I've been using Google Docs more and more - especially for group work in my classes which has been a huge benefit when working with multiple people on one document. Its cool to see sentences come out of no where and appear on the screen.
On a cold winter's evening such as the one Minnesota is currently suffering from, going outside really isn't the first thing that comes to my mind. What luck it is that Apple debuted their movie rental service just this week - perfect timing for me to rent a movie from the comfort of my room. No getting bundled in multiple layers, getting the car warmed up and spending $4-5 dollars at Blockbuster and being tempted by high calorie snacks. Just find a movie in iTunes - that was the hard part since the selection is rather slim for the moment, but that will be changing.
I picked out "Live Free or Die Hard" - it wasn't on my list of movies to see but it was the best choice out there for movies that I haven't seen. I'll admit Justin Long tipped the balance, even if just because he plays Mac in the commercials. The movie was all I expected, but it was cute and funny and definitely full of action - it was just right for my night of staying in.
• HD DVD has sold 2.5 million movies since April 2006 (20 months)
• Blu-ray has sold 6 million movies since June 2006, (18 months)
• Apple has sold 7 million movies since September 2006 (15 months)
So much for thinking iTunes Movies and the AppleTV thingy were a failure. I'm thinking Apple has another hit brewing with movie rentals and the AppleTV Take 2.
Fluid is becoming one of my favorite new utilities. Its similar to Mozilla's Prism concept, in that it turns your favorite web application (such as facebook, Google Reader, and Backpack in my case) and turns them into individual applications on the desktop. That is to say, it devotes the webkit engine behind Safari to a single web site and gets rid of everything else like the address bar, etc. So if I want to check my Google Reader feeds, I just click the icon in the dock and I'm taken straight to my feeds.
At first this idea seemed all too silly - I could just type in the address in Safari and be done with it - but oddly I'm finding the simplicity quite attractive and satisfying. I've got just these three for the moment, but I'm thinking about some of the other Google applications for instance.
Its still in beta (version 0.6) at the moment, but its been totally stable for me and I hope it only gets better. It does require Leopard, but who isn't using Leopard already?!
Macworld has been pretty awesome so far, the Stevenote was fabulous in my opinion. Maybe less than what some people were expecting, but come on - the amount of anticipation that is put on the event its no wonder people are left disappointed. I'm eager to get an AppleTV now, and the iPhone just keeps getting better. Then ofcourse the MacBook Air is pretty sweet, but probably too sweet for me to end up with one anytime too soon. But what really has me excited is the upcoming 2.0 version of BusySync.
Hawk Wings has a nice write up of the version coming out soon. Basically in its current form it allows for iCal syncing between multiple users on a local network. I think with version 1.5 syncing can now happen over the internet without a server sitting in the middle. Pretty nifty and useful for a family or a couple. But the new version coming out takes it up a notch by adding Google Calendar syncing - finally its the best of both worlds. Use whichever one you like and the data is all the same and shareable for everyone. This is definitely on my wish list this year.
Financial Times: Paramount to Switch to Blu-Ray, Killing HD DVD
Matthew Garrahan and Mariko Sanchanta reporting for The Financial Times:
Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD DVD after Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that will sound the death knell of HD DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end.
[…] Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner Brothers backing Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.
(In case you missed it, Warner Brothers did just that last week.)
My inner geek is having heart palpitations just thinking about Stargate Worlds. I caught the teaser commercial during Friday's Stargate Atlantis episode about this online-multiplayer game coming sometime in 2008. I just hope they have a Mac version ready to go at launch - though of course I could 'use' a nice shiny new whatever-new-Mac-Steve-has-up-his-sleeves.
January 15th feels like a long way off yet, but I know it will be here soon enough and I have a feeling its going to be a big one. Oh, and who wants to place bets that iPod/iPhone/music news will be at a minimum and saved for a special event a few weeks later? It will be all Mac related news and products - Jobs has lots to cover this year I think.
Second, would be the waiting. Its a killer...