But then comes that feeling of sheer dread when your hand, reaching as far as your arm will allow, grabs nothing but air. Your eyes dart around the room, first scanning the immediate area that doesn't require you to get up from the contoured indent left by your ever-expanding ass. Finally, you find it ... clear across the room. You have discovered the remote control's one and only modern flaw.
Don't fret. Scientists across the globe have been putting their swine flu vaccine and obesity epidemic research projects aside and working on improving TV remote technology. That idea for a miracle virus cure never materialized but, thankfully, they've perfected the remote control.
CBS and Legacy Interactive thought that it was about time to offer GW fans the chance to step into Melinda's shoes.
IBM is developing a new computer system that can compete on TV's Jeopardy! by digesting the show's questions, buzzing in and answering in the famous question format.
The system is being developed in the same vein as "Deep Blue," the computer that defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov. The Jeopardy! system nicknamed "Watson" is part of IBM's ongoing attempt to overtake humanity by whooping humanity's ass at their own games. An IBM spokesman estimated humanity's spirit will finally be broken when they perfect a computer system that can beat the world's greatest Chutes and Ladders player.
If you're a wobbly-kneed, amateur chef with a tendency to wet your pants anytime someone's voice goes a few decibels higher in your direction, a good version of the Hell's Kitchen video game should make you wish you put on your rubber pants before you started playing.
Unfortunately, the real version isn't even worth shelling out for the price of a pair of extra-large Depends.
The game lacks in just about every area imaginable, from gameplay to ambiance, most notably and disappointingly from the angry chef himself, whose mean stare can make puppies cry and anger spittle can burn a hole in your face like hot alien acid.
Last week, we reported on Apple's refusal to include a new South Park iPhone app. The white hot anger could be felt from coast to coast. We here at TV Squad were worried that the uproar it could have caused could have landed us in "Enemy Combatant Land" for disturbing the peace and inciting a riot, which technically would be Apple's fault.
Then an interesting little story popped into my view that seemed to contradict the claims Apple had made and as always, television helped show me the way.
They are always checking their emails or giving you weather updates you never asked for. They always let their phone ring longer than necessary with some ridiculous sounds such as one of those dumb novelty "Pick me up!" chimes or the theme to Sanford and Son to make sure it grabs your attention. Pretty soon, every time they stroke their finger across that smirking touch screen, it subconsciously sounds like fingernails across a chalkboard.
Now, you can one-up your personal iPhone a-hole with this comforting fact: Their almighty cell phone from God won't let them watch South Park because it thinks it's too offensive for their delicate sensibilities.
It's more than a little ironic (or tragic, depending on how much you give a rat's ass) that the most successful game show in the history of American television has never had a truly worthy home game. One worthy enough to give to loser contestants so they can win against their own friends and family at home because God is a cruel comedian.
Seriously, God should get his own Mark Twain Prize.
Now after more than 35 years on the air, there is such a game: The Price is Right video game. And it's so well done and fun that it could crush the soul of a 300-pound linebacker from Obetz, Ohio who lost out on his chance to be the only guy in town who owns a Chrysler Crossfire.
Users will see links to products popping up in various parts of the TiVo interface. For example, if you're looking at a listing for a late night talk show, you might find links to buy books, CDs, or DVDs from that night's guests.
The advantage of ordering from TiVo is that you can make impulse purchases while watching a program, while recording the rest of the program in the background for later viewing. Of course, as anyone with a penchant for picking up candy and trashy magazines in the grocery store checkout lane can tell you, it'd be nice to have the choice to opt-out of the service in order to avoid impulse purchases.
The good news is that Fiji has shipped. A Microsoft knowledge base article refers to a "Windows Media Center TV Pack," which was released on July 16th. The bad news is, the update was released to OEMs, not to end users. In other words, there's no way for you to download and install the update on your Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate computer. You'll have to wait until Microsoft either issues a wider release or until you purchase a new computer with the software preloaded.
[via Geek Tonic]
The New York Times reports that Amazon is launching the service for a limited number of customers today, with a wider release scheduled for later this summer. The Amazon Unbox web page has a little button asking for volunteers for a new beta program, so I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that beta=video on demand.
According to the article, videos will be available for rental or purchase. And once you've purchased a video, you'll be able to watch it from any computer. No software installation necessary. In other words, it sounds like the new service is browser-based.
On the one hand, this means Amazon Video on Demand will be compatible with Windows and Mac machines (I'm not going to hold my breath for Linux support), which is great. But it's also nice to be able to save a copy of a movie on your own computer for archiving. What happens if Amazon kills the service in two years. Does that mean you lose your online video library which you've paid for? I'm hoping that Amazon still gives users the option of downloading movies, even if not everyone will need to use that option.
TiVo has started sending out new system software to Series3 users who signed up for priority updates. The general TiVo using population should get the TiVo 9.4 software soon. And thet means support for:
- YouTube video playback
- The ability to play or delete an entire folder (in other words, you can watch programs in order without hitting a button on your remote)
- Jump forward by 24 hours in the program guide
- Pull up the program guide from any screen, whether you're watching live, recorded, or downloaded video
- Easier toggling of closed captioning
- Review your thumbs up and down ratings
But does he swear? If he doesn't, then a big component of the TV show is lost, wouldn't you say?
Yesterday marked the release of Ubisoft's Hell's Kitchen: The Video Game (the FOX show has been advertising the game for the past several weeks). Chef Ramsay does the voice for his character, and the game actually sounds rather cool, if it works the way it's described. Players go through three rounds of cooking (preparing the food, cooking it, and then the service), and Ramsay judges you. He can shut down the kitchen if you're not doing well, and you even get an "Advanced" mode where the customers become jerks and send the food back. Go through certain levels and you get access to special Gordon Ramsay recipes.
MythTV News raises an interesting question: Could the Netflix Player be a cheap frontend for the Linux-based MythTV media suite? MythTV's backend software requires a full computer with a decent CPU, hard drive, and RAM to run. But it might be possibel to shoehorn the frontend software, which lets you access media stored on the backend, onto a less powerful device.
As Dave Zatz points out, the software used on the Netflix Player is signed. What that means is that modified code will not run properly, and the box should automatically revert to the last good version of its software if it encounters hacked or modified code. But it is at least theoretically possible to send software updates to the box, and to update the bootloader. And that means it's possible that someone might be able to find a way to run MythTV or other software on the Netflix Player. Just because a platform is locked doesn't mean it can't be unlocked. Just look at the iPhone.
[via eHomeUpgrade and Hack A Day]
A tipster also sent EngadgetHD a few screenshots of the upcoming update, which adds a few new features like the ability to use as many TV tuners as you want, and to use a combination of tuner types such as NTSC, ATSC, QAM, CableCARD, DVB-T, PAL, or DVB-S. The update includes additional features for international media center users, such as support for ISDB-T and BML standards in Japan, and DVB-T and DVB-S in Europe.
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