Magazine’s on iPad

There seems to be a new digital revolution afoot in the magazine and newspaper space.  Companies like News Corp and Virgin are starting to develop applications to publish magazines that are for iPad only.  I have a couple of apps that are similar such as Travel and Leisure for iPad which downloads the magazine to the iPad so that the physical magazine is no longer required.

The concept is interesting and definitely should save a few trees in the long run but I don’t know if this will take off.  The way they entice you to give them money is to give away the app and the have you pay for the content.  This is similar to what some news websites have been doing for a while, you can read some things but for the best stuff you gotta pony up the cash to get to it.  Another interesting aspect is that these apps are so far built for the iPad and for anything else like Android or Windows tablet.  The one problem that I had when using the Travel and Leisure app is that it took a really long time to download the content.  Due to the amount of time required to download the content, I find picking up a magazine faster or loading a web page faster.

Most people will be connected to the internet anyway so reading it through Safari seems to be more prudent.  For people like me that travel a lot, downloading content through Kindle or something is better.  I think the day will come when Kindle content will be in color and will use eInk which will look pretty awesome.  The new Nook is a good example but I’m waiting for Kindle so I can see the content on my iPad.  I don’t need the content to be interactive, I just want to be able to read it.  I guess I’ll wait for the future to come and make my iPad even more useful than it already is….. until I need an iPad 3 or something in another year or so.

iOS 4.2.1 for Apple TV is eh

This past week while I was at home, I was able to upgrade my Apple TV to iOS 4.2.1 or whatever version they’re up to now but I’ve been holding off on updating any of my other stuff (iPhones and iPad) until the jailbreak is out that doesn’t require tethering.  I don’t know what was updated on the Apple TV but I do know that my Netflix streaming experience hasn’t been the same since the update.  Most of what I try and watch on Netflix seems to work just fine except for some TV shows where the episode won’t stream.  I think everyone is getting on the new Netflix streaming service and its bogging things down too.  I’m hoping that the problem is on the Netflix end and not the Apple TV end since I can stream things just fine when I’m using my iPad or my computer.  I don’t see any improvements anywhere else really but I’m looking forward to seeing some apps and maybe a web browser in the near future.

Apple TV is shaping up to be pretty cool but it just needs more functionality on the software end for it to be a must have product.  I think most of the functionality that people are raving about will come when I finally upgrade my own iOS devices to 4.2.1 so I can stream things to my Apple TV.  I’ve been looking at the Roku player as well just in case I need something else to stream content to my house but I haven’t gotten that far yet.  What I really need is a T3 line into my house so that I can get faster internet downloads and what not for when I stream content.

Once Apple TV gets on par with what a Google TV box can do (well mostly in terms of streaming services, apps, and search) I think it will be a totally awesome device that everyone will want to have especially if it is coupled with an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.  Here’s waiting for the next update!

Black Friday Avoided

For the first time in a very long time I’ve actually avoided going out on Black Friday to shop.  That doesn’t mean that I avoided going out entirely but I just avoided the shopping craziness that is associated with the day after Thanksgiving.  I used to go every year to get some great bargains on stuff that I needed for my wife or for my home but this year was different, I didn’t need anything really and so I was able to sleep in and let the craziness pass.

I looked online and read about some really crazy stories about people camping out just to get some good deals on PS3’s, TV’s, and other assorted stuff for Christmas.  I also read some of the horror stories where people were fighting over stuff or had it stolen from their cars after putting it away and then went off to other stores to get yet more stuff.  Me personally, my time is more valuable than a few dollars saved on Christmas gifts.  Camping out for hours to get a TV or video game console is just nuts.  It’s almost like waiting days for a movie to come out just to be the first to see it.  Let the hype die down and pay the extra money so you have time to spend with family or doing something else that interests you rather than wasting time in a line for a gift.

I’m hoping that I can keep this trend up for a while so I don’t have to experience the craziness ever again.  Besides, if you buy Christmas gifts now, it just gives your loved ones more time to try and find it in your secret hiding place in the house.  Today is Cyber Monday so that means even more deals will be online.  At least I can agree with Cyber Monday, I don’t have to venture out of my home and I can just get everything I need delivered if its available online.  And if there is free shipping, thats even better all around!

November is Gaming Month!

Ahh November is a good month for video games, especially for those that own an Xbox 360 like me.  While I’m in my temporary apartment, I have decided to go with my most powerful gaming machine that I own to set up and left my other machines packed away until I move back after the new year.  November is always a blockbuster month for games and there are 3 games that just came out that I want to play but I think I’m only going to get to choose one to play at the moment.  The 3 games that I want are Call of Duty Black Ops, Need for Speed, and Assassins Creed.  All 3 games are different genre’s that I enjoy but its a hard decision on which one to choose.

I think I’ll eliminate Call of Duty first, I have recently defeated Halo Reach and that has satisfied my 1st Person Shooter craving for a while which is the genre that Call of Duty is a part of.  While I hear that this game is totally bad ass, I’m content to wait it out a little while and I might even get it cheaper.  I don’t go online to play so for me it will be all first person shooter against the computer.  I still haven’t defeated the last game which is sitting in a box somewhere in storage.

Need for Speed will probably be eliminated but thats because I have a preference for Assassin’s Creed.  I played the demo on my Xbox360 last week and I must say that I was pretty impressed with the graphics and game play.  It played a lot like Burn Out but that shouldn’t be a big surprise since Criteron Games does the Burn Out franchise.  I like driving games for their replay value since I can just keep on playing the same tracks and stuff over and over trying to beat my best times but over time that gets old.  I’m thinking of getting this one maybe in a year or so when the price comes down so I can play it on the cheap.

Assassin’s Creed will probably earn my nickel on Tuesday of this week.  I played Assassin’s Creed II only so far and it was really enjoyable.  It’s a nice 3rd person adventure game and the best part about is that I’m an assassin!  I like snooping around and knifing people when they least expect it or running around in the open world format performing some of the side missions so that I can get more points or bonus treasure.  This time the entire game takes place in Rome which I hear is going to be awesome.  I don’t know if they are going to use other towns like the last game but if they stick to the city of Rome I’m sure I’ll have enough to see and interact with.

I wonder what other gems are hiding in the rough that might earn my hard earned cash.  Maybe another beatem up like Scott Pilgrim (which I got from XBox Live for only 10 bucks and I’m still playing it!).  Here’s to a great holiday season filled with awesome video games 🙂

Seven is the New Fourty-Four

Today is Thumper’s 7th Birthday in cat years but in human years he’s about 44 years old.  I looked this up on one of those cat websites just to see how long he would live and what it translates into in human years.  Almost like dog years but not quite.  That means he has hit his mid life crisis way sooner than I have but I too am approaching that quickly.  This is the first time I won’t be able to say happy birthday to him in person since I got him from the pet store when he was only nine weeks old (plus or minus a couple of days if I was traveling for work).  But thats OK, I informed my father in law and he’ll say happy birthday for me and give him a few extra treats to celebrate.    I’ll give him some extra treats and a big hug the next time I’m up north for a visit. 🙂