how Google TV can be saved

After Google TV’s dismal launch (customers are returning more units than they’re buying), Time’s Jared Newman looks ahead:

This isn’t the end of Google TV. Google plans to revamp the software this summer with an interface based on Android Honeycomb, with access to the Android Market. But to make Google TV a living room powerhouse, Google and its hardware partners need to learn a few lessons from the first generation’s flop…

The bigger problem is that there isn’t one solution out there that does enough to stand on its own.  My Apple TV hasn’t prevented me from juggling two or three remotes from the couch, and I pay for dozens of cable channels that I will never watch to get the few that I will.  Google TV 1.0 tried to cobble together a browser-based solution that would siphon streaming content from the networks’ sites, but one by one they were shut down.

show opens: part 2

Next up: Treme, season 1.

 

The pairing of credit text with the water damaged walls is simple and beautiful, and the whole sequence manages to blend the catastrophic aftermath of Katrina with the energy and deep history of New Orleans in a way that would seem impossible.  Toss in a shot of Brownie swearing to tell the truth and I’m sold.

show opens: part 1

I’m kicking off a series highlighting some of TV’s more interesting opening credit sequences from the viewpoint of a visual editor.  Today’s pick: The Wire, season 4.

 

There’s lots to like in this montage.  Plenty of juxtaposition, matching camera moves, and themes that run throughout.  I particularly like the “wheel” sequence near the end.

Nintendo, another Apple casualty

Minyanville reports:

The 3DS’s predecessor, the DS, was the best-selling handheld gaming device ever made, moving over 146 million units.

So what happened in just one generation that has Nintendo scrambling in a way it never has before?

The answer that that question is right in your pocket. The flop of the 3DS stems from the emergence of smartphone mania, kicked off in 2007 by the first Apple (AAPL) iPhone.

I’ve always been a fan of portable gaming, but my interest in Nintendo’s offerings vaporized with the rise of iOS.  Will pigs fly before WarioWare is ported to the iPhone?  Probably, but that would be cool.

Apple’s officially over the optical drive

Darren Murph at Engadget:

And if I’m really going out on a limb, I might say that the iMac is next on the chopping block — you know, once Apple retools it to be as thin as the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display it just outed. It’s a future I’m pretty chafed about (seriously, a “Pro” machine with no ability to toast films from iDVD or Final Cut Pro?), but Apple’s got the market share, the cash — and frankly, the cajones — to take a calculated risk while simultaneously nudging buyers to rely more and more on its own ecosystem. For everything.

Coincidentally, I’m ripping old CDs on my 27″ iMac as I read this.

Safari bug or feature?

Chris Rawson at TUAW:

After installing OS X Lion last week, one of the things I’ve noticed is that Safari tends to run away with enormous amounts of RAM over time. A subprocess called “Safari Web Content” will sometimes use over a gigabyte of RAM. Since my Mac maxes out at 4 GB, and since it’s a rare day that I’m only using Safari and nothing else, having so much of my system’s RAM gobbled up by one process was bogging everything down.

There’s debate in the comment thread about whether this is the way Safari is supposed to work- use available RAM to cache data for quick and easy page swiping.

technology is great, when it works

NPR’s Krissy Clark on GPS fail in Death Valley.

Each summer in Death Valley, a quarter-million tourists pry themselves from air-conditioned cars and venture into 120-degree heat to snap pictures of glittering salt flats. They come from all over the world, but many have the same traveling companion suction-cupped to their dashboard: a GPS.

Most of us have tales of navigation systems taking us on some pretty wild rides, but…

Two summers ago, a mother and son on a camping trip had GPS in their car and got stuck on an abandoned mining road for five days.

“She barely survived. The boy did not survive,” [Ranger Charlie Callagan] says.

The issue was traced back to GPS data relying on very outdated paper maps.