Thursday, December 24, 2009

Scrooge's links

Jump to conclusions.
Yes, that's right, before too long only Grandpa will be talking about old-school controllers. Project Natal will be the death of the control pad. In fact, I think it just happened.

Please. How many games on the Wii suck because they aren't suited to motion controllers? How many times do you catch yourself playing something on the 360 or the PS3 and thinking man, this would be so much easier if I could just wiggle or point?

Look, people still play PC games with keyboards, okay? Fifteen years ago, they were selling game peripherals for PCs like they were going to take over console gaming. Yes, you can still buy them. No, they aren't always necessary. They still make games that are playable entirely with the keyboard, and other games that work best with keyboard and mouse. Why? Because that's what the game requires. Want to play WoW with motion controllers? Hahahahahahaha.

Health care reform passes the Senate.
Despite the efforts of certain wealthy Republicans who already have excellent health insurance through Congress. Sure, let's let health care costs spiral out of control, watch normal people choose between bankruptcy and painful death, see people turn away from careers in health care because of the challenges they face fighting the current system, because we don't want to spend money to fix the problem. (How much did we spend trying to seize oil fields in Iraq? Oh, right, that wasn't part of the budget.)

Fortunately, the wealthy Democrats in Congress (plus a socialist and a grandstanding jerk) won a small victory, but I think it's fair to wait to celebrate. First, it's not even a bill yet, and second, even if it were and if Obama signed it today, those provisions wouldn't take effect overnight.

Still, it's a huge step.

Old media still doesn't get it.
They never have. Even new media outlets don't get it ... ever read ESPN The Magazine? (Even by its title, you should know it's dumb.) It's just print versions of online articles, sent to you whether you want it or not. Why? Who knows? Probably because some executive decided they needed to challenge SI.

Why bother with it? Look, news today is the same as 100 years ago: facts and opinions. The problem for old media is that now, everyone with an ... um ... opinion can share it in the same space they use, and plenty of places are sharing facts for free. If you aren't adding value, you're not going to make money, and if you're trying to make money, you're living on borrowed time.

You want me to pay for a magazine I can only read on the iPod/iPhone? What? It's a terrible reading device in the first place (small, small, and small), and now you want me to pay to read your crap? No way. I'm not even sure I want to pay to read books on a Kindle (although I do like the idea of owning a lot of books that don't take up space).

I get SI for the same reason I always have, because my grandmother extends my subscription for Christmas. It's all right, I guess, but most of its news is 3-7 days old, and most of the opinions are already available online; not only that, but some of the opinions are less informed than blogs I read. (ESPN? Don't get me started.)

Of course when old media thinks change, it thinks TALK RADIO change. (Case in point: the crusade by the Free Press to demonize Rich Rodriguez. Does it attract readers? I guess. Does it poison others against them? You bet it does, and there are all kinds of places to get Detroit sports news that have nothing to do with the Free Press.) That's not going to work. Hell, eventually ESPN will realize that Around the Horn is the worst show in sports history.

I'm rambling, but at least I'm having fun. Merry holiday season.

and get off my lawn!


  1. I played The Price is Right on the Wii today and the sensor product sucked, on one game it took me five minutes to get the game to move properly. Everyone was long bored by the time I was finished, I would have loved a joy stick for that game.

    I agree that the IPhone or IPod screens are too small to read magazines but I do think that is where the technology is going. I think they will figure out the appropriate size to make the phone light and compact but have a large enough screen to read comfortably. I currently only surf the web on my phone when I am really desperate for something to to, and my dissatisfactions stems from the poor operating system on the Instinct and not necessarily the screen size.

  2. Oh yes, don't get me wrong, I do believe that e-readers are how people will read in the future (of course, we're both reading this on "e-readers" right now).

    What I mean is that it won't be "magazines" we'll be reading. Paying to read week- or month-old stories simply won't be viable any more. Look at Gawker, for example. How much time elapses between when they run something and when People runs something?