editorials

Why I’m Willing to Give 3D TV A Try

Why I’m Willing to Give 3D TV A Try

Whether it’s gaming I’m after, or if I want to spend some time watching some of my favorite shows and movies, I’m typically sitting in front of my HDTV each and every night. And since I spend so much of my time with it, having a viable television sitting in my living room is something that I’m always concerned about. But lately, all the talk in the television market has revolved around the future adoption of 3D TV by an increasing number of consumers. Speculation abounds that over time, consumers will start warming to the new technology and see it as a valuable option in their living rooms.

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Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Time To Buy a Blu-Ray

Consider this my official holiday gift guide column. I'm not going to do a round-up of all my favorite gift ideas. I'm not going to recommend which phone you should buy, which laptop, which Lexus, or whatever. There are plenty of great gift guides to tell you all that (and I've even worked on some of those, myself). I'm not even going to recommend a specific product. I'm just going to tell you to buy a Blu-Ray player. I don't really know which one to buy, and I don't even have one myself. But it's become the number one item on my list, and it should be for you, too.

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2010: The year I forgot about DVDs

2010: The year I forgot about DVDs

As someone who loves to sit down in front of the television after a long day’s work and watch a movie or television show, I typically spend some time each month heading down to Best Buy or browsing Amazon to find out what the latest entertainment releases are. It has become a habit that at least so far, I’m unwilling to give up.

But over the past year, my buying decisions have changed, and I’ve officially ditched DVD in favor of Blu-ray or streaming services.

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Movie Review: Black Swan

Movie Review: Black Swan

For fans of Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan engages some of the director's best tropes. It is thankfully more Pi than The Wrestler, more Requiem for a Dream than The Fountain. Throughout the movie, I had the vague feeling that I should be bored by what I was seeing, but instead I was constantly engaged. Even some of the mundane and tired aspects of this genre felt fresh and new under the hand of Aronofsky and the panicked eye of Natalie Portman.

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A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

A Cartoonish Way to Prevent Cruelty

In graduate school, I mostly studied –isms. Feminism. Marxism. Racism. I got a Master's degree in Cultural Theory, which is sort of an intersection between philosophy and deep analysis of English literature. Mostly, I read philosophers who talked about literature and wanted to change the world. When I started my course of study, I thought I would get a PhD. I thought I would become a professor. But over the course of two years of graduate study, I realized that all we were doing was reading and talking. The authors we read were writing mostly in terms so abstract that you could hardly divine what they were talking about, let alone what they wanted to accomplish. It seemed a terrible way to change the world, talking but not doing anything. So, I left.

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Just admit it: We all want bigger HDTVs

Just admit it: We all want bigger HDTVs

As mentioned in a previous column here on SlashGear, I’m currently in the market to buy a new HDTV. I’ve found that my current 50-inch plasma isn’t performing as well as I would like, and it’s probably about time to replace the aging set with something new. But whenever I go to the store to compare pricing on TVs, I lose all sense of reality. Instead of sticking with my belief that I can probably be quite happy with a 42- or 46-inch television, my eyes start to wander towards the larger, 52- and 55-inch sets.

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The Freedom of WikiSpeech

The Freedom of WikiSpeech

I've had a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around the whole WikiLeaks affair. My first instinct was conservative, to say the least, and perhaps even jingoistic. I agreed with the sentiment that WikiLeaks, and its founder Julian Assange, was directly attacking the U.S. I hadn't felt this way about the previous WikiLeaks revelations, but something about this recent information dump struck me differently. In the past, the revelations had always been about the wars the U.S. is fighting abroad. I have some complicated views on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I won't get into them here. But regardless of whether you are in favor of continuing the fighting abroad or withdrawing all of our troops, I think we can all agree that war is the most dire situation in which a country can find itself. It's not a decision to be made lightly, or ignorantly. That is why I was supportive of previous WikiLeaks actions. Americans should know the truth about the wars we are fighting, and that means the entire truth.

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Happy Birthday To You Who Won’t Read This

Happy Birthday To You Who Won’t Read This

Today is my wife's birthday. She isn't sentimental about birthdays or most holidays, so I won't get in trouble for not remembering to wish her a happy birthday before she ran out the door, rushing to get our son to pre-school on time. I'll probably get in trouble for how much I spent on her present. She asked for a spa day. A massage and a facial. I'll never understand why women like to get their faces poked at as a gift, but she doesn't understand why I sit in front of the television twiddling my thumbs for hours at a time.

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We Need To Talk

We Need To Talk

When I think of the communication breakdown that we're experiencing in our culture, my first instinct is to blame AOL. Yes, AOL, which for many of us was the first way we experienced the Internet. Or, more specifically, I blame Elwood Edwards, whose voice you would hear every time you logged onto AOL and discovered that "You've Got Mail." Was there any sweeter sound? It was so optimistic. A lilting tone with an upward lift at the end. A single spondaic stress with an iamb at the end. It was like the dinging sound of a slot machine when you win. Vegas casinos have long known that people will associate that ringing with winning in a Pavlovian sense, and will keep inserting money not just until they win, but until they hear the reassuring "ding." The same was true for AOL. We would log on multiple times, waiting as the page slowly filled in over our dial-up connections, until the end when Mr. Edwards would make his proud proclamation. Or not, at which point we'd feel dejected. Like we had failed, somehow.

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