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ZNF regular Chucky shares some satircally exclusive details regarding rumors that Apple has pitched the cable industry

In a stunning anouncement, Apple has reached a deal this morning with almost all US major MSO’s to offer cable service via the magical new Apple TV Pro.

All cable billing for the Apple TV Pro will take place through iTunes Billing, with Apple taking their god-given 30% tax off the top, and an ‘Expanded Basic’ sub priced at $220/month, and HBO at $80/month for consumers.

Eddy Cue of Apple was quoted as saying, “We decided to way to get the MSO’s to get past their iTunes billing objections was to stuff their mouths with gold”.

Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, was quoted as saying, “That Tim Cook really understands supply chains. This is a great deal for…” Roberts attempted to continue his statement, but collapsed in uncontrollable laughter.

The magical Apple TV Pro will feature live cable TV, AirPlay, and Siri, but no DVR. Tim Cook was quoted as saying, “We think we have the cash to run saturation Sam Jackson and Zooey Deschanel ads to get folks beyond their irrational attachment to the DVR.”

developing… Continue Reading…

Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It’s either a giant robot movie or the next Twilight film. Now we’ve got a full-length trailer that answers that question.

Shia LaBeouf is back to periodically interrupt all the anthropomorphic car action with nervous stammering and John Turturro is back to finish the job of burying all the good memories we had of him in Coen Brothers films from the 90s. Megan Fox is not back. I’m sure we’ll all miss… whatever it is she did in the first two movies. All I recall is that she arched her back in front of a car one time.

So what do we have in this new trailer? Transformers. On the moon. Except when they’re in DC blowing up monuments. We also get music that sounds suspiciously like a mashup of the film scores from various Christopher Nolan movies.

What we don’t get in this trailer is cutesy Shia LeBeouf quips. Maybe he won’t talk much in this one? Maybe we’ll get less boring human stuff and more repetitive Optimus Prime robot punching?

That’s the genius of Michael Bay. He answered one question only to leave us with more. See it July 1.

I was a history minor in college which means a bunch of people unfairly expect me to know something about history.

But I don’t actually know much history and Immortals isn’t burdened with those expectations. Combined, these facts allow me to accept a version of Ancient Greek events that includes a flaming whip attacking a male Statue of Liberty and bad guys with crab helmets. It seems likely director Tarsem Singh and I both only completed our history minors because we had a bunch of AP credits from high school.

You might know Singh as the director of The Fall and The Cell. The Fall has been in my Netflix queue for awhile now and The Cell had Jennifer Lopez. It’s inexplicable I haven’t seen either yet.

Immortals comes out November 11th of this year and stars Henry Cavill (the guy cast as Superman in Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel) and Mickey Rourke (the guy who looks like he got punched in the face a lot by Superman).

Caution… potential movie spoilers ahead.

Many characters in film and television have wrestled with the question, “Does she really love me for me?” But only a select few, including Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) and that guy from Quantum Leap, have had to answer it in another dude’s body.

Source Code, Duncan Jones‘ sophomore directorial effort, after debuting with the vastly superior Moon in 2009, is the kind of movie where you can sort of accept the things that are happening on screen until people start trying to explain them. Our hero, Captain Stevens, wakes up on a train and spends the rest of the movie exploding for a good cause.

Stevens is part of an experiment that transports him back to the last eight minutes of one passenger’s life on a Chicago commuter train to figure out who placed the bomb that wiped out everyone on board. Nothing Stevens does can affect the outcome in his own timeline, so he’s strictly gathering information to thwart a possible future attack. Every time his host body dies, Stevens is forced back on the train to try again. Think Groundhog Day meets Seven Days. Continue Reading…

Entering the Atrix

Guest Blogger —  January 17, 2011

By itself, the Motorola Atrix was but one of the dozen or so large-screened Android smartphones that invaded CES 2011, but what really set it apart was its lapdock accessory. This clamshell combination of a full-sized keyboard, screen and battery allow the Atrix to function more like a Linux smartbook.

Extending the processing and connectivity of a smartphone to notebook proportions is, of course, not a new idea. The pre-Elevation Palm sort of tried it with the Foleo, which was a mostly independent device and in some ways a closer ancestor to the BlackBerry Playbook. Celio implemented it with the Redfly, although that product was tied to the unpopular Windows Mobile OS and later BlackBerry, where it was poorly integrated. Rather than a dock, both solutions were able to use bandwidth-constrained Bluetooth to pair the input and output enhancement to the phone. In the case of the Redfly, a cable could also be used.

