Saturday, May 30, 2009

You're sure you want to call it that?

"Moxie," courtesy Merriam Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈmäk-sē\
Function: noun
Etymology: from Moxie, a trademark for a soft drink
2: courage, determination;

Also the brand name for a new entry into the DVR wars, entering the lists against TiVo. I stumbled upon Moxi while comparing global annual movie attendance (twice as many tickets are sold in India than in the US—who knew? Sure, the data is 10 years old, but, what's a decade among friends?)

This Moxi thing sounded good at first read

before you spend your hard-earned cash on TiVo, you might want to consider something a little more robust, a lot more functional, and far less expensive. Tivo hasn’t upgraded its look and feel in nearly 10 years, and they stubbornly insist on charging you annoying monthly fees! Isn't electronic equipment supposed to get more functional, more powerful, and LESS expensive? Say hello to Moxi.

What could be bad, right? Ah, the power of curiosity combined with research (aided by the web, naturellement). According to cnet, "an $800 DVR has a tough row to hoe." No argument there.

I continue digging. Dave of ZatzNotFunny professes doubts regarding, hmmm, whether Moxi's UI will stay ad-free, whether its currently free features (such as HD programming) will stay free, and even whether the company will stay in business (to provide programming/guide data). He also points out that at $800, Moxi and TiVo are comparable in price over a four year span, to which I would add: who knows what technology lurks in the brains of geeks that will change our TV viewing lives by then?

So although I think Moxi is appropriately named—as in "they sure have Moxi to be charging $800 for that!"—I'm not really sure they made the best brand name choice. But that's just me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Because I don't have enough ways to waste time

You know the expression "herding cats?" Well go ahead, give it a try.

Not as easy as it looks, ay?

Oh look, there went 3 hours.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My kind of peeps

Don't you just love it when you stumble onto a brainwave that's in sync with your own whacked out brainwave?
And when that brainwave is online, happily snarking about movies and TV and books and pop culture in general, well, it just sends my brainwaves into a veritable spasm of glee.
The A.V. Club is "an entertainment newspaper and website published by The Onion"—that's how they put it. So humble.
They have a movie review category "I Watched This on Purpose"—current entries include The DaVinci Code and Max Payne. I feel for you, man.
There's a column called The Hater. Seriously, it's her job to snark.

When you see the words "Cougar Town" smashed together like that in your line of vision, what image stumbles to the front of your mind? A zoo enclosure, maybe? A cartoon about a city run by anthropomorphized mountain lions? Knives, just many, many sharp knives? The Real Housewives Of New York City? Courtney Cox drunkenly slurring "you're hot as balls" at some guy at a club?

Well, if you said that last one, you work for ABC.


And how can you not like a TV reviewer who says "Jane Lynch is, of course, hilarious, though she only pops up here and there, like a secret comedic weapon"? Or a music review that uses Eminem and Oprah in the same sentence? What about a "Gateway to Geekery"? Expressly designed to "help those who want to be enthralled, but aren’t sure where to start" become obsessed with some pocket of pop culture. Because lord knows we need help there.

Inducting Brick, you know, that movie that recognizes that "the common denominator between crime fiction and high school is a mood of heightened emotion obscured by a thin veneer of cool," into the site's New Cult Canon of film seals the deal. Brick is up there with Repo Man ("straddling the borderline between the New Cult Canon and the Old, Alex Cox's grubby, shaggy-dog tale feels like the starting line for modern dark-comedy indies"). Any site that has the chops to recognize that is a site for me.

It isn't every day you find an e-kindred spirit.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The things people say

According the founders of this site, TextsFromLastNight, the site (please note all typos and grammatical errors theirs not mine)

was founded in February 2009 by two friends for reasons that may or may not include: the tendency to press send more easily as the night turns to morning, friends social habits, Kwame Kilpatrick, exes, law school, closing down bars and leaving tabs open, general debauchery and/or a common disgust for all the negativity surrounding the "sexting" phenomenon.

That's not what got my attention, actually.

It's the self-revelation of the site. You have to send in your own texts—it's not like overhearing a conversation on the bus that amuses you and then you share it, like the good ol' days. Nope, now not only can (and evidently, do) we amuse ourselves, we can spread the word that we're amusing. Or self-deprecating. Or self-mortifying. Or self-important. Let's not forget that one.

Nonetheless, some people really do have an ear (and thumb) for what's funny.

(302): I'm trying to bond with my sister... Its like getting to know a person I never met that I don't like

(314): Does leaving at 3 give Sara enough time to take the bus or are you picking her up?
(573): I cant tell if your joking or not, but I'm picking her up
(314): Do you need some kind of permission slip from her parents or can anyone just go and grab a high schooler these days?
(Yeah sure, scary. But funny.)

(213): he quoted Bring It On. It's over.