Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TV On Demand - The Web and TV Begin to Merge

If you have ever visited the web site of any of the major (or minor) TV networks you have discovered that they are beginning to make some of their past broadcasts available there. If you have a broadband (cable, DSL or FIOS for example) connection to the Internet from a computer less than five or so years old you can see shows that you might have missed or that you want to see again. All episodes of a very few shows might be available while others are missing completely or have a few recent shows available. To find this, you have to go individually to each networks site and hunt around. Now there is a better way!


I discovered this gem from a great article in the September 2008 edition of Wired Magazine and last night I watched a gem of an episode from a late 50's early 60's Western series (the hay day of the TV western) called "Have Gun, Will Travel". Fantastic! Hulu has struck deals with many (but not all, don't look for Oprah for example) networks and many film distributors as well to act as a hub for hosting and/or locating their content on the WWW. Enjoy!

Oh, and for a more recent development on the same topic, it looks like YouTube is now hosting and presenting widescreen HD video content. Now to view this you will need a high end broadband connection and a very recent medium to high end PC. Check out this example on YouTube. Give it a go to see if your broadband connection and PC are up to it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Snopes and the Cell Phone Popcorn

Woah, it's been a long time since I updated this blog! The spirit has finally moved me!

Have you seen the eMail re popping popcorn with a cell phone? I got that eMail forwarded to me yesterday. Here is a quote from it:

This is enlightening!!!! Using a cell phone is like putting your head in a microwave, eh? Check this out! And we're supposed to believe that cell phones are safe?

Click on the word 'POPCORN' below and watch.


If you follow that link you will see a really frightening film clip showing popcorn exploding as it sits on a table next to several working cell phones. The obvious message is "if it does this to popcorn, imagine what it is doing to your brain". Hard to believe, but film doesn't lie, right? Well, anytime you get something forwarded to you that causes your eyebrows to lift in EITHER excitement or disbelief, it is a really good idea, before you forward the item to yet another group of people, to check out - is it true or not? One of the best sites to go to to do this is Snopes at WWW.Snopes.Com

If you go to Snopes and type the three words popcorn cell phone into the Snopes search bar and click on GO, you will turn up this entry: http://www.snopes.com/science/cookegg.asp Go there and read the entry after you read the rest of this paragraph. You will find that the first part of the Snopes entry is about "cooking eggs with a cell phone", an even scarier thought. You'll find the popcorn info if you scroll down to the bottom. A couple of the movie clips there will not work because (I think) they have been removed from the site they are linked from (Youtube). The CNN link, however, does work - and there you will find the real proof. If the CNN link doesn/t work when you try it, let me know by leaving a comment on this blog entry, thanks. For convenience, I'll put the CNN link here too (you'll see a comercial first, be patient, it is short): http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2008/07/09/carroll.cellphone.popcorn.cnn

Remember now, if a forwarded eMail sounds unbelievable, it probably is - check it out in Snopes. If if sounds like something you REALLY WANT TO BELIEVE be doubly sure to check it out in Snopes.