Friday, January 07, 2011
What I Wish Would Come Out of CES
Unfortunately, the folks at CES seem to be obsessed with the wrong problems. I’m not waiting with bated breath for the forty-seventh variation on an Android tablet. I don’t especially care about 3D tv, and all the cool 4G stuff just serves to remind me that my neck of the woods barely has 3G. Any time y’all would like to leave to cozy confines of New York City and San Francisco, feel free...
What I’d like to see come out of CES:
- A variation on a Roku box that has enough good content on it that I can finally drop cable tv. Right now there’s a plethora of stuff you can add to a tv, but not quite enough to cut the cord. (That’s especially true when you have kids who love SpongeBob and Chowder.) Based on my experience with Comcast, if you were to tell me that it was the second shooter on the grassy knoll, I’d believe it. The first company that issues a wifi-connected box with enough goodies that I can drop cable will get my business.
- Actual honest-to-goodness broadband competition. Right now my choices for home broadband are basically 1) Comcast or 2) suck it. Unregulated for-profit monopolies are not pretty. While we’re at it, let’s get some serious net neutrality rules in place so Comcast-as-ISP couldn’t kill the super-Roku box in the name of preserving its monopoly on video on demand. Because they would, the scum-sucking cretins.
- The following tweaks to the Ipad: a case with a foldout keyboard that folds out to full size and isn’t all spongy; a usb port; and a serious price cut.
- A printer that works consistently, and uses affordable ink. While we’re at it, an office-caliber photocopier that doesn’t know the meaning of “paper jam.” (I still think that someone will make a fortune with a laptop that has its own built-in printer, like a Polaroid camera. It will spit out documents on command. You heard it here first...)
- Cheaper solid-state drives. Hard drives are just not reliable enough, but a small laptop with an SSD immediately hits a thousand bucks. Let’s see something like the smallest current Macbook Air, but around three hundred bucks.
- Two words: battery life.
- Y’know, it wouldn’t actually physically kill app developers to write some stuff for WebOS. I’m just sayin’...
- A dog-to-English translator.
- A “car diagnostic” app. I’d love to know if something is on its last legs, or if the mechanic is lying to me.
Wise and worldly readers, what would you like to see?
But you better think about 3D. I was getting ready to blog about a school in the UK that was using a 3D version of Ye Olde SmartBoard in an anatomy class. That will be the next thing your IT people will want to spend money on.
DOG: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!
TRANSLATION: Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
(Stolen from Gary Larson, but still good.)
Ditto on the Brother printer. I got the Brother HL-2170w, which connects to the network either wired (no problems) or wireless (a huge hassle, just hardlined it). The best part about laser versus inkjet is that the toner doesn't dry out between print jobs. I tend to print a lot at the beginning of the semester, but also go for months without printing during the summer.
One of my students got it recently and has nothing but glowing things to say about it.
I got this for my husband for Christmas this year.
One: Get a nice computer with HDMI out, and hook it into your TV.
From there, you can then sign up for PlayOn which will stream much to your computer.
I also HIGHLY recommend XBMC (from xbmc.org) and then adding the program to that called NAVI-X. A nice collection of streaming content from the networks and so forth.
You can also put "Hulu Desktop" directly on there, and you are "good to go" as they say.
We tend to talk about all this stuff over at our podcast Real Tech for Real People rtfrp dot com (and we occasionally argue academic stuff, and talk football)
I would also like to see a device/app that keeps track of what's in my cabinets and fridge and automatically generates a grocery list.
The Roku was made for you - in addition to the Netflix content, you can get Pandora, Amazon and Hulu Plus. If you're willing to spend about $10-25 per month on Hulu Plus and Amazon content you can watch almost anything you'd want to see.
Between our Roku, purchased copies of DVDs, library copies of DVDs and hooking our computer to the TV, we've been happily cable free for over 2 years. You can buy a lot of DVDs for what cable costs each month. We have a music store nearby that sells used DVDs and use that to purchase things more cheaply (and to sell our stuff when we're done with it.)We connected a coaxial cable to our internal cable wires after they shut off service and discovered that they acted as a powerful antenna. We get all our local TV the old-fashioned way.
As for your car diagnostic tech wish, I saw this announced at CES and thought of you:
Matt at CSDE