3.11.2009

Pwitter Patter - TWITpost

T.his W.eek I.n T.echnology

PSN

I don't know about you folks, but up until recently my default platform for online video purchasing and downloading was iTunes. That all changed when I got my Playstation 3. The Playstation 3 is hooked up to the TV in the living room, which immediately makes it more enticing than watching videos on my computer. I've never minded watching video content on my computer screen. Heck, when I was in college, most of the movies I watched were on my 12" laptop screen.  However, in the end, it's all about the couch.

I've heard a lot of salesman-talk about electronics companies "making a play for the living room", recently. You hear this kind of thing from Microsoft all the time, and Apple actually did make a play for the living room a couple years ago when they introduced the Apple TV, or TV for those of us with keyboard savvy.

I have looked at the Apple TV and thought long and hard about buying one, but in the end, the PS3, just gives you more bang for the buck. It has most of the functionality of the Apple TV (minus actually being able to play DRM'd content purchased from the iTunes Store), plus a Blu-Ray drive, potential Hulu support, and oh yeah... you can play games on it.

Needless to say I've been happy with my overall Playstation experience, but I have been fairly hesitant to buy more than movie rentals from the Playstation Store. To be fair, I generally don't buy movies or TV Shows from the iTunes Store either, preferring instead to buy DVD copies and rip them into iTunes.

When I first bought my PS3 the Playstation Store was kind of a joke. There was very little content and the servers were so slow that you couldn't even load a preview of the content you were thinking about purchasing without having to wait for the video to buffer a few times. Since that time however, the Store has been improving by leaps and bounds. Download times are faster, preview videos now buffer quickly (although I'm not sure that the connection is quite adequate enough to watch your purchase while the video downloads in the background), and the amount of content found in the Store continues to grow.

The situation improved further when PSN
announced the addition of content from NBC Universal earlier this week.  Being a huge fan of Battlestar Galactica, and a lot of the other content added, this really just serves to sweeten the pot and now I can't help but think that maybe it might be time to start purchasing more content from the store.

I took care of the first hang up I had, which was a backup solution.  Since my computer died last year, I have become religious about backing things up.  When I got my PS3, I put a 500GB hard drive in it and now I have an external 500GB hard drive to back up the content on the Playstation using the PS3's built-in Backup Utility.  So the fear of buying things from the Store and losing them in a hard drive crash is somewhat allayed.

The other thing that bothers me about purchasing content from the Playstation Store is that it's just as DRM'd as the stuff you buy from iTunes.  Meaning, I can't copy it over to my computer or my wife's computer or my phone.  At least with iTunes, you have a bit of versatility with other platforms that run iTunes.  And I suppose if I had a PSP, it'd be a different story.

So we will see what happens.  As Sony continues to add quality content to their store and improve the speed of their servers they will continue to whittle away my excuses.  If there were some way to stream media from a PS3 to a computer or just some other way to interact with the media I buy other than strictly via my PS3, I would be much more enthusiastic about buying content from them.

Pwitter

No, that's not a typo, it's a program.  Pwitter is the new desktop Twitter application I have been rocking recently, and I am amazed at how much I like it.  I'm amazed because when I first started using it I really thought of it as a clone of Twitterrific, but the more I used it and the more I played with it, the more the differences and advantages became apparent.  Everything from the sound effects to the customizibility (that's a word now) to the dearth of advertisements became very pleasing to me.  Pwitter is simple, but extremely configurable and I dig that.  I won't go into too many specifics, because chances are you either don't give a shit about Twitter or you've already got your desktop Twitter app of choice, but if you're in the market for a new Twitter app, give Pwitter a try.

Leggo my Legos

Lego fever has struck me once again but this time it's much different than the forms of nostalgia and "hey neat" that it took last time around.  This time, it's slightly more creative, and much nerdier, 'natch.

When we were little we all got bored with the instructions of our sets and attempted our own creations, that's half the fun of Legos.  My creations were always borderline cool, but generally just modified versions of pre-existing sets.  I was never too good at just building something off the top of my head.

Inspiration struck when I saw this guy's work.  His mecha are impeccable (nerdcore rappers feel free to steal that line) and it really inspired me to give it a go of my own.  I already have a couple sets that could easily translate into some of this stuff, but I decided to buy a few more (I need the pieces!) and plan to give it an honest attempt the next time I get the itch.  Because we all know I could use another hobby.

No comments: