Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another County Heard From

I’ve been on an e-reader kick and I had the choice narrowed down to one of two units – the iPad or the Kobo. I showed Mother Hen the Kobo and a few hours later she presents me with this other possible e-reader option, the Aluratek Libre. It’s got a long battery life, a couple of gig for space, an easy to read 5 inch screen and a doable price (about a buck forty). It does not have wireless ordering but I don’t mind if I have to USB it into my laptop to upload books; especially when the 2 gigs will hold about a thousand books. It is a LOT cheaper than the iPad and unlike the Kobo it is available now. Now if I could only get a sleeve for it that says, “Don’t Panic!” I’d be in geek nirvana.

It may be our first e-reader.

Here’s hopin’!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Print Will Never be “Dead” but the Ole Rag Ain’t what She Use to Be

Oh no, Gentle Reader, the death of print will, thankfully, never be the case. There will always be a need for print media. That being said the newspaper industry is in for some hard times. E-readers are going to be the next BIG thing. If it is a Kindle, a Nook, a Sony, an iPad (which is a step towards the obsolescence of magazines too) or one of these puppies; the Kobo (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/150-kobo-ereader-the-real-kindle-killer?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29). When I read about the Kobo I thought of filling my Christmas list with at least 3 (possibly 4) of ‘em. FINALLY an e-reader that is multiple platforms instead of just what Amazon is selling. The $150.00 price tag – HALF the price of a Kindle is nothing to sneeze at either.

Any way… getting back to print… This very evening while shopping at my local Shoprite I ran into two attractive middle-aged women who were trying to see subscriptions to the Atlantic City Press. “Would you like to have a subscription to The Atlantic City Press and receive a $10.00 coupon good for shopping here?”

“I’m sorry, I’m illiterate.” I lied.

“No you’re not.” She said. But it was too late; I had already started to put my junk onto the self-check out isle (I LOVE to avoid the contact of human cashiers).

They asked the next guy they saw. After hearing the question he said, “Why would I buy the paper when I have the internet?”

BAM! The game was up. That guy was right. If I wasn’t loading my groceries or have just lied to one of the quasi-attractive ladies selling the Press I would have asked the same question. Of course I would have followed it up by asking them when is the Atlantic City Press going to offer a viable digital delivery? Seriously. Just why would one purchase a newspaper these days – for the coupons?

NO. The gentleman in question answered the ladies inquiries by saying, “I can just print ‘em out.” He said goodbye to the ladies by wishing them a nice day but the truth was still hanging in the air. The newspaper business is dying. Do a search for the New York Times and it’s struggles to remain viable in an instantaneous world and you’ll begin to see the scope of this latest revolution. Oh well. Learn to use new technologies or let them put you out of business. That is the reality of the newspaper world. It was true for the record industry, the movie industry and it is true for ANY other media industry – Change or Die.


Right now, at this moment in the twenty-first century, the only thing holding back a BANGIN’ e-reader are the copyright holders.


I myself can’t wait for the day that YOU, Gentle Reader, will be able to download your favorite blogs to your e-reader. Kindle is experimenting with it now but it is only a matter of time before it is industry wide. Printing will be in the hands of the people – talk about your “freedom of the press!” The big boys (publishers) will have to adapt or die.


Here’s hopin’ that Chicken Scratch will be on your reading list.

Monday, March 08, 2010

82nd Academy Awards

[NOTE: I am a cinema geek. I love movies & film. If you are not interested then do us both a favor PLEASE go. Move along. There is NOTHING for you to see here. You’ll be happier and so will I. Really.]

[NOTE 2.0: This year I did something for my Pre-Ceremony Blog that I have never done before – that is I threatened to never write about the Oscars again if a certain actor, Mr. Christoph Waltz did not win for his role in “Inglorious Basterds”. Congratulations Mr. Waltz; we are both happy that you took home that golden baldy.]

Still with me… Yes? My dear, Gentle Reader, you never disappoint and God bless you for it. Now then, let’s get down to business…

Some words about last night’s festivities: Viewership was up 15% over the last 5 years. Why? I’m not sure. It may have had something to do with the co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, perhaps there was nothing else on or maybe there are more movie fans out there than were expected? Whatever the case the 82nd Academy Awards is now one for the history books. I think that Martin and Baldwin were great and I was pleased that the dance numbers were kept to a minimum (although I loved to see Neil Patrick Harris open the show with that number). I don’t dig the pre-show stuff and I could care less “who” the stars/starlets are wearing. No; for yours truly the Academy Awards should be more than that. It should be a celebration of cinema. Last night worked save for a few flubs for actresses/actors who have never acted in front of a group of real live human beings and are only use to cameras. The salute to John Hughes was magnificent. His films defined my generation. The salute to horror films was horrible. Those “Twilight” actors remain truly useless – especially the girl. I won’t refresh our memories as to her name; it is not important to either of us. On the plus side, I really love the way that they introduce the “Best Actress” and “Best Actor” awards where peers that have worked with the nominees come out and speak briefly about the individual who just may walk home with the Oscar. Very classy.

Now then…

Every year I have it out with that little 8.5 lbs, golden boy known as, “Oscar”. I choose my picks for my favorite categories and go toe to toe with that little doorstop. This year was no different… http://evilchickenscratch.blogspot.com/2010/02/82nd-academy-awards.html.

Out of the nine categories that I listed in the above noted blog Oscar took three and I took six. Not that I’m tooting my own horn but… HA, OSCAR! TAKE THAT!

...Nah, just kiddin’. It was fun to watch unfold. The three that I misfired on were Best Actor, Mr. Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart”, Best Supporting Actress, Mo’Nique for “Precious” and for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Precious”. I did not see either of these movies before I made my picks. I believe that in order to pick the winners correctly one must try to think like the Academy thinks. This is not as easy as it sounds but it works more often than not. Still, “Crazy Heart” and “Precious” are now on my radar for their DVD releases.

I may have won this time Oscar but I know you will be up for a rematch next year. Until then, Oscar, I’ll be watching.

Iron Man 2 Trailer 2 (OFFICIAL)

This will sell a lot of popcorn… popcorn that I will be buying. Marvel is really hitting all the right notes here. For any Marvel Zombies out there check out the Suitcase Armor. I’ve got geek chills. : )

BTW – sorry for the embedded commercial. The trailer is worth the wait.