Monthly Archives: December 2007

Hulu, Writers Strike, And Four pieces of software you should be using

I got my invite to the private beta for Hulu.com this week.  You might remember earlier this year when NBC pulled off of it’s clips off of Youtube, well that did that so that they could have more control over their content and Hulu is that more control.  NBC (Viacom) started Hulu in a joint venture with Fox (News Corp) and when it goes public you’ll be able to watch complete episodes of your favorite Viacom and Fox shows.  The verdict?  It needs work, for starters the navigation on the site is clunky, they have lots of content already but how many clicks does it take to find it?  Too many.  They allow you to blow the flash video up full screen, but it’s still flash and it has some quality issues. But my biggest beef is that the standard viewing window is just too small, they have a centered viewing window with big banners of white on top and bottom.  Other than that I think they are on the right track with Hulu, and I’m sure it’ll be very popular once they decide to go public.

That leads me to the writers strike… it has me a little scared.  Without writers we are seeing a boom in unscripted "reality"/gameshow TV.  I hate it.  I hate it hate it hate it.  I’m worried that these shows will make the studios think that they don’t need writers.  Mark my words, if narrative television disappears then I will throw away my TV.  Throw it away. 

Finally, I have been doing some renovating of a couple of my computers and I just thought I would share with you four programs that you should never be without.

  1. FireFox 2
    • This one is kind of a gimme, but this free (as in speech) alternative to Internet Explorer is a must have for anyone surfing the Internet. Of course this product is best when served with the AdBlock Plus add-on to get rid of all of those pesky ads on all of your favorite websites.  I know, I know, free websites are supported by displaying those ads, but ads have been the cause of numerous malicious attacks not to mention the fact that Google ads can make a website real ugly.
  2. AVG Free Anti-Virus
    • Anti-Virus is the second most important thing on any computer… but that doesn’t mean that you have to pay through the nose to slow down your computer.  AVG Free is a full featured anti-virus program with automatically updating virus definitions.  There is no reason to weigh down your system with terrible Norton Anti-Virus products.  Did I mention that AVG Free is… well… free?  Because it’s totally free like beer.
  3. Windows Defender
    • Windows
  4. Foxit Reader
    • To conclude this list is my favorite/only alternative to the mammoth that is Adobe Acrobat Reader.  I don’t know if you have used Adobe Reader lately, but it has got to be the most infuriating free software on the planet, it takes forever to load and every time you launch the program it thinks that it needs to update for some reason… what could it possibly updating?  The PDF format hasn’t changed in… um… ever! Well Foxit Reader is a quick and easy product for viewing PDF files and I love it, like AVG, Foxit Reader is free like beer.

Well, that’s my list, what do you think?  Just a couple more points of interest, I played Guitar Hero 3 yesterday for the very first time and I freaking loved it.  And finally, finally finally finally, Facebook has removed the "is" from it’s status field, it might not seem like much but updating your status on Facebook was really irritating when you wanted to say something that didn’t start with "Joshua Is"… now the "is" menace is no more.

-Josh