Particle Debris (Week ending Oct 31)

/> After I published a new Hidden Dimensions column on Wednesday about the aggressiveness of Netflix, they announced yet another agreement with TiVo. There are so many ways to watch a Netflix movie now that I believe the company has reached a tipping point that will make it very difficult for the Apple TV to climb out of its hobby status.

Not only are DVRs the "killer app" for the modern household, they have the power to change American life and affect the future of conventional TV programming. Early in the week, I saw an article that described how so many many DVR users are using the 10 PM time slot (East and West coast) to catch up on programs, either from previous days or earlier in the evening, that's killing ratings for shows at that time period.

With TV shows in the 10 p.m. slot not being all that great, according to the article, it's a perfect time to sit back after the kids are in bed and catch up. I loved the opening line:

"It's 10 p.m., and the networks don't know where their viewers are."

Some Apple customers have urged Apple, from day one, to add a DVR capability to the Apple TV. Just as with Blu-ray, I suspect that Apple doesn't want to pay a licensing fee to TiVo as DIRECT does and EchoStar didn't, much to their financial misfortune.

So I'm thinking that the DVR is such a key technology that a marriage of Netflix and TiVo is just a prelude to more interesting game changers and disruptive technologies to come. I wonder if Apple now regrets not having bought Netflix.

On Wednesday, there was a fun article a Computerworld
about how Apple's "Get a Mac" TV ad campaign with Justin Long and John Hodgman has blunted Microsoft's "I'm a PC" campaign,
according to a video metrics firm.

The problem for Microsoft is that they're not now dealing from a position of strength, and they won't be for the foreseeable future. So long as that's true, the Apple ads can continue to maintain the upper hand thanks to the "viral" spread of advertising and word of mouth on the Internet.

Apple isn't done yet. Now that they have the momentum, the next step will be to add additional, low cost, low power hardware to Macs that will further embarrass PCs and Windows.
I'm taking that forecast to the bank.

On Wednesday, I wrote an article about an amateur astronomer that captured a great photo of Jupiter with a great telescope, but a lowly iPhone camera. It made the rounds on the Internet and was an extremely popular story here at the Mac Observer. Modern Science and even Discover magazine picked up the story. Discover noted that two other amateur astronomers in Italy captured a great shot of Pluto and its moon Charon and published that image as well. The point is that technology in the hands of skilled amateurs can do an awful lot -- not to mention inspire others.

Last week, NVIDIA revealed that the chipset in the new MacBooks is theoretically capable of supporting 8 MB of RAM. The question was, would the OS support it? Some enterprising individuals with some cash tested that idea, according to ars technica on Thursday and discovered that Mac OS X isn't stable at that memory size. A memory configuration of 4 + 1 => 5 MB works and 6 MB works, but 8 MB does not. Chris Foresman suggested that perhaps Apple's chipset drivers are the roadblock, and the limit could be lifted in the future.

Finally, I got a press release today perfectly designed for USA Network's Adrian Monk and Natalie and everyone else with OCD. Get your Anti-bacterial Cell Phone Wipes from A ten pouch is just $2.95. Could be useful after you let your five-year old talk to grandma on your iPhone. Or your dog tries to eat it. Ewww.