Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Antarctica: Ice and Sky

June 8, 2017

Watched the Luc Jaquet (March of the Penguins) documentary on the life of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, credited as the first scientist to discover evidence of climate change. The film is not a political or activist work. It is a quiet film about Lorius’ many expeditions and his findings. I felt the film could have used more editing. Still it is important to chronicle this man’s achievements. 3 out of 5.

Although the doc appears to be in French during the credits, the film is actually in English.

Merchant Ivory’s ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach (Variety)

May 19, 2017

The article, ‘Maurice’ Gets Another Walk on the Beach published in Variety is a total geekfest for film lovers and those interested in film restoration. It’s also short enough to scan and marvel at the delicacy of older film and the painstaking process some companies take to bring these masterpieces back to life for new and future generations. At the top of this list (with Criterion) is Cohen Media Group who is overseeing 30 Merchant Ivory restorations.

Read the full article at Variety.

Hulu Live TV

May 6, 2017

Hulu expanded their services this week adding cable replacement (Live TV) to their streaming service package. Coming in at $39.99/month Hulu boasts via TechCrunch,

…channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and local affiliates, along with ESPN, CNN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, FX, USA Network and many more.

Hulu also announced that it’s signed a deal with Scripps Networks Interactive to bring their channels — including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network — into the on-demand and live TV service.

Hulu  Live TV is the fifth of eight cable replacement services due out by the end of 2017. How’s that for Live TV cord cutting options?

Check out Tom’s Guide for Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV vs. Sling vs. Vue vs. DirectTV Now: Face-Off!

How Do You Organize Your Watching?

April 20, 2017

How do you keep up with all the new content being acquired by streaming services? There should be a way for our viewing devices to organize everything for us. Until that happens, I keep an analog list in a note on my laptop of all the series I’m currently watching. Once a month I go through the lists online of what’s coming to the services I’m subscribed to (currently Netflix and Amazon Prime). That’s easily done by googling “What’s coming to ___ in ___ ?” (insert streaming service and month). Then I add the start dates to my Google calendar to jar my memory. Awkward and clunky doesn’t even begin to describe this analog nightmare. But it works for now and keeps me on top of most content. New shows creep in that have hovered out of my radar now and then such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why which I’m currently watching. Oh, and part of my duties at the library is to order DVDs, so I add another layer of DVD watching to the mix from shows that are either on other streaming services or currently only available on DVD.

Confusing? Absofuckinglutely. Is your method any easier? Please consider sharing in the comments.

Roku has hired a team of lobbyists as it gears up for a net neutrality fight (Recode)

April 6, 2017

If you’re as confused about Net Neutrality as I am – what is it about this issue that makes me have to read the definition each time I look at a new article – check out where Roku stands and what they are doing to further their cause.

From Recode,

Roku appears to be arming itself for the coming net neutrality war.

The web video streaming and hardware company has plenty at stake as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to pull back rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

For Roku and others in the business, an end to the Obama-era protections could make it harder — or, in some cases, more expensive — to offer content or services to customers at top download speeds.

That’s why Roku has hired a pair of Republican lobbyists through an outside government-affairs firm, according to a federal ethics reports filed this week, specifically to focus on net neutrality. It’s the first time the company has ever retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Read the full article at Recode.
From Google definitions,

net neu·tral·i·ty
noun: net neutrality; noun: network neutrality
  1. the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.


Hidden Figures

February 13, 2017


What a wonderfully uplifting film, Hidden Figures turned out to be. In my mind, the perfect way to educate is to entertain. Which is exactly what Hidden Figures did so right. It was packed with blatant racism and sexism. But through it all, the women supported each other, their families, and had so much smarts between them, they disintegrated the glass ceilings. Not an easy task to do. And why haven’t we heard of these women before? We all know the answer to that. Which is why films like Hidden Figures are so needed to change the tide, color and gender of the historical figures taught in school. When we celebrate everyone, we raise the bar for all. Inclusion and acknowledgement are not something to fear. They are an attainable goal to set our sights on. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe proved to be the triple crown for this film. Taraji in particular commanded the screen and displayed her acting skills in a role the antithesis of what she does on Empire. Such a treat spending two hours with these women teaching the world that quietly young women of color made important contributions to the successful history of our space program. 4 out of 5.

11 Roku tricks you should try right now (CNET)

January 28, 2017

rokuFrom CNET,

Is there a more widely beloved tech product than the Roku streamer? Whether yours is a stick or box, it delivers virtually unparalleled video goodness to your TV: Netflix, Hulu, HBO and so on.

And, yet, it could be better. That onscreen keyboard? Bleh. The default interface theme? Room for improvement. Below I’ve rounded up 11 ways to improve your Roku experience, from organizing channels to adding buttons (no, really) to your Roku remote.

Check out all 11 Roku tricks on CNET.

Looking for a New Television in 2017?

January 13, 2017


CES 2017 (a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada) just ended. CNET’s got a rundown of all things television in store for 2017. From CNET,

For the last week I’ve been staring into the future of TVs, and it’s hella bright.

CES 2017 is over, and now we know all about the year’s newest, biggest sets. I saw many, many inches of screen real estate, all of it in 4K resolution and most of it HDR-compatible, with more light output, blacker blacks and crazier designs than ever.

Read the entire article by David Katzmaier on CNET.

Soundbars For Small Spaces: How To Pick The Best One For Your Lifestyle (Decider)

December 30, 2016


I know, I know. I talk often (incessantly) about the joys of soundbars. But seriously, your television was not made with audio in mind. And if you’re worried about the extra design space soundbars take up in your home, consider these less intrusive models. From Decider,

Regardless of its origin story, the mini soundbar is a speaker whose time has come. A crossover between a full-size soundbar and a Bluetooth speaker, a mini soundbar is small enough for any Manhattan apartment but still greatly improves the terrible sound that comes out of your TV or monitor. These small sound machines come with inputs such as HDMI or digital optical audio for a digital connection to your video source, and can decode surround sound (though, like their larger soundbar kind, the experience doesn’t compare to a true home theater system with at least 5 separate speakers and a subwoofer).

The mini soundbar means you no longer have any excuse to suffer subpar sound while streaming shows and movies. The harder choice is picking the one that’s best for you. Here are four good choices; hopefully you can put one of those gift certificates Santa left in your stocking to good use!

Read the full article for their top choices.
Oh, and happy new year… you’re welcome.

Buying Tech in 2016, 2017 and beyond

December 23, 2016

cnet-2016 Wanted to give a plug to my favorite tech review site, C/NET which has guided me through purchases throughout the years. I’m certainly not a large consumer of technology, but I have the basics and pine for things like a larger television and a new computer. In time. Meanwhile I love the lists C/NET puts together. They always seem rational and honest. Here are current lists and a bonus link  – my dream TV:

The Best Products of 2016

The Audiophiliac’s headphones of the year

Yamaha YAS-106 review:
Yamaha’s budget bar is a cinema star

Vizio E-Series 2016 review:
Budget TV with a superior picture, inferior features

My dream TV:  LG OLEDB6P series review:
The best TV picture ever is now more affordable than ever
(I actually want the smaller – 55″ version so it’s much cheaper than the 65″ listed… a bargain!)

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