Today's show opens with a not-unexpected rant about AT&T trying to sell you a $150 MicroCell to "supplement" the "coverage" you already pay for. A bit more on Google and China, Apple's unbelievably bizarre sandbox behavior in approving the otherwise super cool Line2 app, and cheap photos from space.
Improve Your 3G Connection with an AT&T MicroCell
China issues media rules for stories on Google
Brin: Google’s reroute to HK was suggested by Chinese government
Web traffic redirected to China in mystery mix-up
IPhone App to Sidestep AT&T
Netflix’s Wii rollout begins
Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June
Start-up hopes to bridge real, virtual worlds
GSMA Launches SMS Spam Reporting Service
GM unveils 2-wheel, self-driving concept car
Million Dollar NASA Photos Beaten by Budget Balloon
I came across this article that talks about how theaters are raising their prices this weekend for movie tickets. Mostly for 3D and IMAX, but really it looks like across the board. What I don’t get is that the article says, “The industry’s move comes on the heels of a record-setting year at the domestic box office, with revenue surpassing $10 billion for the first time,” and, “Ticket sales so far this year are running 10% higher.”
So let me get this straight. You made more money than you’ve ever made, and are seeing 10% growth in sales, but you need to raise prices? What other industry in this economy is doing something so ludicrous?? Am I missing something to this story, or are these companies just greedy? Here’s their reasoning: “But the brisk demand for the premium-priced tickets led many exhibitors to conclude they were still underpriced.” So it’s because you’re selling more tickets that you have to raise prices. Oh, now I get it….wait….no….that doesn’t make sense…does it? I get the idea of charging more when the demand is higher, but if you do that then the demand will go down which seems to not be what you want when your “supply” is not really running out.
I was having a hard time thinking up a good reason why I would need to buy a new 3D tv, Blu-ray player, etc. Now I think I may have one….
– Scott Clay (Claymation)
Tom – In episode #1191, you sounded as surprised as I was to find out Cablevision was going to and ultimately did offer 3D programming this past Wednesday. And, to my delight, it was a MSG Network broadcast of the New York Rangers vs. the New York Islanders hockey game. By the way - one of the two fans with access to a 3D television is an Islanders fan. Not only that, but Cablevision looped the game, plus its intermission reports, for over 24 hours (well into Thursday evening). I have to admit, I was not exactly doing triple axles about what 3D television in the home means today. But, when I strapped on those pesky glasses and watched that game (possibly more than once), I was immediately intrigued and hooked. This did change much. Other than some issues with a few foreground shots of the crowd, it looked so much better than I ever anticipated. It truly is amazing – as you will see at CNET on April 8th.
Of course “they”, the providers, will charge more for 3D as it rolls out…it’s value add – which brings me to my last point. In my opinion, in order for this to work – the increase in price from 2D to 3D should not exceed the increase in price from SD to HD (in its early infancy). The value added from 2D to 3D is not necessarily equal to the value added from SD to HD. Also, as you’ve mentioned, with the roll-out of HD in tandem with some confusion during the analog-digital transition, many households have already outfitted their living rooms with the latest and greatest in displays from the last 2 to 3 years. They are not ready to upgrade again, say for the next 10 years? Large increases in the cost from providers will only further hinder consumer acceptance.
It was accepted here though. Or, maybe it’s just because I’m a hockey fan.
Tom, the Broadcast Tech
Hi Buzz Crew,
This morning I had to talk to my Patent Attorney and thought I'd try and get to the bottom of who was right about Kelvington's excellent Apple vs Predator prior art argument: Tom or Buzz listener Robert.
He made my head hurt, Molly.
No clear winner I'm afraid. YouTube is blocked at his firm so he couldn't see the vide, but he was saying that it'll be the detail of how the swipe works; could it be deduced by the viewer of predator what was being done in the movie?
But the larger point stands: prior art in books and movies counts. Some luggage that follows you around that appeared in a Terry Pratchett novel was used to invalidate a patent application in the real world. The hover-board in Back to the Future 2; you couldn't patent that, but if you could figure out how to make it work, THAT you could patent. And if you do figure out how to make a hover-board work you might actually have figured out some useful tech to add to the iPad.
Love. The. Show.
Jonny the Engineer from Blighty