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Category - Tech

Goals Can Come From Improbable Places

For a guy out of full-time work, you’d think I’d be updating my blog more often, right?

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a topic — beyond me — or because I’m managing my other blog, Automatic Finances. (Reality check: it’s mostly because I’m always looking for a new theme for this site, even though I know writing more content is way more important than a new theme.)

But, I need to blog here. And I have stuff to blog about. Like, I’m on a new podcast — Tech Blab, co-hosted with my friends Dave Weinberg and Noah Wolfe. You can download the first episode here or subscribe via iTunes.

In recording this podcast, I’ve found out at least 3 things about myself:

  1. I am naturally skeptical about some things, like “game-changers” or anything that gets a lot of hype. I want to believe, but reality keeps me grounded.
  2. There’s a reason why I like John C. Dvorak. It’s much more fun to take the counter-argument than go along with the crowd.
  3. Debbie is right that I have a tendency to be a low-talker. Crap.

But I think I’ve also figured out why I don’t update this blog as much as I should or could. For one, there’s way too much already happening in the tech echo chamber, and I’m not one to just re-hash what others are saying or try and engage in the massive conversation.

Second, even though I enjoy writing, there’s a reason I’ve pegged myself as a multimedia journalist — audio and video publishing is more exciting (and easier to comprehend) than only text. So maybe I need to do more multimedia here. Even if it just makes me feel better about myself.

So, that’ll be my goal for this site: to produce more content, both audio and video. The 24 video recaps were fun, but that whole having-a-kid-thing threw off my timing and sleep.

Stay tuned.

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Video Blog: Renewing My PC Magazine Subscription

This is what happens to your renewal notices when the magazine goes digital only.

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Digital Distribution Isn’t Important, If It’s Still Locked Down

I’m amazed at the progress the technology and entertainment community has made when it comes to the restrictions on digital music.

Instead of locking everything down like they used to, labels are starting to open up to DRM-free music. A visit to the Amazon MP3 store shows that tons of huge artists are making their music available without digital right management. It’s a huge leap from where it was even 3 years ago.

But we’re falling into the pattern again — this time, with digital video. Services like the iTunes store and VUDU are offering up some great video, but it’s all locked down.

What’s frustrating is that we, as consumers, seem fixated by the distribution method these services are using — and not that we’re repeating the battle for digital rights. It’s not like digital distribution is new; cable has been offering up a crappy selection of content for on-demand viewing forever.

The ‘next’ format war isn’t downloads vs. discs; it’s locked down video vs. DRM-free.

The promise of digital media is the freedom that you have to use it. The distribution method is a nice bonus, but it’s not the most important aspect.

Complete story: Why Digital Copies (Not Downloads) Really Matter

Looking For: iTunes Movie Server, Streaming Capabilities

I need your help.

Here’s what I want to do:

  • Setup a NAS or “home server”-type product to store all of my movies, maybe managed through iTunes?
  • Stream them to clients throughout the house — probably Apple TVs, so podcasts can come through too
  • Not use my iMac as the server

What’s the best way to set this up?

I was thinking Drobo, since it can run an iTunes server – but it looks like it can only do music, not movies.

I like the idea of an Apple TV because I can watch my podcasts (at least the HD ones) on the plasma.

But, I’m open to all suggestions.

Little help?

© Jason Unger. A Digital Ink Production.