Particle Debris from the Week of April 7

On M onday, MultiChannel News noted that the premiere of Battlestar Galactica got off to a great start. But that's a relative term, since they only had 2.1 million viewers and a 1.6 rating. Considering the fact that BSG is a great TV drama, I don't understand why the audience isn't larger. Come on TiVo users. Party on Friday and watch BSG on Monday, now that we have no more Sarah Connor Chronicles.

On Tuesday, TV happenings expert Phillip Swann predicted that Sony and Microsoft would come to terms on a Blu-ray player in the Xbox 360. Sony will, not doubt, demand that the player be inside this time, not an add-on attachment. Then, when supplies mysteriously dry up because Sony is putting Blu-ray players in their HDTVs, Microsoft can watch their Xbox sales tank. Ah, the irony...

Mr. Swann also predicted that Blu-ray player prices will drop below $200 by Christmas. Considering that Walt Mossberg just slammed the entire U.S. broadband industry, the question is: Can broadband in the U.S. advance faster by Christmas than Blu-ray player prices? I doubt it. Comcast has rolled out DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems in Minneapols/St. Paul and is offering 50 Mbps for $149/month. That's gonna be a real winner in this economy for sure. I think Blu-ray discs will be around for a long time. While I'm on Blu-ray, engadgetHD said on Thursday that a boxed set of the short-lived, cult SciFi show Firefly is coming to Blu-ray. If you missed this one season SciFi show on Fox, check it out. It was the precursor to the theatrical movie Serenity.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Hewlett Packard shipped a batch of USB keys infected with the W32.Fakerecy and W32.SillyFDC worms. The worms can infect Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems. I thought it was odd that a company with HP's resources would allow something like that to happen.

On Thursday, I saw a really cool article on how the current technical era, bursting with new technologies, can be compared to the discovery of the laws of nature in times past. It used to be that the workings of nature were a puzzle to figure out, and men like Newton and Einstein spent their whole lives working out the details. The ecosphere of the Internet today is just as marvelous and complex and ripe for discoveries. I think it also explains why physicists make the best programmers ... if I may say so myself.

Also, on Thursday, there was a completely ridiculous article at CW about an Oxford University professor who believes that the closed, proprietary systems like the iPhone are killing the Internet and innovation. The idea is that when people can't tinker, like they did with their PCs, life and innovation will die. To cap it off, he used hackers and thieves who stalk the Internet as proof that user tinkerable systems are preferable. I guess he never heard of Xcode and the Apple iPhone SDK. I would have written a rebuttal editorial, but no time.

Also on Thursday, there was a rumor about Blockbuster thinking about building a box to deliver streamed movies to user's home TVs. The idea is to combine their huge movie library with instant gratification. It was called a rumor by Blockbuster. But if they're thinking about it, it has to be one of the worst money losing ideas ever. Think box fatigue.

Finally, on Friday, I found out about a completely open source alternative to Windows, ReactOS. It's a free, open source OS that functions just like Windows XP with binary compatibility for applications and device drivers. It's similar to what Linux did to the UNIXes of old. It's still in extreme alpha, but has all the earmarks of a disruptive technology that could have Steve Ballmer throwing yet more chairs around his office. Check it out.