Monday, April 23, 2007

Down with cliffhangers

OK, almost to the end of season 1 and I'm still watching Heroes. Here's one reason I know I'll be happy with the season closing episode:

A modern TV creator like Kring can't think about just the next episode. He has to think about a world audience and plan several seasons out. "A big complaint for Lost was that you had to wade through too many shows before something happened," Kring says. He is committed to wrapping up story lines each season instead of sinking too deeply into a meandering mythology. "The apocalyptic event in Heroes will be resolved in season one, and we'll move on to something else in season two." (Wired)

Yes! This is exactly what I've been telling people I wish TV shows would start doing. What I like about shorter-run British shows vs. American series, the latter which feel the need to draw major plot lines out over years. (Never mind if you really know how long the American show will last or whether it'll be cancelled before the plot lines are wrapped up.)

I don't need everything wrapped up each season. But don't end a season mid-episode. Take a lesson from book serials, like Harry Potter.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Promoting killers

In an interview last night on MSNBC, Mr. Williams said NBC had been concerned about the sensitivities of broadcasting as much of the material as it did.

“This was a sick business tonight, going on the air with this,” he said. (NY Times)

Why did you do it then? What was the news value in seeing photos and videos of the killer?

Is this going to be a regular thing now? Mass murderers write up essays, take some photo and video, knowing they will be broadcast nationally after their crime?

How is this any different than Al Jazeera broadcasting Al Qaeda propaganda?

It doesn't seem too long ago that media outlets didn't give murderous wackos a forum in which to spew their bile. I guess those days are over.

You know, there will always be people who go crazy and kill a couple of people around them. But one reason why a guy like this decides he’s going to go somewhere and kill dozens of people is because he knows that he can then access a national stage, and an international stage. He’s on the front page of newspapers all over the world. And I think in a sense, to make a crazy guy, to upgrade him from kind of small town burlesque to planetary wide superstar, which is what NBC is colluding in here, I think is terrible. I mean, in a sense, they’ve upgraded the show business aspect of the crime, and that is disgraceful. (Mark Steyn)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Scion xB

News about the next generation Scion xB comes from the New York auto show.

At the request of current xB owners, the next generation xB dimensions grow significantly in comparison to the current model. [...] xB owners asked for a more powerful engine. (Autoblog)

My question is, who are these owners? If they wanted a bigger car with a more powerful engine, why didn't they avail themselves of other cars on the market that fit the bill? Silly me, I thought the smallness of the first generation model was part of its charm.

Ah well, at least there's the smart in 2008.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Satellite imagery

With all this talk about Google maps updating its New Orleans imagery, why is the picture of my house more than 5 years old? (It's right there, just to the left of the arrow.)

iTunes & EMI

I stand by what I said earlier: $10 is too much for a downloaded album. I think it's great that iTunes is going to start selling EMI tracks without copy protection. But for 30% more? That'd be what -- $13 an album? What I can pay for an actual hardcopy CD? What's the advantage?

EMI thinks that a majority of buyers are willing to pay the price. Steve Jobs thinks half of iTunes purchases in a year will be without DRM. I dunno, not at those prices.