NBC to offer free content downloads briefly after shows air

It’s a small step forward, but hopefully this is the beginning of something good – NBC will offer some of its programming for free download the night of broadcast with viewing possible for up to a week after each show airs.

NBC’s move comes as companies throughout the television business search for new economic models in the face of enormous changes in the business. Networks continue to lose audience share, and viewers – especially many of the highly prized viewers under 30 years old – are increasingly demanding control of their program choices, insisting on being able to watch shows when, where and how they want.

. . .

Jeff Gaspin, the president of the NBC Universal Television Group, said, “The shift from programmer to consumer controlling program choices is the biggest change in the media business in the past 25 or 30 years.”

That comment is the biggest challenge facing the content producing industries right now. As technologies have improved for capturing, storing, time- and place-shifting, copying, and working with this content (i.e. music and television programs), the producers of the content have lost so much of the control over how this content is used. So many big-wigs in the companies affected by this fear it and have resorted to tactics like legislating loss of consumer rights (I’m thinking of you, DMCA) rather than trying to find ways to make consumer choice work to the industry’s advantage.

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Pirates vs. Ninjas

It’s an age old question, really – which is more insanely awesome and power: a Pirate or a Ninja? And might I point out that due to their awesomeness, both MUST be capitalized when asking which is more insanely awesome. Of course, there has been debate over the ages. The Pastafarians believe Pirates to be more insanely awesome. Anyone in on Int3rpipe memes knows that this Ninja is pretty freakin’ awesome. But who wins in the ultimate showdown? Could either REALLY beat Chuck Norris?

Thankfully, development team Blazing Lizard has stepped in to help answer the question. From the team comes

kotaku-Pirates Logo

Yes – the ultimate face-off between the ultimate foes: Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball. And why should we car and trust these guys? Well, this team is composed of some folks from Volition/THQ, the developers responsible for such awesomeness as Freespace and Red Faction.

Blazing Lizard was founded by three former THQ/Volition veterans who were behind games like Red Faction, Freespace and Saints Row. Now expanded to a mighty team of four, they intend on releasing their first (of what they hope to be many) PvN-themed games in January 2008. That is, as soon as they sign a publisher and actually decide on which downloadable platform is right for them (PSN or Xbox LIVE).

If you aren’t pumped about this, you just aren’t a gamer. If you are pumped, check out Joystiq’s Pirates vs. Ninjas gallery for more pretty pictures.

(Oh, and with all the links, if it isn’t clear what you need to click for all the goodies, just click the pretty picture above)

[tags]Pirates, Ninjas, Pirates vs. Ninjas, Flip out and kill people, Real Ultimate Power, Joystiq, Kotaku, Freespace[/tags]

Eye candy – …as a redhead

Over at some random site I found while searching for eye candy I could post on the site, I found this post showing a few Hollywoodies photochopped to redheads.  Normally, I’d look and move on.  However, I just had to post when I saw this before and after of Hayden Panettiere.

haydenpanettiereoriginahh5_resize haydenpanettiereredheadij7_resize

As you may or may not know, I have a special weakness for the redheads.  And while she’s already such a fine-looking young lady, the redhead look just makes her even better.  Sadly for me, I also found this buzz-killer picture of Ms. Panettiere.

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Happy 25th, smiley face

emoticon.jpg Happy 25th birthday, smiley face emoticon!

A lot of people have asked me about this, so I thought I’d put the information here, linked under my home page:
Yes, I am the inventor of the sideways “smiley face” (sometimes called an “emoticon”) that is commonly used in E-mail, chat, and newsgroup posts. Or at least I’m one of the inventors.

Fahlman, the author of the above quote and web page, may not have been the first to ever use the now-well-known emoticon, but there seems to be no evidence of anyone doing so before he proposed the iconic characters. For even more details, read more of the history of the smiley, which includes links to even more history.

[tags]Happy Birthday emoticon, Iconic smile, Online community[/tags]