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Tag: jeffrey powers

Dear Roku, Best Buy is not Doing any Justice for your Brand.

Posted by J Powers at 2:41 PM on November 8, 2010

I decided to update my IPTV at home. A newer TV and Over The Top (OTT) system. I have run Boxee for a while, but wanted to get the Roku Box. I heard that Best Buy had the Roku box, so I made the trek out to the store.

That was a bad idea.

I was on the east side of town, so I stopped into the East side location. I figured the Roku would be somewhere next to the Google TV display. It wasn’t – In fact, I could not find it anywhere.

I did something I try not to do – envoke a Best Buy employee. I never have any luck with these guys, so I avoid them. However, since I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I had to walk up to one. And the following conversation is why:

Hello. I am looking for the Roku box

Yes. They are over here (we walk to where the supposed Roku is). Here you go. It comes with Blu-Ray.

Excuse me? Roku does not have a Blu-Ray Model.

This one is. You can get Netflix.

I am sorry, but that is not a Roku box. Just because it connects to Netflix doesn’t make it a Roku.

Oh… Well, we are out of Roku players (pointing to the other shelf)

When will you get more?

We only got one. I don’t know when the next one is. However, we have a great line of internet connected players (pointing down the row).

This conversation really pissed me off. The guy  was quick to say that a Roku Box was some Blu-Ray from Insignia for $99. At first I didn’t think of it, but a couple days later I was in Best Buy on the West side and the exact same thing happened.

The Best Buy employee tried to tell me that this Blu-Ray player with Netflix was exactly like a Roku. Once again, I was annoyed and told him off. I walked out of the store, putting down what I was planning on purchasing.

Both stores only received 1-2 models of Roku. Both stores sold out in an hour and couldn’t tell me when the next batch was going to be here. Both employees also said that another device was “Just like the Roku”.

Certain Blu-Ray players do have applications. You can get Netflix and Vudu – along with other cool options to the player. However, this is not a Roku.

I started thinking about this: With the news announcement that you can get a Netgear branded Roku at Best Buy, I wonder how many people ventured out to get this. I also wonder how many ended up getting something else?

I have never been felt so misled by an employee in a long time. The last time I was, it was a Radio Shack employee trying to sell me a CD player stating it had MP3 support. Over 10 years later, I walked out of a store feeling just as annoyed.

The worst part about the Roku at Best Buy is it’s overshadowed by Google TV. The humongous display might make people change ideas for IPTV.

I ended up purchasing the box online, although I thought it would be nice to have a Blu-Ray Roku Box. Nonetheless, I think I will be avoiding Best Buy for a while.

A Difference 5 Minutes Makes: YouTube Increases Time to 15

Posted by J Powers at 11:49 PM on August 1, 2010

YouTube

YouTube

When I record video, I always seem to have a problem with that 10 minute limit on YouTube. If I couldn’t edit the video down, I would have to just forget the service and move on.

YouTube announced it’s going to 15 minutes last week that they now have the systems to handle longer videos. Therefore, they are increasing the limit to 15 minutes. Of course, partner channels get longer show times, but for those of us who are still waiting for that feature now have 5 extra minutes with our videos.

It’s the #1 request of content uploaders.

YouTube also says they are doing the increase because they have improved on their Content ID system. That means if you decide to upload Burn Notice or Grey’s Anatomy in 15 minute chunks, they can remove those videos quicker.

It really is a great win for all. My video show usually would go to 12 minutes. Now I can do that and have it show up on YouTube.

I’ll still strive for under 10 minutes. With that goal in mind, I can work on being precise in what I have to say. But if I have topics that need extra attention, I can give it.

Thank you,  YouTube. Now just make me a content partner and I’ll really be happy.

Andy and Steve

Andy and Steve

Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine had a rare honor as we got to interview Steve Wozniak - now Chief Scientist over at Fusion IO – a company that works with NAND  memory for high speed / High Capacity storage.

There are two parts to the interview. The first one, Jeffrey talks about Fusion IO, Steve’s role and a how the Segway Polo is going. After switching seats with Andy, something amazing happened. The two just started talking. I couldn’t get the video queued fast enough and they didn’t see the queue in. So, I just hit the button and they continued on.

But what we did get was an amazing conversation about education, the future of technology and Steve Wozniak’s new role.

Part I

Podcast: Play in new windowDownload (38.1MB)

Audio Only Version

Part II

Podcast: Play in new windowDownload (68.7MB)

Audio Only Version

My Internet Explorer 6 Eulogy

Posted by J Powers at 2:58 AM on March 8, 2010

Last week, Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) got a full funeral and hopefully (soon) burial. I, too, am glad to see the older browser go: Even though there are some who will try to hold on for dear life. Nonetheless, if I was to have given a Eulogy for IE6, this is how it would have went.

You know, I remember when IE6 came out. IE4 and IE5 were the kings, except for those who were really into Netscape Navigator. IE5.5 really made me switch at the time, because I could have two versions on the computer for the first time.

Still, it was simpler times and IE6 was a stable young horse ready to jump out of the stall. I remember loading it for the first time on my Windows 98 machines. It brought in DHTML and CSS support, which was really starting to prove itself in the web page evolution. I could even get the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), which would let me tweak my IE6 to my infrastructures needs. I really enjoyed changing the IE spinning logo with some custom logos throughout Internet Explorer’s life.

When we hit the dark days of IE7, I was an early adopter, but still had IE6 in my heart. It was the safer browser at the time, simply because the new features would make certain websites not work. I remember this one time I had a customer come in and say they couldn’t access the payroll site. After some troubleshooting, I finally had to walk over to their machine. Once I sat down I noticed things were changed.

“You installed IE7, didn’t you?” I muttered. Keep in mind that this was a smaller company and no real policies were put in place to dis-allow installations or upgrades by the customer (a.k.a. employee).

“I didn’t do anything,” they remarked. “It just started doing that.”

“But we said that this site will not run on IE7,” I replied. ” and you have IE7 installed”.

“Well, I don’t know how that got there.  But you can take it off, right?”

“Yes, I can. But please do not install IE7 on this machine until we tell you to …”

Ahh, those were the days when people got to look at their Yahoo email, play the fantasy football leagues and do a full day’s worth of stock trading without the IT department coming down on them. Heck, there were even a few “Pamela Anderson Playboy Screen savers” installed. Brings back memories.

However, IE6 really began to show it’s age. It started to become more of a hindrance than anything on computers. There was another place I worked, employees would have to access IE6 to get to the Citrix Virtual Machine session. They would then open up another version of IE6 to browse the web. IE7 was able to be installed, but it didn’t look great through the VM. That, and my supervisors would tell me not to spend time on updating, since the upcoming Daylight Savings Time fix took precedence.

My memories of IE6 are fond ones. When I heard that Google tried to revive the old gal, I was shocked. In a way, I wanted that to work – giving life once again to the browser. On the other hand, I thought that Frankenstiening the browser would only lead to more problems and two companies that would not really support the process.

So here we are. IE6 – You did us well. You brought us into the Windows XP era, which, too will soon need it’s own Eulogy. You showed us that we can create a webpage that can be altered at a shared source, instead of having to re-key every HTML page out there. You also survived Netscape Navigator and watched Mozilla Firefox usher in the new era.

Here’s to you, IE6. You were a good browser. I will leave you with my online Forum, who died an untimely death about a year ago.

That is what I would say…