The Atrix 4G lapdock solution seems like it will work better than those approaches, but in the excitement over a smartphone that can apparently transform into a laptop, I think we’ve been too quick to overlook the lapdock’s strange design, in which the Atrix is docked behind the screen. This allows for easy connection and disconnection of the smartphone, but it doesn’t allow for use of both screens simultaneously. More importantly, it doesn’t allow you to easily transport the docked Atrix within the lapdock. I’d be surprised if a competitor taking a crack at this didn’t make it so that the phone is inserted securely inside the clamshell, allowing for sufficient ventilation, of course.

This post syndicated from Ross Robin’s Out of the Box. Ross is executive director of industry analysis for consumer technology at market research and analysis firm The NPD Group, a columnist for, and senior columnist for Engadget.

It’s a weeknight. You’re at happy hour when suddenly your internal “I’m too old to be up this late on a school night” alarm goes off. So you say your goodbyes and head to the metro to make your way home. Except you get there just in time to see the train pull away from the platform dooming you to a 20 minute wait. 19 minutes later your friends show up from the bar and get on the same train you do. It’s only 20 minutes wasted, but it’s the principle of the thing. It’s not fair they’re going to get home at the same time you are.

Apps like the Washington Post’s DC Rider are doing what they can to eliminate this minor injustice for Washingtonians. Provided you have a smartphone, of course.

The DC Rider iPhone app layout is simple enough. You’re presented with the standard DC Metro map. Touching a station brings up a webpage inside the app with the arrival times for that station updated in real time.

What the app does isn’t particularly groundbreaking – it’s pulling information directly from WMATA’s website – but it’s free and more efficient than their mobile page which isn’t very user friendly. The app also comes with a few interesting bonuses. Continue Reading…

This morning I took (early) delivery of Amazon’s new Kindle 3 – I opted for the WiFi only version – a device that claims 50% better contrast than any other e-reader, a 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6″ size reading area, and a 20% increase in the speed of page turns. These are, of course, all very welcome improvements but specs alone don’t tell the real story of Kindle’s appeal and why it sets the benchmark for an e-reading experience. Instead, it’s Amazon’s decision to adopt a vertical model: controlling the hardware, software and, most controversially, content of the Kindle, that define the user experience. But first, let’s dive into the device itself.

The two most noticeable aspects of the Kindle’s hardware design are its size – it’s a lot smaller (and lighter) than pictures do it justice – and the print-like contrast levels of the latest iteration of E Ink, the technology that powers the device’s screen. In fact, upon unboxing the Kindle 3, a colleague attempted to peel off a second non-existent screen protector that housed instructions on how to charge the device. Only it was actually the screen itself, set to standby. E Ink, though gray scale only, is that good for what it’s designed for: reading the written word.

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Greetings, fellow Zatz Not Funny readers. Like many of you, I’ve been searching for that perfect media player that can handle any video format as well as stream content from the Internet.

I like having all my movies at my fingertips. No need to go looking for the disc. And my journey started when I built my first HTPC using Meedio as the interface. While the HTPC did what I needed it was not with out its faults. One it was loud and PC cases at the time just did not blend well in the media cabinet. I was on that never ending quest to make that HTPC quieter and smaller. Over the years I just grew tired of maintaining yet another PC in my house. Then I found the Popcorn Hour A-110. This has been great device that plays almost every video format known, is small and blends will into the home theater. While I’m fond of the A-110, it is not with out its faults and I’ve kept my eyes open for other solutions. During CES the Pop Box was put on display. Upon seeing the demos I fell in love with it. Just like the A-110 but only smaller and able to stream Netflix, interface with IMDB to get cover art and movie information. So I made my pre-order and waited, and waited and continue to wait. So in the mean time, I’m playing the field and am giving the Western Digital TV Live Plus (~$125) a try.

I’ve been looking at WD’s lineup for some time and finally decided to pick the newest rev up. It can stream 720p, 1080p video content and Netflix – the main things I am looking for. It also supports streaming popular media codecs and enclosures. Here’s the list supported file types:

Video: AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9
Playlist: PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle: SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

Continue Reading…