Month: January 2012

CES 2012 highlights that matter

Posted by – January 10, 2012

Ubuntu TV

Unfortunately, my work did not take me to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. I’ve been forced instead to keep up with announcements and displays through CNET, GigaOM and the Chicago Tribune’s Wailin Wong on Twitter, as well as a few other places. As I touched on a few weeks back, the intersections of mobile, TV and identity recognition are places that I am paying close attention to this year. Thus far, the attention-getters at CES have largely corroborated those expectations.

Ubuntu TV was an interesting development, however. It’s true that I am forever going to associate mainstream awareness of Ubuntu with a shameful 2009 story out of Wisconsin that you may remember. (Basically, a girl dropped out of college and blamed the operating system.) This story will always make me cringe, but if the Ubuntu brand is lucky, attention for its TV endeavor will outgrow the attention it received for that bizarre tale.

• The Roku Streaming Stick seems like something completely logical that was a long time coming. True to the trend of digital content boxes getting smaller and smaller, this thing is basically a box that’s the size of a thumb drive.

• I am mostly uninterested in control peripherals for the iPhone and tablets. “Super Crate Box” on iPad has recently made be reconsider that stance, though. Ion’s iCade Mobile is a sort of solution to button needs, even if it does make your device look like an Atari Lynx.

• Elsewhere, Razer unveiled its Project Fiona tablet, which I’m not sure I entirely understand. But hey, it’s got an i7 processor.

• Samsung has their new 55-inch Super OLED TV, meanwhile. It’s a little hard to appreciate much more than the product design through pictures on the Internet, and few things interest me less that 3-D TV capabilities, but I think it is notable that we’re now at the point where we’re talking about real TV sets with quad-core processors.

The best comics of 2011 and other links

Posted by – January 6, 2012

Since Christmas, I’ve taken a 24-hour Amtrak ride out to Washington, D.C., upped my freelance output and generally been on a wild ride (which has even included red pandas!). Here are a few other items of importance.

• It has been somewhat of an annual gig for me the last few years to contribute to CBR’s “Top 100 Comics” lists. Kiel Phegley always does an amazing job wrangling all the votes and write-ups together for this feature, and he came through once again. For 2011, you’ll find me making my cases for Michael Kupperman’s Mark Twain “autobiography,” Chris Ware’s “Touch Sensitive,”Morning Glories” and “Detective Comics” and “Uncanny X-Force” in the final ten.

• Tom Spurgeon has a great interview up at The Comics Reporter with my ComicsAlliance editor Laura Hudson.

• Google TV turned out to be quite a flop out of the gate last year, but Google is getting ready for a second go at it at CES. As Staci D. Kramer at paidContent points out, there’s been some partnership shuffling.

• As a regular reader of The Verge and a former daily collaborator with Russ Frushtick at MTV Multiplayer, I’m really excited to see what Vox Media has in store for games journalism.

• I’m glad Rick Marshall is continuing to post sketches from his Hunter S. Thompson collection.