart. blu-ray is new, hd-dvd sounds like an update to dvd. blu-ray is exciting, hd-dvd is dull. if you had to give personalities to these ridiculous naming schemes, blu-ray would be apple and hd-dvd would be microsoft. hd-dvd – how much more unimaginative can you get?
hot damn – EMI announced w/ Steve Jobs that the entire EMI catalog will be available for DRM-free download at $1.29/song – a $0.30 markup over the traditional DRM-laden $0.99/song. you can also upgrade from DRM-laden to non-DRM for an additional $0.30. all songs will be available in DRM’ed versions as well. this comes just months after Jobs called for the demise of DRM – which Bill Gates also did, but nobody really pays attention to his take since Microsoft’s music products are inconsequential; we know Jobs was pushing behind the scenes, Gates probably not so much.
guess it doesn’t matter if you’re in america or england, the song remains the same…
seeing as i’ve been such a huge dork about the awesomeness of Google Transit and its newly minted Austin edition, CapMetro sent some Fox7 reporters after me. they interviewed me about what Google Transit is, why i like it and think it is a step up over CapMetro’s Trip Planner, and how i think it will help people (he especially noted the influx of visitors this coming week for SXSW).
so there it is – yet another deciding factor that i am, indeed, a dork. i went on the news to profess love of an online service. if you want visual proof, watch the Fox7 Austin newscast today at 5p. i’ll hopefully grab some online footage and post it here later today or tomorrow.
UPDATE: got the video!