The End of TV’s Golden Age

Andy Greenwald marks the return of Mad Men by declaring that the creative renaissance of mainstream TV is about to end.

The so-called Golden Age of Television began that January night with James Gandolfini stressing over the ducks in his backyard, and it signaled a sea change in popular entertainment. During the roughly 10-year period that followed, the small screen went from being cinema’s idiot brother to the last auteur-driven mass medium.

And then, without fanfare, it was over.

“No plans” for ‘Angry Birds Space’ on Windows Phone

The top selling iOS and Android game right now is Rovio’s followup to the slightly popular franchise known as Angry Birds.  Where’s the Windows Phone 7 version?  Here’s Vlad Savov from The Verge:

Bad news if you’re eager to try out the latest — and indisputably greatest — Angry Birds game on your Windows Phone: Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka has told Bloomberg that the company has “no plans” to port Angry Birds Space to WP7. The original game in the series is currently the top-selling Windows Phone app, but Microsoft had to assist Rovio with the port and Vesterbacka cites that same difficulty of porting software as the major hurdle.

I’m guessing Microsoft will step in again to “assist” Rovio in an attempt to stay (or should I say, become) relevant in the mobile space.

“OS X Is Going to Die Really Soon”

Really, Gizmodo?  Jesus Diaz posts a screenshot of the Apple executive PR page and writes:

If you had any doubts about the overwhelming importance of iOS and the imminent death of OS X—probably after Mountain Lion—take a look at the image above. Pay close attention. Read the titles of the entire Apple leadership team.

See it yet?

There’s no VP for OS X or Mac technologies.

Oh my, that’s tragic!  By that logic I guess Apple is about to shut down their entire retail store operation too, because they don’t have a headshot of the new Senior Vice President of Retail on that page either.  Those stores are clearly dying.  I better make my final appointment at the Genius Bar now.

Mike Daisey’s history of truth

The Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Yang comments on Mike Daisey’s use of embellishment to make a point, and whether This American Life’s Ira Glass (and the rest of the media) did their homework before running with Daisey’s version of the facts:

You see, if Glass (and the rest of the media) had looked a little more closely at Daisey’s recent history, they’d have encountered one of his lesser-known pieces, a monologue called “Truth.” In that piece, Daisey explored the strange and, from the vantage point of today, ironic stories of JT LeRoy and James Frey — both of which are milestone cases of literary fabrication. He also briefly discusses his own history of exaggeration, sharing how an anecdote about butchering a deer evolved, onstage, into a full story about working in a slaughterhouse.

I listened to this week’s episode of This American Life, entitled “Retraction,” where Ira Glass explains what was discovered since the original episode aired.  Daisey’s credibility takes the biggest hit when he is questioned by Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz and Glass himself.  You can almost hear the sound of shifting sand beneath Daisey’s answers about what was true and what he just came up with on his own to make a compelling point.

Perhaps the biggest casualties of Mike Daisey’s performance/journalism are the factory workers themselves.  Daisey’s show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” raises valid concerns about the working conditions in some of these Foxconn factories.  It appears that in some cases Daisey read about actual events that occurred, but then exaggerated them and placed himself in the center of the drama by claiming that he spoke directly with the injured Foxconn employees.  By destroying his own credibility, Daisey manages to trivialize the potential injustices that deserve the most attention.

Comparing the new iPad screen to the iPad 2

Jeff Benjamin at iDownload blog takes a macro lens look at the screen resolutions of the new and old iPad screens.

Notice how you can barely make out any pixels on the new iPad even with the screen magnified many times over? Now look at the iPad 2. The difference, though predictable, is stunning when you compare the two devices side-by-side.

Personally I don’t think the video on iDownloadBlog’s site does the Retina display iPad justice.

‘This American Life’ retracts anti-Apple episode

Eric Slivka reporting for MacRumors on Mike Daisey’s dubious Foxconn claims against Apple:

Daisey reportedly lied to This American Life‘s staff when asked for contact information for the interpreter he used during his travels, but once the interpreter was found through other means his story began to come apart.

Class act.

Leaving Windows behind

Eric Knorr at Infoworld is leaving 22 years of Windows use behind to switch to a Mac.  Why?

All it took was a long look at Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In hindsight, I suppose that Microsoft’s quest to combine a desktop and mobile OS into one was damn near impossible to begin with. But couldn’t the company do better than what landed with a thud on Feb. 29? I was shocked, not only at the clunkiness of Metro on the desktop, but also at the disappearance of the Start menu — a double-barreled fail.

After a flurry of positive reviews, the reality of what Microsoft is trying to shoehorn into the desktop is starting to sink in.  I’m sure they were trying to go where they thought Apple was going with iOS: combining mobile and desktop into one monolithic platform.  But Apple shows no sign of doing that, and for the right reasons- iOS on a mouse and keyboard centric device would be a disaster.  The most iOS-y of the current feature set of OS X Lion–Launchpad–feels gimmicky and not entirely useful beyond showing off in presentations as eye candy.  Microsoft was too afraid of cannibalizing its own sales by creating a mobile-only platform that would compete head on with the cash cow that is Windows.