Angry Robot

Nintendo slashes 2014 sales forecast for Wii U from 9 million to 2.8 million


Surprises, snubs, and sure things: A conversation about this year’s Oscar Nominations

aaand here’s the full list.

Project Traveller trials could force viewing of Rob Ford video

Hypercritical: The Road to Geekdom


Daring Fireball: On Google's Acquisition of Nest

This announcement is really disappointing news. I wanted a Nest, but I have no desire to invite into my home a massive corporation with a history of privacy problems and of collaborating with state surveillance institutions.

About goddamn time.

Tech we’re looking forward to in 2014: a realist’s guide to CES

Another CES summary post

PlayStation Now

Here’s an interesting report on Sony’s cloud gaming initiative, PlayStation Now. It sounds like for the moment it is a backwards compatibility play, allowing PS4 owners to insta-stream PS3 games. However, as I wrote in Portagame, “Well, at least Sony kinda has a leg up in the TV set business.” The service was demoed on Sony’s TVs, and would theoretically allow the owner of a Bravia set (or a Sony phone or tablet, control issues notwithstanding) to play a rather respectable library of games without actually buying a game console. Another layer of hardware vanishes.

Another thought: this idea of streaming could carry over to Apple TV speculation. Part of the issue with an Apple TV set is that people don’t upgrade their TVs that often, leading to less upgrade money for Apple and a potentially frustrating experience for owners as Apple improves the product every year, marketing new hardware features and speeds that aren’t available to those with old devices. However, if the hardware that was rendering the interface was actually in the cloud, as it will be with Sony’s service1, the user experience could be upgraded independently of the client hardware. Like an OS upgrade but with faster speeds part of the deal too. Not that Apple is any good at cloud stuff, of course.

1 In that the cloud will be rendering the game interface. Not sure about the game selection interface, but that’s beside the point. If lag with PS Now is acceptable to gamers, it should be more than responsive enough for other interface interactions.

Vizio's first 4K TVs will start at only $999

With some lower pricing and the Netflix deal, 4K is maybe worth paying attention to now.

Duck Decoy

Classic reality TV: not real at all.

Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt on bringing 4K into your home

More CES news: Netflix is going to start streaming in 4K “in the second quarter of this year”. That’s a little mini bit of motivation to get a 4K set, although I doubt very much of the catalogue will offer it.

Note for AV nerds: they are calling it UHD or Ultra HD, and are saying on top of the resolution increase it will be 10-bit and high dynamic range, which is good, and 60 or 120fps, which is very very bad. Stick with 24p, please.

Speakers Corner: An oral history

“The story behind the groundbreaking local media phenomenon that transformed the corner of Queen and John into the world’s first YouTube.”

Hitlåtens historia – Del 2 av 6: Blue Monday

About New Order’s Blue Monday (thanks Tony)

Definitive Evidence That L.A.'s New Light Rail Line Reduces Driving

people drive 40% less in areas well serviced by LRT

Interesting Announcements From CES 2014

MacStories has a good summary so far, featuring the new Pebble Steel smartwatch and some cool WeMo home automation stuff.

Netflix’s dumbed-down algorithms

“Netflix’s big problem, it seems to me, is that it can’t afford the content that its subscribers most want to watch.” I guess I’ve always seen Netflix as a replacement for watching random stuff on cable, not for renting videos from Blockbuster (iTunes is the replacement for that). That’s still a big deal – pretty sure people spent more on cable than they ever did at Blockbuster.

I think Canadians and Americans have different views of Netflix. The US had the DVD-by-mail service where you could get what you wanted, whereas it’s always been a hit-and-miss streaming service to us.

Rob Ford Can’t Win, But Everyone Else Can Still Find Ways to Lose

Brampton Batman fights crime without violence

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood

Amazing deconstruction of Netflix’s micro-tagging system that creates those bizarre subgenres – “Steamy action-adventure squid movies from the 1980s based on Edwardian books about wigs”.